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Tata group felicitates India’s most promising student start-ups

Bangalore, Feb 1 : The Tata group and NEN Saturday felicitated winners of the fourth edition of Tata First Dot National Competition – Jury Choice (5 winners) and Tata First Dot People’s Choice Competition (5 winners) at a national conference held in Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, Bangalore.

The five winning start-ups of Tata First Dot National Competition-Jury Choice were MedPrime Technologies, Hotel For Dogs, Your Closet Services Private Limited, Robokraft Inc. and Media Mail Advertising Services. The five winning start-ups of the Tata First Dot People’s Choice Competition were Impulse Motors, World4Engineers, City Management, Clean Gujarat and MyInfopie.

Congratulating the winners, Dr. Gopichand Katragadda, Group Chief Technology Officer, Tata Sons said:”’It gives me great pleasure to be a part of the fourth edition of Tata first Dot. It has been a high energy event and the student businesses showcased here, which in some cases have been tested in the market were impressive. I would like the winners and participants here to keep the spirit of entrepreneurship alive and create a century of Indian Innovation.”

The Tata First Dot National Conference is designed to inspire and build knowledge, develop skills and contribute to networking, for hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs. The one day grand finale was a comprehensive event for these aspiring entrepreneurs, where they had a chance to interact with successful entrepreneurs and understand the challenges faced by upcoming ventures through a series of sessions. The day culminated with an awards ceremony felicitating the winners.

A regular feature at the national conference – the roundtable for start-ups – was an informal and interactive session between 30 finalists and nominees. This included senior Tata leaders as well as Mr Shashank ND, Founder, Practo (Key Note Speaker) and Mr. Sashi Chimala, Executive Vice President, Wadhwani Foundation – National Entrepreneurship Network. Aimed at providing student entrepreneurs an opportunity to get insights from business leaders, the discussion was a free flowing conversation with ventures voicing their concerns on various aspects of entrepreneurship which were then addressed by these leaders.

The top 30 promising ventures, including the 5 Jury Choice and 5 People’s Choice Competition winners, were selected from a pool of 434 entries received from 101 institutions across 69 cities in India. The participating start-ups spread across sectors including education, manufacturing, IT & software, hospitality & travel, retail, healthcare, biotech, energy, services.

Tata First Dot powered by NEN seeks to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst youth. This platform creates opportunities to increase their knowledge, resources and networks to enable them to succeed in their entrepreneurial journey and help them emerge as job creators and not just job seekers.

The top 30 start-ups including both Jury Choice winners and People’s choice winners (Annexure 1), will receive ongoing mentoring for their ventures via the NEN Mentor Platform. They will enjoy the opportunity to network with entrepreneurs, angel investors, mentors, experts and fellow student start-ups.

The five winners of the Tata First Dot Jury Choice National Competition were selected by a panel of eminent jury members comprising of Tata leaders, entrepreneurs, angel investors and NEN experts. The entries were evaluated on the following criteria: milestones achieved (investment obtained, track record), business model, innovativeness and distinctive competence, passion and growth potential. The five winners of the Tata First Dot People’s Choice Competition were selected through a process of online public voting, which attracted more than 40,000 public votes pan India.

Mr. Sashi Chimala, Executive Vice President, Wadhwani Foundation – National Entrepreneurship Network said, “The TATA First Dot powered by NEN platform is designed to inspire, build the knowledge, skills, and networks of the hundreds of aspiring student entrepreneurs. The National Conference offers an opportunity for aspirants and budding entrepreneurs to discover what makes entrepreneurs tick, and what it takes to build successful high growth companies. We are delighted that this platform has helped create and support increasing number of student entrepreneurs in all four editions of the program, and hope to continue inspiring more in the future.”

One of the innovative venture identified this year was Hotel For Dogs who were also the winners for the jury Choice awards. Started by duo, Adhishwar TA and Shravan Krishnan, the venture is a premium boarding house offering dog-boarding service to dog owners. Another interesting venture recognised this year was MedPrime Technologies. Also a jury choice winner, the venture creates innovative solutions to common problems in healthcare sector, focusing on patient monitoring and assistive devices and have developed a user friendly intravenous infusion monitoring system.

Tata First Dot, powered by NEN comprises multiple components designed to work together to engage and support India’s next generation of entrepreneurs: regional workshops, bootcamps, a judged national competition, an online “people’s choice” competition, one-day national conference; and ongoing mentoring support for the winners of the competition. This year the platform introduced special bootcamps and unique online courses./IBNS

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