Innovation and enterprising are the wheels that steer the world into a brighter future. The world economy will tumble upon itself if new innovations are not reaped every day. Great ideas result into great undertakings which pave the way for glaring success. It is easier said than done because the process of realizing an idea needs a deep understanding of the world around, and an innate preparedness to cope with failures - an inevitable part of enterprising. In order to facilitate this vision of promoting entrepreneurship in India and the world, E-Cell organizes Eureka!, an international business plan competition.
Eureka! provides a platform for potential ideas and early stage start-ups to evaluate their plan in the risk-free environment of a competition. It aims to bridge the gap between ideas and the realization of an enterprise. Eureka! has been independently recognized as Asia’s largest Business Plan Competition by CNN and Thomson Reuters. Support from organisations like Mumbai Angels, IAN and TiE makes Eureka! a networking hub for entrepreneurs, mentors and investors.
What makes us unique ?
Writing a business plan is an essential activity for startups and people looking to startup because it helps them analyze their own business from various angles, organize it, seek funding and hire new people. We recognize this need and have structured the competition to suit to the educational needs of the participants. The competition goes on for 5 months (September-January). During this period, participants receive extensive mentoring, which enables them to refine their b-plan multiple times during the competition cycle. Some of our past mentors and judges include Satish Kataria( M.D., SpringBoard Ventures), V.S.S. Mani (Founder of Justdial), Paul Basil (Founder & CEO, Villgro), Sasha Mirchandani (Co-Founder, Mumbai Angels)
The competition is structured to promote both business as well as social innovation which is why 2 parallel tracks have been instated:
- Eureka! Business
- Eureka! Social
Eureka! Social, into its second year, is an initiative taken with a vision to foster innovative technology and business models aiming to add value to the people at the bottom of the pyramid and/or help build a greener tomorrow. It has been extensively supported by renowned social organizations such as The National Social Entrepreneurship Forum (NSEF) and Dasra, and will run as a parallel track to Eureka! Business.
A glance at the incentives of Eureka! 2012:
- Prizes worth over INR 4 million.
- All-expense-paid trips to the E-Bootcamp organized by BASES, Stanford University.
- A chance to pitch your plan in front of leading angel investors, venture capitalists and industrialists from reputed firms like Mumbai Angels, TiE, India Nivesh, GrowVC among others.
- An opportunity to be mentored by seasoned entrepreneurs, experienced industry professionals and faculty.
- Networking opportunities with potential partners, freelancers, investors and world class entrepreneurs.
- Assured office space and consultancy services: financial, legal, HR, PR and IP.
- Incubation opportunities offered by The Morpheus.
- Content rich feedback on the business model from world class entrepreneurs, investors, and professional service providers on our judging panel.
For more information visit Incentives.
Winner (Founder, Gama Entertainment), Eureka! 2007
"I believe that the Eureka! team did a really good job of connecting the right mentors to the teams. Since we were a gaming start-up, the Eureka! team connected us to the legends of the gaming industry in India. This was great because these mentors understood the industry inside out and they helped us broaden our horizons."
Winner (Co-founder, EduEdge), Eureka! 2011
"The mentor provided to us by E-Cell, IIT-B took genuine interest in our start-up and we are happy to now have him as a mentor for life. Eureka! opened many gates for us, we have received an offer for VC funding from a renowned investor and participating in the E-Bootcamp by BASES gave us exposure to a lot of opportunities that exist in the Bay Area for growing start-ups - something that we might explore at a later stage. Winning Eureka! has given us the credibility that every start-up takes 2-3 years to establish. We are glad to have participated and truly cherish the experience."
Presently in its 14th edition, Eureka! has acted as a launchpad for more than 40 successful
start-ups, some of which have gone on to become multi-million dollar enterprises.
Winners of Eureka! 2002, TheraNova is a biomedical device company. In addition to receiving seed funding for several internal projects, it has spun out several
Baranova, NovaShunt, Velomedix and EM Kinetics have managed to raise Series B funding of $7.5 million, $25 million, $10.2 million and $2.8 million, respectively. A few other products have been filed for patents. For more information about funding visit the links below.
