Tag Archives: competitions

Innovations 2011 Contest: What product/services can the tech community build for Pune

Update: The contest is over. Winners and Judges comments are:

  • Satish Tilokchandani: “Good News Reporter”. Comments: A simple idea that could really catch on if done well. And can spread beyond Pune too.
  • Hemanshu Narsana: “Transportation Options Calculator”. Comments: Would be really useful if it included estimated rickshaw fares, and 6-seater routes.
  • Dhanashree Srivastava: “RFID tags for kids”. Utility is limited to only certain contexts, but an interesting project for students/techies to work on.

On Saturday, 8th January, Pune will again play host to a number of innovative inventors from across the country, as part of Innovations 2011, an event organized by the IIT-Bombay Alumni Association, Pune Chapter. This event showcases the best science and technology innovations in India (whether they are from startups, large companies, or elsewhere) that have been implemented in practice. The innovations are from varied fields such as medicine, agriculture, mechanical/electronic/chemical technology, IT products, etc. Here are some example innovations from previous years:

  • a simple mechanical device that prevents toilets in Indian trains from discharging waste products at a station (i.e. when a train is stationary), but opens up when the train is moving over 40mph
  • a health alert emergency system for senior citizens, to be worn on the body, and which can automatically detect if they’ve fallen, and can alert emergence response systems
  • a solar powered pivot irrigation by a lone inventor
  • an integrated system for ethanol production from sorghum, by Pune’s Praj Industries,
  • wi-fi security by AirTight networks,
  • stem cell therapy for pre-eclampsia

This year, again the event promises to be great. The keynote address is being given by Chetan Maini, CTO of Reva Electric Vehicles (which is now a Mahindra & Mahindra company). For more details of the event schedule see here.

Register here if you wish to attend. There is an entry price – Rs. 750 (with dinner), or Rs. 500 (without dinner).

Every year, Innovations holds a contest where PuneTech readers have a chance to win free passes for Innovations.

The contest this year is this:

Briefly describe a product or service that the tech community can design, develop and deploy for the benefit of the citizens of Pune.

The basic idea is this: there are lots of enthusiastic techies in the tech community in Pune, and we could easily harness their energies to build some great products that can benefit Pune. It could be some simple Question and Answer website like ForPune.com, or something more complicated. It need not necessarily be a InfoTech idea; could be anything else.

The entries will be judged on the basis of these factors:

  • Usefulness: How much does it benefit the citizens of Pune? How much does it benefit society?
  • Ease of implementation: How much effort will it take to implement. The easier it is to implement, the more the chances of winning. For example, any idea that requires the “co-operation” of PMC, or some other government body, has a low chance of being implemented successful, and hence a low chance of winning. (On the other hand, an idea that requires the co-operation of Pune Traffic Police will get higher marks because PTP has been pretty fabulous last year at implementing innovative IT based ideas)
  • Uniqueness: The more “innovation” your idea has, the more different/unique it is from anything else we’ve seen before, the higher marks it gets.

Please describe your idea in brief in the comments section below. The last date for submitting ideas is Thursday, 6th January, 12 noon. Winners will be announced by Friday, 7th Jan. If you’ve already bought a ticket for Innovations, and you win the contest, your ticket price will be refunded. If you don’t actually want the ticket, or if you’re happy to pay the price (which is rather reasonable), you can still enter the contest – simply indicate at the end of your entry that you’re not interested in the ticket. Please ensure that you give correct email address with your comment – so we can contact you if you’ve won.

There will be 3 winners.

How can we improve students and industry collaboration on innovative projects? (Answer & win prizes)

Update: The contest is over (but the discussion can still continue!) Abhay Patil, who judged the contest, had this comment about the contenst:

On behalf of IITB Alumni Association (Pune Chapter) – organizers of Innovations 2010 – let me thank PuneTech and it’s members for this set of insightful, passionate and well articulated responses. You literally made our day and have given us enough high quality stuff to digest before we plan the next edition of Innovations!

