Founded in 2004, Conquest soon became India’s biggest student-run startup conclave receiving over 1000 startup applications consistently since previous three editions. Fourteen years have passed by, with a couple of revamped models and success stories laden throughout, Conquest has now evolved into a six-week summer program for India’s top ten startups which receive free space to live and work in Bengaluru along with intensive mentoring, investment opportunities and media coverage.

In the past, Conquest has had success stories like SocialCops, which is acclaimed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has been recognized as the Most Impactful Startup of 2017 by the YourStory team. Swagene and Gamezop which were the top two startups in Conquest 2015 went on to create genetically customized medicine and social gaming platforms respectively. Thinkerbell Labs, winner of Conquest 2016 aims to bring Braille within the reach of all visually-impaired people.

With a network of top investors like Sanjay Nath, Dev Khare, Barath Shankar from investment firms like Blume Ventures, Lightspeed Ventures, Accel Partners, Matrix Partners, and Indian Angel Network, Conquest serves as a networking paradise. Infotech Hub and Balsamiq as associate sponsors, Conquest is on a mission to empower founders, to catalyse innovation and to assist creation.

Rahul Chhabra, CEO at Conquest, BITS Pilani, says

The only way to push the human race forward is to have enterprising small groups of people reject the status quo and build the future. In those magical moments of giving birth to innovation, we stand by the crazy ones who dare to change the world, the ones who love building  and creating just for the fun of it.

What all is Conquest upto ?

From one of India’s grandest startup events, Conquest is now under transition to become a leader in India’s startup ecosystem with multiple initiatives for all stakeholders in the industry.

  • Summer Mentorship Program – With a goal to help the best founders build great businesses and raise money, Conquest provides a six-week long summer mentorship program at Bengaluru to their Top 10 Startups. This will comprise of free co-living space at The Hub – a coliving space where people come together to live, work and express themselves, along with free co-working facilities. A separate co-living space will also be provided at BHIVE workspace.
  • Grand Finale – The Summer Mentorship Program will be followed by a Grand Finale where the Top 10 Startups get to pitch themselves before India’s top investors and media houses to raise funds and gain media attention.
  • Conquest Mentoring Sessions – From among all the startups that register for Conquest, the Top 50 are called for a day-long mentoring session in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai with industry stalwarts in tech, customer acquisition, fundraising and so on.
  • Conquest Community – The Conquest Community is a curated community of past startups, investors, mentors and experts from the Conquest network. It sparks discussions and provides an opportunity for members to connect with and gain insights from each other.
  • Conquest Hiring Platform – This gives an opportunity to Conquest Campus Ambassadors, college E-Cell partners and developers to get a chance to work with one of the previous Conquest Finalists as well as the current startups looking to hire.
  • Conquest Academy – Building a repository of great advice to first time founders which have everything from how to find the right co-founders to how to achieve a product market fit.
  • Conquest Meetups – Regularly held meetups and hackathons with mentors, founders and developers which helps get the most talented people of the country under one roof.

Why should a startup register for Conquest?

If you are an early stage startup founder who really cares about the company you are building, then Conquest has built a distraction-free, high growth environment for you so that you can single mindedly focus on building your company.

Conquest provides intensive mentoring from founders who have built great companies themselves who are the best source of experiential knowledge on nascent stage startup problems. Another important element of the program is a collaboration focused environment which requires all Top 10 Startups to stay and work together in order to solve each other’s problems and leverage complementary skill sets. Finally, Conquest helps the startups overcome one of the most common roadblocks – fundraising.

Conquest provides investors from top VC firms, Conquest alumni and experienced founders to help craft your pitch, build your deck, maneuver deals and secure funding.

Conquest has opened registrations, join the journey hereTo know more about Conquest, check out their blogs – Conquest: Building India’s First Student-Run Startup LaunchpadWhy register your startup for Conquest?.

Indian School of Business [ISB], organized the India Conference on Innovation, Intellectual Property and Competition in Delhi. The objective of the conference was to offer a roadmap to manage innovations at various stages in the value chain, which calls into play the various tools of the Intellectual Property System. The role of Intellectual property, from producer to the end user, in relations to innovation was addressed through a daylong conference.

In his keynote address, Shri Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Commerce and Industry, Government of India, mentioned that Government is working on having regular interactions with the Start-ups, who are at the forefront of innovations, primarily on regulatory aspects, which helps them in their business initiatives.

Dean Rajendra Srivastava, Dean of the Indian School of Business in his opening address, said

There is a need to integrate insights from West and East to address the tussle between competition and protection. There is a need for a dialogue between the competing interests of the society, corporate and the individual level for the required value migrations. Our Lab is the Market Place and we need to look at ways we could manage ideas.

Dr Girish Sahani, Director General, CSIR & Secretary, DSIR, said

CSIR stands No.1 in R&D Patents and this was possible because of the mind-set change in the scientists to bring about synergy into production systems and focus towards more product based innovations vis-a-vis process based. CSIR is currently positioned at 75th in the Global R&D institutions.

Speaking on innovation ecosystem in India, Dr Rishikesha Krishnan, Director, IIM Indore, pointed out that much of the innovation in India is dominated by the multinational companies. However there is immense scope for frugal innovations in India especially happening at the start-up levels.

Dr Rishikesha Krishnan, Director, IIM Indore, said

Start-ups are becoming increasingly visible. The future of innovation is in e-commerce, Fintech, Artificial Intelligence, machine learning etc. Many companies are looking at India for their R&D needs.

Professor Anil K Gupta, Founder Honey Bee Network & Executive Vice Chair, National Innovation Foundation, said

We must not focus on frugality which is only for customers but also look into the manufacturers. There is a need to bridge the formal and informal innovations happening in India.

Ms Geeta Gouri, Former Member, Competition Commission of India and Director [Tariffs], APERC, in her address opined that creating new markets is also an important responsibility of the competition commission. Taking the examples of the cases at the Competition Commission on automobile after market and Google search engine, Ms Gouri said

Anything dominant will result in abuse, but the innovator must get the required credit for his innovation.

Mr Vivek K Kamath, Managing Director, Merck Sharp and Dohme Pharmaceuticals [India], opined that there is a need to focus on both large as well as niche categories healthcare intervention. Mr Vivek K Kamath said

Policies are forward looking right now, but enforcement gap maybe the challenge. We need to  do better on the enforcement dimension especially related to Intellectual Property Protection, Patented product pricing and clinical trials which will create a robust Indian healthcare innovation ecosystem.

The conference saw a galaxy of speakers speaking on various aspects of innovation ecosystem – IP Index, clusters, Chinese exceptionalism, piracy, healthcare innovation, app economy, trade agreements, intersection of technologies, inequality among others. The interactive conference was attended by around 150 delegates representing industry, academia and the Government. This is the inaugural edition of such a conference organized by the Indian School of Business.

Do you have a dream of starting something on your own? Do you have that spark in you? Are you in short of money to pursue your business? Always remember that most of the biggest companies were started on a very short budget.

Amazon’s office during the early stage

If you have that passion in you, budget constraint won’t be able to stop you from winning, period.

Let’s discuss a few pointers you need to consider if you are starting your business on a budget

Paperwork is optional

Unless you are dealing with some legal way or something, it is not mandatory to get your business registered. Many of the small business were started without any paperwork done. Once they validated their idea, they proceeded to get their site registered.

I see guys getting into all the paperwork without even validating their idea. Later on all the effort of registration and paperwork is wasted if the business doesn’t turn out well.

You don’t need an office

Jeff Bezos started his empire from garage and same is with Larry Page. Don’t hesitate to make garage your office if required. You can always opt for those swanky offices once you run in profits.

As most of the businesses these days run on laptops and phones, you can also get this done sitting in the comfort of your home! I understand that some guys hesitate sitting in garage or home, but if you are really serious about the work, you will be able to do it no matter where you are sitting.

Be ready to make your hands dirty

While in corporate world, there is a specific task assigned to each of the employee. But when you are starting up, you have to do it all yourself. Sometimes you be the sweeper and sometimes a telecaller. Man, this is startup and you have to get into multiple roles unless you are a Ambani or Tata.

Similarly, get things like branding and website by yourself too. I have used Canva’s Free visiting card maker to get some awesome cards done within seconds. You can do it too for Logo, banners and much more. Want a website done? Get website builder and do it yourself. Similarly you can do a lot of things by your own.

Save Save Save, negotiate where you can

A penny saved is a penny earned, right? Negotiate everywhere. Always remember you are on a fixed budget. Buying computer parts? Search for wholesalers in your area. Always look out for wholesale places as there are always such places where the prices are low.

Similarly, ask your vendors to give you credit for a month or so. This will help you keeping cash in hand. Also, keep a check on minute expenditures. These small ones look negligible but they might result in huge expenses collectively.

