Conquest 2010

CEL, Bits Pilani hosted its annual international business plan competition Conquest on 21st and 22nd 2010. The event, which was the final round of the business plan competition, saw the top four teams from the previous rounds battle it out to win the coveted prize of 1.5 Lakh.

The final round required the participants to present their business plans in the form of a closed door presentation. The finalists were judged on the basis of their clarity of thought, the viability of their business model and their pitching and presentation skills. The judges’ panel consisted of seasoned entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and academicians from the world of entrepreneurship.

The first prize of ` 1,50,000 went to Amrita Health Care Solutions, a project developed by students of NIT Surathkal whose team also included two doctors from SRM Medical College, Chennai. Their idea was to provide health care solutions to people in rural areas through an innovative mechanism. The solution envisages a medical diagnosis by means of patient-machine interaction and later, the patient gets a medical solution on the basis of the symptoms and interaction. Thus health care services can be imparted in villages where there are no doctors but only health care workers are available. The runner’s up prize of ` 50,000 went to Team Haplaw from BITS Pilani. Their business plan aims at providing real time legal services online.

Conquest 2010 was the culmination of an eight month process which included calling for entries, vetting, evaluation by experts and final presentation. Speaking on the process of the competition, this year’s Conquest coordinator, Mr. Ajay Bhise said, “We recieved over 500 entries for the first round. Out of these, about 90 entries were from abroad. Senior faculty of BITS along with our alumni screened the first round and selected around 40 entries which went to other experts in industry for evaluation. These 40 entries were asked to send their detailed business plans which were judged by seasoned entrepreneurs and venture capitalists and finally four business plans were chosen for the final presentation to be made at Conquest 2010 finals”.

Conquest 2010 also hosted the Global conference of E-Cells organized in partnership with NEN. The conference saw the participation of student entrepreneurship leaders from 20 colleges across the country. The Global Conference aimed to provide a unique collaboration among Entrepreneurship cells for the promotion and development of entrepreneurship in the country. Besides serving as a platform for the National Entrepreneurship Network, the Global Conference provided a platform to share ideas, innovation and experience. The Conference also provided opportunities for networking among counterparts in all participating institutions.

Conquest 2010 participants had an opportunity to interact with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and experts which included Dr J P Narayan, President, Loksatta Party and a former civil servant. Other speakers included: Mr Dhiraj Rajaram, Founder and CEO of Mu-Sigma, Mr Anuj Sharma, COO of Sarvajal, Mr Vijay Shukla, Founder of Setu Ventures, Mr Sujit Panigrahi of Live Plus aim for Good Fitness, Mr Gautam Gandhi, Head of Google New Ventures India, Mr Ankur Singla, Founder of Coraza Advisors and Mr Ashish Sinha, Co-Founder of
The judging panel for the business plan competition included Mr. Prajakta Raut, Mr. Sujit Panigrihi, Mr. Aditya Natrajan and Mr. Vijay Shukla.

The valedictory function marked the end of Conquest 2010 were the Director, BITS Pilani, Pilani Campus, Prof G Raghurama presented trophies and prize cheques to the winning teams. Addressing the gathering at the ceremony, Professor-in-Charge of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Prof Arya Kumar said, “It is a matter of satisfaction that out of 10 winners of the past six competitions, seven have already been translated into ventures and this speaks of how our business competition is innovatively different”. Giving a piece of advice to the participants, Prof Kumar added, “Winners never quit, and quitters never win. Once you decide on your plans, please go ahead and work hard to translate it into reality”.

Conquest 2010 was sponsored by Mu Sigma, a company which has pioneered in analytics outsourcing and providing high quality business decision support services. Other sponsors included Tata Steel, Myntra.Com and Yuva magazine.

