The Grand Finale of Conquest 2016, BITS Pilani’s international startup challenge, concluded in Delhi on August 27, 2016. R Chandrasekhar, President, NASSCOM was the chief guest for the event.

The winner was Project Mudra, a technology­-based startup that aims to provide Braille literacy and K­12 lessons for the blind. The runner up was Comfort Products, which specialises in manufacturing home appliances such as SwiftChill – a portable beverage chiller that chills any drink in less than 5 minutes.

The winner and the runner­ up have been awarded $29K (INR 200K) and $15K (INR 100K) of equity-­less cash funding, respectively.

Conquest is BITS Pilani’s International Startup Conclave. It is a startup challenge that provides a platform to emerging startups. It offers incubation, networking as well as funding opportunities to budding entrepreneurs with equity-less cash prizes to boost their venture.

Dhairik Fuletra, CEO, Conquest 2016, said, “We feel delighted to see the culmination of a year-long hard work end on such a high note in the presence of investors, entrepreneurs and students joining in from across the nation. With the evolving Indian startup ecosystem, we have reinvented Conquest such that it delivers a perfect launchpad to emerging startups with funding, mentoring and broad networking opportunities with the key players all under one roof.”

According to an official statement, the event attracted 1200 applications this year. Under the framework of the competition, the startups that applied were analysed on the grounds of their revenue model, market traction, customer acquisition and various other parameters leading to selection of the shortlisted 50 startups. The startups then attended one of the three networking sessions held in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Of the 50, the top 10 startups were then selected by the jury consisting of Dev Khare, Rajan Anandan, Bharat Shanker and Murali Natrajan, to be a part of the Grand Finale.

The finale had two panel discussions followed by a pitching round for the Top 10 startups. The first panel included  Sanjay Nath, Abhiraj Bhal, Bhawna Agarwal, Samar Singla and Prukalpa Sankar and discussed the importance of hiring talent. The second panel which focussed upon young entrepreneurs and consisted of Rajesh Sawhney, Jitendra Gupta and Pankaj Jain among others. In the Fish Bowl round, audience interacted with the Jury members by asking them questions in an open discussion.

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