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BML Munjal University drives Startup and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem through Propel Pitchfest & EIS Conference

By   /  February 19, 2024  /  Comments Off on BML Munjal University drives Startup and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem through Propel Pitchfest & EIS Conference

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Gurugram : BML Munjal University (BMU), a Hero Group initiative, further solidified its commitment to fostering entrepreneurship within higher education by successfully concluding Propel Pitchfest24 on February 15-16, 2024. Hosted by BMU’s Atal Community Innovation Centre (ACIC), the event served as a dynamic platform for emerging entrepreneurs from across India to showcase their innovative ventures, engage with industry veterans, and compete for vital funding opportunities. Running parallel to Pitchfest was the second instalment edition of the Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Social (EIS) conference, which delved into the intricate landscape of societal challenges and sought to uncover groundbreaking solutions through social enterprises, burgeoning startups, and social innovation, all amidst the backdrop of today’s rapidly evolving digital era.

The collaborative synergy between Pitchfest and EIS aimed to unlock the growth potential of startups spanning various sectors, including deep-tech, mobility, MedTech, and more. With participation from over 500+ startups nationwide, the grand finale on February 16, 2024, witnessed a panel of investors evaluating 12 shortlisted startups based on their live presentations and their capacity to address societal challenges through social enterprise and innovation. The top 12 ideas across segments like sustainability, e-mobility, manufacturing, and automation, under both pre-revenue and revenue tracks, earned the opportunity to incubate their ventures at Propel Incubator @BMU. This year’s edition placed a heightened emphasis on women-founded startups, as well as those driving sustainability and social impact. The Pitchfest24 garnered support from 17 Angel Investors networks, early-stage venture capitalists, and received backing from AIM, Office of Principal Scientific Advisor, Startup India, Wadhwani Foundation, ISBA, and many more partners.

Prof. Davinder Singh, CEO of ACIC-BMU Foundation, commended the entrepreneurial spirit showcased by the participating startups, emphasizing BMU’s role in fostering collaboration and supporting the growth of young entrepreneurs. He added, “Events like Propel Pitchfest24 and the EIS serve as pivotal moments where entrepreneurs, investors, industry and other eco-system players from diverse backgrounds converge to engage in meaningful dialogue and collaboration. The success of these events reaffirms our belief that innovation and entrepreneurship, hold the key to addressing complex societal challenges and driving sustainable change. Moving forward, BMU remains committed to empowering the next generation of changemakers and ensuring that our initiatives continue to inspire and catalyse impactful innovation on both local and global scales”.

Simultaneously, the EIS Conference provided an enriching platform to explore the transformative potential of entrepreneurship and innovation in effecting positive social change. Featuring paper presentations, qualitative research sessions, and insightful panels, the conference convened experts to discuss critical topics such as impact investment in startups and academia’s role in nurturing entrepreneurial talent. The conference brought together luminaries such as Dr. Vishal Talwar, Director at IMT Ghaziabad; Dr. Mayank Dhoundiyal, Dean School of Management Op Jindal University; Dr Pratik Modi,  Dean School of Management, BMU, for an interesting discussion on the role of Entrepreneurship Management education. Dr. Rishekesha Krishnan, Director IIM Bangalore shared his thoughts through a recorded message on the topic.

Thoughts leaders from Social Impact space including Dr. Nisha Pandey, Director Gujrat Institute of Development Research, Dr. Piyush Sinha, Chief Mentor Start Up Village Entrepreneurship Program and Dr. Arun R from IIT Madras discussed and presented case studies on creating impact for social value creation. Dr. Rakesh Arrawata CEO of IRMA presented a talk on private sector – incubator partnerships to create social ventures.

Impactful start-ups like- ‘HoYI’ which tries to create a network of farmers for fresh organic produce to reach our tables, ‘F2DF’ is the ministry of agriculture and farmers welfare supported start-up which, ‘BeUnic’ is An LGBTQ Community driven platform Helping entrepreneurs scale their business ‘Falhari’ is India’s first and leading fruits to consumers and wellness brand, and ‘KumaonKhand Agro-Innovations and Hospitality Private Limited’ which is a Himalayan farmers sustaining, licenced hemp value chain put up stalls and their founders interacted with students to energise them towards creating ventures related to sustainability and social sector

Dr. Deepak Pandit, Chair Professor, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, BMU said, “By providing a dynamic platform for aspiring entrepreneurs to showcase their ingenuity, engage with industry leaders, and address pressing societal challenges, we are not only fostering a culture of innovation but also shaping the future of entrepreneurship in India and beyond. Through collaborative efforts and a relentless pursuit of excellence, we are empowering the next generation of changemakers to create a brighter, more sustainable future for all”.

During the EIS conference, a total of 52 papers were submitted from   8   countries across the globe, showcasing a diverse array of perspectives and innovative solutions. After a rigorous selection process, 15 papers were shortlisted to advance to the final round of evaluation. Among these, the winning paper titled “Industrial ecosystem as a means to organize sustainable circular economy: The case of KIP” was authored by students from University of Easter Finland, presenting a compelling exploration. Additionally, the first runner-up, “Driving Forces Behind Sustainable Startup Creation: A Multiple Case Study,” was crafted by students from the University of Eastern Finland, and “Navigating the role of Circular Economy Business Model in Entrepreneurship: Drivers, Barriers & Strategies to overcome” was authored by the student from OP Jindal University. Lastly, the second runner-up, “At Peace or At War Understanding the nature of the central objectives of Social Enterprises” was authored by the student from Indian Institute of Management, Indore.

These contributions exemplify the depth of research and creativity exhibited by participants, further enriching the discourse on entrepreneurship, innovation, and social impact.

“The world of entrepreneurship offers endless opportunities, transforming dreams into reality, where challenges serve as stepping stones to success. The EIS Conference and Propel Pitchfest aim to bridge the gap between academia and entrepreneurs—the one with the groundbreaking ideas and the latter identifying opportunities and driving change. Without their collaboration, achieving holistic growth based on relevant and sustainable solutions is not feasible. This platform facilitates discussion, collaboration, inspiration, and growth,’’ commented Swati Munjal, President, BML Munjal University.

Through initiatives such as Pitchfest23 and the Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Social (EIS) conference, BML Munjal University (BMU) is actively cultivating young talent by offering a robust platform for participants to explore and draw inspiration from innovative ideas. These events serve as catalysts for participants to showcase their analytical prowess by identifying pressing challenges, both locally in India and on a global scale, and devising actionable solutions. By fostering an environment conducive to creativity and problem-solving, BMU empowers budding entrepreneurs to embark on journeys of innovation, contributing meaningfully to addressing societal issues and driving positive change.

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