Published: 31st October 2018
Why youngsters are making a beeline for Trivandrum-based co-working space B-Hub
These events and workshops organised at B-Hub can range from anything between storytelling to machine learning or data science to ukelele lessons
Let’s call it a frenzy. The doors of B-Hub opened to reveal an absolute frenzy as students and organisers rushed from floor to floor. My visit had unwittingly coincided with an internship expo. Events like these are just another day in this co-learning and co-working space where ideas come to life. Have you ever dreamt of a space where you could brainstorm without interruption? I think you might find it tucked in between the brightly coloured walls and cosy beanbags of B-Hub.
“Every industry has been disrupted,” the founder R Abhilash tells me. “There is a revolution 4.0 whirring in the underbelly of the industry. It is not about the choice between engineering or arts anymore. It is about what the industries and market place require and they are more dynamic than ever. Transportation, agriculture or the way we eat food, everything has been changed.”
B-Hub was conceived was Bloombloom Dreambiz (P) Ltd in Trivandrum. It was set up jointly with the Cardinal Cleemis Center for Innovations and Entrepreneurship, in Mar Ivanios Vidyanagar, Nalanchira
“What does this industry require?” he asks me as I stare back blankly imagining that this was what the first person to listen to Steve Jobs must have felt like. Abhilash was part of the team involved in setting up She Taxi services and e-toilets in the state. “It needs talent,” he states without skipping a beat, adding, “But our educational institutions are churning out students who are not fit. This gap is the problem that we are all faced with. Employability is the need of the hour. The future is not about schooling, it is about skilling.”
He explains, “Learnability is one skill that will be crucial for the future of jobs. You need to be able to adapt, learn from others and find alternatives in this economic climate where the way of the world is being rewritten. And to encourage learnability, you need platforms for informal learning. We are this platform. Here, you can learn from your peers, mentors, industries, communities, local knowledge resources and digitally. Since the gap is widening farther than ever, we provide an answer through a series of community activities.”
Work space: The space is open to anyone who requires a place to work in
And how do we get started on the magic of this platform that Abhilash understatedly refers to as a ‘super active space’? Here is a platform where a student or a corporate entity can rent as much of the space that they desire for their work. In its various co-working spaces, it can accommodate anyone from 10-150 members. Trainers from industry giants like Google work with B-Hub to deliver content and conduct workshops, hackathons, challenges and conferences.
Currently, B-Hub houses over 20 communities. These range from Artificial Intelligence and Cyber Security to musicians and photographers, with the only prerequisite being passion. The space also offers mentor clinics where trained professionals can be consulted like doctors. They also organise over 30-40 events consistently on a monthly basis. These events and workshops can range from anything between storytelling to machine learning or data science to ukelele lessons!
We are one of the largest campuses in the state. We know innovation and entrepreneurship. They are the future and we wanted to play a part in building the future
Rev. Fr. Thomas Kayyalackal, Procurator, Major Archdiocese of Trivandrum
“We are creating a culture of informal learning in Trivandrum,” explains Abhilash. “Learning becomes so interactive here and you can take away what you cannot from your classrooms. Our trainers come from the industry and all their knowledge comes from the relevant experiences.” B-Hub is also in the process of building a digital platform where people can create profiles based on their skills. The idea is for companies and mentees to find each other through talent alone.
“Here, you are surrounded by people from all areas of the industry,” continues Abhilash. “Someone sitting in front of you might run a start up, there may be a developer to your right, behind you might be a lawyer and to your left could be an artist. The fundamental of any venture or anyone’s dream is a heterogeneous mix of skills; We enable that. Ventures and their success is about meeting the right people at the right time. We network around skills.”
For Abhilash and his team, the situation demands more disruption. For them, the future is simple: This is the idea of a lifetime and they can make or break it trying to make it a reality. B-Hub hopes to provide an aimless generation with a sense of direction. How can anyone look past such a promise? To those who would like to see it for themselves, he says, “This is the space you’ve been dreaming of. Bring your imagination here.”