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Innovation Garage

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What exactly is Crowdfunding?

Blue, the color of the sky which you had always known, is slowly being engulfed by a gravitating blackness. “I have talent”, you shout. A ray of light passes through but is nonetheless usurped by the dark light. Tentacles bear above the ground and try to strangle you. You panic. It then hits you and you shout again, “I have Passion.” A beam of light shines through and blackness seems to withdraw. The suffocating grip loosens. But just when you thought it all ended, the shining starts to flicker before finally ceasing to exist. You lose all hope. “All I lacked was the green paper,” you mumble and just when you were on the verge of losing all hope, a warrior on his galloping horse advances towards you. His armor radiates a blazing flare that swallows the blackness. He then sways his sword hacking off the tentacles. “Who are you?” you inquire with gratitude. The man simply lifts his helmet and all you see is “Crowdfunding” inscribed on a faceless head.

Okay, okay! I agree that was a very dramatic introduction. But the sense of relief that it brings in those helped souls could as well be compared to the situation above. After all, you have Talent and Passion, a rare combo but it’s unfair that you are held back by the materialistic go of the world. That’s where Crowdfunding kicks in as a warrior on his galloping horse advancing towards you with his…ahem… okay, moving forward.

What is crowd funding you may ask?

Many of you must’ve heard about the crowd funding from our very own Efficycle team, Thunderbolt 4.0 managed by The Lakshya Foundation. The team successfully raised a whopping Rs.75,000 from alumnus and faculties, automobile enthusiasts and well-wishers. Crowdfunding is basically an ideal and optimistic approach where general public holds the power to help you realize your funding goals. Whether it is for launching a product or just going to your dream vacation spot, it’s on as long as you have supporters to support you (pause) financially.

The concept has been around and actually, quite popular for some time now. Crowdfunding campaigns powered by websites like ‘Kickstarter’ and ‘Indiegogo’ have given wings to a lot of innovative products such as Pebble Time (garnering $20,338,986 on Kickstarter) and code.org (collecting $5,022,041 on idiegogo). Wishberry.in, ketto.org and impactguru.com are few of the local alternatives.

University Crowdfunding, however, is a bit different from conventional Crowdfunding in the sense, depending on the situation, one may or may not have to provide the backers some perks such as beta versions of their product, equity or even post-purchase services. All the student has to do is to submit a detailed proposal specifying how they are going to utilize the funds and Bam! Your crowdfunding campaign is good to go! The regular donors generally include enthusiastic alumnus, faculty and even some of the students and acquaintances. Such campaigns help you publicize and gain visibility for your work. Moreover, the local crowd can relate to and understand the projects more easily compared to the general audience.

Being directly involved with such extensive campaigning has other perks too. It helps you to get acquainted with and figure out marketing tactics and improves your networking skills. But as a student, one has the responsibility to be transparent about the good use of the money as well as provide regular updates on the progress of your projects. To avoid misuse of campaigns, most university-based crowd funding will have a designated standard for screening in case of numerous projects. Also, a detailed MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) will have to be signed by the campaigners (students requiring the funds) to show a mutual understanding between the team arranging and the team requesting the campaign.

So guys if the funds are all the hindrance that is stopping you from achieving your dreams, give it a try. The Lakshya Foundation’s website has awesome crowdfunding portal that has helped many of our seniors before. The portal is on its way to revamp itself for an even better experience.

Stay tuned for Crowdfunding 2.0 by The Lakshya Foundation with a lot more features and reach to make the running of the campaign easier and effective. May the crowd always be in your favor!

By

Akhil Nambiar and Gaurab Manandhar

TEAM RISING PISTONS SPEAK OUT

imageThe NITW Go-Kart team, Team MechXhausters – Rising Pistons, secured AIR 1 in the pre final round of Go-Kart Design Challenge 2016, thus bringing honor and pride to the Institute. Now what is Go-Kart, you ask. A Go-Kart is a small four wheeled racing vehicle, much like the ones you see in Kart racing on TV. The college Go-Kart team, since its inception in 2013, has been participating in all the national level Go-Kart competitions and this year they managed to achieve this remarkable feat in GKDC ’16. The IG team managed to catch up with three members of the Rising Pistons – Rajat Kate, Gaurav Mahendra, Anup Prasad Mishra (all of them from 3/4) – for a short informative interview about their project and the competition.