I will share the ‘verdict’ of the organizers with Navin shortly. You would agree that this exercise is not just a ‘competition’. We should/ would figure a way to move forward with these inputs. Thanks again!

After looking at the quality of the answers, the IITBAA(Pune) has decided to increase the number of prizes to 5, so we have 5 winners: Manish, Ruchika, Abhishek Nagaraj, and Vijay Patil. Vipul gets a special prize for the best student answer. Congratulations and thanks, your free passes are in your email.

Now for the next steps – actually implementing some of these ideas…

We are giving away two passes for Innovations 2010, worth Rs. 1000 500 each (Update: after this article appeared, Innovations appears to have dropped the ticket price down to Rs. 500), for the best answer to the problem laid out in this post. Read on for details.

Earlier today, we wrote about the Innovations 2010 event happening in Pune next Saturday, and while it is great that we have interesting innovations to showcase in events like this, it is a cause for worry that a country of a billion people cannot come up with more innovation; especially when you consider that we probably have more high IQ people than the entire population of the United States.

One of the problems, as I see it, is the lack of collaboration between our best students and Industry. We have lots of smart students wasting away in a bureaucrat controlled education system. They have time on their hands, and even motivation to work on interesting stuff (if you manage to catch them at the right stage). What they don’t have, is the experience and guidance necessary to work on the right problems. I’ve seen many bright students working on difficult, but ultimately pointless problems/projects, because nobody pointed them in the right direction.

Click on this icon to see all PuneTech articles related to tech education in Pune
Click on this icon to see all PuneTech articles related to tech education in Pune

By contrast, there are enough bright people in industry who are full of brilliant ideas, but who are too busy with their delivery schedules, and they just don’t have to time to implement and try out any of their ideas. Connecting the two sets of people is an obvious solution, that many groups of have tried without much success, for many years. There are lots of initiatives, like Peepaal Campus, projects4students , but I don’t see any of them really achieving critical mass. I’m not sure what the problem is, but I feel that one of the issues is the fact that many of these initiatives are focused on B.E. projects of 4th year engineering students – and that, in most cases, is a waste of time. By that time, most of the students have lost any interest/motivation in doing a good job of the project. Most BE projects, which are supposed to represent a year’s work for 3 to 4 people, are worthless, and could be done by a passionate/motivated student in 2 weeks. For a more detailed discussion of the problems with motivating 4th year students with industry projects, see this interesting discussion on ForPune.com.

But, let us not give up. Cynicism is over-rated. I think we can still do something. At least in Pune, a few people getting together can make a difference.

So, here is the challenge:

Suggest a specific, detailed, implementable initiative that a few of us can start in Pune, to get students and industry to work together on innovative projects. To improve your chances of winning, give a proposal that is:

  • Specific (as opposed to general handwaving)
  • Detailed (as opposed to short one or two liners)
  • Implementable right now (as opposed to a 10-year plan)
  • Implementable by us – people like you and me (as opposed to something the Government is supposed to do for us)

Leave your proposal as a comment on this article, or you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere and leave a link (or a trackback/pingback) here. Extra credit if you’re willing to be one of the persons who will implement the suggestion! The best two entries get one Innovations pass each. Of course, you’re encouraged to enter even if you’re not interested in the Innovations pass. (In that case, please indicate that in your entry, so we can give the pass to the next best entry.) The deadline for this contest is Tuesday, 5 January, 2010, midnight, IST.

Startups: Enter contests, make friends, win prizes

There is a spate of competitions for startups and wannabe startups that are all running currently. You should consider submitting an entry (or nominating yourself) since that doesn’t take up too much time, and can in some cases, get you some good publicity / visibility. And if you actually win, then that’s even better.

SIBM’s Endeavor 2008 Business Plan Competition

SIBM is proud to present Pitch Perfect 480 contest. This event seeks to provide an opportunity for the working professionals/start ups to gather momentum through Seed Funding.

