Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2016-17, a joint initiative of the Tata group and the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C), celebrated India’s most promising early-stage social enterprises, which could bring about long-term solutions to India’s social needs.
The grand finale of the fifth edition of the programme held on January 14, 2017, at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C), saw Pentavalent Bio Sciences Private Limited from Bangalore (Winner), Arogya Medtech Pvt. Ltd from Kolkata (1st Runner-up), and Bombay Hemp Company Pvt. Ltd (BOHECO) from Mumbai (2nd Runner-up), emerge as the winning ventures, receiving prize money of Rs. 2.5 lakh, Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 1.5 lakh, respectively (detailed profiles attached in Annexure 1).
This year’s edition received over 600 registrations from across India, out of which 214 met all the eligibility criteria and moved to the next round of the competition. These impact proposals were in the area of agriculture, food and dairy; healthcare, water and sanitation; technology and development; education & skills development; housing; handicrafts; and energy and microfinance/financial inclusion, among others. The ventures were judged on three parameters – Business Model, Social Impact and Sustainability.
The Top 20 teams were mentored by Startup Wave Platform, Unitus Seed Fund and pool of mentors from IIM Calcutta Innovation Park. The Social VC partners of the initiative were Villgro, Intellecap, Ankur Capital, Yunus Social Business, Unitus Seed Fund and Ennovent. The teams also had an opportunity to network with mentors, experts and fellow social entrepreneurs.
Apart from the Top 3 winning ventures, the 7 ventures that have made it to the Top 10 finalists are:
Genrich Membranes Pvt. Ltd, Pune
Aavishkar, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
ONganic Foods, Kolkata
ClassIQ Educational Foundation, Kolkata
Scidogma Research, Bangalore
Lumisoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore
Saathi Eco Innovations Pvt. Ltd, Ahmedabad
Pentavalent Bio Sciences Private Limited, winner of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2016-17, is a Bangalore-based social enterprise. Pentavalent Bio Sciences is a fully integrated biotech start-up that provides innovative solutions from discovery to development, leveraging cutting-edge science, cost effective molecular diagnostics and new ideas and technologies in the diagnostics market.
They are currently developing an innovative diagnostic tool using novel in-house FlapCut technology that detects tuberculosis (TB) in patients and helps doctors to prescribe patient-specific antibiotics for treatment.
Ecstatic with her win, Bhavani PV said, “This exposure was really required. The Jury’s input and mentoring helped us a lot in improving our business model. Initially it was only us who believed in our product, but Tata Social Enterprise Challenge helped us to believe that our product can reach the end user.”
First runner-up Arogya Medtech Pvt. Ltd, a Kolkata based venture, has developed a product called CEREBROS, a low-cost, less resource intensive, portable, radiation free, non-invasive, multi-modal (Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) and Electroencephalography (EEG/EOG)) brain-scanning device in the form a wearable head-gear, optimised using a proprietary embedded system and ‘smart’ algorithms.
Rajib Sengupta, representing the venture, said, “It was an awesome experience. It’s great to know that there is such a great platform in Eastern India for social entrepreneurship. It’s good to see more and more startups in Bengal; a lot of new and innovative startups are coming up and this platform is going to give us the right impetus.”
The second runner-up position was won by Bombay Hemp Company Pvt Ltd (BOHECO) from Mumbai. Bombay Hemp Company Pvt. Ltd (BOHECO) is India’s first industrial and medicinal hemp (cannabis) company, established in 2013. Located in Mumbai the company works with Central and State governments to assist farmers to improve their socio-economic standards by utilising cultivation of cannabis for industrial, construction and pharmaceutical purposes.
Jahan Pestonjamas, representing the venture, said, “It was a comprehensive learning experience, the environment was very comfortable and positive. The faculty and academia brought forth the knowledge and experience, and the impact investors who are very relevant to our fields have come into the fore. Also, the fact that that so many varieties of social enterprises have come together on the stage, speaks volumes about the success of the competition as a whole. And of course, it drives us to come back with a new idea and do better.”
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Ashok Banerjee, Director, IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, said, “Over the last five years, Tata Social Enterprise Challenge has encouraged many budding entrepreneurs to grow with a vision and create positive sustainable social impact. As we reach this 5-year milestone, we are encouraged with the quality of talent and the enthusiasm of entrepreneurs to make a difference from all across the country and even from overseas. We have also launched, this year, the INVENT programme in association with the Department for International Development (DFID), UK. This 3-year programme, which has a total budget of Rs. 12 crores, aims at providing seed funding support of up to Rs. 25 lakhs to for-profit social enterprise start-ups being incubated under this programme.”
Felicitating the winners, Mr. Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian, Tata Sons, said, “Social entrepreneurship provides an opportunity to provide solutions for critical needs being faced by our society through innovation and enterprise. Tata Social Enterprise Challenge took shape five years ago, with the idea of fostering an ecosystem for early stage social start-ups, in line with our ethos of giving back to society and creating sustainable and meaningful social impact. The tangible results seen from the ventures identified, mentored and incubated on this platform, encourages us to strengthen our efforts along with our partner IIM-C, towards creating a meaningful social impact.”
