From birth of an Innovative Idea To Becoming An Amazon Bestseller The 60-Day Journey

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Even as the number of Covid-19 cases scale newer records with each passing day, in the next phase of lockdown, authorities of most States are considering relaxing curfew hours and opening up malls, multiplexes, restaurants and places of worship in a bid to revive the economy. Would you feel safe to venture out? When you go out in public places, you are bound to touch entry handles, open lift doors, push lift buttons, touch ATM buttons, push shopping carts, open car door handles, carry grocery bags, touch light switches etc. With the dreaded unseen virus lurching around every corner, things we did causally in the not so distant past, need to be done very cautiously today.

This very thought tormented Zaid Naim, a BBA student at Bennett University (BU) inducing him to ideate with his mentors at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and BU Hatchery, their in-house incubation centre; to develop a contactless safety tool for use during the COVID-19 pandemic. The simple and innovative product easily safeguards everyone from the deadly virus, by avoiding direct contact of handles & buttons at public places.

Speaking about his innovation, Zaid said, "It is all about your belief & faith and I was determined to try irrespective of the success or failure for this social cause. My idea of C-Safekey has been powered by Bennett Hatchery and I would especially like to thank Mr Manish Mathur and Dr Vinod Shastri for mentoring me."

Advanced technology-enabled digital initiatives for effective learning and research engagements adopted by Bennett University enabled Zaid to stay in touch with his mentors who guided him as he worked to develop and launch C-Safekey during the nationwide lockdown.

After spending almost 120 hours & hand drawing 20-30 different concepts, Zaid froze on the current C-SAFEKEY™ design. After this the most important part was choosing the right material to make the key. He spent hours on research and ideation with his mentors at the Bennett Hatchery and together they zeroed in on the material and decided to use a solid brass alloy that has antimicrobial properties due to its 70% copper composition; and to make the key sturdy and durable decided to do sand casting. Zaid then tested the few prototypes he had built with the help of family and friends. Based on their feedback he went back to the drawing board and reworked on modifying the design to ensure that the C-Safekey would not hurt the fingers even after heavy and prolonged use like pushing heavy doors, carts, etc.

In less than two months the C-Safekey was ready for mass production and this innovative product developed in-house at the BU Hatchery, has made it to the Amazon Bestsellers list in no time. You can personalize the C-Safekey with your name or logo and it comes in a handy pack with its own polish bottle. C-Safekey is ideal for opening sliding doors, pulling down or up lever-type handles, pressing buttons on elevators and ATMs, and more. In particular, its front-located stylus point is suitable for use on all types of public touch-screens. The thoughtfully designed, lightweight, and conveniently sized C-Safekey helps in avoiding contact with potentially contaminated surfaces and is easy to carry around on your keychain or inside your bag.

At Bennett University, we are blessed to have students with entrepreneurial zeal, which we further nurture at Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) to help them develop meaningful businesses. Zaid is one such student with a family business background who even in the current COVID 19 pandemic, could convert adversity into opportunity”, says one of Zaid’s mentors, Mr Manish Mathur - Sr. Manager, CIE, Bennett University.

“Choose the cool C-Safekey to overcome frustrations of the no-touch norm and enter the post lockdown world in style. With its ultra-sleek finishing and desirable looks, C-Safekey is arguably the best post-COVID gift to anyone you care for, especially your staff and team members”, says Dr Vinod Shastri, Head Academics & Research - Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, BU.

Zaid is not the only student who has converted his dream into a reality. Established in 2016 by Times of India Group, Bennett University has a thriving start-up culture under Bennett Hatchery, the in-house business incubation centre. In a short history of 3 years, two other students' start-ups from Bennett University have already raised external funding of ~USD 3 Million and are running commercial operations today. Business enablers, domain specialists and industry experts mentor students at the Hatchery. Not only that, seed funding up to Rs. 10 Lacs is made available for promising Startups. The Hatchery also facilitates participation in national competitions, global boot-camps, visits to Accelerators and talks by Start-ups/VCs for budding entrepreneurs. PWR

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