Preparing Entrepreneurs For Their Own Eureka! Moment
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Haven’t we all read headlines that often have these words standing out “IIT startup” or “IIT graduate”? Well, it’s not for nothing. Students from IITs are today running some, if not all, of India’s most successful startups. In the corridors of these buildings, there are new ideas born almost every other day.
And riding on this entrepreneurial spirit, IIT Bombay continues to organize events and competitions based on entrepreneurship. They are now back with Eureka!, which is Asia’s largest Business Model Competition organized by the student-run Entrepreneurship Cell of IIT Bombay.
The idea behind Eureka! is to encourage students and young entrepreneurs to flesh out their ideas and form global enterprises. During a 5 month long educational experience, designed to emulate the process of raising funds for startups, covering from making a B-Model to pitch right in front of investors, the competition helps shape the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.
The competition brings out the entrepreneurial spirit in its participants, helping them think and work like a founder. For Amol Manjrekar, Founder & CEO of Activatas, Eureka! Is a fantastic competition from two perspectives: One, Activatas has been associated with E-Cell, IITB for the last 7 years. They see the best of breed companies from IITB s well as from Eureka. Secondly, the kind of people Eureka! Attracts not just entrepreneurs but also the panel at Eureka! is great. According to him the key factors in a startup should be Team and scale. “Lot of startups which have single founders or where there are too many co-founders aren’t good. The right mix of people maybe two or three is very important. When it comes to scale, startups should not only think about local markets. They must think of a long-term plan which is scalable to global markets. Don’t build a company only for India- think at a global level from Day 1,” he said.
Here’s how they entrepreneurs through three phases:
Illuminate: This is a pre-Eureka Workshop. Through its 6-hour intensive sessions aimed to impart knowledge via brainstorming, BMC and hands-on workshop, the workshop embibes the idea of entrepreneurship.
Online & Offline Mentors’ Meet: The top 80 teams are declared semi-finalists and each team is assigned a mentor according to their fields. A Lean startup methodology workshop is conducted to help the semi-finalist teams come up with Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
Pitching: It’s the final day where all finalists pitch in front of the jury to claim the winning title. The pitching takes place at the E-Summit.
Eureka! Over The Years
IIT-Bombay has been successfully encouraging entrepreneurship amidst its students since years through events, conferences and competitions. Eureka! Is not just a competition, it is a process of making an idea into a venture. Saurabh Kaushik, co-Founder of Peoplist India believes that Eureka is becoming a global entrepreneurial event engaging, empowering and enabling entrepreneurs towards successful entrepreneurship. Over the years, he has mentored teams too. “The value in interaction with the teams for us is that we are able to connect with and identify robust startups whom we can help get more clarity, customers and consequently more money faster. My expectation is that we get to interact with more startups and wish they come better prepared this year,” he said.
Eureka’s inception too dates back to 20 years ago. In all of these years of exponential growth of the popularity of Eureka, the competition has grown from 50 teams competing for INR 50,000 to a competition which now sees over 10,000 entries competing for prizes worth INR 5 million at stake.
With the vision of promoting business and social innovations, they have two basic tracks:
Eureka! Business: Trademark of Eureka!, the business track aims to help ideas develop into businesses that have the potential to revolutionize the world. The winner gets a cash prize of INR 5,00,000 while the runner up gets a cash prize of INR 3,00,000.
Eureka! Social: Eureka! Social encourages ideas and B-Models which cater to people at the bottom of the pyramid and/or for a greener tomorrow. The winner gets a cash prize of INR 2,00,000 while the runner up gets a cash prize of INR 1,00,000.
Registrations: Eureka! 2018 registrations had started from 25th August. People can visit ecell.in/eureka and fill out the questionnaire.