Learn new things instead of outsourcing

As I said before, you don’t have to get everything outsourced when you are starting up. Learning new skills helps a lot. I know many startup guys who designed their website, who designed their logos, who painted their office.

There will be times where you will need expert’s help. For that, there are communities related to every industry. Just be bold and ask your query. Yes this is time taking, but who cares? When you are moving, it is good, whether it’s slow or fast 🙂

Do a lot of networking

Once I met a developer who turned out to a great guy. We met at local dev meetup where I offered everyone free hosting coupons I got from a friend who just started his web hosting company. The developers were so impressed, one of them offered me help to create my blog.

In a nutshell, networking helps a lot as you can help people as per your expertise and they can help you as per theirs. This is a win win situation where no one has to spend money to get things done!

Starting a business is no doubt a tough task. I have seen many guys sinking and getting back to their 9 to 5 within months of starting up. Don’t let any constraint hinder your way, keep your will as strong as stone and dive into the sea of entrepreneurship. All the best!

About the Author

Prince Kapoor is a Freelance Marketing Analyst and Blogger. While not working, you can find him in gym or giving random health advises to his colleagues which no one agrees on :). If you too want some of his advises [on health or on marketing], reach out to him at @imprincekapur

Uber announced UberEXCHANGE finalists at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017. As a part of this program, ten startups won an-all-expense-paid trip to San Francisco, where they will visit Uber’s headquarters to meet the executive leadership team and be introduced to potential investors.

Image Source – UberExchange

UberEXCHANGE was launched in 2016 as a part of Uber’s mission to create a startup ecosystem in partnership with Invest India. Since then, over 150 startups have been mentored by Uber’s senior leadership team. The finalists have been chosen through a rigorous selection process anchored by T-Hub, Telangana’s flagship startup incubator and accelerator. Among the winning startups, 5 startups are based in Hyderabad – Anytimeloan, Docturnal, Imaginate, Ekincare and Carengrow.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri. K.T.Ramarao, IT Minister, Government of Telangana said

Many compliments and congratulations to Uber and the startups that have been selected for the trip to San Francisco. T-Hub will continue to guide the startups and Uber is an exceptional partner who can really take them places. I hope the startups do extremely well going forward.

Amit Jain, President, Uber India & SA said

We are very excited to announce UberEXCHANGE finalists at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017. We launched this program in partnership with T-hub last year  to support the Prime Minister’s Startup India vision. Since then, we have had the opportunity to mentor over 150 starups and be a part of their entrepreneurial journey. We thank the Government of Telangana and T-hub for their continued support in helping us bring this initiative to life.

Srinivas Kollipara, COO, T-Hub said

We aim to create opportunities for the startups in India to benefit from the global ecosystem through exchange of knowledge, access to mentors and investors. Through UberEXCHANGE, several startups  in India have benefited from hands-on mentorship sessions by Uber’s global leadership team. We are looking forward to continuing this partnership to provide a platform that will help many more Indian startup succeed in their entrepreneurial journey.

Gayam Raja, Founder, Gayam Motor Works said

We signed up UberEATS as our first customer for limitless e-bike in Singapore, Hongkong and San Francisco through UberEXCHANGE. Thanks to UberEXCHANGE and T-Hub for the kickstart.

UberEXCHANGE Delegation to San Francisco include:

  • Anytimeloan.in is a P2P platform for anyone who is in need of an instant loan or for people looking to leverage their savings by lending in a proven and scientific ecosystem, in a paperless and contactless environment.
  • carenGrow monitors complete physical, psychological and behavioural health profile of children in school through objective and non-invasive decision based intelligent monitoring system.
  • Docturnal, a non-Invasive point of care screening and diagnostics for tuberculosis & diabetes related ailments leveraging real time machine learning results.
  • Preva Systems offers end-to-end solutions in the area of real time identification, location and mobility of things/assets using its IoT platform enriched with analytics for superior business results.
  • eKincare is a patent pending wellness platform that integrates medical records, healthcare services and leverages predictive analytics to design wellness initiatives & reduce healthcare costs
  • AlgoSurg is a cloud-based software platform  for ‘X-ray based 3D surgery planning and patient specific instrument (PSI) design’ for deformity correction and replacement surgeries.
  • Imaginate Software Labs is a renowned augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) based technology enterprise, that offers innovative visualization products and services. Through its strong and proven technology expertise, it offers experiential solutions in the fields of retail, defense, enterprise, finance, entertainment and healthcare sectors.
  • JioVio HealthCare aims to provide home based predictive maternal care ecosystem in both urban and rural areas. Inspired by beauty, JioVio helps create a better, healthier lifestyle by bringing IOT base medical devices to pregnant women, encouraging them to take care of their health and to be informed.
  • Gayam Motor Works manufactures electric bikes and smart autos – the first EV in India with automatic battery swapping system.
  • Gray Routes Technology Pvt. Ltd is a leading provider of location analytics and field automation software. They aim to transforms the way the world’s leading brands use data to solve their toughest distribution problems.

