The Grand Finale of Conquest 2017, BITS Pilani’s international startup challenge, concluded on a high note at Hyatt Regency, New Delhi. With DCB Bank as the title sponsor, Conquest has been become a paradise for startups, providing them with a chance to voice their ideas, network with industry leaders, and obtain incubation and funding opportunities.

The winner’s position was grabbed by Recopro,? which manufactures recyclable paper pallets which are cheaper, stronger & greener than the traditional wood counterparts, while the runners up were Incredible Devices,? which works on providing affordable treatment techniques for CVD, a disease with a fatality rate of 80%. The winner and the runner-­up have been awarded INR 250k and INR 150k of equity­-less cash funding.

Conquest, BITS Pilani’s International Startup Conclave, is an initiative whose wheels were set in motion back in 2004. Thirteen years have passed by, with a couple of revamped models and success stories laden throughout, with a lot more promise exuding from Conquest 2017. The edition, in association with Zoho, Accel, WNS and PayU, raked in 1000+ startup applications and in partnership with Letsventure filtered the number down to the Top 50. The demographics and sectors of the registered startups were variegated in equal measure, making the competition pan-India with a few foreign applicants. The number was brought down to the Top 50 based on a rigorous scrutiny spread across 36 extensive parameters.

The top 50 startups were then mentored on a one-on-one basis in mentoring sessions held at Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. The networking sessions witnessed attendance from the likes of Meera Iyer, CMO – Big Basket, Ashish Goel, Head of Product – Zomato and Suvonil Chatterjee, former CDO, Housing and Flipkart.

Dr. Bindu Dey, the Guest of Honour for the Grand Finale, ?is the current secretary of the Technology Development Board. In her address to the gathering, she emphasized on the importance of commercializing the results of research, and the role played by Technology Development Board in the same.

Praveen Kutty, Head of Retail and SME Banking, DCB Bank, on his experience with Conquest, said

The experience has been brilliant as always. It is our third year of association with Conquest, and each year, the finalists have been splendid. We have actually started interacting and doing business with a couple of finalists from the previous editions. Conquest is a remarkable event, and it is commendable what the team does to put it together.

The itinerary consisted of two panel discussions, a pitching round for the Top 10 startups in front of  investors from over 25 investment firms and leading industrialists, a networking lunch along with interaction of the jury with the audience in the Fish Bowl round.

The first panel discussed nuances that a young entrepreneur should keep in mind. Some of the panelists who shared their thoughts on the topic were Nishith Rastogi, CEO & Founder of Locus.sh, Barath Shankar, Senior Analyst, Accel Partners. Dhruv Mathur, Co-Founder at Little Black Book, Abhishek Gupta, COO at Tlabs and Sanjay Nath, Managing partner at Blume Ventures.

The second panel, consisting of Vivek Khare, Director Strategy at LetsVenture, Abhiraj Bahl, Co-Founder at Urban Clap, Vikram Upadhyay, Chief Mentor at GHV Accelerator, Shantanu Mathur, Country Head at Knowlarity and Sujit Panigrahi, CEO, Fitness 365,  discussed the troubles of innovating in a risk averse country like India.

Erik Azulay, Director, Nexus Startup Hub was among the members of the jury. Talking of Conquest, he said

The quality of startups and the pitches that I saw here has been much better than at other events. Kudos to Conquest for ensuring quality at every stage!

The Fish Bowl round was the most looked forward session where the students and entrepreneurs in the audience were given a chance to directly interact with the corporate leaders at the event by asking them questions in an open ­to ­all discussion. The jury members, including Nilesh Kothari, Managing Partner, Trifecta Capital amongst other distinguished industry leads, were part of the session. The session was an enthralling experience, with discussions on topics ranging from the rise in popularity of Initial Coin Offering [ICOs] to the heated debate on Artificial Intelligence.

With a handpicked audience consisting of some of the biggest names among VCs and Angel investors, the top 10 start-ups in the country as well as students from the leading institutes of India, the Grand Finale of Conquest 2017 has lived upto its reputation of being a startup paradise, and every startup enthusiast’s networking dream.

Conquest [earlier coverage here], India’s biggest student-run startup challenge has been centred over the years to provide a perfect platform for startups to prosper. With DCB Bank as the title sponsor, Conquest has become a paradise for startups, providing them with a chance to voice their ideas, network with industry leaders, and obtain incubation and funding opportunities.

