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BITS Pilani Dubai Campus Churns out 23 Successful Start-ups in Two Years!

by Eddie Rayner

Extensively fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, BITS Pilani Dubai Campus (BPDC) has become a cradle for successful start-up stories. In the age of the pandemic, the institute has churned out 23 start-ups out of, which eight were launched in Dubai amid Covid-19. Representing a diverse portfolio in the fields of Fintech, Pharma, Gaming, Edtech, Agriculture, Sustainability, Automotive, etc. these start-ups, which are lean, agile, and creative, are moving swiftly towards gaining funding, proving the power of pivoting. With a stellar five-star rating from KHDA Dubai and being recognised as the best technology programme by Forbes Middle East, BITS Pilani Dubai Campus has proven to be a champion when it comes to nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit and training young minds.

Professor Srinivasan Madapusi, Director of BPDC, commented: “BITS Pilani Dubai Campus has created a conducive ecosystem that helps ideas to mature into successful ventures. Through our structured systems, incubation facilities, innovation laboratory, and well-trained faculty we mentor students and have empowered them with cross-domain expertise. The Centre for Innovation, Incubation, and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) at the campus encourages students to think out of the box, offers courses on new ventures and business communications, and guides the students through early challenges to developing a successful business model. We take pride that since its inception BPDC has had more than 50 start-ups out of which 23 are in the last three difficult years. We also have one unicorn – Falcon X.   These outcomes demonstrate that every step that we have taken to evolve our curriculum and focus on entrepreneurial learning has helped.

Fostering Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem form part of the curriculum

BITS Pilani Dubai Campus graduates have been transformation agents in various fields making a mark across the globe. Many of them have founded businesses that are changing and disrupting the market game altogether.

Here, are some of the most happening start-ups by BPDC students:

XP Fintech Limited ‘Xponent’ is a company registered in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and founded by BITsian Pankaj Solanki in June 2021. A Fintech start-up, Xponent is the only micro-investment application in the UAE rounding up your daily transactions.

Sentient Labs is an innovative and research-driven multidisciplinary product development house with a vision of a sustainable tomorrow. It was incorporated as Sentient Labs FZ-LLC under the incubation of In5 Tech, DIC, Dubai.

Pankaj Solanki, an alumnus of BPDC and the Co-Founder of Xponent, said:“Incorporating a start-up, fundraising during a pandemic, and getting it on its feet operationally was a massive challenge, let alone having a revenue-generating cashflow. Being a BITS alumni, the skill sets and support gathered over the years from incredible professors and students nudged me to go the extra mile. Brutal resilience, patience, and focus to achieve the desired result are vital. Nonetheless, it’s been an incredible journey, and I wouldn’t think twice to do it again!”

8 of 23 start-ups are launched in Dubai during the pandemic in 2020 across industries

Echoing the sentiment, Anshul Singhal, the Founder and CEO of  Sentient Labs said: “The pandemic was a sudden and unexpected turn of events in our journey at Sentient Labs. As an entrepreneur running a deep-tech hardware-based company, it was not easy to imagine working in isolation and remotely with the entire team. Not knowing a definite lockdown duration and the timeline for the supply chain to return to normal, planning the journey to build the product and launch was looking very challenging. We used all these uncertainties to our advantage and adopted disruptive digital solutions that made our foundation for operations very strong and scalable. We opted for developing the product entirely on digital platforms and integrated and simulated all the systems before buying any hardware. The use of industry-standard tools and prior academic knowledge of the latest technologies and design thinking that we as a team acquired at BPDC served to our advantage. We instead saved more time and money and produced better and leaner results by going completely and deeply digital first.”

BITS Pilani Dubai carries a strong legacy, being an international branch of the most reputed and accredited Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani, India. It is the largest institution offering engineering programmes in Dubai.  Located in the vibrant Dubai International Academic City, it is home to several aspiring Engineers from the UAE, other Gulf Countries, India the Far East, Africa and other countries around the world with opportunities applicable equally to all students.