EM Kinetics: bit.ly/U3wtBC
Gama Entertainment Systems
Winners of Eureka! 2007, they received funding of INR 50,00,000 during the Eureka! Finals and since then have had three very successful products namely:
- Mymage: A very novel photo booth product in partnership with Sega, Japan as well as Licenses from Disney and UTV
- High 5: First ever machine to combine Prize Vending & Ticket Redemption
- Cricket 20-20: India's first 20-20 gaming machine
Winners of Eureka! 2001, eInfinitus Technologies is a research oriented routing technology venture, founded by the alumnus of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of IIT Bombay, India. It received INR 15 million in their first round of funding from Sicom Ventures and was later bought by Cisco Systems in a deal reported to be in the range of a whopping INR 2,50,00,00,000 or $50 million. For more information go to http://www.einfinitus.com/News/news8.htm
Winners of Eureka! 2003, today Whizlabs is a global leader in Java Certification Exam preparation. It has served over 50,000 customers and 20,00,000 users in over 120 countries with a 99.7% success rate and has also served corporate customers like Accenture, JP Morgan, IBM, Cisco, Infosys, Bunge, Induslogic, Nucleus software, Coface.
MakeSense is a venture by a group of IITians, which caters to the high-skilled recruitment needs of companies, by acting as a job platform for alumni from IITs, IIMs and all other top Indian Management and Technology universities. Currently, it is also developing a next generation recruitment framework to leverage the power of technology and collaboration towards a smoother and better hiring experience.
Buzzworks Software is BBSPL's latest offing to the mobile computing world. The software offers a voice-generated search that makes searching information on mobiles faster, simpler and precise. Buzzworks mobile software technology enables consumers to access information using voice as the medium of search. It has successfully pivoted by dumping the original idea, which was voice-based search and taken a subset of that software and turned it around as a call centre solution for small and medium businesses. The company has invested Rs 10 lakh in the original idea and another Rs 20 lakh in the new one.
Eureka! 2002 finalists, Phonologies is a provider of cloud based platforms to 'voice enable' business processes by cost effectively deploying web telephony, collaboration, unified communications, speech IVR and other types of applications within the social media, contact center and other enterprise domains. Oktopus which is its flagship product, powers over 5 Million calls worldwide each day.
PowaiLabs Techsoft Pvt Ltd
PowaiLabs is developing products in the area of FPGA-based hardware accelerators for Verilog and VHDL logic Simulation. It has developed proprietary algorithms for optimal mapping of hardware logic in Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs).
Trans Online Systems Private Limited (TOSPL)
Trans Online Systems Private Limited (TOSPL) is a software service company based in Madhya Pradesh, India which focuses on software development, online information providing, E-Tendering/Procurement and Portal Management. It has developed a fully secure and IT ACT 2000 compliant end-to-end web based tendering and auction solution with unique features.
Eureka! 2011 entries from India
A new track was instated in Eureka! 2011 – Eureka! Social with a vision to foster innovative technology and business models aiming to improve the lives of the people at the bottom of the pyramid and/or help build a greener tomorrow. It was extensively supported by global social organizations such as UnLtd India, Villgro and Grameen Creative Lab.
The total prize money offered was INR 2.4 million.
Winners were given an opportunity to participate in the final round at the Dell Social Innovation Challenge and were also given direct entry and an all-expense-paid trip to
E-Bootcamp, conducted by BASES at Stanford University.
Two special awards - Technology and Sustainable Development (INR 3 Lakhs) and Best IIT Bombay entry (INR 1.5 Lakhs in totalilty) were also presented.
Eureka! 2011 saw a participation of 3600 teams (the highest for Eureka! to date), which included over 50 entries from countries apart from India too.
