Archive for the ‘Networking’ 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.




– sent via Helpchat

The facility is to cost around $300 million and will incubate 5,000 startups in five years.




Strike is representing India at the Seedstars Summit, during which the winner of the global competition for fast growing startups in emerging markets Seedstars World will be named and awarded with up to USD 500,000 in equity investment.


Seedstars Summit – March 3rd, 2016, Swiss Tech Convention Center at EPFL, Lausanne


LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND, February 11th, 2016 – Seedstars, the global organization with the mission of impacting people’s lives in emerging market through entrepreneurship and technology, launched its third edition of the Seedstars World competition in April 2015. The international team covered 54 countries, scouting for the best startups around the world. Strike has been selected to represent India and participate in a two day bootcamp, an Investor Forum and the Grand Final of Seedstars World. The global winner of this edition will be rewarded with up to USD 500’000 in equity investment. The best startups in other sectors such as travel and space will also be rewarded with equity investments and grants of up to USD 550’000.


Strike won Seedstars Bangalore in August last year, with its email productivity platform for mobile that helps users to research people within their Gmail app. On March 3rd, the Indian startup will represent the country and compete with other 53 startups from around the world for the title of “Seedstars World Global Winner”.


More than 3,000 startups from Eastern and Central Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America applied to participate in Seedstars World this year. Since April 2015, four regional teams and expert local juries have selected the most promising startups in 54 cities, from Santiago to Jakarta, passing by Ramallah and Beirut.


At the Summit, the speakers will discuss how technology and entrepreneurship impact billions of people’s lives in emerging markets. “Most people don’t really associate emerging markets to a billion of opportunities  and we’re here to show them that these markets are already transforming into centres of innovation where talented people and changemakers grow,” explains Alisée de Tonnac, CEO at Seedstars World.


Around 1000 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, corporate executives, business angels, government officials, journalists and startup enthusiasts are expected to join for an amazing experience in Switzerland.


Tickets on sale now!

The Summit is open to public. Final pass & Executive pass are available @ www.seedstarsworld.com/summit/passes


About Seedstars

They tried to bury us, they didn’t know we were seeds.” – Mexican proverb


Seedstars is a global organisation based in Switzerland with activities in more than 50 countries around the world. Its mission is to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through entrepreneurship and technology. The company’s goal is to develop and foster startup ecosystems by connecting, building and investing in driven entrepreneurs. Seedstars connects the best entrepreneurs with investors, corporates and media, and helps them to scale to new markets. They build companies by bringing together resources, talents and growth techniques, and eventually, invest in the most promising entrepreneurs. Sharing the values of trust, efficiency and diversity, Seedstars aims to support the whole entrepreneurial ecosystem from entrepreneurs to investors passing through governments and corporates.


More info on our website: www.seedstars.com

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January 21, 2016 11:52 IST

Saundarya Rajesh has helped more than 8,000 women get back to work.

Her inspiring story, and advice to women who want to take a mid-career break:

Dr Saundarya Rajesh

First, a few startling statistics.

  • India is ranked 123 when it comes to the female-male ratio at the work place.
  • 48% per cent of women in India abort their careers midway; this is 20% more than the global average.
  • The Indian woman’s contribution to the national GDP is 17%, which is much lower than the global average of 37%.
  • If the participation of women in the Indian workforce can be increased to 41% by 2025, it can add an estimated Rs 46 lakh crore ($700 billion) to the GDP.

No wonder then when someone like Dr Saundarya Rajesh helps women restart their career after a break, the effort is considered significant.

Saundarya was recently selected for the #100Women Initiative started by the Union ministry of women and child development, in collaboration with Facebook, to recognise and acknowledge women who are making a difference in their communities across the country.

These 100 women will meet President Pranab Mukherjee and Union Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi in Delhi on January 22.

Saundarya’s journey as an entrepreneur began in 2000 when she co-founded Avtar with K Umasankar. Avatar then had five employees.

