Raising capital for start-ups can be very tricky and time consuming. Investors expect to see business plans, presentations and several rounds of meetings before entrepreneurs acquire the desired amount of capital. Entrepreneurs must be willing to take time away from their business and invest considerable amount of time for meetings with investors. Even if investors reject your proposal, your proposal can be considered at a later time by the same investors if your business fits into their requirements at a later time.
Another way of getting attention from investors is business plan competitions. Business plan competitions can put you up there in front of investors. It is a great networking opportunity and entrepreneurs should make use of this opportunity if a business plan competition is held in their city. Let’s take a look at some of the business plan competitions held around India. Not all these business plan competitions are held annually but some of these competitions are annual events.
Next Big Idea
Next Big Idea is a business plan competition sponsored by DST (Department of science and technology, Government of India), Intel and NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore. Participants get an opportunity to earn Rs 5 million in seed capital from NSRCEL and gain valuable mentoring from a panel of experts for free.
Their shortlisting procedure involves choosing 40 teams who will be displayed on the Next Big Idea website. These 40 teams will be invited for a 10 day intensive seminar where they will have an opportunity to revise their business plans. Out of these 40 teams, 10 teams are shortlisted. These 10 teams go through a further revision of their business plans and 3 teams are shortlisted to present their plans at the Intel – University of California, Berkeley Technology Entrepreneurship Challenge 2012.
Eureka by IIT Bombay
Eureka is a business plan competition that has a prize money of up to Rs 2.4 million. It is part of the entrepreneurship cell at IIT Bombay. This competition has been held for the last 13 years. This business plan competition is for companies who have registered their companies within the last one year. Participants can participate individually or as teams of up to 7 members.
Vilgro’s Wantrapreneur for social entrepreneurs
Vilgro’s wantrapreneur business plan competition for social entrepreneurs is a business plan competition for entrepreneurs whose ventures are focused on agriculture and related sectors. Entrepreneurs get an opportunity to win up to Rs 10 lakhs in prize money.
Loyola Institute of Business Administration’s Business Plan Competition
This is a business plan competition that is co-organized by IDG Ventures and TIE (The Indus Entrepreneurs).10 finalists could be considered for financing of up to USD 500,000 by IDG ventures. Also, winning teams can win cash prizes of up to Rs 3 lakhs.
Uddyam is an annual entrepreneurship event of the S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research. Business plans are judged on commercial feasibility. Entrepreneurs also have an opportunity to gain cash prizes up to Rs 1 lakh.
These are just some of the business plan competitions happening around India. Remember, business plan competitions are not just about winning, it is about networking, getting valuable feedback about your business plan from people who have already been there before and building valuable contacts with investors, prospective partners and future employees who can help grow your business.