Pingtech and Eduedge
Ping Tech is a broadcast services and creative design firm offering real-time support to networks, media companies & design houses around the world. PING integrates with the customer’s broadcast operations anywhere in the world and executes mission-critical motion graphics and promotions. It specializes in providing day-to-day solutions for the network’s daily creative requirements, thus allowing the customer to use his/her best assets more efficiently. PING utilizes India's competitive advantages in information technology and affordable skills to deliver products and services in real time, globally.
Education Edge Initiatives is an educational-sector based company addressing the needs of India’s progressive students from tier-II cities in the age group of 11 to 17 years. Their existing and future products and offerings are targeted at three major developmental areas of students: Personality development, academic needs and college and career related avenues.
Their pilot offerings include:
- A monthly magazine for school students whose content is sourced from students and professors of top global universities like IIT’s, MIT, Harvard, Stanford, AIIMS and other subject matter experts.
- A host of events like quizzes, literary and performing arts competitions and personality development workshops to provide students the same level of exposure in Tier I cities.
Greenway Grameen Infra
Greenway Grameen Infra develops innovative solutions for rural consumers based on unique heat transfer technology. Its products enable the consumer to utilize biomass, which is an easily available and potentially sustainable resource, more effectively and conveniently. By providing expertly designed, user-desirable products to rural consumers, they seek to mitigate many of the social and environmental problems that people face today.
Aakar Innovations is a venture for commercializing grassroots innovations and traditional community knowledge. Aakar provides early as well as growth phase support to the innovators, Self Help Groups, Non-Governmental Organisations and local communities so that their ideas are empowered into businesses, generating economic values for the bottom of our economic pyramid. Aakar is supported by a host of leading development organizations such as National Innovation Foundation(NIF), Department of Science and Technology of Government of India(DST) etc.
Winner of Technology and Sustainable Development Award
Ecozen Solutions Pvt Ltd
Ecozen Solutions is a start up of IIT Kharagpur graduates focused at providing energy and environment solutions to businesses in India. It was started in Sep’09 with a motive to create awareness against poor energy management practices, to drive sustainability in the burgeoning Indian market, and elevate the Indian industry to the standards and expectations of a developed nation in the new era.
Best IIT Bombay entry
Mrittika Industry is a start-up by IIT Bombay students that plans to provide high quality red oxide clay to its clients, difference lying in the production method and the basic yellow raw material being used. It thus, aims to provide solutions to the constantly depleting resources of red oxide to meet today’s demand of ferric oxide by manufacturing it from widely available ferrous oxide.
To visit last year's Website, click here.
When Eureka! was first launched in 1999 , “entrepreneurship” was a word probably sounded like something out of a Mastermind India Trivia Quiz. Over the past decade, the situation has undergone a sea change, so much so, that today more and more people are starting up instead of opting for corporate jobs.
Growth over the years
Sectorwise Registrations over the years
Eureka! started with a workshop “Enterprise”, as a part of Techfest 1999, which introduced an average IITian to the world of start-ups. The success of this event led to a formal platform where teams could bring their plans for evaluation by an experienced panel of venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and industry veterans. Thus, Eureka! came into existence in 1999 with 50 teams competing in its first edition.
Eureka!, in its second edition, was a bigger success than its predecessor in terms of its gaining cooperation from international organizations like TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) and world renowned personalities like Kanwal Rekhi. The number of teams entering then grew over a hundred.
The competition saw its first achievement when the winner of the competition myzus.com went on to get funding and was valued over six million dollars later in 2002.
Eureka!, after three years of its launch, became a huge success with 300 participants from around 50 colleges across the country. It came to be recognized as one of the biggest competition of its kind in Asia by CNN. It was for the first time that Eureka! offered one year of free incubation to the winning teams by IndiaCo in Pune and from The Enterprise Network, Silicon Valley.
The winner of the competition - eInfinitus (a team comprising of IIT Bombay students) later set up a company which was valued at over $45 million and acquired by CISCO.
