Interview: Pravin Rajpal, founder, World InnovatioNext Network (WIN)

September 15, 2022

Gurgaon based World InnovatioNext Network (WIN) (estb. 2018), a global edtech company has been delivering a technology-driven innovation ecosystem to provide young Indians a global platform for innovative entrepreneurship. WIN’s digital tools help convert regular computer labs into centres of excellence offering innovation, design skills as well as entrepreneurship applications. Speaking to Dipta Joshi of Education World, Pravin Rajpal, founder, WIN explains how the company’s focus on setting up such centres of excellence in schools aligns with the National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020) and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) vision of developing future ready innovation skills amongst students.

What was the objective to set up WIN?

WIN is an edtech company on a mission to empower the schools, higher education institutions, corporate and government institutions with digital solutions to develop their innovation and incubation capacity at unprecedented scale and speed. Our products have been developed after a lot of research. Our digital tools have helped convert computer labs into centres of excellence offering innovation, design, entrepreneurship applications and skills (IDEAS).

As pioneers in the digital incubator and accelerator product market, we have developed edtech solutions to develop innovation/incubation capacity in faster, better, simpler, smarter and cheaper ways. Our efforts have been recognised by the industry and we have received the _DX Digital Transformation award from the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) this year (2022).

What challenges does India face with regards to innovative entrepreneurship?  

The first major challenge is shortage of world-class incubators. We have only 310 recognized incubators for 39 million students studying in 55,000 higher education institutions. There is also a shortage of start-up mentors in the country. Further, there exists a disconnect between our current innovation eco-system and the global practice. While we follow closed innovation practices, a more collaborative and open practice is followed globally.  These factors are the main reasons for failure of 90 percent of start-ups. India has 1.5 million schools without innovation and incubation labs needed to conduct the innovation/entrepreneurship programs advocated by the NEP 2020 and the CBSE.

What products are you offering and how do these work?

We offer digital innovation and start-up suite on the cloud platform, which converts a smartphone or PC into the digital incubator and accelerator. We have six tools that promote generation of breakthrough ideas, provide validation tools, guided mind maps for the mind to market journey, a set of ready-made presentations and pitch decks to market the start-ups, a bank of 1000 technology ideas for commercialisation and access to an ecosystem for funds and opportunities to scale up.

Name some of the institutions you are catering to currently?

We have partnered with several high-profile progressive educational institutions. Some of them are the Birla Institute of Technology (Mesra), Lovely Professional University (Punjab), TATA Motors Academy (Pantnagar), Aditya Birla Science and Technology Centre (Mumbai), Sharda University (Noida), the ICFAI Group (Hyderabad),  Don Bosco Institute of Technology (Mumbai), TERI (Delhi), Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (Pune), Thapar Business School (Chandigarh), Sage University (Indore), MODY University (Rajasthan ), Mahatma Gandhi Mission’s MGM College (Nanded ) and the JawaharLal Nehru University (Aurangabad).

Mody University

You have been catering to higher education institutions so far. Why then are you shifting your focus to schools?

The NEP 2020 requires the schools to develop future ready innovation skills in young students and rightly so. CBSE too has recently introduced the design thinking and innovation programs (K6 to K12) and entrepreneurship programs (K11 and K12). We are focusing on schools because there is a great shortage of expertise, knowledge base and teachers in the field of design thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship.

How can schools benefit from partnering with WIN?

Our digital plug and play cloud platform converts the traditional computer labs in schools into smart innovation and incubation labs meeting the needs of the NEP 2020 and the CBSE’s mandatory syllabus on ‘Design Thinking and Innovation’, ‘Entrepreneurship’ and the ministry of education’s ‘Innovation Ambassadors Program’. The smart innovation labs will boost outcomes of the Atal Tinkering Labs by creating an environment of imagination, experimentation, creative problem solving and collaboration. Thus tech-savvy students will be empowered with gamification tools, Apps, simple softwares, LMS and networks for developing the future skills.

Our digital tools will not only build innovation capacity for schools, but it will eliminate the cost of hiring faculty for design, innovation and entrepreneurship learning. Schools can also generate new income by providing value-driven education to their students.

What are your plans for the future?

We are continuously expanding into global markets with  countries like the USA, Australia, UAE, South Africa, Argentina and many others subscribing to our edtech solutions. We have plans to introduce more gamification tools for schools to make innovation more  fun.

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