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IIT Bombay's Business Plan Competition Eureka! 2011 Gets Under Way

IIT Bombay's annual business plan competition Eureka! is back with a bang and accepting applications from September 1. Organised by E-cell (The Entrepreneurship Cell) of IIT Bombay, the event now offers a bigger cash prize and a new, segregated competition called Eureka! Social that caters to bottom-of-the-pyramid environment.

From legal and financial consultancy services, intensive mentoring and query solution platforms to providing various incentives, Eureka 2011 will attempt to showcase an entrepreneur's journey from the concept stage to an actual start-up. The competition is open to all and has participants from different walks of life including working professionals, B-school graduates, pass-outs from technological institutes such as IITs and NITs and even medical and law school graduates.

The prize money is now Rs 24 lakh, up from Rs 21 lakh last year. The first phase of Eureka 2011 will be conducted online wherein an executive summary of the B-plan has to be submitted (facilitated by a questionnaire), which will be sent through a screening process, followed by mentoring of the selected teams, and submission of the refined business plans. The top eight entries will be given a chance to pitch their business plans before an expert judging panel.

Shrikant Nagori, corporate relations manager of E-Cell, IIT Bombay, said, "Eureka! is a unique platform for participation, networking and discussions among entrepreneurs. Our high mentoring and judging standards provide all entries with fair feedback and help them refine their business plans. Student entrepreneurs gain the most in terms of learning experience with Eureka's business-making workshops, resources and high-level discussions with fellow business enthusiasts and mentors."

This year, winners of Eureka! Social will get direct entry in Dell Social Innovation Competition, organised jointly by the University of Texas and Dell, and will also get offers of start-up incubation from bodies that support social businesses such as Villgro and UnLtd India. Plus, there will be funding opportunities at Grameen Creative Labs.

E-Cell's success story began in 2001, when research-oriented technology venture eInfinitus Technologies, founded by an alumnus of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay, won the Eureka! Business Plan Competition. The company went on to receive Rs 1.5 crore in its first round of funding from Sicom Capital Management Ltd and was later sold to Cisco Systems for $45 million. TheraNova, winner of Eureka 2002, is a biomedical device company whose products Baranova and NovaShunt have raised Series B funding of $7.5 million and $25 million respectively. The winner of Eureka 2007, Gama Entertainment Systems, had also been successful with three of its products. Among these were a photo booth and a gaming machine for Cricket 20-20. Gama received funding of Rs 50 lakh on the day of the finals.

Last year's winning entry was a start-up called NoPaperForms, which has developed software that will help thousands of institutions accept admissions forms online. Read the start-up profile on Techcircle.in.

Techcircle.in is an online media partner of Eureka! 2011 and is proud to support student start-ups in India. For more news on start-ups hailing from IIT Bombay, visit E-Cell's website.

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