Mentors help shape business plans

Mentors help shape business plans

Mumbai: Arcade gaming, a hand-cranked mobile phone charger and a nanotech enabled health band—these were some of the ideas discussed by 18 start-ups at Eureka’s mentor meet on Sunday.

Eureka, the annual business plan showcase by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, brought together the shortlisted start-ups with 20 industry experts, venture capitalists and other successful start-ups for day-long mentoring sessions, to help the teams shape business plans better.

Eureka shortlisted 40 teams in the first round of selection at the end of October; 18 of them turned up for the meet. Most were students from IITs, Indian Institutes of Management and other engineering colleges with business plans and often, a working prototype of the product.

Start-ups were allotted at least one mentor in the same or related industry—Team Eightpoint Systems, which wants to build an arcade gaming machine, interacted with Vishal Gondol, founder and CEO, Indiagames Ltd. “We got some good insights about the business side of it," said Vaibhav Goel, from the team.

Most mentors felt the teams were weakest in the areas of business implementation and market research.

“Most of the teams have very good ideas, but we have to talk to them about the importance of marketing," said Manoj Khatri, head of business, Complete Wellbeing Publishing, who interacted with two teams and has played mentor to Eureka’s start-ups for the last five years.

Other mentors included Seedfund’s Anand Lunia, Nevis Networks’ Ajit Shelat and Value Pitch’s Venkat Ramana.

Eureka timeline:

25 December: 40 shortlisted start-ups will submit detailed business plans

15 January: 10 start-ups will be finalized

3 February: Eureka finals—three winners will be declared on the spot.