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Social Entrepreneurship get fillip from Azim Premji University

Chennai, October 2017: Students of IIT Madras bagged first prize in second edition of Azim Premji University’s National level Social enterprise Idea challenge organized at University Campus Hosur Road, Electronic city Campus on 21st Oct 2017. The Social Enterprise Cell organizes the Idea Challenge every year with a purpose to provide students of Colleges and Universities across India an opportunity to explore social entrepreneurship and share their innovative ideas in a rigorous and competitive manner. The event also acts as a great networking platform for young minds to meet each other, exchange thoughts and showcase their talent and skills to some of the early stage mentors and funders.

Gobinath P, Shreeram R and Santosh G V from IIT Madras emerged winners for their idea on ‘Modular Housing’ – An Idea of foldable housing to address the need of Decent Temporary shelter to rehabilitate the disaster affected victims and refugees across the world. The conventional methods don’t provide safety, privacy or Insulation from the extreme climatic conditions. This model addresses the gap by introducing cheap, portable, doable and quick to set up Modular Housing solutions for needy.
Ranjith Kumar and Akhil Krishna from Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore, won the second prize for their idea on ‘Reinforced Accoustic Tiles’ which included Utilization of Agro Waste and Housing material using straw. The third prize was shared between two colleges – Niranjan Kargi from Angadi Inst. Of Technology and Management, Belgaum and Nitish J Bhagat from Montford College, Bangalore for their projects on Portable Water filter device and ‘Rise’ – a platform to bridge the gap in the mental health sector by providing public, respectively.

More than 100 teams participated and submitted their innovative solution models in the first round. The submissions were broadly in the domains of education, livelihood, health, sustainability and governance. 15 teams were shortlisted for the finale which was evaluated by a eminent panel of Jury members including Sanjay Anandaram and Ganesh Rengaswamy, both very active in the Social Entrepreneurship scenario as mentors and funders.
Azim Premji University was established by Azim Premji Foundation as a fully philanthropic and not-for-profit entity, with a clear social purpose. The University’s key mission is to prepare graduates with great competence, integrity and social commitment who can contribute to the Education and Development sectors in India. The Social Enterprise cell of the University reflects that vision as many students are trying to come up with innovative solutions to some of the most complex social problems. The cell is a platform to share, debate and discuss those ideas and connect with individuals and like-minded groups.

In his keynote address, Mr. Sudheesh Venkatesh, Chief People Officer, Azim Premji Foundation said “Social Enterprise play a very important role in today’s India since we are also facing the huge issue of jobless growth. The Social enterprises not only contribute in creating new jobs but also make social impact in an equitable and inclusive manner”.

Panelists – Profile
Ganesh is the Co – founding partner of Quona Capital – the first global venture capital firm focused on financial technology for inclusive finance. They back innovators enhancing the quality and availability of financial products and services for underserved consumers and enterprises through business model innovation and a passion for making a positive change in the world. He is also a board member of reputed organizations like IndiaMart, CreditMantri etc.

Sanjay has close to 30 years’ experience as entrepreneur, corporate executive, venture capitalist, angel investor, teacher, advisor and mentor. He is involved with companies like redBus, Instahealth. Sanjay is the founder of a VC backed Silicon Valley startup, set up India’s first e-magazine for entrepreneurs in 1999. He lectures, teaches and writes extensively on entrepreneurship.

The third Jury member is Annapurna Neti – faculty at Azim Premji University. Annapurna’s current research interests include livelihoods, women empowerment through financial services and micro-enterprises. She has been working in the areas of SME financing, Microfinance, Financial Inclusion and Social Performance Management for 10 years. She has worked with Small Industries Development Bank of India and has been a consultant to multiple organizations in the development sector.

 

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