The award was promoted through national and regional newspapers, online countrywide press releases, social media and mailers to network leaders across the country.
Each partner was allocated an area in their constituency to promote the award and receive the applications till December 28, 2016. The website portal www.neas.in was created to enable on-line applications, eligibility check, sorting and preliminary evaluation.
Implementing partners ascertained the validity and reliability of information including verification of the credentials of the applicants and nominee. Subsequently, after the initial screening and verification, a common pool of shortlisted candidates was created.
In the second level of screening, the eligible applications were evaluated by the implementing partners with the help of expert reviewers on a mix of quantitative parameters (70 per cent) for e.g., financial metrics, and qualitative parameters (30 per cent) for e.g., innovation and social impact. Thus the total number of shortlisted applications collated at the Lead Institute were 111 (Award track: 63 and Recognition Track: 48)
The Lead Institute constituted an expert selection committee comprising experts from industry, academia, government and Investment or banking. The expert committee deliberated in detail over the shortlisted applications and largely recommended up to three entries per category as per their evaluation on parameters like founding team, scalability, and quality.
The winners were selected by a national jury of eminent personalities.
(This article was first published in the February issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)