Entrepreneurship Summit

E-Summit is the annual flagship event of E-Cell and SBERTC, IIT Kanpur, to foster entrepreneurial initiatives and activities in the campus. E-Summit provides a platform for the ‘aspiring entrepreneurs’ to have hands-on experience before they can finally enter the market. It brings together the academic community, venture capitalists, new age entrepreneurs and all those passionate about entrepreneurship to a common ground.

This event provides an avenue to exhibit their entrepreneurial talents, creativity, innovation through various associated happenings-

  • Start-up Show-Case cum Exhibition
  • Networking Sessions
  • Workshops
  • Competitions
  • Talks by Start-ups and Venture Capitalists
  • Special Talks by Entrepreneur IIT Kanpur Alumni

Some of the workshops being organized are:
  • Stock Sim Simulations
  • Start-Up Case Studies
  • Advertising  and Promotion of a Product
Various competitions are organized during the E-Summit, each having a handsome prize money associated with it:
  • Business Ventures
  • Product Design Competition
  • Video advertizing Competition
  • Social Entrepreneurship Idea Competition

The focus of the summit remains to cater to the leadership qualities in an individual and stimulate him into unleashing his innovative streak.

The Syndicate Bank Entrepreneurship Research and Training Centre at IIT Kanpur organized E – Summit in association with the student E-cell. E-summit is an annual event organized with the objective of bringing together the entrepreneurial passions on a common platform. It acts as a networking base for corporates, working professionals, upcoming entrepreneurs and students across the IIT Kanpur community.

E-Summit 2013 was organized from 16th to 18th August, 2013 and the theme of the event was ‘Prism of Opportunities’. The Summit was the confluence of ideas facilitated by various competitions, workshops, talks and a panel discussion –

  • Competitions -
  • The following competitions were organized keeping in view the intention of providing an opportunity to the students to exhibit their talent and entrepreneurial ideas –
    • ‘Mind your business’ – This was a simulation of the real start-up arena with students divided as entrepreneurs and investors. About 100 students participated in the game.
    • ‘So-Cha’ abbreviated for Social Change, was a social entrepreneurship challenge aimed at eradication of social evils by innovative solutions. 21 teams registered for the event, out of which 12 were shortlisted for final presentation. The judging panel included Prof. Deepak Gupta and Prof. Madhav Ranganathan, both professors at IIT Kanpur.
    • ‘Pitch your product’, was aimed at presenting a business plan for the technical projects and assessing its commercial viability. 18 teams registered, from which 12 were shortlisted to present their b- plan before the judges. The judging panel included Prof. Amitabha Mukherjee and Prof. Jayanta Chaterjee, professors at IIT Kanpur.
    • ‘E-Sell’, a marketing competition, was aimed at devising a new marketing strategy and tagline for the given product. 27 teams registered, from which 17 were shortlisted for final presentation. Mr. Mushir A Siddqui was the judge for the competition.
  • Workshops
  • To broaden the understanding of diverse aspects of entrepreneurship from idea generation to idea commercialization, workshops were also made part of the E-summit -
    • Workshop on ‘Idea Generation and Opportunity Evaluation’ – It was a two-day workshop conducted by Dr. Deepak Roy, Head, Centre of Excellence at SCMHHRD, Pune. There is no shortage of excellent business ideas; but the fact remains that the large majority of start-up companies fail. Why is that? And how can one avoid the common mistakes that many entrepreneurs make?
      This workshop was a step by step exercise for young minds on how to launch ideas at an opportune time and then how to subsequently unfold the ideas into business prospects. The critical success factors that need to be in place were also let known through lectures, demonstrations and some hands-on assignments.
      22 students attended the workshop.

    • ‘Innovation Workshop for Aspiring Entrepreneurs’ – This was a 3-hour long workshop by Focus Adventure, India. The participants were familiarized with different tools and methodologies to help enhance their innovative mindset. Participants were showed concepts and practices of entrepreneurial thought and entrepreneurship, promoting an immersive and realistic experience. As part of this initiative, the participants were able to take on the roles of company founders, create a vision and execute a plan for their company – as they would in an entrepreneurial endeavor. It also focused on various models of idea presentation. 30 students attended the workshop.
  • Talks:
  • As a motivational trigger for students, talks by young achievers from different backgrounds and experiences were organized. The speakers were –
    • Bestselling author Preeti Shenoy.
    • Ambarish Gupta, founder and CEO of Knowlarity and alumnus of IIT Kanpur, 2000 batch.
    • Harishankaran Karunanidhi, co founder of Hacker Rank and Interview Street.
    • Piyush Agarwal, founder and CEO of Aurus Network and alumnus of IIT Kanpur, 2008 batch.
    • Prashant Raj, Managing Partner and Director of The Viral Fever.
    The talks were followed by a networking dinner, where the winners of various competitions got a chance to interact with the guests.