Conquest is an annual business plan competition cum entrepreneurship conclave organized and hosted by the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, BITS Pilani since 2004. For more details visit

Sparks New Ventures

Sparks New Ventures is a program, conducted in association with BITSAA to help students create technology-based startups. It is offered as a business plan course and the main purpose is to not only study entrepreneurship but practice it. Student teams are expected to create a startup and write a business plan including all the essential aspects of creating a new venture. The program was launched in Fall 2009 and was an invaluable experience for truly aspiring entrepreneurs.

Salient Features:

  • The course features guest lectures from prestigious entrepreneurs, investors and academicians with strong experience in creating and running startups.
  • Each team is assigned an experienced entrepreneur mentor who guides them through the semester and beyond. Mentors include successful entrepreneurs and investors from top tier firms (DFJ, Sequoia, Helion, Nokia).
  • The teams compete with each other and the best teams will be awarded seed funding to pursue their business idea after the completion of the course.
  • Lectures provide introduction to concepts and tools essential to the entrepreneurial process, overview of the technology enterprise, and the role of the individual and team within high-impact ventures.
  • Students study and implement various facets of a startup – product development, market research, technology viability, fund raising, competitive analysis, team formation, marketing & sales strategy.

Application Instructions:

  • Write an essay in 500 words or less. Include

    1. Entrepreneurship goals (Why entrepreneurship?)
    2. Entrepreneurship efforts to date
    3. Describe 2 business ideas you would like to pursue. Describe problem, size of problem & solution. If applying as a team, 1 of the business ideas should be shared with the team.
    4. Your Name & Contact (email + phone), Team Name & Members (include primary contact)
  • Applicants are encouraged to create a team of 3-5 members prior to applying.
  • All applicants should submit individual applications.
  • Use Microsoft Word for your submission. Please DO NOT submit Adobe PDF files.
  • Students from all years and disciplines are encouraged to apply.
  • Email your application to Dr. Arya Kumar ( and Abhinav Khushraj (

Lectures & Presentations – Pedagogy:

  • Two guest speaker lectures each week on a startup topic
  • Elevator pitch contest & three pitch-deck presentations
  • Bi-weekly mentoring sessions with the assigned mentor
  • Field-trip to New Delhi to meet with entrepreneurs and investors


The deadline to apply for Sparks New Ventures is April 18, 2010 11:59 P.M.


We presented TEDxPilani with its theme "Unveiling India"  in association with APOGEE 2010, the technical festival of BITS, Pilani. The event was held on the 13th of March 2010 in the auditorium of BITS, Pilani.

The TEDx program is an initiative by TED to allow local communities to organize their own, independently organized TED-like events and share their videos through the world-wide TEDx Channel.
The  program had 18-minute talks from eight speakers from diverse fields sharing stories or ideas like never before. The talks had been orchestrated around the TED format of short yet impactful talks meant to inspire, inform and instigate change for a brighter India. With a plethora of speakers, video interludes (graphics support by CDS Solutions) and other surprises, TEDx Pilani gave the youth a paradigm shift to contemporary ideals from the clich├ęd viewpoint sporting our cultural enigma and age-old mythology. TEDx Pilani was hosted by Prathamesh Naik, a TED fellow.

The event began with Dr. K.N. Ganeshaiah who is an agricultural scientist and famous Kannada writer, whose style of writing is renowned for weaving stories around Indian mythology and real historical events. During his talk, he said that he was a person who had explored many myths and miracles and had found in them many scientific lessons. He jokingly regarded Hanuman as a ‘Bio-Pirate’ who in search of the Sanjevani herb, is believed to have lifted the whole mountain and flown back to India. He related this myth to science and made a hypothesis of the existence of such a ‘Resurrecting Plant’ and described his search for it. By giving a few logical arguments, he suggested the existence of such a herb (Selaginella Bryopteris) which could treat the situation the medical condition of coma. Similarly, he explained a few other myths and while concluding, said that scientists are the people who question God whereas artists will never dare to do that.