The structure of the event is:

Registration opens and Invite Business Pitch Presentations: 10th September 2008 to 5nd October 2008

Short listing of best 12 Business Pitch Presentations: 05th November 2008

8 minute (that’s 480 seconds, hence the name of the contest) presentations by the selected teams at SIBM Campus:  15th November 2008

The top 2 teams would get an opportunity to compete for funding of Rs. 50 million.

We are pleased to inform you that Venture Capitalists like SEEDFund,  NEA-IndoUS Ventures, IndiaCo Ventures Ltd. have confirmed their participation in the event.

For registration: www.sibm.edu/endeavour08 or 
Contact organizing team: pitchperfect@sibm.net

IIT-Bombay’s EUREKA! Business Plan Contest

The Entrepreneurship Cell of IIT-Bombay is organizing EUREKA! The
Biggest International Business Plan Competition in Asia.

Prizes worth USD 50,000 are to be won with finalists getting a chance
to pitch in front of Mumbai Angels.

Teams will get a chance to represent India at the Intel-UC Berkeley
Innovation Challenge. Special Category this year is cleantech. Its simple to participate,
just log on to www.eureka.ecell.in

The Tata NEN startup popularity contest

Tata and NEN announce the first ever people’s choice Awards for great young companies, the TATA NEN Hottest Startups Awards launched on Aug 27!

Be part of this action!

Who’s involved?
TATA has joined with NEN to bring you the Awards, with support from Major Partners Helion, Seedfund, Mint and Wadhwani Foundation and from the entire entrepreneurial community to make this a great success. 
>> Check out the great list of partners and their participation.

A better world for Startups

We’re hoping to get more than 500 Nominations, and reach over 5,00,000 people. With this, Hottest Startups will be the largest, most comprehensive Awards recognizing and supporting high-growth startups in India. Let’s help make the world a better place for startups!

Know a great startup? Nominate.
This is a great opportunity for us to showcase the startups in our community.
The startups should be 5 years or younger, headquartered in India, and poised 
to shape their industries. Do you know any? Did we just describe your startup? >>Please go online and nominate.

Hot or not? You decide.
In this competition, you are one of the decision makers. As soon as a Nominee goes online, the voting opens for that company. You can vote once for every single Nominee. You can vote either online or by sms.

>>Please go online, and vote: Help your favorite nominees win!

Hottest Stuff: Voter Lucky Draw

Everyone gets a chance to win at TATA NEN Hottest Startups! 
As soon as you vote, you are automatically entered into the TATA NEN Hottest Startups Voter Contests. Every week, 100 voters are randomly selected to get their fun prizes.

Contest: deadlines
Nominations and Voting open August 27. Winners are chosen through combination of Expert Reviews and voting. Voting for Phase 1 closes Nov 5, and the shortlist of 30 companies is announced Nov 6. Phase 2 begins Nov 6. The 5 Winners will be announced Dec 23.  
>> Details on contest rules.
What do the TATA NEN Hottest Startup Winners get?

Winners receive a powerful combination of tailored business development support, access to funding and incubation, and lots of great publicity, including profiles in a special supplement of Mint. Business support will be provided by Knowledge Partners, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore and the Startup Accelerator at Microsoft.

Innovations 2009

The IIT-Bombay Alumni Association of Pune has an annual event to celebrate innovation in India. This is usually quite good, although it is not restricted purely to infotech or even tech, so the focus is rather broad – which is a good thing or a bad thing depending upon your point of view. But in any case, it is an event that you should try to get into. For details see PuneTech’s previous post about Innovations 2009.

Do these help?

Question for you: do events like these help? If you have been a startup that went through an event like this, did you find it worth it? I’d like to hear from both, winners as well as those who did not. Please leave a comment  below so the rest of the community can get an idea of how much time to spend on such activities.