By Venkatesh Geriti (YBN India National Manager )
Few months back, I came to a decision to start YBN after having multiple discussions with Youth Business Network (YBN) founder Nikos Kostopoulos .I understand that YBN’s role in cultivating entrepreneurial culture among young people by educating, training and connecting them is of great importance. The idea proves itself as a movement of young entrepreneurs who stand for the aggregating principle of free society and entrepreneurship. I aspire to bring all my skills, network and more than 8 years of political and non – profit experience to YBN by dissolving India’s Future Foundation into YBN and run YBN as our primary organization. We were working on organizational development and strategy for YBN India since last six months and we kick started with a one day seminar featuring John Chisholm who is the trustee of world renowned university MIT (Massachusetts institute of technology) and a very successful entrepreneur from Silicon Valley. More than 30 entrepreneurs attended the very influential event and learned about how to start your inner company based on his new bestselling book on entrepreneurship “Unleash your inner company”.
I had invitations to attend few free market conferences from USA forwarded by people from my network and had the aim of organization partnerships in promoting free market ideas in India along with YBN core team members. I along with 4 other YBN team members attended Acton University, a four day conference on faith, economics and entrepreneurship organized by Acton institute for study of religion and liberty. We got a chance to meet many free market economists and business leaders across USA and globe. Acton institute’s works on entrepreneurship is very impressive and very important such as documentaries of “the call of the entrepreneurs” and “poverty Inc” and hero’s journey etc. I found this conference really interesting as a spiritual (not a religious person).
Then my journey headed towards my visit to Chicago. There, I learnt its culture, history and stories of economic rise of such vibrant city. I met pioneer educational entrepreneur Marsha Enright who also is the founder of Reason, Individualism, Freedom Institute and discussed about collaborations to expand their flagship project “Great connection seminars” to India and Asia in 2017.
Later, I visited Seattle to attend OCON (Objectivist Annual conference) organized by Ayn Rand Institute where many youngsters can learn about the fundamentals of the understanding of objectivism and Rand’s excellent work on philosophy of life. I met objectivist scholars, libertarian and objectivist business leaders who advocate the ideas of Rand. Similarly, I met John Allison president of Cato institute, Chairman and CEO for BB&T (a major American financial corporation). OCON is really a great conference to understand the purpose of life and how to build successful career by utilizing the powerful philosophy of Rand. Few of objectivists agreed to help us to promote Rand’s ideas and capitalism in India and Asia.
There were many perks of travelling across the country to understand the foundation and practical implementation of ideas of liberty in Americans daily life. I tried couch surfing and staying with a genius local person for free of cost with help of coach surfing website. This is the best cultural exchange I ever got in my life. I tried to understand not only how an American youngster thinks, works and lives but only learned culture of Latin’s and Europeans from my fellow couch surfers. Coach surfing is one of best entrepreneurial innovation in this decade.
My next destination was to Entertainment capital of world Las Vegas for two amazing conferences, Atlas Summit and Freedom Fest. Atlas summit is a conference on open objectivism where you can celebrate and discuss and debate about reason, achievement, and ethical self interest. It was started great inspiring lectures of by heroic lady Jennifer Grossman (CEO- Atlas society) and David Kelley (strong philosopher on open objectivism) and experienced very igniting talks on Ayn rand and her ideas. This is one of best conference I have ever attended and learned about how one can apply a philosophy to our lives and build our future especially in areas of successful business and wealth creation.
I also initiated discussions with TAS staff members regarding collaboration with YBN India and The Atlas society to run projects on philosophy, entrepreneurship, and economics.Finally at the world’s largest libertarian conference, Freedom Fest was truly amazing Talks by inspiring libertarian advocates, entrepreneurs, investors, media personalities, leading liberty politicians like Rand Paul and Garry Johnson among many other was the delight of the program. It was a very diverse conference which orchestrated a platform to (people and organizations) to learn and inspire about the common value of liberty and free markets.
I had few talks with few pro liberty organizations to collaboration and some for our future projects in India. Also I had many discussions on agendas of future with vital organizations like Liberty Fund, Foundation for Economic Education, Leadership Institute, Liberty International and Benjamin Rush institute among others. Apart from that, Pitch Tank competition was very inspiring where 20 start- ups were competing to win $25,000 and raise investments supported by Freedom Fest Mark Skousen founder and Angel investor Network and nationwide network of angel groups and investors.
Presently we are working on designing and planning collaborative programs with respective organizations. These programs will helps us to build a strong brand for YBN in India and expand the organization throughout India and play a key role in inspiring young Indian entrepreneurs on free markets and achievements.