Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category

empresario logo (1) (1) Ecell logo (1)





This year, Entrepreneurship Cell IIT Kharagpur and IBM are proud to present Empresario 2016 in association with the prestigious International Business Model Competition (IBMC) which is co-hosted by Stanford, Harvard and Brigham University. The best entries in all categories will get an opportunity to participate directly in the semi-final rounds of IBMC 2017, which will be conducted abroad. ((Visit www.ecell-iitkgp.org/empresario for more details). The prizes and services for the winners as per last year are worth 25 lacs INR.


The shortlisted entries are provided immense help in terms of mentorship and the winners also get a much sought after chance to pitch their ideas in front of some of India’s biggest VCs and investors. Empresario participants are mentored and supported by organisations like TiE, NEN(National Entrepreneurship Network) etc. Startup Services like legal advice, taxation, financial, technical aspects of running a startup, co-working space, HR needs, incubation opportunities, etc. are provided.

Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur is a student organisation established with the aim of fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship among college students in India. We are one of the most successful entrepreneurial organisations in the country with over 50 start-ups incubated within 8 years of our inception. We are playing a vital role in developing the upcoming startups into successful companies by taking a great initiation of conducting flagship competition namely Empresario, our Annual and India’s only Global Business Model Competition.


It has been observed that startups with static business plans fail miserably since reality does not conform to their assumptions. Hence, there is a need for a more dynamic methodology while starting up and this is why the Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur sought to undertake a Business Model competition, which was entitled ‘Empresario’


Empresario accepts business ideas in all fields which include Product and Service, Product Design and Social categories. Each of the entries get equal opportunity to win the prize and incubation money to the tune of INR 2.5 crore.. Previously, Empresario has been launched in association with TiE Kolkata, Mahindra Spark the Rise and Dell Social Innovation Challenge.


Empresario is about recognizing that any new venture is just a guess at a problem / solution and the only way to test whether those guesses are correct is to “get outside the building” and validate their idea with customer feedback. A business model is designed to change rapidly to reflect what you find outside the building in talking to customers. It’s more visual, dynamic and it reflects the iterative reality that startups face.


For the first round of Empresario, we will require participants to fill up a questionnaire asking in brief about their Business idea and submit it. This questionnaire can be found on our website www.ecell-iitkgp.org/empresario . If participants register now, they can avail the Early Bird privileges, which include extended mentoring and offline mentoring session.

One of the winners of Empresario’14, Betaglide also secured the largest funding among all the startups present at Rice Business Plan Competition of around $1 million.


Some of the past student startups who were winners of Empresario are:-


  • BetaGlide – A startup by students of IIT Kharagpur, is a mobile app testing platform that allows developers to gather information in real-time about the system usage and the behavior of their app to improve its stability and performance. It has recently won the Tech Transfer Prize (Mercury Fund Prize) at Rice Business Plan Competition and became popular internationally.
  • Roof For Two – A startup by a team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is a unique concept that can help solve the age-old problem of two-wheeler riders who ride daily through rain, sun and the cold. Roof for Two eliminates travel irritation with an affordable and stylish riding canopy.
  • COEO Labs – An IIT Kharagpur based startup focused on developing innovative and low cost medical technology products. Their device Saans catapulted them to winning Empresario, Social Track and there was no stopping them following that. After winning the TATA Social Enterprise Challenge and Master Plan, Social Track at IIM-A, they also went on to the finals of the International Business Model Competition (IBMC).


We conduct our flagship event – Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), the largest collegiate entrepreneurial summit in India every year in January. The final rounds of Empresario 2017 will be held during GES’17.





Courtesy : Feritta Artiste Feritta


An exciting 3-day platform aimed at attracting over 7,000 attendees, including startups, leading technology providers, investors, thought leaders and influencers


21-23 November, Bengaluru

Click Here for the Preliminary Brochure

Achievers 6

India’s ‘Plastic Man’ and His Incredible Innovation


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Did you know that an Indian has already invented a method to convert hazardous plastic waste into roads? Unfortunately, his achievement has neither been appreciated nor remembered by our government.

R Vasudevan, the ‘Plastic-Man’ of India is a Maduari-based chemistry professor. He came up with an innovative method to reuse plastic waste to construct better, more durable and very cost-effective roads. The roads also show greater resistance to damages caused by water during rains.