What were the main inspirations in your involvement in the Go-Kart team and to work diligently for it?
As we know, textbook knowledge is not enough especially if you are an engineer. After all, engineering is all about application. Being a part of the Go-Kart team has been a first step towards mastering the practical aspects of engineering. We have been taught a lot about technical things and the first hand experience of the practical world. Besides the technical side, we have learnt quite a deal about management too, since we had to manage our time, shift it between academics and also find time for life outside academics. How we can make ourselves better professionals after college, that we need to learn at the earliest possible. So these were all the prime motivations. We did not want to remain limited with textbook knowledge and this proved to be an excellent stage to apply all our knowledge in the practical world, also promising a reward for our efforts.

What are the basic skills that one requires to be a part of the Go-Kart team?
Well, one must have some knowledge about Kinematics Of Machinery, Thermodynamics, Material Properties and yeah, also one must be good at speaking, mainly because you have to present and negotiate with people. But the most important skill that you need is to be able to work in a team. Because you’ll be coming together with 15 people whom you might not know earlier, but then you need to work with those people throughout the year, to achieve something that is way bigger. And since the budget for this project is also high, so making this thing work out with those 15 people is very important.

And what are the challenges that you faced in the past five months of working on this project?
The most noteworthy challenge that we faced was to integrate the efforts of everyone towards one common goal. Every individual has his own particular dreams and expectations, and connecting everyone’s needs with the team’s goals was one of the toughest challenges that we faced. For example, at the earlier stage, some people were not that motivated and for them achieving the top 20 positions in the all India rankings was satisfactory, while some of them were determined and wanted the first position. So to bring congruence between their wants was challenging. This is not something you get to read in books, or blogs. You learn it completely through experience. The second key challenge was the market survey. We were not aware about which parts were available in the market, what were the correct dimensions, and also there was a compatibility issue, as we had to take parts from other modes and reassemble them. The third challenge was the setbacks that we would have now and then, and then resuming again after facing those setbacks. For example, our chassis was redesigned several times – around 5 – 6 times. Even when we had just 15 days left for the competition, we were still designing the chassis and had not finalized it. And finally the last challenge is the college bureaucracy. We’d like to explicitly talk about that. We could have easily got the permission for working in the workshop and using the tools if the college authorities and faculty were a bit more cooperative and friendly. We are not complaining here but we just want to point out where there is scope for improvement. Getting permission for participation from the Director could also have been easier if we had cooperation. Then, there should be the scope for reimbursement. Though we are trying tooth and nail to get it, the possibility of getting it is minimal. There has been no support from the college even after five months of inception of the team. However one good thing that the Director did was to mention the achievement of our team in his Independence Day speech.

Okay, and what about the seniors? Are they helpful enough?
Yeah, the seniors are really helpful. They have been guiding and assisting us since day 1. They share their experiences with us and also suggest better ways to achieve our targets. We report to them that we are doing this and that, and they would advise us accordingly and also suggest necessary changes so that we can improve the concerned parameters. They also talk about the mistakes that they made during their time and guide us so that we do not repeat the same mistakes. Basically we’d call them whenever we require some help. Even right before our first round where we had to give a presentation, we first gave a presentation before our seniors and they pointed out where we were going wrong and how to correct them.

Tell us about your future plans as a team and how do you plan to achieve them?
This time we’ll be participating not only in GKDC but also in FKDC (Formula Kart Design Challenge). The final round of GKDC will be held on 17th January and that of FKDC during March. So we’ll be running the same vehicle for both the competitions. As for how to achieve our plans, we are trying to make our Go-Kart different from everyone else’s. We have implemented a drastic change in the model compared to last year’s model. First thing we have tried is to keep the mass of the vehicle as less as possible. Then we chose an engine which has features different from other engines. The third change that we have made is going for other materials rather than the conventional steel. We’ll be using fibre glass this time and also other different techniques. Also, we will be focusing on the aesthetic appearance of the vehicle. We’ll also try to showcase our Go-Kart during Technozion, so that people get aware about it and our efforts.

