Eximius 2018 – Annual Entrepreneurship Summit

IIM Bangalore hosts its annual entrepreneurship summit, Eximius, with an array of scintillating contests, stimulating speaker sessions and vibrant workshops

Contributed By: Anand MP & Prasanjan Mitra, PGP 1

The 11th edition of Eximius, IIM Bangalore’s National Entrepreneurship Summit, took place on 4th and 5th August 2018, with the theme “Dream, Dare and Defy”. Eximius aims to stimulate the spirit of innovation in budding entrepreneurs and students from across the country. The annual event, which is the largest Entrepreneurship Summit amongst the B-Schools of India, saw massive participation from over thousands of colleges and startups. A wide range of events, from B-plan competitions and elevator pitches, to panel discussions and keynote sessions by renowned entrepreneurs were organized as part of the extravaganza. More than 50 events and 35 speaker sessions were held in the 2-day summit, the highest till date.

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Cell, the organizing body of the summit, was proud to host some of the prominent names of the business world. Mr Ananth Narayanan, CEO, Myntra & Jabong, Mr Yashish Dahiya, Founder, PolicyBazaar, Mr Birendra Kumar, General Manager and Zonal Head of Bengaluru Zone, Bank of Baroda and Mr Deepak Ohri, CEO, Lebua Hotels were present during the inauguration ceremony of the summit. They shared the experiences they have gathered through their entrepreneurial journey. Prof. Padmini Srinivasan, Chair of the Post Graduate Programme at IIMB, highlighted the importance of entrepreneurship and its need in today’s world in contributing towards a better global society.

The first day of Eximius saw keynote speaker sessions by Mr K. Ganesh, serial entrepreneur and Partner at Growth Store, Mr Deep Bajaj, Founder of PeeBuddy, Mr Rohan Ganpathy, CEO and director, Bellatrix Aerospace, Mr Ameet Choudhary, Founder of eLaundry and Mr Venkatesh Iyer, Founder of Goli Vada Pav. They provided insights on their successful unconventional startup ideas. Mr Gaurav Sachdeva, CEO – JSW Ventures and Mr Srikrishna Murthy CEO – Sattva Consulting also shared their valuable insights with students of different business schools present in the audience. Dr Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, President, Venture Catalyst spoke about how he co-founded Asia’s first integrated incubator, while Mr Neeraj Tyagi, Managing Partner at Venture Catalyst described the entrepreneurship culture in India, enunciating the need for more youth-centric startups. The CEO of JustDial, Mr V.S.S Mani took to the stage at the IIMB auditorium to launch a revolutionary new product, and spoke about the origin stories of JustDial. Ms Pooja Rai, co-founder of the immensely popular new venture ‘Anthill Creations’, spoke about the company’s journey in transforming the way people perceive stageplays, through their innovative products and services. Mr Puneet Manuja, the founder of YourDost and a member of the coveted Forbes 30 under 30, had a candid conversation with the attendees on mental health in India and how YourDost is helping address some of the problems in that area.

IIMB alumni entrepreneurs also shared their experiences in the speaker session, Bfounders. Alumi Shashank Kothi, the founder of Finfirst Capital Advisors Pvt. Ltd, Tej Pandey, co-founder & COO at Mobiotics, Amarendra Sahu, co-founder of Nestaway Technologies Pvt. Ltd and Ashis Nayak, founder & director, Autoninja discussed their knowledge, business insights and vision for the future during this session. They addressed queries of the students touching upon various aspects of a starting a venture, ranging across pitching, sales and marketing.

Various business-oriented workshops were conducted to help budding entrepreneurs. The VC and Entrepreneurship Workshop had speaker sessions by notable people from the industry, including Mr Amarendra Sahu, CEO and co-founder of NestAway, Mr Abhishek Humbad, Founder and Co-CEO of Goodera, Mr Rutvik Doshi, Partner and Managing Director at Inventus Capital and Mr Rohit Jain, Partner and co-founder at Pravega Ventures. The Start-up Fund-raising workshop detailed the procedures and critical tool-sets required to generate funding for start-ups in the initial stage. Dr Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Mr Neerja Tyagi & Mr Rohit Barfa of Venture Catalyst formed the experienced panel who handled the event.

Among contests, BzzWings was the flagship B-Plan competition organized in association with the N S Raghavan Center for Entrepreneurial Learning, the incubation cell at IIMB. Besides, NSRCEL conducted an Intern Fair and a hackathon on the first day of Eximius. Johnson Tellis, the founder of Dreamers, was the host for the hackathon that lasted 12 hours till 7 am on August 5. It was an intensive 12 hours of coding that included fun games, activities, food and music.

Dr. Reddy’s Digital Healthcare competition emphasized the use of data and technology in playing a pivotal role in the pharma sector today. As part of the competition, participants had to figure out how Aadhaar and low fidelity high-frequency medical devices can come together to enable better data collection for non-communicable diseases. Next Up, a startup valuation competition, helped the participants showcase their valuation finesse before the subject experts. The event was judged by Anjana Vivek, founder of VentureBean Consulting and Sharath Loganathan, co-founder of Ninjacart. The summit also saw participants flocking to one of the many exciting contests going on as part of the extravaganza. One of these was Game of Clicks, a digital marketing competition where teams had to compete in real time to ideate and execute digital marketing strategy of a start-up. Another popular competition was the Wipro Sustainability Quiz, which rigorously tested the candidates on environmental issues.

Eximius also hosted for the first time a startup pitching competition, Pitcher Perfect, for aspiring social entrepreneurs. Startups providing products and services that solve societal and environmental problems were given focus in this event. With the onset of massive technological solutions, social entrepreneurs can use, create and exchange information to create sustainable ventures. This competition focused on harnessing the entrepreneurial energy of B-school students to power social change. Around 40 startups had participated in the event. Investors have taken an interest in four of the startups, who are looking to raise 5.7+ crores.

The closing ceremony of Eximius hosted real-life dream-dare-defy entrepreneur Mr Rahul Narvekar. He enthralled the audience with an awe-inspiring story of his journey to Harvard University starting from a chawl in Mumbai; and how he built an $85 million company in the process. It was indeed a fitting end to the fest that had all the elements wrapped into one – inspiration, information, and illumination. The key takeaways from the two-day extravaganza for all the visitors and IIMB students were not merely inspiration and words, but a concrete set of tools and connections that they could build on while creating their ventures. Eximius 2018 rightly helped all its participants to dare to dream, and defy the odds that come in their way to reach their real potential.