Sadly, our own country did not take him seriously, and now the Netherlands is testing his idea and constructing roads using his patented technology. The technique will involves molding of plastic waste using blue metal into pre-fabricated bricks. These bricks help to build roads quickly.

This system will not only help to use up dangerous plastics for a good cause, but also allow roads to be built quickly. The plastic also provides durability to the roads as well as lightens the surface load as plastic is lighter than traditional road material. The maintenance cost will also be lower compared to asphalt roads. As per The Guardian, these roads are also hollow, making it easier to install cables and utility pipelines below the surface. Sections can be prefabricated in a factory and transported to where they are needed, reducing on-site construction, while the shorter construction time and low maintenance will mean less congestion caused by roadworks. Lighter materials can also be transported more efficiently.

India needs such innovations to tackle its mounting environmental and infrastructure problems. It is surprising that no mainstream media channel has tried to highlight this novel innovation yet.


Source : http://thelogicalindian.com/story-feed/achievers/indias-plastic-man-and-his-incredible-innovation/

Courtesy : Tusna Park


The Indian government is planning to set up 100 new incubation centres, while scaling-up the existing ones and establish 500 ‘Atal tinkering labs’ for schools, under the new initiatives of Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), launched by NITI Aayog. The details:

Atal Incubation Centres (AIC)

  • can be setup for manufacturing, transport, energy , health, education, agriculture, water and sanitation.
  • The government will provide support to academic and non-academic institutions (companies/technology parks/group of individuals) to establish new incubation centres across India.
  • The government has pledged an initial grant of Rs. 10 crore for establishing AICs over a period of 5 years towards capital investment, operations, and maintenance expenses.
  • AIM will also provide Rs. 10 crore over a period of two years to scale up existing incubation centres.

Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs) will be set up in schools across India, where young children will get a chance to work with tools and equipment to understand the concepts of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).

  • will provide an initial “establishment grant” of Rs 10 lakh to schools (grade VI–XII) across India.
  • Rs 10 lakh will be provided for each lab over 5 years for operational expenses.
  • NITI Aayog has called for applications to be submitted online from eligible schools, organisations and individuals for the three schemes. The last date for submission of application is 27th June, 2016.

Startups incubation program by governments

– SETU program for startups: In February 2015, a “techno-financial incubation and facilitation program” called the Self Employment and Talent Utilisation (SETU) had been proposed, and Rs 1000 crore was initially set aside for the same.

– In April, Telangana government had announced policies and initiatives to help promote startups and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure in the state.

– In March, The Tamil Nadu Government and IT industry lobby group Nasscom had set-up a startup warehouse in Chennai. Nasscom had also set-up another startup warehouse in Bangalore with the help of the Karnataka Government in 2014. It also has startup warehouses in Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Kochi, Gurgaon and Hyderabad.

– In December 2014, it had been announced that Incubation centres (National Centre of Excellence) under PPP mode with NASSCOM and other industry players will be set up, to host startups, SMEs and students.

– In the budget presentation of July 2014, the finance minister had proposed a nationwide “District level Incubation and Accelerator Program” for incubation of new ideas and providing necessary support to accelerate entrepreneurship.



This Experiment Using a Glass Cover and the Sun Can Generate Water Even in Drought Affected Areas!

Tanaya Singh

April 7, 2016

In a semi-arid region of Satara district in Maharashtra, there is a plot of lush green land with about 20 fully-grown, beautiful trees – all of which were the part of a very efficient experiment. The seedlings for these trees were fed with water obtained from dry soil, with the help of solar energy.

“I did my PhD in America way back in the late 1970s. And most of my work was around solar distillation of water. I looked at everything that could possibly be done with solar energy at that time and found that if you dig a small hole in the desert, and cover it with plastic, solar energy heats the soil and you can collect a cup of water every day. This was something that remained at the back of my mind for years,” says Dr. Anil Rajvanshi, Director of Nimbkar Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) – a non-profit research and development institute based in Phaltan, Maharashtra.

In 1981, Dr. Rajvanshi returned to India with the aim of using his education to work for the development of rural India, and started establishing the energy and sustainable development work at NARI.

Dr. Anil Rajvanshi

“I came to this very dry and partially semi-arid region. Sometime in the 1980s, the Government of India conducted a very large-scale tree plantation program. But of the many seeds that were planted, only a few resulted in fully-grown trees. Most of the seeds perished,” he remembers.

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