Business Wire India
Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s most comprehensive and broadly adopted cloud and Campus Fund, India’s only fund investing in student led startups, are thrilled to launch the fourth Edition of Grand Challenge to recognize the Best Student Led Startup of the Year. Grand Challenge aims at providing a competitive and best-in-class platform for student entrepreneurs to showcase their innovation, transform their dreams into reality and to shine on this national platform. Winners of the previous editions include the likes of Paradyes – DIY Kit for hair colouring (also seen on Shark Tank India), Digantara – building google maps for space, by founders from Lovely Professional University and RV College of Engineering, who recently raised $10M from Peak XV.
Applications close on 15th September. Apply here – bit.ly/3qzM7yX.
The Indian education landscape is booming, now more than ever. According to the University Grants Commission (UGC), there are 460 State Universities,128 Deemed to be Universities, 56 Central Universities, 430 Private Universities and 161 Institutes of National Importance, that are the breeding grounds for student led startups, contributing to more than 20% of the startups born in India.
Fostering student entrepreneurship in India positively impacts the economy by creating jobs, driving innovation, and boosting economic growth. Successful startups contribute to GDP, attract foreign investment, and enhance global competitiveness. Student-led startups, who presented in the Grand Finale of previous three editions, have collectively raised more than $22 million in funding from the likes of Campus Fund, Peak XV, Global Brain, Kalaari Capital, Titan Capital, Rocket Internet, Indian Angel Network, Chennai Angels, Venture Catalysts amongst others. This has led to the launch of a grandeur and larger than life version of Grand Challenge.
This year, the top 20 startups will get an opportunity to engage and present to the Jury in person during the Pre- Finale. The top 5 selected in the Pre-Finale will then be competing for the coveted title of Best Student Startup of the Year 2023, on December 14th during the Grand Finale.
Top 3 winners will be accelerated to Campus Fund’s Investment Committee for an investment of upto 4 Crores which will be held on 17th of December.
Grand Challenge has also partnered with organisations such as 360One, HDFC Bank, SIDBI, Omidyar Network India, BigBasket, Deshpande Startups, NSRCEL IIM Bangalore, Wadhwani Foundation, I-Venture@ISB, WinPE, Foundership, PIEDS BITS Pilani, T-Hub, Kerala Startup Mission, Maharashtra State Innovation Society, Startup Karnataka, Startup Odisha, Startup Tamil Nadu, Campus Angels, Snackfax, AIC BML Munjal University, AIC RNTU, Amity Innovation Incubator, Crescent Innovation & Incubation Council, Derbi Foundation, FITT IIT Delhi, E-Cell IIT Madras, LNCT Group, PALS, Picxele and Plaksha University, who will provide benefits to startups, at every stage.
Applying to Grand Challenge
Current students, university dropouts or founders who have graduated in the last three years (2020 or afterwards) can apply. The Challenge is sector agnostic and startups from any sector can apply!
Upon submitting the application, the startup will go through 3 rounds of elimination including one on one mentorship with seasoned industry professionals.
As part of the Grand Challenge, student entrepreneurs will also have the opportunity to interact with Who’s Who of India Inc., including:
- Fireside Chat with Deep Kalra (Founder of Makemytrip.com).
- Masterclass on Fundraising by Omidyar Network India.
- Masterclass on Web 3.0 / Crypto by Foundership and much more.
The top 5 startups selected in the Pre-finale will pitch to the Grand Jury on 14th of December. The jury will deliberate over the finalists and declare the Student Startup of the Year 2023 as the winner of Grand Challenge.
Top 3 winners will pitch to Campus Fund’s Investment Committee for an investment of upto 4 Crores on 17th of December.
- Upto $25,000 in AWS Activate credits subject to Activate eligibility criteria.
- Top 100 startups will receive Incubation opportunities at NSRCEL-IIM Bangalore or Deshpande Startups.
- Access to I-Work@ISB and 0xCamp by Foundership.
- Entry into the 14 week Ignite Program by Wadhwani Foundation.
- One Female Student Entrepreneur will be given access to WinPE Mentorship Program.