Business Plan competitions in colleges usually end with the winners celebrating with the prize money and posting a few pictures on Facebook. Not completely their fault, that is how business plan competitions are looked at by colleges themselves and students are not really expected to continue with the ventures once the competition is over. But with the mindsets changing, these BPlans are converting into operational startups.
And at the forefront of this wave is BITS Pilani. Along with the IIT's and IIM's that are churning out more startups, BITS Pilani now has a heritage of startups and a strong alumni network, all putting in money to encourage entrepreneurship within the college. Conquest is their flagship event, with which their aim is to make it a top entrepreneurship event in Asia.
Claims made at the beginning find validation in the fact that all the 10 bplans from Conquest 2012 are registered ventures. PosterGully from the 2012 is being incubated by The Hatch now, and the 2011 runner up, Ghar Pay went on to raise funds from Sequoia Capital. Other startups produced by Conquest include Mobile Medics (acquired by Piramal Healthcare in 2008), iViz Security (raised $2.5 million funding in 2008, one of NASSCOM’s 'Top 4 Emerging Product Companies' & a big name in security solutions today) and NewDigmHealthcare (Funded by various govt. schemes to carry out low cost healthcare projects in Tamil Nadu).
This year's edition has INR 3 lakh in equity-less seed money and INR 1 crore worth of incubation opportunities for participating companies. Apart from this, there is a resource pool coming in from companies like ScaleArc, Foradian, FreshDesk and the likes which will be available to 5 selected companies.
An international startup competition, any startup registered after January 2011 can apply for Conquest 2013. The registrations are open till March 31st. The process:
Companies apply online -> 50 teams are shortlisted -> Personal mentoring sessions organized for these startups in 6 cities ->Top 10 are selected to pitch at the Grand Finale scheduled for August 19th, 2013 -> 5 companies get incubated.
More details on the Conquest website.
Stay tuned for more updates about Conquest 2013 on StudentStory.in