  • Panel Discussion
  • For further benefit of the budding entrepreneurial community, a panel discussion was also organised on the theme 'Funding Scenario in India and Future Opportunities'. The distinguished panelists were -
    • Navin Honagudi of Investment Team, KAE Capital.
    • Ashu Agarwal, Head of North India Operations, Indian Angel Network.
    • Anil Joshi, Head of Operations at Mumbai Angels.
    The discussion was moderated by Mr Prashant Raj, Managing Partner and Director of The Viral Fever.
E-Summit 2013 was organized from 22nd to 24th August, 2014. The Summit was the confluence of ideas comprising of inspiring talks by eminent personalities, enriching workshops and thought provoking competitions –


Ashutosh : He is the former Indian TV journalist-turned spokesperson of the Aam Aadmi Party. He has been the Managing Editor of IBN7 of TV18 group. Through his talk, he provided insight into what leadership is all about and what could be the possible ups and downs in a leader’s journey.

Advitiya Sharma : A graduate from IIT Bombay, Advitiya co-founded Housing.com along with 11 other friends to solve the problem of house renting in India through technology. Advitiya talked about the journey of his venture and detailed finely about choosing the right co-founders and tips for resolving co-founder conflicts for the betterment of business.

Akshay Saxena : The co-founder and current President of Avanti Fellows, he was awarded the Draper Richards Kaplan Fellowship and Echoing Green Fellowship in 2012. He has served on the founding team of HeartFlow- a medical diagnostics company. Akshay discussed about how an NGO differs from a social entrepreneur and how the education system has been revolutionized to benefit the underprivileged.

Aakif Merchant: Aakif graduated from The George Washington University with a B.A in Economics and Political Science, during which he interned at Fontheim International, and World Affairs Councils of America.

Prof. K. Vijay Raghavan: Distinguished Professor and former Director of The National Centre for Biological Sciences, he is Secretary of Department of Biotechnology, India, since 28 January 2013. He shared his thoughts on the biotechnical entrepreneurial landscape in the country and the prospective areas which are expected to have a boom in the coming years.

Anand Kumar: He is best known for his Super 30 programme which he started in Bihar in 2002 to coach economically backward students for IIT-JEE. By 2014, 308 of the 360 had made it to IITs and the Discovery Channel showcased his work in a documentary. His journey is a manifestation of a business model to serve the largest number of user-base with a limited capital and in a very sophisticated manner.


Let’s Venture: The association trained participants to get acquainted with the complexities of raising funds for businesses.

Ideas Generation: The workshop taught the participants to refine their thought process and convert their baby idea into a fully grown start-up.

NEN Workshop: With examples of real-life case studies of successes such as PayPal and Fab, the session gave a comprehensive sense of the business tools used by high potential start-ups to the participants.


Mind Your Business: This game gave exposure to the real scenario of a start-up, with investors and start-ups negotiating with each other and maximising their profits.

Pitch-Your-Product: Provided the participants an opportunity to transform their innovations, summer projects or any other such research works into actual entrepreneurial ideas.

SoCha : This competition was about presenting an idea which could bring about a social change.

Decrypt : This case study competition was about solving problems that were critical to answer for an entrepreneur at some stage and carried a potential to mould the future of the business.

Hackathon: SBERTC, E-Cell & Google Developer’s Group, IIT Kanpur hosted Hackathon, wherein teams had to work on a product idea that solved a problem and rendered a social message.

All the above competitions offered prizes for the winners.

E-Summit is an annual entrepreneurial fest organized by SBERTC, consisting of several competitions, workshops, talks by eminent personalities and much more. Participants come from all over the country providing the campus community a very healthy exposure to outside entrepreneurial environment. Students get to interact with the speakers and judges in the networking session, which brings about clarity in the way they think about entrepreneurship.

E-Summit 2015’s vision was to reach out and help the startups of two-tier cities of India like those from Lucknow, Indore, etc. where these start-ups do not get the kind of exposure that their counterparts in metros do. A whole new competition was created for startups and prizes worth lakhs of rupees were awarded. Startups also got a platform to showcase their ideas in the expo.


