i2I 2008 is being held in partnership with the Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), National Entrepreneurship network (NEN), and Seedfund, taking the original competition to a different league of its own in terms of scale, scope and seriousness. In its new avatar, i2I has divested off its potentially ‘academic character’ by moving away from traditional ‘business-plan competitions’ which end up reducing to essay competitions with the rush for the cash prizes and no inclination to really start up.
Seedfund, the investing partner, has funded Redbus, Printo and Carwale among others. According to Anand Lunia of Seedfund, even start up plans that are right now only on paper stand a chance to get funded, so people in jobs thinking of leaving to start-up as well as students seriously looking at starting up right after education can take this as a serious opportunity.
The National Entrepreneurship Network, with its prominent presence across 282 member institutes across the nation and relationships with corporate leaders, has contributed significantly in generating wide awareness of this nonpareil event as well as providing access to jury, mentors and other experts for the contest. According to Laura Parkin, the Executive Director at NEN/Wadhwani foundation, “NEN is delighted to partner with IIM Calcutta for i2I, one of the leading business plan competitions in India. This year, there is a new level of excitement to i2I. By offering winners the chance to receive investment funds, IIM Calcutta has taken business plan competitions out of the classroom and into the real world, thereby creating a valuable platform for new entrepreneurs. NEN is delighted to be supporting this unique initiative alongside TiE and Seedfund.”
The finale is part of a 2 day entrepreneurial conference and TiEger Awards ceremony held by the TiE Kolkata. The TiEger Cub awards seek to recognize young aspiring entrepreneurs from the Bengal region towards improving the entrepreneurial culture in Bengal. In another unique dimension to the event, E-cell is working with an online television, thebig.tv to run an online contest. Alankar Jain,the person behind Business Baazigar, now running theBig.tv plans to create an online reality show where participants can upload self made videos about their business concepts and if selected, they would pitch directly to investors at the second round of i2I’08.
The event will see several luminaries attending such as
Mr. Shashi Tharoor, former Under Secretary General – United Nations,
Mr. Arjun Malhotra, Co-founder – HCL & CEO – Headstrong,
Mr. K V Kamath, Managing Director & CEO – ICICI Bank,
Ms. Laura Parkin, Executive Director – NEN & Wadhwani Foundation,
Mr. R Ramraj, Advisor – Sequoia Capital,
Mr. Bikram Dasgupta, Chairman & CEO – Globsyn Group,
Mr. Rajeev Karwal, Founder & CEO – Milagrow Business & Knowledge Solutions, Mr. Raj Gollamudi, Co founder – Bluestream Ventures,
Mr. Rajesh Jog, CEO – vJive Networks,
Mr. Vinayak Chaterjee, Chairman – Feedback Ventures,
Mr. Sanjeev Bhikchandani, CEO – Naukri.com,
Ms Vandana Luthra, VLCC
i2I strives to promote plans backed by serious & dedicated teams, which hold the potential to catapult themselves with financial and intellectual support provided by IIMC.
For more details, about the competition log on to http://www.iimcal.ac.in/i2i/home.htm .