Contest of business ideas in Calcutta

A team member presents a business pitch.

A team member presents a business pitch.Picture by Sanat Kr Sinha

Students who want to take their business ideas to the next level pitched their plans in front of a jury of investors at an auditorium on Saturday.

Care for senior citizens, food for students who live as paying guests, app cabs driven by and for women and a crèche for pets were some of the ideas that grabbed eyeballs.

UPRENEUR 2020, organised by Calcutta Business School and Calcutta Management Association, saw 19 teams from B-schools and colleges across Calcutta battle it out at Rotary Sadan from morning to evening.

The winning team, from Calcutta Business School, got a cash prize of Rs 30,000. Their idea: a doorstep laundry service with emphasis on eco-friendliness and guaranteed on-time delivery.

One factor was common in all the pitches — the key role of technology.

“The digital era offers young minds an opportunity to become entrepreneurs at almost zero cost,” said Tamal Datta Chaudhuri, the dean of Calcutta Business School. Datta Chaudhuri said the economic uncertainty in the country had affected the students’ minds. “The enthusiasm of students reflects the economic slump and uncertainty. The students don’t want to depend on a job. They want to be on their own and create jobs,” said Chaudhuri.

The first and second runners-up got Rs 20,000 and Rs 10,000, respectively. The first runner-up, from the Army Institute of Management, pitched a two-in-one farming method that would yield vegetables and fish. Their USP: the process is suited for small-scale and budget-friendly domestic use.

A team from the Bengal Institute of Business Studies, which pitched a crèche for pets, came third. The facility will also provide customised grooming for furry friends.

The teams were filtered through three rounds. The first round centred on the “what and why” of the project. The second focussed on the planning and execution and the third on the project viability.


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