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Mar 12, 2013 |

Chennai, January 21, 2013: The 2-day national conference of Tata First Dot powered by NEN, India’s first national recognition and mentoring platform for student startups, saw the felicitation of the national winners of Tata First Dot Judge’s Choice competition (six winners) and Tata First Dot People's Choice competition (five winners).  These start-ups will receive unique professional mentoring from various entrepreneurs, angel investors, mentors, experts and other student start-ups via the NEN Mentoring Platform. The two-day national conference was held at IIT-Madras, Chennai from January 20-21, 2013.

Overall top 29 promising ventures, including the 11 winning entries, were selected from a pool of 400+ entries from across multiple sectors namely Education, Manufacturing, IT/Software, Hospitality/Travel, Retail, Pharma/Healthcare, BioTech, Energy, Services, etc. The entries received were from across India including large metro like Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata to major cities like Hyderabad, Jaipur, Ahmedabad to smaller cities and towns like Hubli-Dharwad, Shivmoga, Coimbatore and Cuttack.

Besides the 11 winners, the remaining 18 short-listed promising start-ups from the top 29 will also receive recognition and mentoring through the Tata First Dot initiative (Details of top 29 ventures is appended in Annexure 1). They would be given an opportunity to network with entrepreneurs, angel investors, mentors, experts and fellow student start-ups.

The Tata Group, known for supporting innovative leadership, endeavors to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the youth through this initiative along with NEN. The initiative has been conceived to support these young entrepreneurs, help them build their companies, and to inspire more young people across the country to follow their lead.

The six national winners of the Tata First Dot Judge’s Choice Competition were selected by a panel of eminent jury members comprising of successful entrepreneurs, angel investors and senior Tata leaders. The entries were evaluated on criteria like milestones achieved (investment obtained, track record), business model, innovativeness and distinctive competence, passion and growth potential.

Similarly, the five winners of the Tata First Dot People’s Choice Competition, were selected through a process of online public voting, which attracted more than 64,000 public votes from across the country.

The winning entries included ventures like Anaerobic workstation for research, experiential learning tools for educational institutions, mobile app testing platform, search engine for e-commerce, automated food equipment, online courses, etc.

According to Mr. Atul Agrawal, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Tata Services, “We are delighted with the response that we have received for the second edition of Tata First Dot. The initiative is in line with our commitment to support and promote young entrepreneurs in the country. The passion of the student start-ups showcased has been encouraging and this will only further strengthen our efforts in the coming years.”

According to Mr. K Srikrishna, Executive Director of National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), said, “The more than 400 nominations for TATA First Dot points to the increasing popularity of entrepreneurship among students. We are encouraged to see start-ups addressing critical needs in cleantech, healthcare and waste management. The TATA First Dot powered by NEN platform is designed to showcase and mentor India’s student entrepreneurs. The conference is an opportunity to celebrate entrepreneurs and to learn from them.”

 Tata First Dot, powered by NEN comprises of five components designed to work together to engage and support India’s next generation of entrepreneurs: regional workshops, a judged national competition, an online “people’s choice” competition, a two-day national conference; and ongoing mentoring support for the winners of the competition.


The second edition of Tata First Dot programme saw over 600 students/entrepreneurs participating in the National Conference. The 2-day conference, being the fourth phase of the initiative Tata First Dot powered by NEN, witnessed inspiring speeches and group discussions by entrepreneurs, and business leaders sharing valuable tips and anecdotes from their own experiences to encourage these young entrepreneurs. Select student entrepreneurs also showcased their ventures at the venue.

For more details about the initiative log on to

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