Finally, is there anything you’d like to say to the people or any advice that you’d like to convey to the juniors or the future Go-Kart team?
The most important thing that we did as a team was not to remain fixed on a particular rule. Like if you are said that certain parts cannot be used or certain design cannot be used, you should not follow it blindly but rather try to experiment on it. And that requires courage. This courage factor is something that would help to set you apart from others. Also you need to set the bar really high for yourselves to achieve it; you should have high ambitions. Overall this is a complete learning experience. It is more of a learning experience than a competition. To be honest, we have learnt more during these last five months working on this project than what we did in the last three years.

-by Paritosh Bailung

 MAKETHON 6.0- MY FIRST HACKATHON

There are very few instances in one’s life when one feels that he/she have transcended their barriers to ascend to a new level or a perspective. Such instances are the milestones that one remembers personally though the people around might not acknowledge.one such instance in my life that I shall treasure forever is Hackathon 6.0.

I am writing this as a person who has never been to Makeathon or a technical competition before and hence zero technical knowledge. For the past two years I never registered for any Hackathon selling my enthusiasm to my lethargy, inexperience and trepidation. This time, I have been lucky to be a part of an amazing team because of whom I was able to register and qualify for Makeathon since they had prior experience in the domain we worked on. All I knew were little basic chunks of HTML, CSS and android studio (which I managed from YouTube tutorials).

Little did I know that to accomplish things that interest and enthusiasm win over matter and mind. Once I reached there, our team discussed about the problem and divided the work. I had to work on android studio. Trust me, all I did was analyze the problem, Google your ideas, pick the best of all, make adaptive changes (for which you need some technical knowledge) and collaborate all of them on software. And, I have a working model of the app(I who had the bare minimum knowledge of apps).the only factor that differentiates is how well can one analyze a problem, keep his grit going and come up with a solution.

One spectacular and peculiar aspect of Makeathon was people were constantly energetic even after working for 20 hours amid the Redbull, music, food and fun. One who experienced only can describe the excitement and the new confidence that one cherishes when you get the final solution (i am sure my teammates remember my excitement when I got the solution at 5:00 am after my first night-out).So, for those who missed Makeathon this time, Donot miss the next Makeathon.

-Uma Prasanna Athikala

NITW wins NIT conclave 2016

Five students from our very own NITW participated in 6th NIT conclave which was hosted by NIT Rourkela this year. NIT conclave is a “platform for fruitful interaction amongst the NITs [where the delegates,] instead of theorizing on a designated problem, brainstorm on and address the existing real issues that are hindering the nation’s progress.” This year’s theme was “Research” with a special focus on undergraduate research. Rajat Garg (2/4), Somesh Kumar (2/4), Siranjeevi Gurumani (3/4), Aditya S. Kantha (4/4) and Sachin Govind (4/4) represented NITW and bagged first prize home. Here is an interview with Rajat Garg.

In the recent NIT conclave, could you elaborate on what you and the other NITW delegates did?

As the theme was focused on Undergraduate Research, we realized that the students are facing issues with the same in their undergraduate level. We narrowed it down and attributed it to two main problems and suggested two countermeasures. Our first delegate from NITW, Sachin Govind, shed light on how students do not get a proper and encouraging research environment. As he was a part of IG, he exemplified IG as a solution. Our second delegate, Aditya, chemical eng. 4/4, presented about student mentorship program. As our solutions were relevant and pragmatic approaches to the problems, jury liked it and here we are, bagging the first prize for our institution. But I also believe that the solutions and their implementations defined by delegates from the other institutions were equally impressive.

As you mentioned, your solutions involved the idea of IG. How did IG help you?