The ceremony saw talks by inspiring leaders in the space of social entrepreneurship like Ms. Poonam Bir Kasturi, Founder of Daily Dump, Mr. Sujoy Santra, CEO of iKure and some of the finalists of the past editions of the challenge including Bodhi Healthcare, ERC Eyecare and Green Agrevolution, among others.
The grand finale of the fourth edition of the programme held on January 16, 2016, at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C), saw HelpUsGreen® from Kanpur (Winner), Jeevtronics from Pune (1st Runner-up), and Hasiru Dala Innovations from Bengaluru and Disease Diagnose Group from Boston, USA (joint winners of the 2nd Runner-up position), emerge as the winning ventures, receiving prize money of Rs. 2.5 lakh, Rs. 2 lakh and Rs. 1.5 lakh, respectively.
This year’s edition received 600+ registrations from across India, out of which 210 met all the eligibility criteria and moved to the next round of the competition. These impact proposals were in the area of agriculture, food and dairy; healthcare, water and sanitation; technology and development; education & skills development; housing; handicrafts; and energy and microfinance/financial inclusion. The ventures were judged on three parameters – Business Model, Social Impact and Sustainability.
Ankit Agarwal, the winner of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2015-16 has started HelpUsGreen®. A Kanpur based social enterprise, HelpUsGreen® preserves the rivers by flowercycling® the waste from the places of worship into bio-fertilizers and lifestyle products like incense and bathing soaps, among others, and in doing so also empowers women self-help groups (currently the venture is managing five women self-help groups with sixteen members each).
Ecstatic with his win Ankit said, “It’s been an overwhelming experience. We have won many competitions before but Tata Social Enterprise Challenge is like the Filmfare of social entrepreneurship.”
Jeevtronics, a Pune based venture, was declared as the 1st Runner-up. Ashish Gawade representing the venture said, “It was a great experience for us. The knowledge, mentoring and feedback that we received from the jury was really helpful, and it was good to collaborate with the other start-ups too.” Jeevtronics is dedicated to designing and implementing affordable medical devices for underdeveloped and rural areas. It has patented a hand-cranked defibrillator – a life-saving device for heart patients – whichhas a built-in power generator that enables it to work in off-grid rural areas, mini ambulances and disaster relief camps, among others. The hand-crank generator requires 12 seconds to charge and comes at one-fourth the cost of competition.
The 2nd Runner-up position saw a tie between two ventures, Hasiru Dala Innovations from Bengaluru and the student-led venture, Disease Diagnose Group from Boston, USA.
Hasiru Dala Innovations is committed to creating predictable livelihoods for waste pickers through providing total waste management, urban gardening services and products for sustainable living. The model is designed to enable a circular economy that enhances the lives, be it a waste picker or a resident, it touches. The venture is supporting waste pickers to collect from 10,000 households in the city. It has also, in collaboration with partners, created a unique certification course called Enhancing skills of small entrepreneurs in the recycling industry. Shekhar Prabhakar from the venture said, “I am feeling like a kid having won his first prize. I will take away from here the many friends that I have made who are doing many inspiring things.”
The joint 2nd Runner-Up venture, Disease Diagnose Group (DDG), was represented by Alphonse Harris who said, “I am very excited to get the recognition for our venture and hope to use this recognition to get more partnerships.” DDG has developed a hand-held malaria detector called Rapid Assessment of Malaria (RAM). Out of every 1000 malaria infections, only 500 fevers are identified, 250 tests are performed and only 125 diagnoses are accurate. This device, called RAM for short, detects a magnetic substance that malaria parasites release when digesting red blood cells thus providing a faster and more accurate diagnostic test than those used currently, and at a much lower cost. The device is reusable, mechanical, fast and sensitive, and the technology is clinically approved.
The ceremony saw talks by inspiring leaders in the space of social entrepreneurship like Dr. N.V. Prajna, Chief of Medical Education at Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai; Mr. Vinayak Lohani, Founder of the NGO Parivaar; Mr. Manoj Kumar Nambiar, Managing Director of Arohan Financial Services; and Dr. Mammen Chandy, Director, Tata Medical Centre, Kolkata, among others.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Ashok Banerjee, Director, IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, said, “Social entrepreneurship is all about innovative solutions to social problems. At IIMC, we want to take this as a challenge and as a movement. In the last four years, as part of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge, we have reached out to different parts of the country meeting students, entrepreneurs and NGOs, getting all stakeholders together, and creating awareness about social entrepreneurship. Going forward, we want to continue on this journey and contribute towards bringing about change through enabling social enterprises in India.”
Felicitating the winners, Dr. Mammen Chandy, Director, Tata Medical Center, Kolkata, said, “Today students of management should seek to find fulfillment in social entrepreneurship rather than only seeking personal material gain. The lives of people like Ida Scudder show how Social Enterprise can be transforming and change the lives of millions of people.”