Into its fourth year, Eureka! had served as a launch pad to many great ideas, all across the country. It was for the first time that Eureka! 2002 went international, inviting entries from all over the world and became an international business plan competition. For the second successive year, it awarded free Incubation for one year at Silicon valley and IndiaCo at Pune (depending on the team's choice) to the winning team.
Till its 5th year Eureka! had already lent impetus to many budding entrepreneurs who had shown great business potential and made available to them, services like free Incubation, free Quality testing, free Web services, free accounting services, free legal consultancy, etc. In this edition, teams got a chance to get Incubation for one year at IIC-SIDBI at IIT Kanpur and an automatic advancement to the finals of StartUp@Asia Business Plan Competition, its first ever tie-up with an international competition and the chance to pitch in front of VCs and corporates all over the globe.
The competition had already become a tried and tested launch-pad for startups. It needed something that could give the participants a chance to discuss and learn from the leading industry experts of the respective fields. Keeping this in mind, a nationwide mentoring program was initiated materializing into the ‘Mentors Meet’ in 2004. The participants were provided insights into various aspects of framing a saleable Business Plan from Venture Capitalists and experts from various sectors.
Eureka! had gradually started gaining name all over the world. It received entries from all across India and even countries like U.S. . Eureka!06 winners received invitations to other prestigious competitions such as that of Singapore's "Global Entropolis".
This was a year of unique achievement for Eureka! as the winner, Gama Entertainment Systems, while giving its final presentation in front of the judges received funding on the spot for $1.25million from one of the judges Mr Vishal Gondal, founder of Indiagames.com. (http://www.gamaentertainment.com)
The 2009 edition saw more than 1850 entries and offered prizes worth over INR 2.1 million. The winner, Oorja (from IIT Kharagpur) planned to manufacture the indigenous Lithium-ion batteries based on an entirely novel cathode synthesis technique and aimed to strike a chord among the common masses with its low cost and high efficiency, without being an environmental hazard. The second prize was won by Team Unicom which formed a breakthrough product called WIBANDTM, world's only single chip tunable frequency power amplifier module for cell-phones which aimed to revolutionize the $1.5Bn Power Amplifier Module (PAM) market.
In the 12th edition of its existence, Eureka! had grown from providing total prize money of INR 2 lakhs in 2001 to INR 21 Lakhs in 2010. Applications increased by more than 10 percent over the last year and it maintained the position of being Asia’s largest Business Plan competition. For the first time, top 50 shortlisted teams were provided with free financial and legal consultancy by firms like Sand Hill Counsel, Nishith Desai Associates and India Nivesh. The winners of Eureka! 2010 also received free financial and legal consultancy even after the competition was over which helped them setting up their own company and sorting out all the legal issues. One new prize for the best entry in Technology and Sustainable Development was introduced.
Eureka! 2011 witnessed a new track – Eureka! Social with a vision to foster innovative technology and business models aiming to improve the lives of the people at the bottom of the pyramid and/or help build a greener tomorrow. It was extensively supported by global social organizations such as UnLtd India, Villgro and Grameen Creative Lab. Winners were given an opportunity to be a part of the final round at the Dell Social Innovation Challenge. The winners were also given direct entry and an all expense paid trip to E-Bootcamp, conducted by BASES at Stanford University. One new award - Best IIT Bombay entry was offered.
Greenway Grameen Infra
Technology and Sustainable Development Award Winner
Ecozen Solutions Ltd.
Best IIT-B Bombay Entry
No Paper Forms
ArrayShield Technologies Private Limited
Fermentech Biologics / NutriBran
Technology and Sustainable Development Award Winner
Nessa Illumination Technologies
GaMa Entertainment Systems
Photon Wave Technologies
Innovations Unified Technologies
Rexcorp nanotechnology Inc
Accessory Design Company
Xcentric IIM B
Embedded Robotic Technology - Incubated at KReSIT, IIT Bombay
(shared by) SAGAS Infotech & Medichip
(shared by) Syn Photonic Microsystems,e-Infinitus & En-Tell