3M signed a MoU with the Government of Karnataka at the ongoing three-day Bengaluru Technology Summit.

As per the MoU, 3M will provide a ‘Booster Service Kit’ and conduct, on a ‘pro-bono’ basis, mentoring sessions to start-ups in the areas of commercialization process, stage gate discipline, building a business case and accelerating product launch, competitive and pricing analysis, and differential value and options analysis. This will be conducted as per the program and schedule mutually agreed by the parties involved.

Mr Krish Sridhar, Head R&D, 3M with Honorable Minister Priyank Kharge, ITBT & Tourism, Government of Karnataka, Gaurav Gupta, Karnataka Principal Secretary, Dept.of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science & Technology and, Salma Fahim, MD, KBITS and Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, IT & BT Department.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Priyank Kharge, the State Minister for IT, BT and Tourism, said

We are pleased to announce a partnership with global conglomerate 3M. It is our hope that start-ups in the State will benefit from the wide range of mentoring sessions by industry specialists from 3M in the areas of commercialization, stage gate discipline, building business cases, competitive pricing analysis and differential value analysis.

3M is a multinational conglomerate corporation that transforms technology into solutions. It supplies an array of innovative products across applications such as electronics, healthcare, industrial, safety and security.

Government of Karnataka announced its partnership with the Business France India to develop and intensify mutual beneficial cooperation on 5 programmes under the umbrella of the French Tech.

This MoU sees promise in the dynamic start-up ecosystem which has emerged in France over the last few years as well as the strength of Karnataka as a start-up hub. .

Five areas of collaboration have been identified for the MoU, which include:

  1. French Tech Tour to India – For participation in the BengaluruITE.biz
  2. French Tech Ticket – Promotion of French Tech Ticket & NAIN and other incubators/accelerators in Karnataka
  3. French Tech Hub – 22 French Tech Hubs have been setup in the world and the first in India will be established in Bengaluru
  4. International collaboration
  5. Learning and commercial expedition

Honorable Minister Priyank Kharge, ITBT & Tourism, Government of Karnataka, said

Bengaluru has been the innovation and start-up hub of the country and has proven to be a preferred location for start-ups. We intend to provide best in class exposure to our start-ups for cross learning, incubation and partnerships. In this regard, the partnership with Business France India will enable Karnataka start-ups to leverage the inherent strength of France in education and R&D. The establishing of the French Tech Hub in Bengaluru will provide a single point access to innovations in France.

Mr Jean Francois AMBROSIO, Head of Tech & Services Dept. Director Business France South India with Honorable Minister Priyank Kharge, ITBT & Tourism, Government of Karnataka, Gaurav Gupta, Karnataka Principal Secretary, Dept.of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science & Technology and, Salma Fahim, MD, KBITS and Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, IT & BT Department.

About Business France India

Business France is the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy. Its three key responsibilities are to:

  • Support French or foreign companies with their international development
  • Facilitate job-creating foreign investment in France
  • Promote France’s attractiveness to business

Sattviko, one of the fastest growing food companies in India, has been awarded as the most prominent food startup in the Agri, Food, & Forestry Products segment at The National Entrepreneurship Awards. The National Entrepreneurship Awards have been instituted by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship [MSDE] to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship across the country.

The award ceremony was presided over by Arun Jaitley Minister of Fiinance & Corporate Affairs, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan Honourable Minister of Petroleum & Natural gas & skill development & Entrepreneurship, Anantkumar Hegde Honourable minister of skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO ICICI Bank.

Started in the year 2013 with quick service restaurants, Sattviko has grown exceptionally to becoming a healthy lifestyle brand offering packaged food products that combines the goodness of age old wisdom of Ayurveda with the unique taste and flavor of contemporary cuisines. Sattviko has a range of ethnic product categories including Roasted Makhana, Khakhra Chips, Ajwaini Flax Seeds, Dry Mango, Khakhra Chips, Gur Chana, Salsa Almonds, etc. Sattviko fosters wellness and shares Indianness by incorporating modern flavors on traditional ethnic snacks.

