In a concerted effort to bolster and cultivate the growth of student entrepreneurship in India, Campus Fund and Amazon Web Services concluded the 3rd Edition of Grand Challenge on December 15, 2022.
Grand Challenge is an annual nationwide competition to recognise the best student-led startup of India.
The 22 student-led start-ups who presented in the finale of the previous two editions of Grand Challenge have collectively raised $19 million in funding till date, a testament to the power of student entrepreneurship.
Despite the proven benefits of supporting and nurturing entrepreneurial ambitions at the college level, student entrepreneurship is often overlooked when it comes to financial support and connected ecosystems. Colleges face various constraints and only a small number of incubators are able to provide necessary support systems.
The Grand Challenge aims to bridge this gap by providing a platform for student entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas and connect with potential investors and mentors.
The event includes workshops, panels, and pitch sessions over a period of four months, providing students with the opportunity to refine their pitches, learn about industry trends, network with industry professionals, and seek equity-based financing.
The 3rd Edition of Grand Challenge witnessed 925 applications from student entrepreneurs, who went through four stages of evaluation leading up to the demo day where 15 finalists pitched. Ninety-nine startups selected for the mentorship round were mentored by industry experts.
The event received the highest number of applications from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), with 36 startups participating. Delhi University followed closely, with 20 startups participating.
In terms of the educational backgrounds of the founders, 51% of the participating students were pursuing BTech degrees, 12.1% were enrolled in BBA/MBA programmes, and 2.3% were pursuing Ph.D programmes.
Out of the 231 shortlisted startups, 100 were B2B, 96 were B2C, 34 were building businesses in the B2B2C model, and one was in the B2G model. For a more in-depth analysis, see detailed analytics report here.
The top 15 finalists who presented at the demo day included:
After much deliberation by the Grand Jury, Paradyes was declared the winner of Grand Challenge 2022. Founded by Yushika, who graduated from University of London, it is an innovative startup that offers cost-efficient, DIY hair colour and haircare products that are vegan and cruelty-free.
The first runner-up was Perkant Tech, the inventor and seller of the world's first multi-disease prognosis system that aims to provide cost-effective healthcare accessibility, across the globe. The startup is founded by Saniya Jeswani from Symbiosis institute of Applied Sciences Indore and Lokant Jain from IET DAVV Indore.
The apparatus, a clinical-grade, PPG-based, multi-parameter monitor system, performs blood signal extraction and derives various body vitals in 30 seconds through a single finger placement.
The second runner-up was Gud Gum, India's first 100% plastic-free, all-natural chewing gum brand. It offers biodegradable gums in plastic-free packaging. The founders, Bhuvan and Mayank, are from Christ University.
Grand Challenge will be back in December 2023 with its 4th Edition, which promises to be bigger, better, and larger than life.