In alignment with the Government of India’s “Startup India” initiative and driven by the objective of promoting inclusive socio-economic development in India driven by innovation and entrepreneurship, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP), which focuses on nurturing innovative start-ups across India, announced on 21st September 2017 its major international initiative ‘Smart Fifty – 50 Solutions to Transform India’. This initiative was conceptualised and designed in association with the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Government of India and was aimed at identifying, recognizing and rewarding aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs from various sectors who have come up with innovative solutions which can transform India. It urged participants to present solutions that are SMART (Sustainable, Motivating, Affordable, Responsible and Transformative). The platform was also envisaged for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators so as to facilitate their success through ongoing strategic networking, seed funding and mentoring support.
Smart Fifty prioritized the following focus areas: Smart Agriculture, Smart Learning, Smart Money, Smart Sustainability, Smart Living and Smart Health.
Rewards, Recognition and Incentives
- Top 3000 Start-Ups – Certificate of Recognition from IIMCIP, along with an opportunity to attend a Special Interactive Learning Session with an Esteemed Panel of Start-up Experts and Renowned Entrepreneurs and a Start-up Kit with benefits worth INR 50,000 each.
- Top 400 Start-Ups – Besides the benefits mentioned above, they got the opportunity to Pitch at the Regional & International Rounds in front of an Eminent Jury of Start-Up & Funding Experts, along with a Start-Up Kit with benefits worth INR 1 Lakh each.
- Top 50 Start-Ups – the ‘Smart Fifty’ – Apart from all of the above, they got an opportunity to attend a 5-day Boot camp at IIM Calcutta, a Start-Up Grant worth INR 4 Lakhs each, Mentorship Support from IIMCIP and showcasing on NDTV 24×7 Smart Fifty Series National TV Show.
- Top 10 Start-Ups – In addition to all of the above, funding up to INR 1 Crore each, assured incubation opportunity at IIMCIP.
Highlights of Smart Fifty
- Smart Fifty Outreach and Promotion Events were held in 7 cities of India, and also in 2 international locations – Singapore and Boston, USA – in partnership with TiE Singapore and TiE Boston.
- Smart Fifty received the benefit of Extensive Television Promotion, with close to 61,000 seconds of airtime promotions on NDTV Network and partner channels and reached out to over 1 million people through Social Media.
- Smart Fifty got over 13,000 registrations, making it India’s Largest Start-Up Contest till date.
- More than 2,100 start ups attended the Regional Round and panel discussions in 4 cities- Kolkata, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi.
- 367 teams pitched during four Smart Fifty Regional Jury Rounds.
- The Smart Fifty Boot Camp at IIM Calcutta was attended by the Top 50 teams along with over 24 Mentors, Investors and Jury Members.
- The Top 10 Smart Fifty teams pitched their innovative solutions to transform India at the Grand Finale Program in the NDTV studio in Delhi in front of an eminent jury and renowned expert panelists, moderated by the famous anchor – Vikram Chandra.
8 episodes of Smart Fifty were telecast on NDTV 24×7, making it perhaps India’s first-ever Start-Up Contest telecast over multiple episodes on a National News TV Network.
Smart Fifty Grand Finale
The Smart Fifty Grand Finale, held on 25th March 2018, had Mr Amitabh Kant, IAS – CEO, NITI Aayog as the Chief Guest. Here, the Top 10 teams pitched their ideas to an esteemed panel of Judges which included Ajit Balakrishnan – Founder, Chairman& CEO, Rediff.com, Padmaja Ruparel – Co-founder, Indian Angel Network, Debjani Ghosh – NASSCOM President, Gopal Srinivasan – Chairman & Managing Director, TVS Capital Funds & Shyam Srinivasan – CEO & MD, Federal Bank. The judges then selected the winners of Smart Fifty:
- Most Inspirational Solution category: Extra Carbon
- Most Innovative Solution category: Takachar,
- Most Impactful Solution category: Sukriti