The most awaited and one of the biggest social entrepreneurship event of India, Tata Social Enterprise Challenge (TSEC) was launched on 7th August 2015. TATA Social Enterprise Challenge is a joint initiative by the TATA group and the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM Calcutta). This challenge aims to raise awareness about social entrepreneurship, promotes social entrepreneurship and encourages the youth to step up to be the next generation of social entrepreneurs. After completing 3 successful years, it has entered the 4th edition with a lot more expectations and innovative ideas.
The featured speakers in the event launch were Prof. Ashok Banerjee – Director, IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, Mr Subhrangshu Sanyal – CEO, IIM Calcutta Innovation Park and Anindya Kar – an Entrepreneur and an IIM Calcutta Alumnus. Prof. Banerjee encouraged students to conceive ideas for start-ups and make use of the facilities provided by the IIMC Innovation Park.
Anindya Kar, alumnus of IIM Calcutta’s 2003-05 batch, inspired students with his own entrepreneurship journey and inspired students to take up entrepreneurship as a career.
Mr. Subhrangshu Sanyal distributed the prizes to students who topped in TSEC quiz and complemented them for showing interest to be part of the TSEC family.
This year TSEC aims to get bigger and better. We are aiming to reach out to Institutes not only in India but also aiming to reach out to International Institutions. The last day to submit the Impact Proposal is 7 October 2015.
Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2014-15 kicked-off on August 25, 2014 and invited social entrepreneurs who either had an early stage venture (not older than three years) or a promising idea with a plan that could create sustainable social impact in India. Impact proposals (detailed business plans) were invited in the areas of education, health, agriculture, technology, sanitation, and handicrafts, among others.
These proposals were to be judged on three parameters – business model, social impact and sustainability. The last day to submit them online was November 15, 2014.
All the top 20 teams which were selected were mentored by Ashoka Innovators for the Public and Villgro, and the IIM Calcutta faculty. The social VC partners of the initiative were Acumen, Ankur Capital, Yunus Social Business and Ennovent. The teams also had an opportunity to network with mentors, experts and fellow social entrepreneurs.
The ceremony featured special talks by M Anshu Gupta, Founder Goonj, Dr SP Gon Chaudhuri, founder of India’s first renewable energy college – NB Institute for Rural Development (NBIRT), Dr Sabahat Azim, Founder Glocal and Dr NS Rajan, Member – Group Executive Council and Chief Group Human Resources Officer, Tata Sons.
The winners of the contest were announced during the grand finale which was held on 17 January 2015 at the IIM Calcutta campus. SAANS from Bangalore (Winner), Godavari Women Weaver’s Services Producer Company (GWWSPC) from Mandapeta, Andhra Pradesh (first runners-up) and Ultrasafe Ultrasound from Kolkata (second runners-up) emerged as the top three most promising social ventures, winning prize money of Rs 2 lakhs, Rs 1.5 lakhs and Rs 1.25 lakhs, respectively.
The second edition of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge began in November 2013 with Impact Proposals (detailed Business Plans) being invited in the areas of agriculture, food and dairy, healthcare, water and sanitation, technology and development, education, housing, handicrafts, energy and microfinance/financial inclusion. The last day to submit the impact proposal (business plan) online was 21 November 2013.
This year’s edition attracted over 160 entries from across India and Bulgaria, showing wide interest in the area of social entrepreneurship.
The challenge included special session by Dr Harish Hande, co-founder and MD, SELCO India and Shankar Venkateswaran, chief, Tata Sustainability Group. There was also a one-day themed workshop organised between the semi-finals and finals of the challenge. The workshop was not only for the participants but also to other social entrepreneurs and people with a general interest in the social enterprise sector.
The winners of the contest were announced during the grand finale which was held on 17 January 2014 at the IIM Calcutta campus. MicroXlabs (winner), Bodhi Health Care (first runners-up) and Green Agrevolution Pvt Ltd (second runners-up), emerged as the top three most promising social ventures, winning prize money of Rs 1.75 lakh, Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs 1 lakh, respectively.
The first edition of the Tata Social Enterprise challenge commenced in December 2012 with entries received from around the world. The shortlisted Top 20 teams were given a platform to experience first-class mentorship and training at the IIM-C campus as a part of the challenge.
Overall top 20 promising ventures, including the 2 winning entries, were selected from a pool of 164 impact proposals, submitted entries, from across multiple sectors, namely education, health, agriculture, energy, technology, housing, handicrafts and microfinance, amongst others. The entries received were from different corners of the world, including the US, the Netherlands, Nigeria and South Africa. The bulk of the entries were from India, including places like Delhi, Dehradun, Nainital and Tehri Garhwal in the north; Chennai, Pollachi, Coimbatore, Mysore and Trichy in the south; Jaipur, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Pune and Mumbai in the west; and Bhubaneshwar, Patna and Kolkata in the east.
IIM Calcutta hosted the grand finale event of the first Tata Social Enterprise Challenge on 20 January 2013 followed by a Social Entrepreneurship Conference where the winners were felicitated. Greenway Grameen Infra and Ottoclave were declared winners of the first edition of Tata Social Enterprise Challenge, winning prize money of Rs 1.5 and Rs 1 lakh respectively