The competitions were designed keeping in mind the different skill-sets of the participants involved. “Upstart” was designed to cater to full blown entrepreneurs who already had a start-up in operation. Those who had an MVP (Minimum viable product) ready, could compete in “Pitch Ur Product”. Another competition “SoCha” was conducted as the social counterpart of Pitch Ur Product. For those who had only an idea, we had them validated against a crowd in “Crowd-ed”. It also took care of the want-to-be start-up investors. While these competitions served entrepreneurial minds, another competition named “Decrypt” was designed for students who had a knack for solving case studies. Details on each of these competitions are stated below :

a) Upstart – An event that catered to the start-ups of Kanpur and other tier II cities, this competition stood apart from conventional Start-up competitions and 10-minute pitches. We strive to give our participants more than just the prize. 6 start-ups were selected for the final round of Upstart which was held in the Campus. Each start-up was assigned a mentor and given the opportunity to develop their ideas and hone their business plans in subsequent brainstorming sessions with the mentor. The final pitch was then judged by this panel of mentors.
Prizes for the competition included: pitching call to Nexus Venture Partners, direct entry to Accelerator program of BW Accelerate, direct entry to Accelerator program of Excubator and incubation at SIDBI, IIT Kanpur along with a cash prize of INR 50,000.


  • Help Us Green
  • Defog-It
  • Deliver Fresh

b) Pitch-Your-Product – Pitch Ur Product was organized with an objective to provide participants with an opportunity to present their innovation or innovative idea (e.g. summer project or any other such research work) wrapped up as a potential working start-up in future. This event examined the ability of the participants to evaluate the market, the customer needs and their distribution strategy for a product they had already prototyped. With a total cash prize of INR 25,000 the event saw 10 teams being shortlisted for the final round.


  • Team Sigma
  • Team Acapella Pic-o-pic

c) SoCha- SoCha, or Social Challenge, is a competition aimed at directing entrepreneurial minds towards the social problems that plague society today, and encourage them to provide a viable and sustainable solution for it. It is not just about the profits, but rather about the social impact their idea can have.

The event saw 14 teams in the final round fighting it out for cash prizes amounting to a total of INR 20,000 and a chance to get incubated by Villgro.


  • Team Udaan
  • Team Prosoc Innovators
  • Team EDA (Education Data Analytics) and Team Enactus IITK

d) Decrypt – Decrypt is the case study competition wherein you are given a startup case/crisis and you step into the shoes of a founding member to present and defend your solution. Cash prizes amounting to a total of INR 50,000 were awarded to 4 teams who were shortlisted from more than 200 registrations from both online and offline rounds of the event.

Winners (Online Round):

  • The Cryptix: Jeet Patel, Jay Patrikar, Shilpi Agrawal
  • Alchemist: Sabyasachi Mishra, Pramod Kumar Singh
  • Alpha-Beta-Gamma: Preetham Gampa, Harish, Shanti Sree

YUP: Yugesh Kumar

Winner (Offline Round): Aakash Tiwari

e) Crowd-ed: Crowd-ed, or Crowd-Funded, is a crowd funding competition for creative projects and ideas. It is a platform where project creators, start-ups and individuals pitch their ideas to the toughest panel on the planet, a crowd. If holding the fate of the winners in their hands wasn't enough, attendees in the crowd are rewarded in other ways as well. The top 5 investors in the winning idea received back the amount they invested.

The winning pitch received a cash prize of INR 17,500 while the top five investors in the winning pitch walked away with INR 500 each.


E-Cell believes that workshops are a very crucial part of learning. eSummit’15 consisted of 4 interesting and informative workshops for everyone, i.e. from the people who didn’t know anything about entrepreneurship to the people who already have started up.

a) Ideas to Execution - This workshop, organised for non-IITK students on 29th August, 2015, giving a clear insight into the world of Start-ups and Entrepreneurs and encouraged the participants to look at entrepreneurship as a career option. Every aspect from Idea to Execution in a start-up was covered. The workshop was attended by 70 students.
Speaker: Ravi Ranjan - Manager, Start-up : Warehouse Kolkata, is an "Intrapreneur" and Entrepreneurship evangelist. He is currently managing Start-up Warehouse Kolkata, which is part of www.10000startups.com and funded by Govt. of West Bengal. Ravi has over 8 years of experience spanning diverse sectors such as Entrepreneurship, Angel Investment, Venture Capital, Private Equity, Early stage companies, Deal Flow Management, Business Incubator, Operations, Events and Media Across Geographies.

b) Business Model Canvas - The Business Model Canvas was a strategic management and entrepreneurial workshop for business model innovation, organised on 30th August 2015, in association with Villgro. It helped participants learn how to decide whether the benefits of an option outweigh the risk factor, giving them a holistic view of business. An encouraging response was received from the participants due to the mind of information it imparted and its utility. The workshop had 40 students in attendance.
Speaker: Sudhanshu Malani has over four years of experience working in both private and non-profit sectors. He was a fellow with Teach for India in Pune where he taught Math and Science to grade 4 kids. Prior to his fellowship he worked with TATA Motors and handled after-sales management of commercial vehicles. At Villgro, Sudhanshu is working with incubation team and looking at education portfolio companies.

