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Business idea event kicks of in Vadodara with $10k seed funding

AHMEDABAD: Vadodara, the land of government enterprises and a centre for education is also trying to make its mark as a centre for entrepreneurship, if the recent business idea competition is considered as a signal of future trends. Last weekend, over 90 university students divided in 19 teams presented their business ideas to the established players of the industry. Two teams even managed to get a sponsorship of $5,000 each. All the ideas will be presented to the local industries to get more sponsors and mentors.

"It was a rare event for Vadodaraas it does not have even a single incubation centre. M S University has one of the best brains from the state but absence of entrepreneurship training forces students to seek jobs rather than pursue their business plans," said Yash Saxena, a member of management team of Startup2020 for Vadodara, which was organized byDewang MehtaFoundation Trust and M S University. National Association of Software Services Company ( NASSCOM) with its mission to create 10,000 startupsby 2020 also chipped in as a supporter.

The biz idea, that won the first price, enables motorists to find out parking spaces, using their cellphone application, in case of events like marriages, exhibitions, public functions and many others. It will also indicate real time information of the spare parking capacity at the venues. A social networking project enabling voluntary organizations get volunteers and rating of organizations to enable them get funding, bagged the second price. The third price went to an online aggregating platform for providing tiffinservice the the students.

The winning team also found a sponsor in RakeshPatel, founder and CEO of Ahmedabad-based SpaceO InfowebPrivate Limited, who announced investment worth $5,000 in the project. "The project tries to address the problems for parking of vehicles near multiplexes, malls and shopping centres. The problems intensifies during weekends. We will be taking help from netizensfrom all over the country to search for parking space, say whether it is paid or not, is parking available on daily basis or alternate days. We will also validate the inputs by physically checking them," Patel told ET.

He has also earmarked equal funds for a project that seeks to solve the problem of the recruiters in terms of evaluating the creditability of the applicants, who are rated on half a dozen odd parameters like skills, expertise, attitude, being a team player and leadership qualities amongst others. "The applicants will be rated, say, on a scale of 10. If their rating is high, there is no need for an interview. But if the rating is 5, then there is a need to interview. The online portal will remove lots of hazzlesfor recruiters," he added.

Ibad Khatib, CEO of Devang Mehtafoundation saw the potential of entrepreneurship and the fact that local entrepreneurs are coming to hand hold the budding entrepreneurs. "The intervention by those already in business helps create an ecosystem," he told ET.

Saxenaobserved that local companies are also coming forward to mentor the startups.AnishGala, founder and CEO of Vadodara-based Scriptcode, a company into development of web-based applications and medical transcriptions is watching one of the teams very closely. "I have found merits in one of the business ideas. I am watching the team members carefully. I plan to sponsor them if everything turns out accordingly," Gala told ET.

Maulik Bhansali, the chapter head for Vadodaraof Gujarat Electronics and Software Industries Association ( GESIA) and CEO of Vadodara-based NetwebSoftware Private Limited brought industry mentors on a common platform with the upcoming entrepreneurs and academia. "We now feel that such an event can be organized on a much bigger scale. More local industry are eager to support the startups," he said. GESIAalong withNASSCOMsupported the event.