Odisha Student Entrepreneur wins GITAM SmartIDEAthon 2023 – Start-Up Hyderabad
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Odisha Student Entrepreneur wins GITAM SmartIDEAthon 2023

 9 months ago    

In an exhilarating grand finale of the SmartIDEAthon 2023 — an annual pan-India mega pitch-fest organized by GITAM (Deemed to be University) — a promising young entrepreneur Anup Paikaray bagged the winner’s title, a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh and a fully sponsored trip to Boston.

Presenting to an eminent jury of experts in Hyderabad, this student of the Odisha University of Technology and Research made a winning pitch for his startup Newrup Tech Solutions, which develops heat-powered air blowers to harness excess heat from Chulas or Tandoors, converting it into rotational energy for an internal fan, at just Rs 500. It thereby seeks to impact the lives of over two billion women still cooking on traditional chulhas/mud stoves worldwide.

Odisha-startup Newrup Tech Solutions wins SmartIDEAthon 2023
Odisha-startup Newrup Tech Solutions wins SmartIDEAthon 2023

Handing over the coveted title was the event’s Chief Guest and India’s gifted space entrepreneur Pawan Kumar Chandana. Addressing a gathering of student entrepreneurs just days after the momentous Chandrayaan 3 landing, the Skyroot Aerospace co-founder and ex-ISRO scientist said; “Entrepreneurship gives immense satisfaction and helps create impact and employment. A career in space tech is a gratifying and satisfying experience for every engineer. Space can sustain trillions of people because of the resources. It is an exciting future for all of humanity.”

“Speaking on the future of Skyroot — the first private company in India to launch a rocket into space — Chandana said; “This year, we are targeting our next rocket, a 7-storied building rocket capable of launching multiple satellites into orbit. Skyroot’s mission is to open space for everybody.”

Emphasizing the importance of entrepreneurship education, Krish Nangegadda, Chief Innovation Officer, GITAM (Deemed to be University) says; “Entrepreneurship education gives you skills that you can use anywhere. We want to embrace entrepreneurship to build an ecosystem to transfer skills for life rather than merely being measured in the number of startups. SmartIDEAthon endeavors to promote this year’s themes through collaboration and networking among young minds.”

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Moreover, speaking to the students, Mr. Sribharat Mathukumilli, President of GITAM (Deemed to be) University, says; “Students should start thinking critically and asking questions. Look at all of the problems around you and see if you can solve them. If you can find solutions to problems and are willing to, able to find customers who pay for your services, that is a startup. That’s our takeaway from SmartIDEAthon 2023.”

Winners and runners-up won personalized coaching and boot camps by internationally-trained venture coaches. Additionally, they also won a sponsored trip to the USA to showcase at Boston Entrepreneurship Week. Moreover, they won cash and grants worth INR 30 Lakh for winners and runners-up.

Apart from the Grand jury and the chief guests, the guests present at the event included top entrepreneurship ecosystem stakeholders; Dr. Shanta Thoutam, Chief Innovation Officer, Government of Telangana; Surabhi Gupta, Senior Manager, Startup India; Prof Greg Collier, Director of International Programs NUCEE, Professor of Practice, DMSB E&I Group at Northeastern University; and Prof Ravi Ramamurti University, Distinguished Professor of International Business and Director, Centre for Emerging Markets, Northeastern University; Rajesh Manthena, Chairman Hyderabad Angels; Chandrashekar Sarma, Director, CtrlS data centres; and Rashida Adenwala, President TiE- Hyderabad.

SmartIDEAthon 2023

SmartIDEAthon ’23 Runners-up & other prizes

As Runners-up, Vineet Kumar, and Manish Bibhu, students of Sershah Engineering College in Bihar won Rs 1 lakh for POLYFUELER; revolutionizing waste management by transforming diverse plastic waste into fuel, powered by a proprietary catalyst.

Under the Best Woman-led Entrepreneurship Idea, K Ushasri Devi and P Sushma Devi from GITAM School of Business in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh bagged a Rs 50,000 cash prize for their venture, COACT. This strives to empower visually challenged women aged 15-55 by addressing their menstrual cycle-tracking challenges; liberating them from suboptimal methods, and ensuring their self-sufficiency in meeting their essential needs.

For the Leben Johnson People’s Choice Award; Yoga V I and Ramanan of Kumaraguru College of Technology & Bannari Amman Institute of Technology from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu made a winning pitch for their start-up MediCandy offering convenient anti-diabetic solutions.

Students of the Institute of Aeronautical Engineering from Telangana, Vuppu Mahesh, Kowkutla Jeshwanth Reddy, Gadala Naveen, and Mohammed Adhnan Mahboob won the Best Social Impact Business Idea: for AGRODROID that envisions an AI-powered rover revolutionizing cotton farming. Each team won Rs 50,000 as a cash prize.

Among the finalists were: The Fashion Brand (IIT BHU), Tech Redi (RBVRR Women’s College), and AGRO INDIA (SVKM’S NMIMS School Of Agricultural Sciences And Technology).

Dr Shanta Thoutam – Chief Innovation Officer, Telangana State Innovation Cell, ITE & C Dept., Government of Telangana said; “When Telangana state was formed we had two incubation centers. Nine years on, we have 80 incubation centers including those at academic centers. We are supporting them from ideation to problem-solving statements explicitly on technology-based incubation. Aiming to map the resources for them from grant money to prototyping support to market connect. Moreover, we are moving ideas into the market with an emphasis on commercialization. Lastly, we see potential in every idea. Our vision is to have an incubation center in all tier 1 and 2 cities and an innovator in every household.”

Source: GITAM SmartIDEAthon Press Release



I am an avid reader and have a passion for writing. Being a law student coming from a commerce background, I have a flair for learning about the dynamic legal and business fraternity, as well as becoming an entrepreneur myself. Innovation, creativity, and hard work are the sole drivers to growth and is my mantra for life.


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