Gearing up for the 23rd edition of Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF), Wharton University students are ready for a trailblaze into 2019. WIEF is an India-centric business conference bringing together leaders, professionals, academics and students from around the world to discuss India’s evolution into a prominent global economic power.
Scheduled for January 4, 2019, in Mumbai, the conference will be focused around the themes of diversified business models, disruptive strategies and delivery of value. Speaker sessions will cover a variety of topics ranging from industry deep dives to discussing building and scaling businesses in India.
Established in 1996, Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) is an annual conference hosted by the students at Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. It is a global business forum focussed on understanding and engaging with India’s startup landscape. Some of the notable speakers in more than two decades of its journey include ex-President APJ Abdul Kalam, industrialists such as Mukesh Ambani, investors like George Soros and entrepreneurs like Nandan Nilekani.
What To Expect At 23rd Edition Of WIEF
For 2019, the culmination of speakers includes Naveen Jindal, MD, Jindal Steel; Vikram Limaye, head, National Stock Exchange; Deepak Bagla, CEO Invest India and Startup India; Raj Beri, head, UBER APAC among other senior industry heads and individuals.
The conference will also host a Masterclass track, group sessions conducted in a closed setting with Rahul Khanna, founder, Trifecta Capital and Dhiraj Rajaram, founder and CEO, Mu Sigma.
At the Wharton India Economic Forum, WISEMENTORS (Wharton India Startup – Expertise, Mentorship, and Engagement Network To Rising Stars) will be launched.
WISEMENTORS is an initiative for a special network for learning and support for startups and providing strong institutional support via the Wharton alumni network, faculty and industry leaders with a strong track record and entrepreneurship experience.
Talking to Inc42, Juhi Bhatnagar, Wharton India Economic Forum co-chair said, “Many of the startups that have come out of WISC, such as Bizongo which recently raised $22 Mn (INR 153.9 Mn), have gone on to do amazing things. Early feedback from our judges indicates that the quality of the applications this year is extraordinary and it has been difficult for them to shortlist top 20 out of over 550 applications.”
The co-chairs for the WIEF are Khushboo Goel, Kartik Das, Juhi Bhatnagar, Sonal Panda and Swati Ganeti.
Sixth Wharton Startup Challenge: Mentorship And Cash Prizes
The conference will host the sixth edition of Wharton Startup Challenge, where top 10 startups selected out of more than 550 applications will pitch to the investors for prizes. The pitch will consist of a seven-minute presentation and a six-minute question and answer session by audience and judges.
The top three startups will receive $20K (INR 13.9 Lakh) in cash as well as prizes from Amazon, Digital Ocean, Thinqbate and mentorship from exclusive Wharton Mentors Network.
Also, top 22 startups will exhibit in the hallways of St. Regis to interact with the audiences and display their ideas and products.
The judges this year include Padmaja Ruparel (India Angel Network), Siddharth Nautiyal (Omidyar Network), Prayank Swaroop (Accel Partners), Rajinder Balaraman (Matrix Partners) and Sakshi Chopra (Sequoia).
Kartik Das added, “This has been a record-breaking incredible year with almost more than 550 startup applications. I am certain that this year the finalists are going to benefit greatly from the wealth of experience of the judges and the audiences are going to have a great time attending the startup challenge.”
The previous winners of the Wharton Startup Challenge have gone on to raise over $50 Mn (INR 349.95 Cr) in funding from more than 20 institutional investors. The success stories include Bizongo, Zoomcar, Zostel, Detect Technologies and more.
The Wharton India Economic Forum along with the annual Wharton India Startup Challenge (WISC) is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship in the country. With the support planned for several aspiring entrepreneurs on a global platform, the conference promises a long jump into the innovations of the Indian startup ecosystem.