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GoVirtual was the motto of the BayIND Summer School 2021

Can people develop a sense of community during a digital experience? BayIND says yes and brought together Bavarian and Indian students in the second virtual BayIND Summer School 2021.

Which are the two most popular vegetables in Germany and India? What is the car per inhabitant ratio in India and Germany? With an average of how many sunny days per year, does India want to use solar power for energy production? 19 German and Indian students tried to answer these and other questions in a virtual pub quiz during this year's virtual BayIND Summer School.

During one and a half weeks, the participants were introduced to the startup landscape in India and Bavaria, listened to inspiring founders, interacted with experts on sustainable businesses and were supported by Design Thinking coaches while developing their own startup ideas. Four groups of students engaged with the topics of healthcare, sustainable packaging, food and agriculture and finance. With the help of pitch training, the students pitched their ideas at the end to a panel of experts.

Intercultural competencies in the entrepreneurial world
Sharique Husain from Conxai explained to the students how he wants to revolutionise the construction sector with the help of AI. Naseef Umar from AutoSmart provided a valuable insight into how to become a successful founder. Monica Jha from Cydee Technologies inspired with her social business by illuminating streets in India for the safety of women. In the session with Dr Maliha Sha from Alpha Telemed, the students learned what it takes for a startup to thrive in culturally different environments, in Germany and India. Nicole Plock and Alexandra Matthies from Arekapak inspired the students with their Indian-German business modell.  Alexander Neubert from smarter solutions introduced the students into the world of the incubation centre Einstein1 in Hof and explained what it means to “fuck up“ with your business and to start all over again. Julian Zix explained to the students how the German Indian Startup Exchange Program (GINSEP) supports startups.

Digital socialising
With conferencing software, a digital whiteboard and virtual reality software the students were able to dive into a virtual world and had an excellent virtual environment to learn. “Even though it was online, the organising team as well as the coaches put us to ease without making it ‚just another zoom session‘ but instead into something, which we would cherish for a long time! Would recommend it!“ said Aravindha from Technical University Munich.

To compensate for the time in front of a computer BayIND organised regular Yoga sessions for the students. Chai cooking introduced the Bavarian students to Indian cuisine and some Indian students also taught how to cook dhal, an Indian dish made out of lentils, and samosas, some delicious Indian dumplings. In the film screening of „Amma & Appa“, a documentary by the filmmakers and protagonists Jayakrishnan Subramanian and Franziska Schönenberger, the students as well as other BayIND Alumni got insights into a Bavarian-Indian love story and could even have a conversation with Jayakrishnan Subramanian after the movie.

A perfect blend of activities
Aravindha sums up his experience at the BayIND Summer School, that it was “...a solid balance between learning and having fun, and between theoretical inputs and opportunities to practice them plus networking with international students and entrepreneurs make the experience enjoyable and exquisite.“