Innovation Summit- 2nd August 2018


Innovation and Entrepreneurship are key building blocks for developing a vibrant and productive education system leading to higher economic growth and job creation. With a commitment to make the students Job Creators, we strive to develop a vibrant entrepreneurial and innovative environment in the campus by engaging students with innovation workshops and develop the network with industry by bringing in alumni and other young entrepreneurs.

Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Center of Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship organized an Innovation Summit on 2nd August 2018 at the Maduravoyal Campus of Dr. MGR Educational and Research Institute. The day long program included a Design Thinking Workshop where 140 students from the three campuses of the Institute participated. The showcasing of student prototypes funded by Dr. MGR NewGenIEDC and various campus entrepreneurs drew a lot of external visitors. The students benefitted from the critical questioning from the faculty and visitors. The Panel Discussion with Entrepreneurs brought out the essence of the entrepreneurship. Key Ingredients for Entrepreneurial Success that emerged from the Panel Discusion are : #Passion for Entrepreneurship #Deep learning on a chosen area #Win your family support by demonstrating small successes #Courage to #JustDoIt #Failure as a learning point

The students and participants of the I Summit thanked the Management of Dr. MGR Educational and Research Institute, Founder Chancellor Shri A.C. Shanmugam for his far-sighted vision and the President Shri. A.C.S. Arun Kumar for his commitment to the Vision of Job Creators.

Pictures from the Program can be found at the facebook page.


The I Summit @ MGR organized a Design Thinking for students of Dr. MGR Educational and Research Institute. A total of 140 students from the Faculty of Engineering, Pharmacy and Dental Studies participated in the workshop. Design thinking is a human centric approach for creative problem solving. The Wadhwani model for Design thinking consists of 5 steps – Immerse, Empathize, Ideate, Prototype and Validate. An innovation to be successful must be desirable, feasible and viable. Students of MGR got a taste of Design thinking in the 2 and half

an hour workshop with Dr. Rama Vaidyanathan, Director – Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Center of Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The Registration desk manned by the able Innofy E Leaders divided the students into 10 groups ensuring that students from the same class do not sit together. The warm up started with an activity called “Name Tag”. Each student in the hall had to get up and tag a person with an adjective written in a piece of paper. The only two rules for the game were that we should not know the person beforehand and the same person cannot be tagged again. As the students ran around tagging and making new friends, there was an infectious enthusiasm in the air.

The students were then introduced to the concept of Design thinking with the help of a power-point presentation by Dr. Rama. The students were amazed to find that many companies such as Apple and Siemens routinely develop innovative products using Design thinking. The baby warmer now developed GE healthcare was an outcome of a Design thinking workshop at Stanford!

Just when the students were going to doze off, each group was given a kit consisting of chart paper, cardboard scissors, etc. The students had to put into test what they had learnt. Each group was given a task – To create a prototype for a Table Organizer. Immersing themselves in the role of a student, they looked at the requirements for a table organizer. A student needs a calculator, place for keeping their mobile / ipad / several cables, pens, notebook, books, the list is unending! One group decided that they needed a table too, and made a sturdy prototype with a table organizer. In half hour time- each group explained their model and how it suited the requirement. We could see multitude of ideas coming out and saw different students get into diverse roles. There were some who focused on creating a model, some who ideated, some who went around to get a cross pollination of ideas…



Dr. MGR Educational and Research Institute has received a grant from the Dept. of Science and Technology, Govt. of India to create a Student Start-up Centre and fund student ideas with commercial potential. In the first year, the Dr. MGR NewGen IEDC has funded 10 student projects. In this session there were ten NewGen IEDC funded projects, one student project and one start-up exhibited. It was reviewed by Mr. R, Narayanan, The Former President, The Indus Entrepreneurs, Mr. Aravind Vimal David, NVT Phybridge India, Mr. Dhanabal Arumugam, CEO, Spaar 3D Creative, Mr. Harish Sampath Kumar, SP Robotics Works Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Suman Jha, CEO, Giscle Solutions and Mr. Dinesh SP, CEO, TechMbed. Students and faculty of the institution visited the showcase and interacted with the incubators regarding their project. A vibrant energy could be felt across the room as the student groups discussed the advantages of each of their prototypes. There was a group from Dept. of Catering Technology which had dished up completely new flavours based millets and fruits. There was Gokul with his Evo Tracker trying to find objects that had been hidden by one of the visitors. Pavani was busy convincing people that she had a new and cheaper method for water purification. The group from Dental College was busy giving their Herbal toothpaste to all for a trial. The gesture controlled robot was a fun element in the showcase.


The Panel Discussion started at 3:00 p.m. The gathering was welcomed by Ms. Bhuvanshwari Nagarajan, Manager, NewGen IEDC. Then Dr. Rama Vaidyanathan, Director R&D described about the vision of Dr. M. G. R Educational and Research Institute towards Job Creation.After introducing Mr. R. Narayanan, The man of the day to the audience, he spoke about the life of an Entrepreneur before five of decades and the advancement of technology. He was then honoured with a memento by Dr. Rama Vaidyanathan and Ms. Vishnu Priya (South Regional Manager of Wadwani Foundation). The panel discussion started with the introduction of Ms. Vishnu Priya who was the panel moderator for the noon. The panel comprised of Mr. Arvind Vimal David, Mr. Dhanabal Arumugam, Mr. Harish Sampath Kumar, Mr. Suman Jha, Mr. K.S. Sharren Balaji and Mr. Dinesh SP. The panel discussed on their entrepreneurial journey and their experiences on time management, support and the challenges that they faced. Mr. Arvind, an alumni of B.Tech. Industrial Biotechnology of Dr. MGR told us how he borrowed some money from his family to start his venture in IT. He has done exceedingly well using his network with class mates and his uncanny ability to identify industry requirements. Mr. Arvind was given a Distinguished Alumni Award by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalma Center of Excellence in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

The other alumni Mr. Suman Jha of Giscle Systems spoke about the encouragement he got during his B.Tech. study from the University in a prototype award and the networking support from National Entrepreneurship Network.

Mr. Sharan Balaji currently studying in final year B.Tech. Chemical Engineering is an Entrepreneur and the CEO of BA Technology. His initial jobs were supported by the Institute and now he developing various billing systems for shops.

Mr. Dinesh is currently studying in III year ECE at Dr. MGR. Dinesh is passionate about technology and has established a lab of his own at his residence. He is presently working on 3 D printing and PCB designing.

Mr. Harish Sampath Kumar from SP Robotics spoke about their journey. They have now got funding and are successfully working on the franchise model. Mr. Dhanabal Arumugam left a well paying job to start his 3D printing company. He had to patiently endure 6 months of not making a sale before he proved himself. Dr. MGR is proud to be his customer.

Ms. Vishnu Priya then summarised the panel discussion with some key points. Each entrepreneur on the dais was clearly passionate about their entrepreneurial ambition. Each of them had chosen to excel in an area by learning as much as possible about it. They were courageous to start their own venture. The support of family was important and was gained by

showing small successes and in some cases, after completing important life commitments. The journey did have its ups and down but each one was a learning point.

All good things come to a end and so too the I summit. The entrepreneurs were given a personalized momento designed by Ms. Bhuvaneshwari for sharing their experience. The participants of the project showcase and Design thinking workshop were appreciated with certificates. Dr. Hepsibah Sharmil, Social Scientist proposed the Vote of Thanks session.

-Dr. Rama Vaidyanathan, Director R&D