In 2005, she started Avtar I-Win to help women find a second career after a break. Ten years later, they have 42,000 women professionals in their network.

More than 8,000 women have re-entered the workforce because of Saundarya and her team.

In the meantime, she completed her PhD on women’s work force participation. In her own words, Saundarya shares her story of how she decided to help women find a career after a break.

Click here to read how she helps women get back to work

Have you been to a networking event, saw a super star executive, ran up to him to chat with him, and later go home to add he/she to LinkedIn? For me, this story is way to familiar.

Unfortunately, time after time I let the potential relationship go cold and unfortunately this is a story I have to go through over and over again, and I hate it!

We show up at networking events, meet great people, follow up poorly, and later kick ourselves when we realize we should have worked harder to create a relationship. It’s a painful situation, and here are three tips to avoid this happening to you in the future. After doing this over and over again, here are 4 ways that I stay in touch with executives

  1. Schedule Time For Follow-up

The networking event ends at 10PM but the ‘networking’ continues. If you want to effectively connect with future partners and customers, your responsibilities extend beyond the drive home.

If you’re like most people, you don’t have a set routine for post-event follow-up. Reaching out on LinkedIn, sending an email, and entering information into your CRM are all vital to growing your business and your network, but it’s all to easy to just ‘do it when I have a free minute’.

If you want to get the most out of your business networking events, build ‘post-event follow-up’ into your calendar either that same night after an event or the next morning.

For example, I go to the Cambridge Center of Innovation every Thursday night, and collect at least 20 or so business cards. Lately, I have made it a religious practice to come home and enter in all those individuals in my LinkedIn. Especially if it’s LinkedIn, I’ll make it a point to include a short message:

 Hi Jack,

Great meeting you at the CIC last night. I can’t believe you also had a Labrador retriever growing up – they are great dogs. Let me know if I can ever be of help.



Co-founder, Insightfully

Click Here for more

After testing its startup mentor programme in Israel, search giant Google is now turning its focus on Indian startups. The company has picked India to kick-start its startup mentorship programme Launchpad this year, signalling its growing interest in Indian startups.

On Monday, it launched the first of four such week-long programmes, during which a set of mentors from Google and other companies will coach startups looking to grow. “This is one of our large scale new programme offering,” said Sunil Rao, who heads the startup initiative for Google India. While Google has an interest in growing India’s digital economy, the startup programme could also turn into a pipeline for Google’s investment arm.

The company’s venture capital arm had recently picked up a stake in real estate portal Commonfloor and Freshdesk, a Chennai-based customer support tool. In India, Google plans to mentor close to 100 companies through Launchpad, which was started on a small scale nearly three years ago in Israel. Last year, it was conducted in 20 different cities.oogle benefits from the growing digital economy, as companies spend on Google to acquire customers. In the year ended March 2014, Google’s revenue crossed 3,000 crore, up 47% YoY, helped by increasing online advertising spend.

All the “bits and pieces” of Google’s startup programmes will be consolidated under Launchpad. “It will be like one offering to the developer from a startup perspective,” said Rao, country head, start-up ecosystem India, Google India.

“It will be like one offering to the developer from a startup perspective,” said Rao, country head, startup ecosystem, Google India. The company plans to take Launchpad to 50 cities this year but in India, most of its activities will be focused in Bengaluru. Rao, who heads the developer relations team for Google in India, has grown the Google developer community to one of the biggest with 45 chapters.Google Developer Relations was set up in India about five years ago in Hyderabad.

The team now has four people and operates out of Bengaluru, the largest among such teams for Google. It mainly focuses on creating Google developer groups, focused around Google technologies such as the Android operating system.

India is one of the largest Google developer ecosystems, with a large number of Android developers.

Increasingly, India has become core to Google’s vision of getting 7 billion people or the world’s population to use the Internet.

Many top executives of the $60 billion search company have been visiting India over the last few months, signalling its increasing interest in India’s growing Internet economy. Last September, Google launched its Android One programme to make smartphones affordable in India and other Southeast Asian countries.



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