The other speakers included Kartick Satyanarayan, an activist, founder of Wildlife SOS in India, and TED Fellow. He is also known as bear-man for his dedicated efforts. He talked about how he has worked to eradicate animal cruelty especially the painful street shows of Dancing Bears in a community called the Kalander community in North India. In his pursuit, he completely changed the lifestyle of the whole community. He setup veterinary hospitals for the bears and gave them an environment in which they can live with full freedom like they live in forests. As a result of his efforts, the ill treatment to bears completely stopped on the 18th of December 2009. The ill practice of ‘Bear Dancing’ does not take place in India anymore. These days, he converts tiger poachers and the like into better humans by giving them an alternative source of livelihood and also by using their expertise in hunting to actually save animals.

Rahul Roushan is an entrepreneur who owns Faking News which publishes fake news out of real happenings to infuse the element of satire around politics and lifestyle. He began his talk by hilariously connecting the talk of all his previous speakers and spontaneously creating fake news! With his ready wit and subtle humor, he charmed the audience thereby presenting himself as an entertainer.

Nakul Shenoy is a famous psychic corporate entertainer. His talk started with a magic trick in which he ‘invisibly’ transferred a bunch of cards from one volunteer to another! Thereafter, he performed a fabulous feat by reading the minds of a few people in the audience from a distance of about 10 to 20 meters. The whole audience was spell-bound, maybe literally!

Vishal Talreja is a social entrepreneur who runs the Dream-a-Dream Foundation. Recipient of the prestigious Asoka Fellowship, he helps street children in Bangalore grow out of poverty and lead happy lives. In his talk, he talked about how he chose to become a social entrepreneur and his journey as one. He began his talk by giving touching examples from his life which made him take this path. In the latter part of his speech, he talked about his firm ‘Dream-a-Dream’ which believes that every child has a right to a fun learning environment. It believes in empowering children through giving them life skills. 

Harish Sivarakrishnan is a computer scientist and platform evangelist at Adobe. He is one of the pioneers of Adobe flash and Adobe flex platforms in India. He believes that, one should ‘light a blub’ wherever one can. He said that the concept of a good user interface varies from person to person and is very difficult to generalize. He believes that, in this world of internet shopping, our choices depend on how the interface looks and how easy and intuitive it is to use. He then proved his point by giving a live demonstration of a software which he had created using which he booked a airplane ticket without even touching the keyboard! And ya he’s an ex-Bitsian…

Nitin Gokhale is the Defense and Strategic Editor at NDTV. He has an experience of 27 years in his field. He started his talk by mentioning the different security challenges India faces in the current political scenario. According to him, we are a part of the most turbulent region in the world because we are surrounded by a group of unstable countries like Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. We are also facing ‘externally sponsored Jihad’ and  internal armed movements of Naxals. Other issues like communal and economic divide, non military threats and pandemics constantly damage our growth rate as well. He felt that urgent steps are required in this regard.

Cleo Paskal is a  famous climate change expert and author of the popular book “Global Warring”. She is an avid researcher in her field and a fellow of the famous Chatham House, U.K.  She began her speech with a call to all the earthlings to clear the mess created by themselves in the last 100 years. She suggested the current energy and legal infrastructure was completely based on a model which considered earth to be a non-dynamic environment, but now that the whole earth is changing as a result of global warming, this infrastructure needed to be severely upgraded and changed.  She strongly felt that limiting loss is an important way of promoting growth.

All this left the audience spell-bound and hoping for an even bigger, an even better TEDx Pilani 2011.


CONQUEST 2010 - BITS,Pilani's Business Plan Competition

"The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL), BITS-Pilani invites you to participate in Conquest 2010. Conquest is a unique business event that helps transform ideas into reality"

The Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL), BITS-Pilani recently announced that it has started inviting entries for its prestigious event, Conquest - The Business Challenge. Set up jointly by the faculty, students and alumni, CEL is one of the leading entrepreneurial cells in the country. It works to encourage entrepreneurship among the student community. It is also a co-founder of the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN).

