“ Why join the navy when you can be a pirate?” So said one of the most innovative entrepreneur the world has ever seen, the co- founder of the renowned Apple Inc., Steve Jobs.
In the past couple of years, the wave of entrepreneurship has set in many parts of the nation. More students are showing the audacity to venture out with new innovative ideas and develop them. They prefer to be Job Providers rather than Job Seekers. However, many a times, the brilliant ideas of many youth remain unvoiced owing to the lack of a platform to put forth the ideas or funds to go ahead with their idea.
Our endeavor was to reach out out to the aspiring entrepreneurs and to give them a platform to put forth some of the brilliant thoughts in their young and vibrant minds. The aim was to provide the participants a good exposure, to hone their ideas and get advice from top notch experts.
The event, BPlanned, was an All Kerala Technical Business Plan Competition that was organised in close association with StartUp Village, a technology business incubator in Kochi that is funded by both the private and the public sector. The event , which saw an overwhelming participation from across the State, was held in two phases.
PHASE 1 : Abstract Submission
The applicants were asked to submit an abstract of their business idea in not more than 500 words. They were to give a brief write up regarding the business canvas model of their idea.
It saw an overwhelming response from students. From the 40+ responses we received, top five were chosen to proceed to the next on-site round. The selection process was done by George Paul, Vice President of StartUp Village, Kochi along with Tom Thomas, project manager, Energy Open Innovation Zone at Startup Village.
Phase 2 : Idea Presentation
The finalist teams had to prepare a detailed polished business plan. The teams were asked to prepare a 20 minute presentation on the business plan for their product .This was followed by a Q&A session where the expert jury and the other contestants and audience would question the various aspects of their model. The criterion the judges looked out for mainly included 1) Quality of the idea 2) Clarity and Persuasiveness of the Oral presentation 3)Practicality of idea 4) Innovation etc to mention a few.
The expert jury consisted of
1)Tanish Thakker, Manager of Strategic Alliances, StartUp Village : Tanish has been a part of the Startup Village team for about 6 Months, prior to which he lived in the USA for four years and then moved to England (UK) where he graduated from the University of Northampton as a Business Studies graduate. He is now working with Startup Village as the Manager of Strategic Alliances where he focuses on building relations with all the stakeholders involved with Startup Village.
2)Prof. K.G. Satheesh Kumar, Dean, Academics , Asian School of Business : Prof. K.G. Satheesh Kumar has over 28 years of industry experience including as CEO of Techno park, Trivandrum (1997- 2000); the CEO, Specialized Global (India) Pvt. Ltd (2000-2001); and Management Consultant, VMA Consultants Pvt Ltd., Trivandrum (2001-2007). He has a B.Tech degree and an MBA from the University of Kerala. He is currently doing his Ph.D at Amrita University. He is a Visiting Professor at Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Kozhikode. He was the National Secretary (2007 and 2008), IEEE India Council
3)Prof. Chandramohan, Director of MBA, School of Mangement, CET:
- Director at Cooperative Institute of Management and Technology (CIMAT), Trivandrum
- Executive Director at MVS Software Consulting Inc
- Director at Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel studies
- Deputy Chief Project Coordinator at NATPAC
The winners of the event were Deepak Venkateswaran and Jimmy Jose from CET.