For these young innovators, it’s Eureka at IIT-B
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What started as an idea to focus on converting waste to energy by team 'Enviro', comprising three students from IIT Bombay, is now taking the shape of a venture, one that was adjudged the "best entry from IIT Bombay" at Eureka, the institute's annual international business plan competition.
"There are waste tyres which end up at landfills. We are now planning to start a venture called 'sweep', which will focus on these waste tyres. We plan to convert the tyres to oil that can be used by industries to heat systems. Our concept is based on solid waste to energy to environment protection. We are seeking funds and Eureka gave us a platform to network with venture capitalists. It has given our plans a major fillip," said Rohit Kumar, a second year M Tech student from IIT Bombay. The team won a cash prize of Rs 75,000 and will get an entry to the finals of 'E-Bootcamp' organised by BASES (Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students), Stanford University.
This year, top 25 teams battled it out at Eureka finals, held during "Entrepreneurship Summit" on Sunday, organised by the Entrepreneurship Cell of IIT Bombay.
With a prize of Rs 40 lakh, the event had 5,150 registrations from budding entrepreneurs, up from around 3,500 in 2011. The competition has helped churn out at least 40 successful start-ups. Like the previous years, Eureka 2012 had parallel tracks, "Eureka business", "Eureka social", "best entry from IIT Bombay", "technology and sustainable development award" and "Eureka youth award (for college students and recent graduates)".
Bihar-based 'Agrevolution', which aims at maximising profit per unit area for a farmer, won the best entry in Eureka social. "We have created a network of farmers and buyers, where we gauge market demand and advise farmers on production accordingly. Based on selected crops, quality seeds are procured from manufacturers and provided at a cheaper rate than local retailers. After harvesting, the produce is sold directly in bigger markets," said Shashank Kumar.