Raising the standards set by previous editions, Conquest 2017, in association with Zoho, Accel, WNS and PayU, witnessed a participation of more than 1000 startups from across the nation. Startups from various sectors ranging from education, manufacturing, engineering to even virtual reality competed for a spot in the top 50. These applications were scrutinised based on 36 extensive parameters to shortlist the top 50 startups for personalised mentoring sessions.

Conquest provided these startups with an insightful experience and a networking opportunity by organising mentorship sessions in the 3 major cities of the country – Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

File Photo : Conquest

Mentors from various sectors provided their insights on various aspects of entrepreneurship: Fundraising, Product Management, Customer Acquisition, Tech, and Operations. Meera Iyer, CMO – Big Basket, Ashish Goel, Head of Product – Zomato and Suvonil Chatterjee, former CDO, Housing and Flipkart are some of the many esteemed mentors that provided guidance to participants on a one on one basis. The jury then selected the top 10 startups for the Grand Finale.

Here is a look at the top 10 startups that made the cut.

  • Incredible Devices Pvt. Ltd – Incredible Devices provides affordable treatment techniques for CVD, a disease with a fatality rate of 80%.
  • Recopro – Recopro’s recyclable paper pallets are cheaper, stronger and greener than the traditional wood counterparts.
  • Drone Nation – Drone Nation is an aerial data solutions company providing end to end solutions using custom-built drone hardware and software technologies.
  • Dcoder – Dcoder lets you code anywhere, anytime through its mobile coding platform.
  • JuiceWorx – JuiceWorx is working on an IoT led beverage dispensing technology that gives enhanced experience and greater health benefits to users.
  • Adloid – Adloid is a trail AR platform where you can try a product before buying- just by using your phone.
  • Trell – Trell has built a 170K strong community for millennials to discover and share local explorations.
  • Be-Hold – Be-Hold is a glove designed to function as a phone for the visually impaired.
  • Clodura – Clodura uses technology to help you find high value leads which are more likely to close!
  • Aquivio – Aquvio has revolutionised Reverse Osmosis based water purifiers by minimising the
    waste-water generated.

The top 10 will take the stage in the Grand Finale, to be held on 3rd September at Hyatt Regency, New Delhi. The finalists will pitch their ideas in front of of the panel of investors and VCs, as they try to captivate the imagination of potential investors.

The Finale is going to a ensemble of the some the the biggest names in the startup industry, along with some future greats to watch out for. The Grand Finale of Conquest has the reputation of being a star studded networking event, with attendance from numerous industry stalwarts.

Previous editions have witnessed attendance from the likes of R. Chandrashekhar, President – NASSCOM, Padmaja Ruparel, President – Indian Angel Network, Sanjay Nath, Managing Partner – Blume Ventures and Nilesh Kothari, Managing Partner – Trifecta Capital Registrations for attending the Grand Finale are now open. Register on Conquest for a chance to network with the best names in the industry.

Conquest, BITS Pilani’s International Startup Challenge, hosted its first networking session in the city at the Accel Office in Koramangala. Conquest, backed by DCB Bank, serves as a brilliant launchpad for emerging startups across the country.

Source – LetsVenture

As part of the mentoring sessions, the participants were provided with expert guidance from industry leaders. Some noteworthy mentors include Brijesh Bhardwaj, Product Manager at Hike, Suvonil Chatterjee, ex-CDO Housing and Flipkart and current advisor at Unacademy, Abhishek Nayak, CEO, Bicycle AI and Rishabh Kaul, CEO, Belong.

Expressing her views on the Networking Sessions, Meera Iyer, CMO at BigBasket and one of the mentors, said

For an economy to be sustainable, it needs to nurture the culture of new setups and new constructs surfacing constantly, and I feel that these mentoring sessions wherein such ideas and the youths behind them are groomed, is a really strong medium to connect to. This sharing of ideas also has mutual benefits, helping me in ideate on similar lines and implement them in my daily life.

Conquest, through its tie-ups with incubators and investment firms across the country, offers funding and incubation opportunities for participating startups. The top startups at Conquest receive, in addition to USD 1M worth resources, Rs 3 lakh worth of equity-less funding.

