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My idea is now a BUSINESS!

Govinda Upadhyay, CEO and Co-Founder of LED safari, Master’s in Sustainable Energy Systems

Govinda Upadhyay, CEO and Co-Founder of LED safari


Master’s in Sustainable Energy Systems

KTH Royal Institute of Technology


CEO and founder of ed-tech start-up LEDsafari, Govinda Upadhyay is a true believer in the importance of networking. With a long list of accomplishments under his belt already (Forbes and BITSAA’s 30 under 30, EIT CHANGE AWARD, finalist for Forbes’ Change the World Award and the Asia 21 Young leaders list) he has really parlayed his time spent at InnoEnergy Master’s School into creating an invaluable network that he still taps into today.


Why did you choose the MSc SELECT programme?
After doing some research, I saw it was the only programme with sustainable technology and business. And it included the mobility option, which was very cool – that you could go to other countries and learn even more by having that multi-cultural experience. I liked the real-world interaction, from various interesting workshops and conferences to internship possibilities with InnoEnergy industrial partners.
How did you find the integration of business and entrepreneurship in the programme?
This was very relevant to me. I enjoyed and learned a lot – and I owe a lot of credit to this for my start-up. My company LEDsafari aims to assimilate clean energy and sustainable innovation education through a unique science and design training centred on creating a solar LED lamp. My business concept is a direct outcome of my master’s thesis – which was built around a business case.

I also had a couple job offers through the network after graduation. And I have to really highlight the networking. Between the students, industry partners and faculty. It’s what really helped me develop my idea and turn it into a business. And I’m still tapping into this network. I will always be in touch with these people.
You’ve received some exciting awards… tell us a bit about them.
My work has led to some really nice recognition – my very first being the EIT (EU) CHANGE AWARD in 2015. It was a total boost to my confidence level and great PR since I was recognized on an International platform. I’d say the second most exciting one was being a finalist for the Forbes 2015 Change the world award. You can’t imagine what it was like to come out in top few of about 2600 competitors. Not just the award money – which was awesome – but the fact that it was Forbes! I was so proud.
What is your best memory from your time at InnoEnergy Master’s School?
Academically? The Project of the Year (POY). It was a very exhilarating time, to meet and discuss and further the project with the other participants. International teams working together. Building an exciting business case, first in Sweden and then split in different locations but still keeping in touch with SKYPE. During this time we got a lot of help from InnoEnergy and the whole network. The answers to help you were there; you just had to ask the right questions.

Personally? The winter class in Torino. Skiing for the first time… what an incredible experience. I was able to learn and do it in the couple days we were there – I got hurt a little – but it was so fun! This made me want to live near the mountains and snow. Something totally different than where I’m from.
What would you like to say to a student interested in taking an InnoEnergy Master’s programme?
You need to be proactive and start figuring out what you want to get out of the programme. The 2 years go by fast. When you get that clear picture – the experience will be amazing and you will get out of it what you want. The network is the most important. Tap into it immediately. When you are a part of this network, you really feel special, part of something big.
Any special skills acquired during your 2 years at InnoEnergy that have been of particular use in your professional career?
Aside from giving me tons of insight into modern day sustainable technology and how we can involve business into it… I also learned a great skill – how to travel effectively. With my own business I have to travel a lot. You need to be able to stay focused, not to get tired and to stay productive. It’s one of the first things you learn with the programme!