The high energy two-day Rajasthan start-up Fest came to an end today in Jaipur with the prizes being given for the best student business plan. The prizes were given away by the Chief Secretary, C S Rajan.
The first prize of Rs 50,000 was won by The LNMIIT Jaipur (Kaustubh Khandelwal, Gaurav Singhal, Ayush Gupta and Avinash Jha) who presented their start-up idea Authentic a SaaS based concept for securing online user profiles. The second prize of Rs 30,000 went to BITS, Pilani (Arpit Gupta, Naman Singhal, Rohan Singh and Aman Varma) who presented their pitch on Flame Systems Smart Inventory Management Solution.
The third prize of Rs 20,000 was shared between BITS, Pilani (Pranav Kulkarni), who presented Review Rate a website which aggregates product reviews and generates meaningful insights from them and IIM Shillong (Ishan Pasrija and Cheena Pasrija) who presented their Apna Chotu which will be a bridge between villages and the opportunities present in the cities nearby, using a hyper-localised ecommerce model coupled with collaborative consumption.
All three winners will also get co-working space from start-up Oasis for three months and web hosting credits of $1,000 from Amazon Web Services.
On the occasion, Chief Operating Officer, start-up Oasis, Chintan Bakshi said that out of 27 start-up ideas, at least 18 have evinced serious interest for funding. For the Student Business Plan Competition Ideate as many as 50 colleges were invited throughout the North India, with 270 teams participating.
The two-day fest was organized by Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO) along with Rajasthans leading incubation center, start-up Oasis as a co-organizer. CIIE at IIM Ahmedabad also joined hands as knowledge partner for the event.
The Start-up Fest provided an opportunity for students, aspiring entrepreneurs, mentors and investors came on a common platform to share experiences and know about business transactions, funding pitches through mentoring and showcasing business models and innovations.
The second and concluding day’s session on Saturday began at the Jaipur Exhibition and Convention Centre (JECC) with an inspiring disruptalk where successful persons narrated their success stories to students, aspiring start-ups, investors and mentors. The speakers narrated the stories of their success to an aspiring audience.
Rahul Narvekar, founder of indianroots.com described how he co-founded Fashion and You to create a fashion and luxury brands ecommerce store. After scaling the venture from seven people to almost 1200 and raising $48 million dollars, Narvekar and his Team at Indianroots created history by breaking even within eight months.
Rahul stressed that entrepreneurs should have passion and do their homework. Rahul initially worked as a door-to- door salesman to pay for his education. After a stint at teleshopping network run by UTV, he learnt cable advertising and set up a cable advertising company to sell corporate advertising on local cable.
Ramana Gogula, the engineer turned singer, song writer, musician and composer talked about his life’s story both as a professional and his transformation in the world of music. Gogula went to Unites States and in 1996, he produced his studio album. While still working as an engineer and later as a marketing personnel he produced a music video Aye Laila which became chart buster. He then ventured into Telugu cinema and composed music for 25 films.
Young Kalyani Khona, a commerce and economics graduate set up a unique venture-Wanted Umbrella, which is the first global app, catering to the matchmaking and social needs of 200 million people with disabilities worldwide. She said it was her passion for the disabled particularly the blinds that enabled her raise half a million for the concept of love, she said she always gave importance to mission than business.
Nishant Patni, a local boy from Jaipur who set up CultureAlley and developed an app for learning English, talked about how even Jaipur -- a B city -- can attract influential marquee investors like Tiger Global Management, one of the early backers of Facebook that now counts Flipkart as one of its investments. In India. Nishant roped in fiancee Pranshu Bhandari, who left her job as an analyst, to start developing CultureAlley, a platform that would teach Spanish, Mandarin and English through games and quizzes.
In 2014, CultureAlley entered the global batch of 500start-ups, the world's largest incubator, which helps new and start-up companies develop. CultureAlley also changed its model from a website to a mobile-only version focused on English. "The start-up has stuck with the essentials while pivoting the medium of delivery (now mobile) and the market focus (now only India)," said Patni. Small towns can definitely produce world class companies. Though the local support system may be lacking in smaller cities, costs are much lower and attrition isn't as much of a problem," said Patni.
Hello English helps people to learn English from 12 Indian languages, including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil and Gujarati. It is used by 3 million people.
Akram Feroze, who is neither a start-up aspirant nor an entrepreneur talked about his experience as a theatre person who pedals across the country and organise plays with local residents as part of Cycle Natak.
There was a panel discussion of you and Leadership in which panelists Mahavir Sharma, Girish Gupta, Rajneesh Bhandari, Paresh Gupta, Sanjay Yadav, Chintan Bakshi and Puneet Mittal talked about fostering a start-up and innovation ecosystem. The moderators were Anurag Maloo and Yatin Thakur.