Student Entrepreneurs Shine at Tata First Dot 2012; Check out the Winners!

By Riddhi

Tata First Dot 2012, which drew to a close at the beginning of this month, was a great platform for student entrepreneurs to shine on. Over 200 student startups participated in this competition, which was held over four phases. The fourth and final phase was a two-day grand finale, held on the 9th and 10th of January at SSN College of Engineering, Chennai. This competition was made possible through collaborative efforts of the Tata Group and NEN (National Entrepreneurship Network) Trust.

Tata First Dot consisted of two parallel competitions:

  • Top 5 Judges Choice contest
  • Top 5 Online People’s Choice contest

For the final phase of the competition the top 25 startups were shortlisted by the judges.

The shortlist was created based on:

  • Market opportunity
  • Quality of business model
  • Potential of the business to grow or scale up

The winners for the Judges Choice category were chosen from this shortlist.

Every startup was reviewed individually by the judges followed by a discussion on each company. The judges then rated the startups on a scale of 1 to 4. The scores from all the judges were collated to identify the top 5 companies. The panel of judges included successful entrepreneurs, well-known angle investors and leaders from Tata Group.

In case of the Online People’s Choice category, the process was much simpler. A public voting was conducted, which attracted over 60,000 votes and the five startups with the maximum votes were declared winners.

The winners in the Judges Choice category are:

  1. Novo Informatics Pvt. Ltd (Founded by Madhup Benawat, Avinash Mishra and Sahil Kapoor)
  2. Phodphad (Founded by Nikhil Daga)
  3. Melting Point (Founded by Ganesh Roshan Natarajan, Harini Desikan, Jothi Shankar)
  4. Breson (Founded by Bhupesh Sharma)
  5. A.J.S Service (Founded by Sanjay A.J)

The winners in the Online People’s Choice category are:

  1. Telvegy (Founded by Gautam K)
  2. Golunu Soft (Founded by Tipson K Thomas, Muhammed Suhail M T, Jaseem V, Roshan V Jose)
  3. Camouflage (Founded by P Aishwarya, S Saranya, A Adhithya, Samantha Saradhy, S Jayapriya)
  4. Infinity Plus One (Founded by Adithya Aigal C, Varshanth Rao, Aneesh M Gangadhar)
  5. Vadyka (Founded by Abhishek Verma, Deepak Yadav, Khushil Agrawal)

The list of winners in the Online People’s Choice category includes a company selling eco-friendly jute bags, a bulk delivery system of vegetables to hostels and catering services and an on-campus printing solutions company. The startups which ‘wowed’ the judges includes an educational networking site, a windmill manufacturing company and a company which can take care of all your landscaping, gardening and interior decorating requirements.

The ten winners and the other shortlisted startups will get an opportunity to be mentored through the NEN mentoring platform for a period of one year. They will also get an invaluable chance to network with other student and established entrepreneurs, investors, experts, etc.

The two-day event also included interesting group discussions, where entrepreneurs and experts from various fields participated. This gave the over 600 strong students/student entrepreneurs a lot of insight into the world of starting up and they also got to hear about personal experiences of the speakers.