Published: 28th March 2020
NIT Warangal's Innovation Garage is open 24x7 to let your imagination run wild
As many as 70 prototypes that have come out of Innovation Garage. They have conducted six workshops for over 620 students. And have though 60 kids under the Summer Programme for underprivileged kids
How would it be if your college had a space of its own, open 24x7, where you can let your imagination run wild? Not just this, the space would be equipped with all kinds of tools that you would require to turn your imagination into reality. This space might be a dream for others but it has been existing at the National Institute of Technology (NIT), Warangal for six years now. Called the Innovation Garage (IG), it was started by students and is for students. "In classes XI and XII, we used to have rigorous, hands-on projects. All students think that, in college, we will get time to do more projects but the academic pressure is so much that we never get around to it. That's why this space was started," says Meet Mehta, Incharge, Innovation Garage. They have 3D prototyping labs, 3D printers, small laser cutters, wood cutting tools and so much more. To put it into perspective, there is enough equipment to build an All-Terrain Vehicle.
Session at IG | (Pic: IG)
Apart from being an open space, another way in which Innovation Garage adds to NIT Warangal's culture is by organising various events like hackathons, makethons and more. They have a sturdy team of 32 students dedicated to the smooth functioning of the space and organising the events. They also have teams — Machine Learning, Gaming and so on — that help juniors out. "A few juniors wanted to learn coding and had a passion for Ethical Hacking as well; the team at the space helped them learn it," says the 21-year-old. CUSMAT, a Virtual Reality solutions provider, and Epick Bikes, a start-up specialising in ebikes, are just two of the start-ups that they have incubated.
The total outreach of the space is 4,000 plus
Just when they started, it was surprising that people where not initially focused on taking support but instead, lending their support to set up Innovation Garage. "We had to crowdfund from the alumni when we were starting out. But when the institute realised how serious we are and how we are helping students out, they started supporting us with funds too," shares Meet who especially credits Prof L Anjaneyulu, Faculty Advisor, Innovation Garage and Prof Shrihari Rao Patri for helping them coordinate with the institute and acquire required permissions to conduct events. They have received `20 lakh in funding till date.
Meet Mehta | (Pic: IG)
This year, under Meet's charge, they launched ideathon, where participants are taught how to convert an idea or a prototype into a start-up or a product. "We even ensure that students have access to experts, from within the college and outside, when they need help," says the Ahmedabad-born youngster. They have even started WhatsApp groups, through which students can ask doubts and receive immediate responses. The list of what Innovation Garage does is clearly endless. Perhaps you should drop by to see it for yourself?
What they conducted this year:
- MakersWave: A three day-long convention with a makethon, expert seminar, mentorship, exhibition and a pre-training programme called Call For Makers
- Phantom CTF: A contest organised by the Cybersecurity team for trying to establish a foothold in Ethical Hacking
- Women at IG: An all-girls team who are taught and then, they work on projects