A one-stop online platform for applying to thousands of institutions all over the country; a collective solution for vehicle parking in congested neighbourhoods; an educational networking platform with each student able to get just the right teacher. These were some of the ideas that came out of Eximius, the first entrepreneurship summit organized by the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B), in association with the NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning.
The event was designed to provide a platform to entrepreneurs to take their ideas to venture capitalists (VCs) and solicit feedback from industry experts on their business plans. With cash prizes worth Rs3.5 lakh, and opportunities for spot funding of winning ideas, the event saw participation by the industry, premier management and technical institutes from all over India and the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Sequoia Capital India kicked off the event talking about the essentials for VC funding to an audience of 300.
Ingen, a session devoted to business ideas in education, drew more than 100 entries for reforms in the sector. The winning idea on adaptive self-learning aids for children from Bibox Ltd received a cheque of Rs1 lakh from Eximius. Genesis, an idea valuation competition, allowed participants to meet prospective investors and seek feedback on ideas. Team MobMe from Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, won the competition.
The two-day summit ended with a panel discussion on social entrepreneurship attended by the likes of D.R. Mehta, who invented the Jaipur Foot; Rajdeep Sehrawat, vice-president of the National Association of Software and Service Companies; Pradeep P., chief investment officer, Aavishkaar Venture Management Services; and Biju Mohandas, India portfolio head, Acumen Fund.
Sumit Sarda is a first-year postgraduate student at IIM-B and an active member of its Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell.