In its fifth edition, the annual contest aims at unearthing Indian startups with potential and provide them a gateway to North America.
The Next Big Idea competition seeks to discover India’s five most innovative tech startups, to provide them a platform to expand their reach to North America. The contest presents an opportunity for tech startups from India to tap into $19-trillion North American market. Each year, five hi-tech, hi-potential Indian startups are selected through an application-based process, and provided a gateway to North America, by soft-landing them at DMZ, North America's leading technology business incubator for a two-week market access programme. The contest winners get an opportunity to meet and network with local mentors, investors in Canada.
This year’s edition was launched in July 2017, with roadshows across 16 Indian cities and over 1,100 entrepreneurs participated in the roadshows, from ier-II cities like Jaipur, Vizag, Goa, Pune, Ahmedabad, Indore, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, and Hubballi.
The Next BIG Idea contest is an annual startup competition organised by Zone Startups India (ZSI) since 2013. ZSI is a joint venture between Toronto-based Ryerson Futures Inc., and the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute, in collaboration with the Government of Ontario, Canada, and IBM Global Entrepreneurship Program. The fifth edition of Next Big Idea 2017 contest is sponsored by Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, Global Affairs Canada, Provincial Governments of Ontario & British Columbia, and Invest Quebec.
Opportunities galore for entrepreneurs this year
This year , Zone Startups is celebrating the 'Spirit of Entrepreneurship' by introducing a new dimension to the contest ‘The Aditya Jha India Entrepreneur Award’. Under this category, for the next eight years, one Indian startup will be selected for a grant of Rs five akh and a one-year access to the accelerator programme at Zone Startups India, every year. The award is sponsored and instituted earlier this year by Aditya Jha, an Indo-Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist. This award will be over and above the five startups that get selected as winners.
The winner of the 'Aditya Jha Entrepreneur India Award' is Niranjan Subbarao, Co-founder of Cyclops MedTech, which offers BALANCE EYE, a wearable and clinical diagnostic product and solution using eye-tracking technology.
Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director, Zone Startups India added, “We are really excited at how the Next Big Idea contest has shaped up, since its launch in 2013. This year, we had roadshows across 16 cities and got 689 applications. Till date, 22 startups have been soft-landed and exposed to North American markets through the two weeks of fully-paid programme run by Zone Startups India.”
Located at the iconic BSE Tower in Mumbai, Zone Startups India is the only international and non-academic technology accelerator in India to be supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. Since its launch in February 2014, Zone Startups India has on-boarded over 120 startups, and offers them state-of-art infrastructure, mentorship, business development support, industry contacts, funding & investor access, and a gateway to international markets.
This year’s winners
The selection jury this year comprised of industry leaders from TCS, Capgemini, Accenture, Applyifi.com, Jubilant Life Sciences, Fullerton India, Mphasis & Nudge Foundation.