Pitched as Asia’s largest business plan competition, “Eureka”, organised by IIT Bombay’s Entrepreneurship Cell (E-Cell), has seen an increase in the female-male participation ratio, which has risen from 1:7 last year to 1:5 this year, implying that women are increasingly looking at entrepreneurship as a viable career option.
The overall entries for the event, which is supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), have also witnessed an increase in number this year, going up to 7,100 entries from 6,000 last year.
Experts say that amid a difficult economy for the last few years, youngsters have been focusing more on creating their own-start-ups and a platform like Eureka gives them an opportunity to pitch their business plans before investors, venture capitalists and reputed companies.
While the average age of the participants this year is 23 years, the maximum entries have come from Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi-NCR, Jaipur and Pune.
“Youngsters are now keen on running their own ventures and these events give them a boost in terms of networking opportunities with potential partners as well as investors. While the overall prize money is Rs 45 lakh, the business track winner gets Rs 5 lakh, while the social track winner gets Rs 1 lakh,” said an IIT Bombay faculty.
The education sector has seen the most increase in entries this year among all categories, with 32 per cent of females sending their entries in this segment.
“Overall, the top three sectors in which we saw most entries were technology (31 per cent), education (23 per cent) and services (21 per cent). There has also been a sizable jump in entries from tier-II and tier-III cities, from four per cent last year to 14 per cent this year, which is encouraging. Presently in its 16th edition, Eureka has been a launchpad for more than 40 successful start-ups,” says Sagar Sheth, E-Cell media manager.
According to the E-Cell team, the entries in the social track has increased by 28 per cent, signifying a national trend of social concern.
The institute further said the stakes went higher each year and the variety and number of foreign entries were a testimony to it. This year, it has received 21 international entries from Los Angeles, New Jersey, Netherlands, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Andaman, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.