Wharton India Economic Forum is back with its annual startup challenge

India’s most innovative startups will be pitching to a panel of Indian VCs and entrepreneurs at the Wharton India Economic Forum 2022, one of the largest and most prestigious India-centric business conferences, to be held in Mumbai on January 8, 2022.

Do you think you have the next big startup idea? Are you trying to get some facetime with an investor? Are you ready to take your startup to the next level? Look no further, Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) is back with its highly anticipated, annual Wharton India Startup Challenge (WISC).

Since its inception in 1996, WIEF has become one of the most prestigious India-focused student run business conferences in the world. It brings together world leaders, professionals, academics and students from around the world to discuss India's evolution into a prominent global economic power; and ‘The Startup Challenge’ has become one of the most awaited elements of the conference.

Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam, Former US Secretary Henry Paulson, Chairman SBI Arundhati Bhattacharya, Minister of Road Transport & Highway Nitin Gadkari, and CEO of Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani and many other other prominent personalities have been past speakers at WIEF.

What’s up for grabs?

The Wharton Startup India Challenge is aimed at helping early stage Indian startups get mentorship and visibility from prominent Indian VCs. Top 10 teams selected from the applicant pool will pitch to a panel of Indian VCs and entrepreneurs for a total prize money of $20,000. The finalists will receive mentorship from VC associates before their final pitches, scheduled in person in Mumbai on 8th January 2022.

Much like last year when VCs from Sequoia, Accel, Lightspeed, and A91 Partners judged and networked with startups, VCs from the top firms are slated to judge WISC 2022.

WISC 2021 saw a record 500+ applicants from as many as 25 cities across the country, battling to win the whopping $20,000+ prize money. Past winners have gone on to raise over $85 million in funding from 20+ institutional investors.

Ketto, Credenc, Flintobox, Detect Technologies, Itilite, BabyChakra, Zostel, Eunimart, Ishitva, Invoid, MyPetrolPump, Kheyti, and Postergully are some of the startups that have been recognised in previous editions of WISC.

Things to know

Startups that want to participate can fill out application here. More details regarding the competition will be updated on the official website. The deadline for submitting the applications is December 7th, 2021.

WISC 2021 will be the ultimate platform for startups targeting the Indian market to showcase their ideas ​to leading investors ​and ​entrepreneurs​, and win exciting cash prizes.

The startup challenge will have two rounds, with 10 startups being selected in the first round based on the application materials and making it to the Pitch Day. These startups will receive mentorship from VC Associates for the final pitches. The top 10 will pitch live in the second round, before an audience of investors and conference attendees. The pitch will consist of a 3-minute presentation and a 7-minute Q&A session.


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