Villgro, the leading social enterprise incubator announced the first edition of their premier event - ‘Wantrepreneur 09’ a Business Plan Competition (BPC) that challenges entrepreneurs to come out with innovative technology / solutions (products / services) for the rural poor. This is the only BPC in the country that is designed to promote innovative products / services / solutions with a direct application at the rural level. Entrepreneurs (micro, small and medium as well as social entrepreneurs) can find this the right platform that will provide mentoring and networking opportunity to bridge the Mind 2 Market gap through this competition.
Wantrapreneur is an initiative of Villgro (formerly Rural Innovations Network) to encourage anyone and everyone with a business plan to positively impact RURAL POOR. Through this initiative, Villgro also wants to enable the entrepreneur realize his entrepreneurial dream.
The competition will be held under following 4 categories; on
• Start up Company - Agriculture
• Early Growth Company - Agriculture
• Start up - Diary/ Energy/ Water
• Early Growth - Diary/ Energy/ Water
Speaking on the occasion Paul Basil, the founder & CEO of Villgro said. “We believe that India’s true potential lies in its hinterland and we cannot ignore its potential to sustain the next wave of growth in India. Wantrapreneur 09 is a significant initiative to create, nurture and enable several unique products, services, solutions and technology aimed at contributing to rural growth. Given our experience over the last eight years, Villgro is rightly positioned to invigorate the innovation and social entrepreneurship eco-system.” Application to the contest is open till 31st October 2009; the selected winners in addition to prize monies will also be eligible for incubation opportunity with Villgro and its patrons. An eminent panel will judge the entries in each category to select 30 plans for the final presentation scheduled for 10th December 2009.
All participants are required to fill in the online application form available at www.villgro.org/wantrapreneur. The Business Summaries received through this will undergo a round of short listing by the Villgro Evaluation Panel. The short listed participants will be invited to make a 15 minute Pitch in person to the panel. The final shortlist from amongst these will be eligible for depth mentoring and funding as part of Villgro’s incubation services.
Wantrapreneur is the intellectual property of Villgro, India’s leading social enterprise incubator. Wantrapreneur is supported by The Lemelson Foundation, an organization which celebrates and supports inventors and entrepreneurs in order to strengthen social and economic life, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, a global association of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs, PanIIT, National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) and the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB).
In the initial stage, participants are required to provide information in an application form only to help the jury filter genuine interest. All information shared through this programme will remain the Intellectual Property of the participant.The application form is a 4-stage process. You need to save your information at every stage to proceed to the next. It is not necessary to fill the entire application at once. You may save partially filled forms and complete filling as per your convenience by just logging in the next time. However, you need to complete all stages before final submission.
Entries will be short-listed by a two stage Evaluation Panel that comprises of entrepreneurs and investors of repute. Wantrapreneur judges will be drawn from a variety of backgrounds, including venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and other professional or specialists deemed necessary to understand the commercial viability of a business idea (e.g., product design specialists).
Established in the year 2000, Villgro is a not for profit section-25 company to empower rural development by actively identifying and incubating innovations to promote rural based micro-enterprise business. In its effort to impact rural life, Villgro actively promotes social entrepreneurship and works with different stakeholders to create and support an eco-system that incubates and empowers social entrepreneurship. Villgro is actively supported by patrons that include The Le’melson Foundation (USA), Tata Sorabji trust, IIT Madras and HIVOS. To date Villgro has impacted over 350,000 rural users with technology & solutions reaching the grassroots thereby creating social returns worth over 5 million USD; Villgro has identified and activated more than 1500 social innovators. In light to ‘enrich rural lives by enabling innovations to reach the market’, Villgro conducts a single annual event ‘UNCONVENTION’ which encompasses the essence of a vibrant and supportive rural and social sector innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.