2nd edition of ‘National Bio-entrepreneurship Competition’ concludes in Bengaluru

Conducted over four months the competition culminated with a gala Grand Finale held in Bengaluru where 15 bio-entrepreneurs pitched to a Grand Jury


New Delhi: The National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition, a national platform for bio-entrepreneurs to present their innovative business ideas with significant societal impact in the Life Sciences domain concluded on 15th December.

The competition which is in its second year is conducted by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms under the BIRAC Regional Entrepreneurship Centre (BREC), is a joint initiative of C-CAMP and BIRAC. INR 2.25 crore in cash prizes and investment opportunity have been committed by various partners and stakeholders for this competition.

Conducted over four months the competition culminated with a gala Grand Finale held in Bengaluru where 15 bio-entrepreneurs pitched to a Grand Jury.

Ms Vaishali Kulkarni, KBCols Sciences and Mr Nachiket, HelpUsGreen, are the joint winners of the L’Oreal India sponsored Grand Cash prize of INR 15 lakhs. Mr Chandra Sekhar Seelamantula has won the INR 10 lakhs Digital Health prize sponsored by HealthVenture, USA. Mr Pranav Chopra, Crimson Healthcare and Mr Sachin Dubey, Module Innovations are joint winners of the INR 5 lakhs Excellence Prize sponsored by Biocon.

Mr Asif Ahmed of Innaumation Medical Devices, LLP has won Excellence Prize of INR 5 lakhs sponsored by GE Healthcare. SMs hivani Gupta, Inochi Care, received the INR 3.5 lakh Pfizer Entrepreneurship Award in Healthcare. Investment opportunity of $100,000 USD was announced by Social Alpha/Tata FISE for Renuka Karandikar, BioPrime Agrisolutions and Ms Vaishali Kulkarni, KBCols Sciences. Mr Manoj Sankar, NemoCare won $100,000 USD investment opportunity from HealthVenture in Digital Health and a HealthVenture Boot Camp participation opportunity for Bose Karthik, VRehab sponsored by HealthVenture.

45 finalists screened down from 2000+ registrations from across India participated in a 2 day Boot Camp and Mentoring Sessions. 15 of these were selected by the Pre-Final Jury to pitch at the Grand Finale.

The Grand Jury consisted of distinguished experts from the biotech industry and investment sector and included Mr. Nitin Deshmukh, CEO and Founding Member, Kotak Private Equity, Ms. Deepthi Reddy, Head Investments and Governance, Social Alpha, Dr Nita Roy, Head Advanced Research, L’Oreal India, Ms. Donna Lecky, CFO, HealthVenture, USA, Dr Srinivasa Babu K, Regional Manager – Bioprocess, South India, GE Healthcare, Ms Aindrila Dasgupta, Head of Business Development, Novozymes South Asia, Mr Ashwin Raguraman, Co-founder and Partner, Bharat Innovation Fund, Dr Gopala Krishna Dasika, Senior Vice President and Head, Pfizer Biologics Development Center, Mr Naman Paithankar, Start-up Ecosystem, Amazon Web Services, and Dr Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO and Director, C-CAMP.

Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary DBT, Government of India, and Chairperson, BIRAC in an inspiring message for the winners and all Finalists, said – “The significance of a competition such as NBEC is in creating a vibrant pool of innovators. It helps connect various institutes in the country bringing in a pan-India flavour to the ecosystem. But the area where we have really succeeded is in projecting globally that India’s investment-ready startup market. I am very pleased that BIRAC and CCAMP are working together in this important initiative. I hope many other incubators become partners in this larger exercise.”

Mr Gaurav Gupta, Principal Secretary, Department of IT, BT and S&T, Govt. of Karnataka, in his Keynote Address said “Karnataka continues to attract a lot of attention from life sciences startups. It’s important that academia, industry and the government work together closely to keep the ecosystem energised. CCAMP especially is like the nucleus of deep science research based bio ideas.”

The competition in its second edition   had 11 industry partners including one international partner from the USA on board: L’Oréal India, HealthVenture (USA), Biocon, GE Healthcare, Pfizer Healthcare India, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Social Alpha, Kotak Private Equity, Novozymes, CIIE (IIM Ahmedabad), and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Dr Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO & Director, C-CAMP said “NBEC is truly a celebration of bio entrepreneurship in India. The BIRAC Regional Entrepreneurship Centre, BREC at CCAMP that organises NBEC every year is amplifying the spirit of entrepreneurship through competitions such as this to build a critical mass of deep-science innovations across every state and UT in India. NBEC industry partners who have come forward to sponsor prizes, funding and mentorship also play a crucial role in the success of such a competition.”

More about the competition

NBEC – BREC, which is a joint entrepreneurship centre of C-CAMP and BIRAC, organizes NBEC every year with the objective to facilitate the creation of successful bio-ventures. To this end it identifies innovative business ideas from across the country spanning the whole life sciences domain including healthcare, agri-biotech, animal health, and industrial biotech and then supports these ideas by providing access to funding, acceleration and mentoring.

Launched on 16th August this year in New Delhi by Prof K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser, Govt. of India, in the presence of Dr Mohd. Aslam, Adviser, DBT and Managing Director, BIRAC, and Dr Manish Diwan, Head – SPED, BIRAC, NBEC 2018 has attracted 2000+ registrations from aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups and enterprises across 28 states/UTs in India.

The 180 applicants from all over India were shortlisted for regional qualifiers held across 6 metros, in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad in mid-November. Societal impact, novelty and business sustainability were the criteria they were judged against at the regional qualifying round from which numbers were pared down further to 45 for the finals.

NBEC besides being a competition lays stress on strengthening the business potential of a Bio Entrepreneurship idea. The Finals thus consist of not only the pitch to the Grand Jury but also a 2-day residential Entrepreneurship Development boot camp and mentoring sessions in Bengaluru with mentors to train the cohort of qualifiers in designing, developing and refining their business models.

The winners are chosen over two screening rounds – a pre-final and the Grand Finale.