At an event held by IE Business School, students from the prestigious IIMs, IITs, IE and ISB participated in a business plan competition. The IE Venture Day saw hundreds of institutes participating in business plan competitions and then the winners were flown to Mumbai to compete with each other. More than 20 teams competed to win the final competition.
“To create awareness in building an entrepreneurial environment, attention should be given to create an infrastructure for mentoring startups. India is the third largest start up economy in the world and our students need to be encouraged to create more businesses,” said Dr. Karan Gupta, the Managing Director of IE Business School, a Harvard & IE Business School alumni and founder of the Karan Gupta Education Foundation.
“At IE Business School, we foster an environment of entrepreneurship in whatever we do. From having classes in Entrepreneurship to hosting a Venture lab where students are guided how to incubate business plans, we are committed to teaching students innovation. At the IE Venture Day, we heard from the best minds from, the most prestigious institutes of our country. We are excited to see these ideas turn into real businesses,” added Dr. Gupta.
Actors Preeti Jhangiani, Sudhanshu Pandey and Parvin Dabas were present to share their experiences with the various businesses that they have started and to encourage the budding entrepreneurs. In a panel discussion, they spoke about how acting skills can be translated to businesses and how the best startups sometimes emerge due to necessity. “Passion is the most important ingredient in any startup,” said Sudhanshu Pandey. Funding is one of the most important ingredients in any startup success and “Be a big fish in a small pond - don’t waste your money. Spend your money wisely,” advised Parvin Dabas. And some final advice for the eager students - “Hard work day and night, be ready for the long haul. Watch shows that promote Entrepreneurship” added Preeti Jhangiani.
The Spanish Consulate General in India, Mr. Jorge Cadenas and Economic Commercial Head Vanesa Alvarez were present at the event and spoke about Spain being an education destination and an attractive space for young entrepreneurs.
The jury and panelists consisted of venture capitalists including Akansh Jain, Ashish Dave, Prakash Ranjalkar, Ashutosh Kumar, Megha Jain, Dibeyendu Ganguly and Dharam Mehta among others. Vikas Chaudhury, President of Reliance Jio Ventures enthralled the audience with his take on the startup ecosystem in India.
The event saw pitches from not only business school students but also high school students. “It was very interesting to see such young students pitch such innovative business plans,” said Vidushi Daga, founder of Clone Futura.
The IE Junior Venture Day was won by students from the Aga Khan Academy, Hyderabad. Their winning startup was ‘Pyreoil’ which converts useless plastic to oil which can then be used for furnace and tire oil. The first runner up prize was given to students from Neerja Modi High School, Jaipur whose startup called ‘Plankton’ worked with Biodegradable plastics. Interestingly both the winning plans dealt with environmental issues and are can solve the huge plastic waste problem in India and around the world.
The winner for the main IE Venture Day business plan startup competition went to Disguise Cosmetics, a company that manufactures vegan makeup. The jury was impressed with the cruelty free makeup, a conscious lifestyle brand. The 1st runner up was IIM Kozhikode for a plan presented on growing vegetables without the use of soil, thereby revolutionizing the way farming is done in India. The 2nd runner up was IIM Ahmedabad, where the students presented a plan called Moodcafe – an anonymous chatapp and website that provides help for people facing any kind of psychological issues.
Almas Mukri from the Worli BMC School won the IE Social Impact business plan startup competition. Her business ‘Basket of Joy’ is an online organic fruits basket company that creates social impact and spreads joy at every step of the business. The 16 year old daughter of a vegetable vendor, sources fruits from organic farmers and sources woven baskets from sex workers. The greeting cards sold by her company are made by handicapped people and the couriers used employ deaf people. The other social impact plans presented included ‘100 Women’ which encourages entrepreneurship among impoverished women. A website where students can find mentors to help them was another idea presented to help students who are lost and in need of guidance. “I am most pleased with the students who despite not having the same opportunities as privileged children, managed to come up with such innovative ideas and startups. I only wish each of them could get a winning prize,” added Dr. Karan Gupta.
The winners of each of the competitions received cash prizes of Rs.50000 each and a scholarship to study at IE Business School and IE University in Madrid, Spain