Friday, 20 July 2018

The National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition 2017 concludes

16 December 2017 | News

The competition attracted 1500+ registrations from aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups and enterprises across 32 states/UTs in India.

The National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition, a national platform to attract, identify, and nurture bio-entrepreneurs with path-breaking, novel and scalable business ideas with significant societal impact in the Life Sciences domain, concluded on 16th December 2017 with a Grand Finale held in Bengaluru.

It was launched on 16th August, 2017 by Shri. Y. S. Chowdary, Hon’ble Minister of State, Science and Technology, Government of India in the presence of Prof. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, and Dr. Renu Swarup, Senior Advisor, DBT, and Managing Director, Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in Delhi.

Organised by C-CAMP under BREC – a joint Entrepreneurship Centre of BIRAC and C-CAMP, the competition attracted 1500+ registrations from aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups and enterprises across 32 states/UTs in India. 150 applicants were shortlisted for regional qualifiers that were held in Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai in late October. Business ideas received spanned 14 biotech-subdomains, such as healthcare, including diagnostics, digital health, drug discovery and development, healthcare IT, medical devices, regenerative medicine and vaccines, agri-biotech, including soil health, food and nutraceuticals and plant-based therapeutics, industrial biotech, including clean and renewable energy, and animal health.

39 participants culled from the regional qualifiers attended a 2-day residential Entrepreneurship Development boot camp at C-CAMP, Bengaluru, with mentors who trained them to design, develop and commercialise their business models. 

On 16th December, all 39 finalists pitched their ideas to a jury panel comprising of clinicians and scientists across the Life Sciences domain. Nine finalists selected by the jury took the floor in front of the Grand Jury Panel at the Finale in Bengaluru earlier today. The Grand jury consisted of distinguished clinicians, scientists, public figures and dignitaries including Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director, Biocon, Dr. Vijay Chandru, Chairman, Managing Director and Co-founder, Strand Life Sciences, Mr. Nitin Deshmukh, CEO and Founding Member, Kotak Private Equity, Dr. Gopala Krishna Dasika, Senior Vice President and Head, Pfizer Biologics Development Center, Mr. Ashwin Raguraman, Co-founder and Partner, Bharat Innovation Fund, Dr. Ashwin Kashikar, General Manager (Research), Ankur Seeds Pvt. Ltd., Ms. Deepthi Reddy, Head Investments & Governance, Social Alpha, Ms. Prachi Sinha, Head, Healthcare Investments, Research and Partnerships, Axilor and Dr. Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO and Director, C-CAMP. Finalists were judged on the novelty, business sustainability, and societal impact of their ideas.

Entrepreneurs with best ideas across different categories, stood to win a grand cash prize of INR 10 lakhs sponsored by Ankur Seeds, $15,000 AWS Credits sponsored by Amazon Web Services (AWS), INR 3 lakhs sponsored by Pfizer, investment opportunity from Social Alpha/Tata FISE and mentoring. The Grand Finale concluded with announcement of the winners and prize distribution by the Chief Guests - Dr. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Mr. Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary IT, BT and S&T Karnataka Government and Dr. Vijay Chandru.

Kavitha S. of FIB-SOL Life Technologies Pvt. Ltd. won the Ankur Seeds Prize as well as investment opportunity from Social Alpha/Tata FISE. Harpreet Singh of iNICU Medical Pvt. Ltd. won the AWS prize, Kristin K. of Saathi EcoInnovations India, the Pfizer award and finally, Mohit Chelani of Cleanlife Products Pvt. Ltd. received a special recognition from the Grand Jury.

The competition was organised by C-CAMP under BREC - a joint CCAMP and BIRAC initiative. The Grand Prize Sponsors were Ankur Seeds, Powered by Amazon Web Services and Pfizer. The Associate Partner was CIIE, Investment Partner was Social Alpha/Tata FISE, Accelerator Partner was Axilor, Mentorship Partners were Biocon, Kotak Private Equity and Novozymes and the Apex Industry Association Partner was CII.

Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw while sharing her thoughts with the finalists, said - “Quality and compliance needs are very important for Life-Tech innovations. There are no shortcuts. Everything with respect to product development should go through rigorous document controls; because it deals with human life, human contact whether it be sanitary napkins, or life-saving technology in ICUs. I wish you all the best for scaling up and making a difference in the global economy through your products.”

Mr. Gaurav Gupta said “Bengaluru, Karnataka has a very unique ecosystem. We in the Government of Karnataka are supporting initiatives like the National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition through investments in infrastructure, policy and funding.” He also invited the startups to set up their business in Karnataka.

Dr. Vijay Chandru mentioned that the startup ecosystem has evolved a lot over the last eight-nine years, from boot camps for students to the phenomenal progress that has been made today where startups from all over India are setting up businesses across domains. He said “In today’s presentations a lot of ground has been covered by the startups who are focusing on sustainability, healthcare, agriculture and societal impact.” He was of the opinion that all the finalist startups would receive funding but it was also important for them to choose the right investor.

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