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Eureka 2012 offers innovators a chance to pitch their ideas at Silicon Valley

Budding entrepreneurs will get a chance to network and pitch their ideas at Silicon Valley, if they win IIT Bombay’s annual international business plan competition, Eureka 2012.

Registrations for the 14th edition of the competition, where the total prize money has gone up from around Rs 24 lakh last year to Rs 40 lakh, is started.

Eureka 2011 had received over 3,500 entries, including 40 foreign entries. Like last year, Eureka 2012 will continue to have two parallel tracks, “Eureka Business” and “Eureka Social”. The competition, over the years, has helped churn out at least 40 successful start-ups.

“Besides getting a direct entry into finals of “E-Bootcamp” organised by BASES (Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students), Stanford University, the winners of Eureka 2012 (business category) will get an all-expenses-paid five-day trip to Silicon Valley. They will get an opportunity to network and pitch their plans before experts and potential investors there. The competition launches on September 2,” said Vivek Saraswat, media manager of IIT Bombay’s Entrepreneurship Cell, which organises Eureka.

The winners will also be given office spaces for incubation opportunities worth Rs 4.5 lakh by Regus.

In order to promote entrepreneurship among the youth and provide them a good platform, Eureka 2012 has introduced a new track called “Eureka youth award” for college students and recent graduates. The participants will be eligible to participate in both business and social categories and will have to be below 26 years.

“The winning entry of Eureka (business) will get cash prizes of Rs 5 lakh and the runner-up Rs 3 lakh. For Eureka Social, the winning entry gets a prize of Rs 1 lakh while the runner-up gets Rs 50,000. All winning entries will get an opportunity to secure Angel funding (Mumbai Angels, Indian Angel Network, venture nursery), besides mentoring by entrepreneurs and leading corporates. They will also get an opportunity to get incubation at Morpheus. This apart, business finalists will get consultancy services worth Rs 5 lakh,” he said. The finals will be held during Entrepreneurship Summit at IIT Bombay next year. 

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