Conquest is a unique business event that helps transform ideas into reality. This business-plan competition includes intensive mentoring by industry champions and a rigorous simulation involving real-life start up conditions. It doesn't just invite your business plans and provide professionals to mentor you but tests if you have the mettle to live up to the trying circumstances of starting up.

The competition is open to all students and corporates in the country. It encourages business plans from all industries - IT, Manufacturing, Pharmacy, Health Services, Rural Development, Infrastructure, Biotechnology, Finance & Marketing etc.. With prizes of more than INR 3 lakhs and Angel funding opportunities up to 20,000$, Conquest promises its participants a highly challenging and rewarding experience. Partnered By BITSAA, TiE, IDG &NEN gives an aspiring entrepreneur the exposure he needs.

Conquest has been an exhilarating experience with entries coming in from IIM's, IIT's, ISB and other premier institutes across the country and across the globe including NSU. 4 out of 6 of the previous winners have already successfully started up.

"Innovate, Inspire, Conquer"
Last Date for submission of executive summaries is 1800hrs 6th April 2010.

For queries Contact:
Ajay Bhise


IEE wins Epsilon 2010


The finals of Epsilon 2010, the Intra BITS business challenge were held yesterday. Team IEE (BITS Pilani Goa campus), which aims to provide an integrated education environment to the students was declared the eventual winners in a closely fought competition. As part of the finals, the teams were supposed to give a presentation on their BPlan, followed by a Q&A session in which the judges grilled the teams on the various aspects of their plan. With business plans as diverse as Fanatic Republic, Haplaw and Searchcompletedotcom, judges applauded the budding entrepreneurs for their innovative thinking and their zeal to start up.

Meanwhile the winning team gets a direct entry into Conquest 2010, our international BPlan competition


Seeking social entrepreneurship resources


At the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership's Rural Entrepreneurship Development(RED) division we're on the look out for market based approaches to helping rural communities (often right outside the campus).

However, what is also important is to educate the college community regarding the pressing social issues that plague our nation (and the world) and how enterprises (often community lead) can help uplift sections of society. RED would like to help create a class of more responsible BITSians who are socially conscious and use their technological and business acumen to find solutions to alleviating poverty and help generate income for rural communities.

It is for this reason that we're creating a RED resource section which will contain information on the emerging sectors, case studies of success stories (and sometimes failure) of models that worked at the Base of Pyramid, books that inspire on to get their hands dirty, reports that show figures and business models, important articles from credible sources. Hopefully, more and more BITSians will skim through it and realize the incredible opportunities that lay in front of them in the responsible business sector.

We're in the middle of the compilation, which should be completed anytime next week. We also plan to publish this resource on one of the top blogs on social entrepreneurship in India.

If you can contribute to this resource in anyway (articles, books, reports, case studies), please shoot me a mail at rishabh at celbits dot org or Eshaan at eshaan at celbits dot org

Eweek 2010 Inauguration Ceremony


India : Opportunities Within is the theme for Entrepreneurship Week 2010, being held in Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Pilani. Held in the lush green QT the ceremony captured the theme in full essence. Prateik Pothuneedi, President, Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) administered the oath to all students, participants and faculty members, who pledged to promote entrepreneurship and making it a way of life.

Speaking on occasion Vice Chancellor L.K. Maheshwari advised the students to think out of the box and to develop a keen sense of observation. Narrating experiences from his own life he said that, “Work for betterment of society should drive entrepreneurship.” Prof. Arya Kumar Faculty Advisor of CEL highlighted India’s growth potential and emphasized on the opportunities available in agriculture, infrastructure, and health sectors. He then went on emphasize NEN’s job in creating an ecosystem where entrepreneurs and their ideas can flourish. According to him the fact that more than 70 ventures have come up in the last one year speak volumes about NEN,s commitment to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship. Prof. Usha Manjunath, member EDIPR BITS Pilani, talked about the importance of technological innovations and how an engineering institute like BITS Pilani can take steps to promote technology entrepreneurship.

With the Eweek events slated to begin from today, it surely will be a gala time for all students and faculty members