Ten Indian start-ups will pitch their ideas to top Indian entrepreneurs and venture capitalists at the Wharton India Startup Competition, part of Wharton India Economic Forum (WIFE), to be held in Mumbai tomorrow.
The pitch will consist of a five minute presentation and a 3 minute question and answer session. The competition is aimed at providing new-age companies a platform to showcase their idea.
The conference, to be held at Phoenix Mills in Mumbai, is being conducted for the first time in India to celebrate the 20th anniversary celebrations of WIFE.
The 10 finalists were chosen from over 750 applications from across industries, both for-profit and social ventures. A majority of the entries came from e-commerce, travel, consumer Internet and other sectors such as social, healthcare, not-for-profit and hardware.
The 10 companies that have entered the final list to get funding are Acuity, a visual web analytics firm; Art&Found – a marketplace for artists to sell their art for free; Greensole – refurbishes old discarded sports shoes and donates them to NGOs, schools, etc; IFreedom V2—an app that saves users’ internet data; Ketto—a crowdfunding platform for social and personal causes; Kheyti – greenhouse services; LoanMeet – a peer to peer lending marketplace that enables credit worthy borrowers; Pratilipi—Amazon’s kindle Direct Publishing for Indian languages; Trebene – an ethnic luxury label and FRS Lab Research Systems – helps in cutting down on fraud losses.
WIFE is an annual student-run India-focused conference hosted by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Start-ups led by e-commerce players such as Flipkart, Snapdeal and Ola, among others, have seen a whopping over $8 billion investment, mostly from foreign PEs.
Some of the key speakers include Kirthiga Reddy, MD, Facebook India and Sandeep Murthy, partner, Lightbox.
The day-long event will have four sessions: The current state of entrepreneurship in India—a discussion with Sasha Mirchandani, Managing Director and Founder of Kae Capital; and Ronnie Screwvala, Founder UTV; The Entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist Relationship, a discussion with Neeraj Kakkar, CEO, Hector Beverages and VT Bharadwaj, MD and Partner Sequoia Capital India; Successful M&A Exits: A panel discussion with Aprameya Radhakrishnan, Founder-TaxiForSure and Siddharth Shah, Partner-Khaitan and Co, moderated by Nitin Sharma; Wealth Creation and Social Impact, a keynote talk by Harsh Mariwala, Chairman, Marico Ltd.
With over 3,000 technology start-ups, mostly based in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi-NCR and Pune, the country is the fourth-largest base for young businesses in the world. By 2020, it's expected to be the largest start-up market with over 11,500 players.
The event is unique because it brings together industry leaders, investors, government leaders and Wharton professors on a single platform to discuss the challenges facing the economy and small businesses.
The Wharton School is organising a second event, be an annual full-day conference in Philadelphia, scheduled for March 25, 2016.