IIM Ahmedabad awards Rs 1 crore prize money to Best Startup Pitch Contest winners; highest ever

IIM Ahmedabad Post Graduate Programme for Executives (PGPX) graduates won the contest for ideating AI-powered digital wardrobe.

IIM Ahmedabad awards Rs 1 crore prize money to Best Startup Pitch Contest winners; highest ever IIMA's Best Startup Pitch Contest winners (source: Official Press Release)
Vagisha Kaushik | Apr 25, 2022 - 4:54 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad’ Endowment Fund has announced the winners of its ‘Best Startup Pitch Contest’ today, April 25 with a prize money of Rs 1 crore, highest ever in the history of IIMA. Two Post Graduate Programme for Executives (PGPX) graduates Parul Vashist and Varun Jhaveri won the contest for ideating an Artificial Intelligence (AI)-powered fashion shopping solution after a competitive round of presentations and discussions with the jury.

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“This is the first ever contest with such a high gratification that has been announced by any management institution in the country. The contest, which will now be an annual property, has been introduced with the objective of encouraging IIMA students to explore entrepreneurship as a career path,” said an official notification from IIM Ahmedabad.

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As many as 35 participating teams including current fellows under the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE)’s IIMAvericks programme shared unique startup ideas for the contest. These ideas covered product and service offerings across sectors such as e-commerce, agri-fintech, apparel, retail and fashion, food and beverages, healthcare and life sciences, etc.

Top 6 ideas from Post Graduate Programme (PGP), Post Graduate Programme for Executives (PGPX), Post Graduate Programme in Food and Agri-Business Management (PGP-FABM) and ePGP programmes were shortlisted for final pitch deck presentation for evaluation by a high-profile jury comprising Professor Saral Mukherjee, Dean, Alumni and External Relations; Deep Kalra, Founder and CEO MakeMyTrip; VT Bharadwaj, Partner at A91 Partners; and Chhavi Moodgal, CEO, IIMA Endowment Fund.

IIMA’s startup pitch contest

For the contest, IIMA students could partner with additional team members from outside the IIMA student base to build business concepts, list out the addressable market, present the competitive advantage, elaborate on fund utilization and capital requirement, and chart out the sales and profit projects in the next three years, said the statement.

Along with Parul and Varun, the winning team comprised other team members from other premier institutes like the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Duke University. Besides the prize money, the winning team also gets the opportunity to be mentored by IIMA alumni that are industry A-listers in the private equity and venture capital space.

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Emphasizing the importance of early funding for Startups, Chhavi Moodgal added, “IIMA Endowment Fund is proud to support the exciting arena of entrepreneurship for IIMA students in this vibrant environment for Startups with over 250 unicorns expected in India by 2025. The IIMA Endowment Fund contest provides INR 1 CR to the winner with the objective that genuinely interested students may be motivated to pursue entrepreneurship without the hesitation or peer pressure of giving up a secure high paying job. I hope that this contest becomes a catalyst of path-breaking startup ideas in the years to come.”

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