c) How to get first few customers - This interactive workshop on 30th August, 2015, demystified the start-up selling process and taught students how to sell ideas and build organizations. Early stage entrepreneurs who had great ideas & products but did not come from a formal sales background, learnt how to shorten their sales cycle. The workshop was attended by 35 students.
Speaker: Balaji Chakravarthi has 20 years of IT selling experience in start-ups, first customer acquisition and also in setting up large sales teams from scratch. Balaji is the founder of ScoVelo.com, a sales process consulting firm. Balaji is also the founder of FirstFewCustomers.com, a platform that shares start-up sales secrets of successful founders. Balaji has also handled large sales teams for expansion stage companies.

d) Storytelling for Leaders - This was a special addition to our ‘series’ for all those who aspire to lead. Attendees of this workshop learnt to apply a series of practical guidelines, step-by-step, for creating unforgettable stories. Participants learnt how to build an emotionally resonant arc for their brand biographies and professional networking. This highly interactive workshop was appreciated for ready-to-use methods and very practical guidelines. The workshop had 30 students in attendance.
Speaker: Rohini Vij, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, NutSpace is extremely detail oriented & timely, while being very helpful & friendly. She has previously worked for Scholastic India among others and has over 10 years of experience in Public Relations, Corporate Communication and Marketing.

Talks and Panel Discussion:

No festival or summit is complete without talks, talks by successful people. eSummit 2015 was marked by talks from several esteemed speakers. Shraddha Sharma (Founder, YourStory) delivered a talk on the opening day by telling her own story. eSummit 2015 concluded with the talk of Rahul Yadav (Co-Founder, Housing.com), who delivered in a unique style-only questions and answers. A panel discussion was held on the Astronomical Valuations of Startups, which got an overwhelming response from the audience.

Day Speaker Profile Bio
1 Rachit Rastogi Chief Product Manager, Tewee Teewe is a media streaming dongle which takes the connected home entertainment experience to the next level. Rachit is also an alumnus of IIT Kanpur
1 Shraddha Sharma Founder, YourStory Currently among the ‘500 LinkedIn Influencers’ across the globe, Shraddha Sharma is giving the untold stories of Entrepreneurship in India, the deserved limelight with YourStory. They have already incubated narratives of more than 15,000 entrepreneurs.
3 Rahul Yadav Co-Founder, Housing.com Indian entrepreneur and co-founder of Mumbai-based real estate search portal Housing.com, Rahul Yadav was the cornerstone of the biggest innovation, real estate trading has seen in the last quarter.
3 Shaili Chopra Business Editor, Tehelka Shaili Chopra is an Indian business journalist with nearly twelve years of experience in television anchoring and reporting, and writes the popular golf column Tee Off With Shaili Chopra for the DNA.

Panel Discussion (Day 2)

Name Profile Bio
Anuj Rathi Vice President, Snapdeal Mr Anup has ten years of experience across product management, development, personalization, ecommerce, and multichannel retail. He is responsible for the go-to-market strategy, product management, product marketing, agile teams, budgets, development of high-growth products.
Ritika Goyal Investment Professional at Matrix Partners An IIT Bombay Alumni working presently as an Investment Professional at Matrix Partners, a company committed to building long term relationships with outstanding entrepreneurs and helping them build significant, industry-leading companies.
Chirag Kulkarni Co-founder & CEO of Insightfully Chirag Kulkarni is known as a thought expert in the areas of business strategy, sales and marketing. Besides being a motivational speaker, he has been instrumental in imparting his entrepreneurial knowledge to a large audience including young entrepreneurs and college students as well.
Ashu Agrawal Director, BW ACCELERATE, Start-ups & Early Stage Eco system Ashu is an entrepreneur and an entrepreneurship evangelist with diverse executive experience across businesses and cultures. He, in the recent past has served as the HeadNorth India operations at Indian Angel Network and played a critical role in facilitating interactions & transactions amid investors, funds and ventures.
Rakesh Mishra Co-founder, Excubator and Global Co-Chair, IIT Mentors He is closely involved with IIT institutions and IIT alumni in the capacity of global co-chair of 'IIT Mentors', an organization that aims to touch lives of young professionals as well students across the country.
Shesh Vasudevamurthy Director of Product Management, Groupon Asia Shesh is an entrepreneur who personally guided the winning team at Upstart this year, as a part of the board of mentors.