Conquest 2017, in association with Zoho, Accel, WNS and PayU, witnessed a participation of more than 1000 startups from across the nation. These applications were scrutinized based on their models, sustainability, user traction and a number of other parameters, after which, the top 50 were shortlisted for the Networking Sessions held in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Fundraising, Product Management, Customer Acquisition, Tech, and Scaling up & Operations comprise the five categories in which the startups received expert guidance from the mentors.

Two more mentoring sessions were organised by the Conquest team, in New Delhi and Mumbai. Now the participants await the announcement of the coveted spot in the top 10 startups of Conquest 2017. The finalists will then present their ideas before the jury at the Grand Finale to be held on 27 August at Hyatt Regency, New Delhi.

Talking about the mentoring sessions, one of the mentee start-ups said

I was pleasantly surprised by the paramount expertise and brilliant insights offered by the mentors. Not only were the mentors willing to hear us out, but also agreed to keep in touch after the sessions. I look forward to setting up a meeting with them.

The Grand Finale of Conquest has the reputation of being a star studded networking event, with attendance from numerous industry stalwarts. Previous editions have witnessed attendance from the likes of R. Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM, Padmaja Ruparel, President, Indian Angel Network, Sanjay Nath, Managing Partner, Blume Ventures and Nilesh Kothari, Managing Partner, Trifecta Capital. With two insightful panel discussions, fishbowl sessions open to the audience and a networking lunch with industry leaders, the finale fulfills any startup enthusiast’s dream.

For more details on the process of Conquest and the Grand Finale, visit Conquest official website.

BITS Pilani’s Annual Startup Conclave – Conquest is back with it’s 2015 Edition. Conquest has had ten successive editions over the past and this year, the model has been revamped to make it even more grand. Last edition of Conquest saw around 2000 applications from all over India. Conquest provided a platform to support our teams raise millions of dollars of investment upon completion of the Grand Finale held at FICCI Auditorium, New Delhi.

Conquest_Conclave

Highlights of Conquest 2015

  • Close to 2000 applicants would be fighting it out to win the challenge.
  • Last year 3.5 Lakhs equity-less cash was handed over to the winners of Conquest. However in this edition, along with the equity-less cash, winners would also get $1 million worth CRM and other support services.
  • Freshmentors, an online mentoring platform that was backed with angel investment of Rs 1 crore in 2014 would  seek personalized mentoring on college admissions and their careers via live video chats. It caters to its customers with the help of over 300 mentors spread across 150 foreign universities.
  • The short-listing process of the top 50 startups would be done by a panel of Investors and mentors.

Some of the jury members include:

  1. Rohit Bansal, Co-founder Snapdeal
  2. Amit Ranjan, Co-founder of Slideshare
  3. Ankur Warikoo, CEO of Groupon India
  4. Alok Kejriwal, Founder & CEO of Games2Win
  5. Dev Khare of Lightspeed Ventures &
  6. Rajesh Sawhney, Founder of the GSF Accelerator & GSF Superangels

For providing comprehensive feedback to all the applicants of Conquest,2015; they have partnered with Applyifi, a private platform for startups to create a comprehensive pitch-book & thereafter apply to multiple investors or accelerators/incubators.

How to apply for Conquest,2015

  • Registrations for Conquest are open from 31st March & would be open through the month of April. Registrations would close on 1st May.
  • The list of 50 short-listed startups would be announced in the month of June.
  • Any startup which was registered after 1st Jan 2013 is eligible to participate in Conquest 2015.
  • Startups can register at Conquest website. Applicant has the option of saving his form & filling it at any time before the registration closes.

The networking sessions meant to connect every startup with their mentor will be held in 5 cities namely Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai in the month of July.

Previous winners of Conquest

Some of the success stories of previous editions of Conquest are listed below:

  1. I-Traveller – Runners-up, 2013
  2. Solar Town – Runners-up, 2012
  3. PosterGully  – Finalist, 2012
  4. Phyzok – Winner, 2011
  5. GharPay – Runners-up, 2011
  6. iViz Security – Winner, 2006
  7. Mobile Medics – Winner, 2005

The title sponsor of the event is DCB Bank.

Startups, please make the most of this opportunity & head over to Conquest website for registration & more details.

* We would update this post once we receive more details from the Organization Team of Conquest. Stay Tuned !!! Please leave a comment in case any information on Conquest is required.

Image Credit  – Conquest