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Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF), an annual conference hosted by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, will conduct the conference in India, for the first time ever, to mark 20th anniversary of the conference.

Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) is a student-run India-focused conference that will be themed around an analysis of India’s startup landscape. The conference will lay emphasis on profuse growth of established startups like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Zomato and Ola cabs along with comparing their success with established corporate like Tata, Reliance and more. It will have keynote addresses and panel discussions featuring eminent speakers like Ronnie Screwvala (founder of UTV group and Unilazer), Harsh Mariwala (Chairman of Marico), Haigreve Khaitan (Senior Partner at Khaitan & Co.)

The conference is scheduled for January 5, 2016 at St. Regis Hotel, Phoenix Mills, Mumbai. Besides, Wharton School will also conduct WIEF at its Philadelphia campus on March 25, 2016.

Apart from panel discussions and keynotes addresses, the conference will feature pitching of ideas by Wharton India Startup Competition finalists.

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There were around 750 startups that applied for the Wharton India Startup Competition. Out of which 20 semi-finalists were shortlisted, from which 10 finalists were finally selected to pitch at the forum in Mumbai.

These startups were selected on the basis  of having a product or service for the Indian market, both for profit and social ventures. They will be judged by Kirthiga Reddy (MD of Facebook India), Ravi Gururaj (Nasscom) and Sasha Mirchandani (Founder and MD of Kae Capital).

Through the competition, the Wharton India Startup Competition aims to provide a single platform for startups to get access to mentors, collaborators, investors and potential customers.

The event is supposed to be attended by a wide variety of corporate individuals, entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, aspiring entrepreneurs, MBA students, businessmen, investors and academics. It will conclude with networking cocktails and dinner.

WIEF was started by a Wharton school MBA student, Venkat Badinehal, 20 years back with an aim to connect the western world to India’s business potential and facilitate tie-ups.

Vikram Arumilli, one of the co-chairs of WIEF 2016 and a 2nd year MBA student from the school said, “A lot of early-stage innovations fail because they don’t have the ability to scale up due to right kind of intervention at the right time. If on a single forum, one can get a mentor, collaborator, investor and potential customer corresponding to innovation at different stages, it will not only strengthen the process but also give a much-needed boost to sustainable, entrepreneurial environment of the country.”

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