The India Finals of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) 2021, which are one of the most esteemed global startup competitions focused solely on student entrepreneurs, will be held from 11th February to 13th February. The awards are being organized by Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), the world’s only peer-to-peer network exclusively for entrepreneurs having 14,000+ members across 61 countries. The Bhopal Chapter of EO will host the India Finals this year, which will be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
GSEA India 2021 is being conducted in association with Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the Cloud Credits Partner and Atal Incubation Center-Rabindranath Tagore University (AIC-RNTU) as the Knowledge Partner. A total of 28 teams from 14 chapters of EO from across India will be participating in this year’s India Finals. The winner of GSEA India 2021 will compete in the global finals of GSEA 2021 against competitors from 8 other countries, including Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa, Spain and the USA. At the Global Finals, students will compete for a cash prize of US$25,000. Second place will receive US$10,000 and third place will receive US$5,000.
Nidhi Agarwal (Chapter President, EO Bhopal) said, “It is a great opportunity for Bhopal to be hosting a national level event of such repute and we are trying to bring the best experience for all the competing finalists.” Siddharth Chaturvedi (Executive Vice President, AISECT Group and the Chair of GSEA Bhopal) said, “We have got the best of the keynote speakers and jury members from the startup ecosystem to provide great learning opportunities to the finalists, in addition to providing attractive cash prizes to the winners. The top 3 winners would be getting cash prizes of INR 1,00,000; INR 75,000 and INR 50,000 respectively, whereas the other top 10 winners would get gift vouchers worth INR 10,000 each.”
Speaking about the competition, Rajnikanth (GSEA Expert South Asia Region, EO) said, “GSEA has been one of the flagship programmes of EO, which actively engages with student startups across the region, providing them the opportunity to learn and network with experienced business owners and entrepreneurs; and has consistently grown in its impact in the past few years.” Smita Vallurupalli (GSEA Expert-EO South Asia) said, “This year, the entire Finale is being organized virtually, with a special presence on social media and live streaming of the entire event for the benefit of audience from student and startup community.”
To qualify for the GSEA competition, the student entrepreneur’s business must have been in operation for a minimum of six consecutive months. The student must have either founded the business or be principally responsible for its operation. Selected students will present their business, entrepreneurial journey and company vision to a panel of entrepreneur judges.
The Trailblazer Summit will also be held as part of GSEA India Finals 2021 wherein bootcamp sessions will be conducted on Day 1 for the GSEA India Finalists by renowned experts from the startup ecosystem. The sessions will be conducted by Dr. Rajeev Roy (Professor-Entrepreneurship , XLRI) on ‘Student Startup, What Next?’, Dr. Kaustubh Dhargalkar (Founder, Potentials and Possibilities) on ‘Design thinking for early stage startup’ and Mr. Ajay Batra (Executive Vice President, Venture Fastrack at Wadhwani Foundation) on ‘Understanding Customer, Business Model Canvas’.
The Semi Finals of GSEA India 2021 will be held on Day 2, where the teams representing 14 EO chapters from across India, namely Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur, Gujarat, Coimbatore, Goa, Raipur, Kerala, Gurugram, Pune, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Nagpur and Chennai, will compete with each other to make their place in the Top 5 finalists. The semi-finalists will pitch to Jury Members virtually through different breakout rooms. The second day of the event will also witness keynote addresses by Anil Chikkara (Executive Chairman, ZookEV; Founder CEO, BlueBolt Startup Factory and Founder Chairman, Startup India Foundation) and Chintan Bakshi (CEO, Startup Oasis).
On the final day of the event, the top 5 selected studentpreneurs from the semi-finals will pitch their business in front of the Jury. The Jury Members for the finals will include Anil Joshi (Managing Partner, Unicorn India Ventures), Swen Wegner (Founder & CEO, Mainstage Incubator), Bhushan Gajaria (Founder, Beehive Capital Advisors Pvt Ltd), Ankur Jain (Founder & Venture Capital, Hostel Fund), R. Natarajan (Trustee, Youth for Seva), Sanket Lamichhane (Regional Chair-South Asia, Entrepreneurs’ Organization) and Sanjay Jhunjhunwala (Area Director and Incoming Regional Chair-South Asia, Entrepreneurs’ Organization). Ramanan Ramanathan (Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog) will give the keynote address on the final day of GSEA India Finals 2021.