Techfest 2015, the annual three-day technology festival of the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), just got bigger. This year, the sponsorship for the festival has reached Rs 2.5 crore, keeping up with its reputation of being Asia’s biggest science and technology fest.
The sponsorship for Techfest has also increased by almost 70-80 per cent since 2011. The sponsorship fund collected in 2011 was Rs 1 crore, in 2012 the amount collected was Rs 1.3 crore, in 2013 the amount collected increased to Rs 1.48 crore, while last year the team Techfest managed to bag sponsorship fund of Rs 2 crore.
Keeping sponsorship aside, the star attraction of the festival this year is the fastest car made by students. EVO 5.0, a car designed by a team of IIT Bombay students for Formula Student will be launched and exhibited during the three-day fest that began on Saturday and will continue till December 28. Last year, the IIT-B racing team had designed EVO 3.0 for Formula Student United Kingdom 2014. EVO 3.0 was said to be as fast as the previous generation Porsche Cayman. The team has now designed EVO 5.0.
“The EVO 3.0 could accelerate from 0 to 60 kmph in 2.7 seconds, and this year, EVO 5.0 model could do that in 1.8 seconds. Last year and and before that, we had heavier chassis and normal gearbox. This year, we have tried to make the car even lighter and improved its performance,” said Ayush Verma, Media and Marketing Manager of IIT Bombay Racing. The new model can attain a top speed of 145 kmph.
“Just 10 years ago student organisers considered the festival grand if they managed to collect around 50 lakhs and more. However the scenario has changed now. Being the largest technology festival in Asia, we get the latest technologies and innovations developed across the globe for exhibition. Not only this but national and international speakers of great repute including Nobel laureates are invited to deliver lectures and speak in Techfest. Sponsors, both national and international, think it would be worthy enough to invest in an event of this magnitude and reputation,” said Anuraj Gupta, media and marketing manager for Techfest 2015.
Out of the Rs 2.5 crore collected this year, over Rs 1.5 crore will be utilised to pay for the lecturers’ and artistes’ travel fare and fees. The rest of the amount it utilised towards advertisement contracts and prizes for various competitions. Getting sponsors every year is getting tougher, says the organising team.
“We start negotiating with companies and other sponsors since April – May. These firms ask us how sponsoring a college fest will help them. Some of them agree to pay up Rs 3 lakh or Rs 5 lakh, however that does not suffice. Hence we try to get sponsorships in various forms and apart from main sponsors we have other small sponsors too,” said another student coordinator and organiser of Techfest 2015.
The festival is a platform for students to interact with personalities from across the globe to bridge the gap between industry and academia. Among the speakers this year are former ISRO chairmen, K Radhakrishnan, Nobel Prize winner in Physics – Serge Haroche and CEO of BitTorrent, Eric Klinker.
This year, the festival is also conducting an international summit addressing the idea — Internet of Things, which will give students insights into the digital revolution and how they can make the most of the opportunities available.