17 Startups, Five Student Innovators Win Bio-Entrepreneurship Contest

The winning startups stand to receive a cumulative sum of Rs. 8.6 crore in cash prizes and investment opportunities.

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Seventeen startups and five student innovators have been declared winners in this year’s National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC).  Now in its 5th year, the competition is an annual showcase of promising business ideas with commercial, innovation, and impact potentials in the life sciences and biotech domain.

NBEC is organized by the Government of India’s Department of Biotechnology’s Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) to identify and nurture game-changing deep science ideas with business potential. It receives support from national and international partners with some of the biggest names in the biotech industry in India coming on board. This year, 34 of such enterprises supported it.

The winning startups stand to receive a cumulative sum of Rs. 8.6 crore in cash prizes and investment opportunities, while the student-led teams swooped up a sum of Rs. 14.5 lakhs in cash prizes. Additionally, C-CAMP will conduct a one-year Programme for the winners, which will comprise of mentorship including one month of incubation. Among other ecosystem support, the competition will provide access to industry mentorship in tie-ups with key industry leaders to all winners.

Forty-six finalist pitches were judged for novelty, scalability, and business potential parameters. These were culled from 322 in a regional qualifying round. The winners join an illustrious cohort of 39 winners since the NBEC launch in 2017. Many of them are already in the market with globally acclaimed and investor-backed healthcare, agriculture, or environmental technologies.


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Minister for Higher Education, IT & BT, Sci & Tech, Skill Development, Entrepreneurship & Livelihood, Govt. of Karnataka, Dr. C.N. Ashwathnarayan, in his Keynote address, said “It is heartening and encouraging to see that such a good amount of investment has been made in innovative ideas at NBEC. I convey my best wishes to the winners and going ahead, we will together build more innovations along with C-CAMP.”

Dr. Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO & Director, C-CAMP, Dr Manish Diwan, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Entrepreneurship Development, BIRAC, and Mrs. G.K. Krupalini, General Manager – Biotech Karnataka Innovation & Technology Society, Dept. of Electronics, IT, BT and S&T, Government of Karnataka congratulated the winners and urged them to continue to innovate to reduce the burden of diseases, increase crop yield and contribute to bio-economy. (India Science Wire)