Before attacking the question directly, I would like to give some background. After analysis of the topic, we observed that undergraduate students, not only in NITW, but in the whole country experience a bump when it comes to research. And the reasons are quite obvious. They don’t get a research environment in their bachelors. Thus, due to lack of familiarity, they start believing that there is no scope for research at all. But research in fact has set foundation for most of the startups and every entrepreneur has some form of research ascribed to him/her. Hence, research is important. But the big question was, “What to do?”  So far we had realized the problem but the solution was still elusive. That is where IG kicked in in my mind. IG is a wonderful platform to promote undergraduate research which also helps the students raise funds for their foreign internships. IG, only a single building in terms of infrastructure, has changed the vision of thousands of students. We had enough traits of IG as ideas to add in our presentation. When I contacted Subhi didi and Piyus bhaiyya(both are active members of IG team) to get info about IG’s workflow, they were really co-operative to share everything with me. That too helped us in our presentation.

There must have been a wide range of audience present in this conclave. How did they perceive the idea of IG?

Yes. There were delegates hailing from more than a dozen NIT’s…16 to be exact, participating in this conclave. Everyone liked the proposal of IG and jury members said that this really can give a new hope in the field of research. They also mentioned, with such an enthusiastic environment that NITW already has, NITW can serve as a role model and help other colleges by showing them this wonderful incubation center. Such innovations would help develop the institutions soon.

Finally, is there anything you would like to say to all the readers?

I will say we have many ideas but here at NITW, we have implemented them. I would like to reach to the widest audience and tell them to come up with the ideas, work on them, make innovations and then, I surely hope, one fine day, the situation will change.

By

Gaurab Manandhar

Makeathon- Where technology serves humanity

Did you ever get excited to come to College for the mess food? I am sure the question must have already raised many eyebrows. For most of us, it is a definite no. But in government schools, students attend the school to get the midday meal served. It is neither for the taste, nor the flavor but to satisfy their hunger and survive. This is the midday meal scheme.

To implement this scheme and thereby increase the literacy rate, Akshaya Patra was formed in 2000 with their motto being “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger”. The organization grew from feeding 1,500 children in the year 2000 to 1.6 million children in 2016 in 25 locations across 10 states of India. They had recently celebrated serving 2 million meals. This has helped in increasing enrolment and decreasing dropout rate.

To escalate their mission, they wanted to use the help of technology to analyze the statistics and minimize the amount of food wasted and keep a check on quality. So guys, those who chose Akshaya Patra’s problem statement,You aren’t just learning and implementing something new and innovative but also helping thousands of children get their midday meal served with better efficiency. You will surely make a difference. All the best to you!!!.

Devathon 1.0 Report

So this weekend WSDC organized Devathon 1.0, the first of its kind- a web developing event for the aspiring web developers in the campus. The event happened as a consequence of the WSDC recruitment procedure, where the shortlisted candidates from the previous rounds huddled together in the Innovation Garage for a 24 hour coding marathon.

The candidates were divided in groups of four, led by a mentor who guided the team and acted as the team leader. The teams had to choose from two problem statements and had to come up with effective solutions. The problem statements for this version of Devathon comprised of the topics- Conference Management, and Customer Management.  The participants had to code using PHP, Codeigniter, Python and Django. It was followed by an interview round for each participant, where they were judged on their team dynamics, and their contribution to solution and problem solving methods. The best solution would get implemented through WSDC within few days of the event.

IMG_20160830_093322
The organizers pose for a selfie after the tiresome, yet rewarding event 

We caught up with a second year participant who had just finally completed his hectic yet fun coding session. “Honestly, I didn’t have any knowledge regarding Codeigniter or Django prior to coming here”,  he said with an exhausted but satisfied smile. “I really learnt a lot of stuff. Initially I got a bit nervous as I had no idea what to do. But the mentors were incredibly helpful and they guided me throughout the session. You see, the key is to not get demotivated.  You might think you don’t know anything and should rather back out. But you shouldn’t. You should keep your focus intact and be eager to grasp as much knowledge as you can. More than a competition, it has rather been a learning experience for me.