Commenting on the recognition, Prasoon Gupta, Co-Founder of Sattviko, said

We are elated to be awarded as the most prominent food startup in the country. Since our inception, our focus has been on delivering an exceptional experience to our customers who are looking to adopt healthy lifestyle and its practices. Today’s customers are experimental in trying new cuisines yet the familiarity of certain flavours remains the requirement. Sattviko brings the benefit of both with its age-old recipes and exotic preparation methods.

Sattviko products are currently available at modern retailers such as Metro Cash & Carry, More, Hypercity and in general trade across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Gurgaon, Faridabad and Surat.

The National Entrepreneurship Awards seek to recognise the efforts and achievements of exceptional entrepreneurs and those individuals and organisations who are working in the field of entrepreneurship development. The Awards also seek to highlight models of excellence for others to emulate and improve upon. The winners were selected through a three stage rigorous selection process. Winning individuals/ enterprises were given a prize amount of Rs. 5 lakhs.

About Sattviko

Sattviko started in the year 2013, and has been on an epic ride ever since. From launching the quick service restaurants and fine dine chains to becoming synonymous as a healthy lifestyle brand, it has stayed true to its core beliefs of delivering an exceptional experience to customers who are looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle but don’t want to compromise on the taste. Sattviko ethnic Indian snacks while being roasted & baked without any preservatives or artificial flavours provides a very healthy alternative to the current fried options available in the market. For more information, please visit Sattviko

The Indian School of Business [ISB] and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation have joined hands to launch the Clean Energy Lab, a uniquely designed incubation programme to support early stage non-profits working on creating policy impacts in clean energy.

Image Source – ISB CleanTech

Supported by DLabs, the incubation and acceleration arm of ISB, the Clean Energy Lab invites entries from non-profits, working in the areas of renewable energy, climate change and energy efficiency. The Lab aims to identify individuals and thinkers with big, audacious ideas to create research based policy impact in India and build their concepts into scalable institutions.

Talking about the need and importance of such an initiative, Professor Rajendra Srivastava, Dean, ISB, said

Clean energy is the need of the future and India is already making a mark globally for its initiatives in this space. The government has drawn up an ambitious agenda to become self-reliant in generating renewable energy by 2022. Against this backdrop, research focused non-profits can play an important role in influencing policy and pushing India towards a cleaner environment in the years to come. Through the Clean Energy Lab, ISB is excited to partner with Shakti Foundation to support non-profits who are seeking to create large scale policy impact in building and scaling their ideas and contribute to the larger goal of nation- building.

The Clean Energy Lab will identify and incubate five exceptional ideas to create policy action on clean energy. The selected participants will have access to the following

  • Sustenance Support of up to INR 4.8L
  • Dedicated Mentorship by an Expert Panel consisting of energy and non-profit experts
  • Access to infrastructure at the ISB Campuses
  • Strategic advisory support and access to networks
  • Impact Measurement Support to determine milestones and assess growth
  • Access to Organizational Development Services

Sharing his views on the rationale for developing the Lab, Krishan Dhawan, CEO, Shakti  Sustainable Energy Foundation said

One of Shakti’s roles as the only foundation focused on India’s clean energy sector is to build and strengthen the capacity of civil society in order to participate more effectively in policy dialogue and action. Platforms like the Clean Energy Lab are an important part of the solution. The Lab is India’s first incubation programme to support high potential ideas that can be built into scalable institutions as well as create evidence-based policy impact in the area of clean energy. Given India’s increasing energy demand and urgent development priorities, outcomes from the Lab can make a very important contribution.

Who can apply and more details

Early stage non-profits including NGOs, community based organisations, think tanks, foundations, research institutions working in this space and individuals with potential ideas are eligible to apply. The last date to apply is November 15, 2017. To know more visit this page

The yearlong incubation programme commences in January 2018 and will include dedicated mentorship with assigned experts, capacity building and training sessions and a multitude of opportunities to network and partner with potential collaborators.  The Lab would conclude in December 2018 by which the all the non-profits would be registered entities culminating in a Showcase Pitch Session where the non-profits would pitch to philanthropic organisations for funding.

DLabs is the incubation and acceleration arm of the ISB set up in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. It aims to support the creation of a vibrant and high impact entrepreneurial ecosystem focused on innovation in key sectors including technology commercialization. DLabs leverages the vast resources, expertise and networks of Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ISB through mentorship, education and investor connect.

Further details about the program are available here