Smartideathon 2022 Begins At GITAM

Ideas to be shortlisted basis the relevance of the identified problem, the feasibility of the proposed solution and identified market opportunity

GITAM (Deemed to be) University, in association with Startup India, Northeastern University Center for Emerging Markets (NUCEM), Boston and Northeastern University Center for Entrepreneurship Education (NUCEE), Boston, has launched the coveted SmartIDEAthon 2022 Challenge with over 1000 student teams from across 27 states pitching start-up ideas that could help build sustainable and resilient communities through social innovation. All venture ideas are to be around five pertinent themes that are currently relevant to India. 

The mega pitchfest involves personalised coaching for shortlisted student entrepreneurs, a sponsored trip to Boston and cash and grants worth Rs 30 lakh for winners and runners-up. The themes for 2022 align with India@75 – Azaadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. These are food and agriculture, clean/green technology, waste management, health tech and assistive technology and water management.

Student participants currently enrolled in any undergraduate or postgraduate programs and recent graduates can showcase their venture ideas in teams not exceeding two members.

In Round 1, a panel of top venture leaders will review the submitted minute-long video pitches and presentations for relevance and innovation. Up to 100 shortlisted applicants will make it to Round 2 and be invited for online Bootcamp sessions and coaching by ace entrepreneurship practitioners. After the panel re-assesses submitted ideas for innovation, scalability and impact, 32 shortlisted teams from Round 2 get to walk into the semi-finals.

The semi-finals and the grand finale will be organised in person at GITAM’s Visakhapatnam campus, where the teams will network with industry experts, entrepreneurs and other guests. As the competition gets stiff, eight teams will pitch to an eminent jury and live audience on stage in an auditorium setting.

Besides Bootcamp-style and one-on-one coaching and prizes worth a total of Rs 30 lakh, winners and first runners-up will be flown to Boston for an all expenses-paid two-week stay hosted by Northeastern University. They will get to see and experience the vibrant Boston entrepreneurship ecosystem with trips to local incubators and accelerators and special mentoring by experts.

These Boston trips would be for the winner and runner-up teams of the challenge and winners in the Best Social Impact Business Idea and the Best Woman-led Entrepreneurship Idea categories.

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