To sum it up, the first installation of Devathon has been a grand success- thanks to the relentless coders and the entire WSDC team. These kinds of events are the prime reasons for keeping the nerdy and creative adrenaline rushing in the young engineering minds of the institute. Also, a big shout out to Innovation Garage for making such endeavors possible in the campus. After the huge success of Devathon, there’s another techie extravaganza just at the doorstep. That’s right- IG’s Makeathon takes place on 10th and 11th Sept, and it’ll be much bigger and better than last time. So till then, stay tuned.

By,
Paritosh Bailung

What you can do as a First Year in Biotechnology

Being a first year engineering student can be very exciting. After months(years…I know) of overnight study sessions, hours of butt numbing coaching classes and a heck load of pressure from the family, when we finally clear the exam and occupy a seat of a reputed college like NIT, the one thing in everyone’s minds is “IT’S FINALLY OVER”.

But being a first year BioTech student is just as confusing as it is exciting and maybe even more so and this humble writer would like to bring to your notice the seven basic things you can do to excel in Biotech and make it fun!

  1. KNOW YOUR FIELD

I have met guys of Biotech who are unaware of the basics of biology. Much less what biotech is? And though I understand why no one from Maths background would even try to remember Biology, it is a part of you now that you are Biotech major. It’s not that hard to learn bio and all you have to do is:

*Open YouTube and watch short videos on intro to biology.

*Join an online course site like:

  1. http://www.coursera.org
  2. http://www.edx.org

2. INTERACT WITH SENIORS

After being here at NITW for about a month, you would have realized that ragging is pretty much non-existent around here. So shed those fears and talk. Walk up to your seniors, talk to them and see if they are from your branch or know someone who is. Believe me guys, no one can guide you better than our seniors.

  1. VISIT INNOVATION GARAGE

Have you seen the big white modern looking building when you return to 1.8k from NAB? On the 2nd floor of that building is the I.G (INNOVATION GARAGE). Hold conversations with some of the most intellectual people in NITW.

  1. VISIT THE NITW WEBSITE

The website is a good place to start knowing your department and faculty. Read about the professors and know their areas that interest you the most.

  1. KNOW THE SCOPES IN THE FIELD OF BIOTECH

I have heard many people bemoaning about the lack of scopes in this field. Wake up folks! Biotech is one of the most diverse fields encompassing core biology and chemistry along with newer fields like artificial intelligence, renewable energy sources and nation wise important fields of food, defense and medicines.

  1. WHAT DOES NITW OFFERS TO ITS BIOTECH STUDENTS

NITW has an awesome and inspiring lab in its department along with faculty members who are adept in their respective fields.

Our college also has tie-ups with foreign universities in Germany and Poland and provides an amazing opportunity to a few students to study abroad on full scholarship.

Apart from that you should also search for various summer internships as they add to your profile and will fill your boring summer holidays with fun-filled research experiences.

  1. CHILL

Hey! Don’t over think things. Let them run their natural course. Make friends (seniors also), go to TS, go outside, bunk classes (make sure you have above 75%), have relationships. At the end of your day all that matters is the love you have for your subject. So buckle up and prepare for a fun-filled, mind boggling, amazing and intense ride of four years.

 

THANK YOU!!!

By

Daksh Pamar
Btech First Year
Biotechnology Department
Email- daksh.pamar18@gmail.com

 

Breaking the Convention

“The end credits of “3 idiots” had just begun. He was still in a trance. A trance of appreciation, awe and excitement despite watching it for the umpteenth time. In spite of an average performance till the mid of semester, he was overwhelmed at this moment. He put himself in place of Rancho and imagined flying the self-made drone, showing off his brilliance in exams with modesty and of course, a kiss at the end with a charming girlfriend. At 1:30 am in his hostel’s dorm, he suddenly regained his long lost passion for machines. An electric vibe sparked through his body and he wanted to do something useful… no wonderful, create something brilliant right there at the moment. ‘He’ no longer even existed. ‘He’ was replaced by a much more confident, hardworking, brilliant, gifted, popular student along with some more adjectives synonymous of good ascribed to him, all wrapped in modesty obviously about which people were most impressed. But it was late and practically he thought there was nothing much he could do at this hour. So, determined, he saved all his synergy for the next day, week, semester and years to come. Peacefully, he slept. And then, life continued. As usual. For the umpteenth time.”

