A futuristic urban agriculture specialist with a focus on soil-less farming, a realty enterprise that offers a virtual walkthrough of your house before it’s built, and a company offering remotely operated vehicles to aid in underwater inspection of industrial structures... these were just some of the brilliant business ideas that came to the fore at the pitching round of the Tech Rocketship Awards 2016. The initiative of the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) is aimed at identifying India’s top young entrepreneurs and providing them with expert business advice and support to help them go global by investing in the UK.
The nine entrepreneurs that participated in the Chennai leg of the event were Daniel Raj David, DeTect Technologies; Sriram Gopal, Future Farms; Tanuj Jhunjhunwala, Planys Technologies Pvt Ltd; Harit Soni, Ecolibrium Energy; Bala Bhaskar, Genius Edu Labs Pvt Ltd; Paul Alex, Hound Electric; Vaishali Neotia, Merxius Software; Arun Thomas, Green India Building Systems & Services Pvt Ltd (GIBSS); and Sneha Priya, SP Robotic Works Pvt Ltd. In keeping with the disruptive nature of entrepreneurs, the event was held at a discotheque in the city, on a Friday morning, no less. The entrepreneurs had all of six minutes to pitch their business ideas to an expert panel of judges, who would then proceed to grill the presenters in a four-minute Q&A session. This year’s entrepreneurial initiative was launched by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Speaking about how the Tech Rocketship Award could open up new doors of opportunity for Indian entrepreneurs, both in the UK, and globally, Bharat Joshi, the Deputy British High Commissioner says, “The UK is third in the Global Innovation Index and boasts the world’s most diverse startup ecosystem. Startup formation in the UK increased by 4.6% last year with 6,08,100 new businesses started in 2015. Our aim is to identify the next generation of the top 10 cutting-edge entrepreneurs from about 600-odd applications we received from across four cities this year. It’s about companies who already have the potential to go global and trying to get them there a little faster by providing them with an opportunity to grow their business out of UK.”
The panel of judges in Chennai included Sameer Mehta, Angel Investor & Director, Dr Mehta’s Hospitals; Alpesh Patel, DIT India Dealmaker, Global Entrepreneur Programme and Padma Chandrasekaran, Angel Investor. The final 10 winners will be announced at the India-UK TECH Summit in New Delhi, in November 2016.