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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014
Do you have a winning idea in business or robotics?
HT Education Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 27, 2014
First Published: 11:33 IST(27/8/2014)
Last Updated: 12:36 IST(27/8/2014)

The entrepreneurship cell of IIT Kharagpur shall organise the next edition of Empresario, the  annual flagship competition on developing global business models.This competition is open to students across the world.

Empresario is a contest whereby business ideas in all fields ranging from products and services to product design are given an opportunity to win a prize and incubation money of around Rs. 2.5 crore. Last year’s prizes were worth Rs. 15 lakh.

This year, Empresario will be held in association with the International Business Model Competition (IBMC). The best entries in all categories will get an opportunity to participate directly in the semi-final round of IBMC 2015, which shall be conducted overseas.

In the first round of the contest, participants will be required to fill up a questionnaire that briefly captures the essence of their business idea. This questionnaire can be found on the IIT website www.ecell-iitkgp.org/empresario. The deadline for submission is October 20, 2014. The contest is about recognising the fact that any new venture is just a carefully calculated solution/offering  in terms of a problem or opportunity and that ideas can be turned into real-life solutions. The shortlisted entries will also receive mentorship and the winners will get a chance to pitch their ideas in front of organisations such as the National Entrepreneurship Network.

The winners will also get startup services like legal advice, taxation, financial, technical aspects of running a startup, co-working space, HR needs, and incubation opportunities.

IIT Bombay is also inviting  enthusiasts in the field of robotics to learn more about this niche area through Project e-Yantra, which is essentially an initiative to spread education on embedded systems and robotics. It is  sponsored by the ministry of human resource development through the National Mission on Education through ICT (NMEICT). This project was conceptualised by professors from the department of computer science and engineering at IIT Bombay.

This year’s project was launched on August 1, 2014. So far, over 800 teams (3200 students from various colleges across the country have registered for this competition. Things begin in an  interesting manner. Students register as a team of four and take an online selection test. Selected teams are given a problem specified as a theme in a rule book. Teams get a robotic kit along with accessories to solve the problem. Thereafter, they are taken through the project life cycle in a systematic way. and proceed to solve the problem in a step-by-step manner. “This means that even students with no prior exposure can learn the concepts and come up with innovative solutions.

Thus, this competition is used to impart project-based learning through hands-on experiments on a robotic platform where students do not have to pay any registration fee nor spend any money to buy the robotic kit. In addition to learning the concepts and micro-controller programming students also learn soft skills such as teamwork, video-editing, and presentation skills,” says Professor Kavi Arya, principal investigator, e-Yantra project.

Themes from the domain of ‘urban services’ will be assigned this year to student teams, challenging them to develop indigenous solutions using robotics to engineer services such as waste management, warehouse management, and emergency fire services.
 
The last date to register is August 31, 2014. Visit http://portal.e-yantra.org for details.


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