I wrote the above piece about a month ago relating it to the state inspiring movies leave us in by the end. In the moment we could feel a burning sensation around our belly button. Rancho too had successfully imbued most of us with an urge to make something cool but yet complex. And for some of us, the movie alone could have been a factor in choosing engineering over other fields. But since the time of watching the movie, how many of us spent even a single google query on how to make the drone which we fantasized about? I will tell you what I did. I was working on my Maths the next day. I improved a bit of my physics on the second day. On the third day, I was updating myself with the new uploads of ‘Nigahiga’ and ‘PewDiePie’ on YouTube. On the fourth day, when I had made sure I had devoured everything I missed on the first two days, my search query was “Random funniest WhatsApp videos”.

Some of the lectures, speeches and epiphanies that we attend, hear or have respectively inspire us. But that is sure to fade if we don’t work on our idea. That is why, to encourage people, Innovation Garage conducts a ‘Hackathon’ every year. The name has changed to ‘Makeathon’ since this year but the spirit of the event hasn’t. The term simply refers to a 24 hour space in which the enthusiastic minds work in a team to solve a given problem statement. Mind it though, I said enthusiastic, not brilliant or exceptional. The reason is, at the end of 24 hours, participants would not have proved a difficult mathematical conjecture or even come up with a new invention that would better people’s life drastically. What they would have done instead is challenged themselves (and also restrained themselves from fixating their eyes on YouTube). They would have come up with a prototype of a hack, which if further developed, would simplify a small population’s life. If you do that, I am sure even PewDiePie would be proud and would totally understand why you haven’t had the time to watch his latest uploads.

If you still doubt if you should participate because you do not know any of the technologies mentioned, Ravi Prakash, Mechanical Engg., B.Tech 2/4 clarifies in a recent video by IG, “Of course you should…It’s about collaborative learning and the experience of exploring a totally new field [with] some of the best minds in that domain…” So yeah, go for it.

On September 10-11, some of the coolest people of NITW will be present under one roof. Yes, I am talking about mentors. Question them. Not just about your project and bugs but also about their experiences. Ask them how they cracked the highly coveted Google Summer of Code (GSOc) or implemented a fully functional bus routing technology in Hyderabad. Or just inquire how they are enjoying their post-placement life after cracking the likes of Oracle. Just approach them. They will be more than happy to share their success stories. Who knows? They might come back as recruiters during your placement season giving you an edge.

If you still haven’t been convinced, come for food, music and fun filled event or at least for a Makeathon T-shirt which you can show off not just inside the college (my heart still aches when I see my friends wear those) but also back in your home to those aunties whom you never liked.

Finally, it’s less about the competition and more about learning something new and gaining an exposure to the technologies and their real life applications. I know it sounds so clichéd but just because something is trite does not make it any less true. (Got that line from a movie) While reading this, if you have been convinced and YouTube is open in another tab, close the tab (if it’s not too important) and start going through the problem statements. Break your convention. Unleash the Rancho in you.

 

By

Gaurab Manandhar

 

Girls, Why You No Hack?

An amazing article by Shubhi. Ladies, if this doesn’t motivate you to code, I don’t know what will.

Shubhi Saxena's Blog

Hackathon 3.0 received an exceptionally overwhelming response. For two days, it felt as if those two rooms had turned into a massive  fireball made up of super-excited neutrons colliding together to form new things. As an organizer, I was elated to see the radiant smiles that bore testimony to our success. However, amidst all the exuberance in the air around me, the question in the title always stayed clung to my head.

As the low participation of girls was way too evident (there were no more than 10 females in the room), the issue had to be brought up sooner or later.


X( A guy alumnus) : It is not just about today, I always wonder why girls’ participation is so minimal in events like Hackathon or code.fun.do.

Y (Another guy alumnus): Yeah, when in fact we know that girls are no lesser than guys inside the class. They perform…

View original post 672 more words

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