This College Summit Had it All for Budding Entrepreneurs
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When you look at start-ups making headlines today, often they bear the "IITian" tag. Well, it comes as no surprise for the IITs in India have long been nurturing the ideas of entrepreneurship and innovation. IIT Madras too has been at the forefront of this race, encouraging the entrepreneurial intentions of their students. It would perhaps be an understatement to say just that the startups have begun to gain a strong foothold at the campus entrepreneurial ground in IIT Madras.
Taking a step forward in the right direction, IIT Madras had recently organized E-Summit - their annual flagship event focused entirely on young entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial ventures. In their quest to take the entrepreneurial world by storm, the summit was filled with inspirational lectures from top entrepreneurs and events that encouraged ideas.
Words to Live By
A host of guest speakers made their way into the IIT M campus, as the students took their seats listening intently to the entrepreneurs who have made a difference. While Arifa Khan, founder of Ethereum India, and founder of Capital Coin & Fintech Storm presented her keynote on Blockchain and The Future of Entrepreneurship on Day 1, Siddharth Dialani, founder, LeanAgri was party to a fireside chat in the first lecture of Day 2. Akhil Malik, founder & CEO, Zostel, too presented his Keynote on Founding an Unprecedented Business along with numerous other interactive panel discussions that kept the students engaged.
Connecting the Dots
When you think about IITs, there are several in the country, all of them audience to numerous innovations. E-Summit 2018 at IIT Madras housed the first meet of Entrepreneurial Committee representatives of premier colleges across India under the name: E-Connect. This year representatives from IIT Bombay, IIT Guwahati, IIIT Hyderabad, IIT Hyderabad, other than the host IIT Madras, attended E-Connect. The two day meet started with the visionary insights by Faculty Advisor of E-Cell IIT Madras, Prof Ashwin Mahalingam.
Quoting entrepreneurship as a packet which needs to be unpacked; with its extremes ranging from 'too sexy' to 'too dull'; and catered with accuracy and not just precision; he paved the way to further discussion on the flamboyant initiatives taken by various participating institutes to promote the entrepreneurship.
The ideology behind E-Connect was to connect and revolutionize the startup ecosystem in India, which cannot be done without local colleges being included in the cause. This led to the concept of E-Cell Masterclass to guide and help colleges to form an E-Cell and regulate its working; along with other necessary advices.
Pitch it to Win it
No entrepreneurial event is complete without a pitching event. And it wasn't missing from E-Summit too. Elevate, in association with IIT Madras and Airtel, was the pitch event with prize money of INR 10 lakhs to the two winning teams. After an initial screening process from over 200 teams, 24 teams were invited to participate in the semi-finals day 2 of the E-Summit. An elite panel of judges presided over the semi-finale event: Mr. Paras Malhotra from LetsVenture, Mumbai, Mr. Puneet Kumar from Nexus-Venture, Mumbai and IITM Alumnus, Mr. Siddharth Nandi from NetApp, Bengaluru, Mr. Shyam Sekhar from Startup Xperts and Mr. Naini Tej from Speciale Invest, Bengaluru.
On the day of the finale, the preparations had been completed by early morning with relentless efforts and the stage was set. The final round saw distinguished personalities from the startup ecosystem in the panel of judges: Anil Chhikara from Startup India Foundation, Bengaluru, Nidhi Saraf from Key Ventures, Mumbai, Meeta Malhotra from Varana Designs, Bengaluru, Radhesh Kanamury from Blume Ventures, MumbaiSumit Jain from Opentalk, Ritesh Sanghvi from Airtel and Pallav Aggrawal from Ideaz Factory. The top two teams: BackBuckle and Ariano made into the top 2 winning teams and were each awarded the prize money of INR 5 Lakh each.
The E-Summit was designed in a way that it wasn't just fun or rather the learnings were also fun. From workshops to bootcamps to offline mentoring, the event had it all. Another event, Unconference was organized to help students learn while having fun. It was designed in such a way that participants can understand the bits and pieces of developing an enterprise. Participants from various parts of India turned up this year. They were given some pressing problems faced by India in areas like agriculture, healthcare, and smart city and were asked to come up with a solution.