Entrepreneurs turning investors has become a common phenomenon in India. Several large corporates also set up accelerators and incubation programs to foster innovation. Joining the bandwagon now is Paytm. Vijay Shekhar Sharma-founded digital payments major is all set to launch an incubation programme to help technology developers in India build and share solutions.
According to a report in the Economic Times, the initiative, called 'Build For India', will see Paytm bring together students and professionals, who can build open-source-based solutions and share those projects with the global developer community.
Design solutions around education, digital lifestyle, financial inclusion will be the focus along with working on using new-age technologies such as machine learning, augmented reality, virtual reality and more.
There will be a virtual incubator, which will be aimed at finding developers who can build solutions using design and technology. Physically, Paytm will provide its offices for mentoring sessions, hackathons, bootcamps and technology and design support when required for the students.
ET reports that Paytm is talking to student bodies and faculty across IITs, NSIT (Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology), Delhi Technological University, Amity University and BIT Mesra among others. The program will be kickstarted with around 20 institutions and will eventually looking at bringing on board several more.
Paytmâ€™s senior vice president Deepak Abbot says that the company will encourage participants to keep their work open-sourced. These projects' code will then be shared via GitHub.
"The objective is to give back to the developer community and not to sell these solutions. The virtual incubator will help any developer working in our focus areas to design world-class solutions,â€ť he added.
The incubation programme doesnâ€™t involve a direct monetary benefit such as funding but the report says that Paytm will reward key solution builders and those with outstanding solutions with potential recruitment into the company or even scholarships.
In the past, there have been other corporates such as Vodafone, Qualcomm, UTC, which have either invested in startups or conducted incubation or acceleration programs. Several corporates have even been partnering with incubation centres to work with startups and invite solutions that could benefit or add value to their businesses. In fact, Hyderabad-based T-Hub runs a corporate innovation program where corporates such as Uber, UTC, Yes Bank have either conducted programs or hackathons to invite innovative solutions from students and large corporates.