Student teams from Velalar College of Engineering, Vivekananda College of Engineering for Women, MEPCO Schlenk and others emerged as winners of a sustainability innovation challenge held in IIT-Madras on Saturday. 

Conducted by Pan IIT Alumni Leadership Series (PALS), an initiative led by alumni of IITs, finalist student teams from colleges across South India showcased innovations at the eleventh edition of innoWAH! competition. The challenge is for engineering students to conceptualise, design and create prototypes of their ideas.  

Mohan Narayanan, a governing board member of PALS told businessline that the idea is to make students beyond metros and across India think like entrepreneurs. “Over the years, we have seen an evolution in the participants’ approach to the competition. Today, many of them come with clear go-to-market ideas for their innovations and are also keen to be job creators rather than job seekers,” he said. Winning teams will be supported by PALS to grow their ventures in the form of mentoring and making connections to experts and investors, he added.

Held at the IIT-Madras campus, sustainability was the theme of this year’s competition. Ramaswamy P V, global CIO and head of cybersecurity at Virtusa was the chief guest. The expo was open to visitors and awards were announced at the end of the exhibition. Students came up with innovative startup solutions around the theme that attracted the attention and accolades of visitors and guests.

PALS is an initiative led by alumni of IITs and it aims to augment quality of engineering education in partner colleges. It started as a series of lectures given by IIT alumni in various colleges and is now a year-long program comprising various activities. The program extends its reach to institutions across Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala.