Mumbai: Agri-business, software testing, sports management, education and tele-radiology all rub shoulders in a shortlist of 30 nominees in the Tata-NEN Hottest Startup Awards conducted by the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), a not-for-profit organization that aims to nurture entrepreneurship in the country.
The 30 were chosen from a list of 588 nominees with maximum public votes and the highest expert ratings. The competition, of which Mint is an exclusive print partner, attracted 200,000 votes across all nominees and 100,000 registered users on its website (users could vote online and via text messages).
Also See 30 nominees in Tata-NEN Hottest Startup Awards (Part I) PDF
30 nominees in Tata-NEN Hottest Startup Awards (Part II) PDF
A majority of the shortlisted companies were started in the last three years and are headquartered in big cities such as Bangalore, Mumbai and New Delhi as well as smaller towns such as Jaipur, Patiala and Belgaum.
Delving a little deeper into what the 30 do shows that 60%, or 18 companies—based on their activities—are addressing the India market; six are aiming for the global market and six want to start in India first and then go overseas later. “This is interesting as it shows up a lot of opportunities here, which may not be as affected by the downturn if they solve real issues addressing agriculture or unemployment,” says Laura Parkin, executive director, Wadhwani Foundation and NEN.
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Another key trend was that entrepreneurs who made it to the list were older and more experienced. Of the 588 nominees, only one in 10 was aged above 40 while nearly half of them were in their 20s. Of the Top 30 in the shortlist, one in four entrepreneurs was above 40. Academic qualification also shone on the shortlist; two-thirds of the entrepreneurs had postgraduate education, nine held bachelor’s degrees and one has not studied beyond high school.
Public voting on the 30 shortlisted firms will open again from 25 November. Five start-ups that garner maximum votes before 23 December will win the competition.