The winners of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2017-18 (TSEC), a joint initiative of the Tata group and Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC), were announced during the grand finale held on January 6, 2018, at the IIM Calcutta campus. The challenge endeavours to find India’s most promising early-stage social enterprises, and create an ecosystem for social entrepreneurship – encouraging sustainable, scalable and measurable social impact.
The Elbow Engineers from Chennai (Winner), Chakr Innovation from New Delhi (1st Runners-up) and JK Nanosolutions from Bangaluru (2nd Runners-up) emerged as the top three most promising social ventures, winning prize money of Rs. 2.5 lakhs, Rs. 2 lakhs and Rs. 1.50 lakhs, respectively.
• Mentorship: The top 20 teams were selected for semi-finals and provided mentorship support for two weeks
• Funding Opportunity: All teams shortlisted for the semi-finals and finals get an opportunity to pitch to India’s largest social VCs for seed funding.
• Incubation: The top 20 teams will get an opportunity to pitch for incubation at IIM Calcutta.
• Cash Award: Total prize money of ₹6 lakh for the top three teams. The semi-finalists received travel grants.
Apart from the top 3 winning ventures, the 7 ventures that have made it to the top 10 finalists are, Bombay Bijlee, Villamart, Cerelia Nutritech, Manuring It!, Nanobios lab, IIT Bombay, Resnova Technologies and Sonant Technologies. The ventures were judged on three parameters – Business Model, Social Impact and Sustainability
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Ashok Banerjee, Director, IIM Calcutta Innovation Park said, “Over the last six years, Tata Social Enterprise Challenge has encouraged many budding entrepreneurs to grow with a vision and create positive sustainable social impact. We are pleased with the quality of talent and the enthusiasm of entrepreneurs who have dreams to make a difference to the society to which they belong.”
Mr. Sandeep Kumar, Managing Director, Tata Metaliks, felicitated the winners and said, “Listening to and meeting the finalists of Tata Social Enterprise Challenge was an enriching and inspiring experience.”
The key speakers for the event were Dr. Urvashi Sahani (founder of Study Hall Educational Foundation and honoured with India Social Entrepreneur of the year 2017) and Neichute Doulo CEO, Entrepreneurs Associate honoured with ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2016’)
The Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2017-18 received over 500 proposals from across India, of which 205 met the eligibility criteria and qualified for the next round of the competition. These proposals covered several different areas such as agriculture; food and dairy; healthcare; water and sanitation; technology and development; education and skills development; housing; handicrafts; energy; and micro finance, among others.