A total of 14 entries — 11 bio entrepreneurs and 3 student-led teams have been declared as winners of the prestigious National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC) for 2020.
The winning startups will take home a cumulative of over Rs. 7 crore in cash prizes and investment opportunities while student-led teams stand to receive a total of 10 lakhs in cash prizes. The competition will also provide access to industry mentorship in tie-up with key industry leaders to all winners.
The winners, among startups, are Dr. Sugandhi Gopal of Carditek Medical Devices (Aurigene cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs); Niranjan, Cyclops Medtech (Biocon cash prize of Rs.5 lakhs); Ravi Adgulwar, Avisa (L’Oreal cash prize of Rs.5 lakhs); Nikhil Das, Agdhi Tech (Ankur Seeds cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs); Dilip Shankar, Accord Innovations (Pfizer cash prize of Rs. 3.5 lakhs); Geethanjali Radhakrishnan, Adiuvo Diagnostics (Anthem Biosciences and IQVIA cash prizes of Rs 3 lakhs each); Dr Prerana Tomke, Nanopearl (Novozymes and Win Foundation cash prizes worth Rs 3 lakhs each); and Dr Subhash Narayanan, Sascan Meditech (Win Foundation cash prize of Rs.3 lakhs).
Further, Agdhi Tech and Nanopearl were selected for the Sangam Ventures investment opportunity of US dollars 300,000; Cyclops and Nanopearl for the Enzia Ventures investment opportunity of US dollar 100,000; Qzense, Cyclops and Carditek for the India Angel Network investment opportunity of US dollar 100,000; Cyclops and Carditek for the Molecular Connections investment opportunity of US dollar 100,000; Godaam Innovations for the Social Alpha investment opportunity of US dollar 100,000; Qzense, Agdhi Tech and Godaam Innovations for the 91 Springboard and Syndicate Committee investment opportunity of US dollar 100,000; and Cyclops and Adiuvo for the surprise investment opportunity prize from Kotak.
Besides, Sanjiv Sambandan won the Health Venture Digital Health Boot Camp participation award and also took home the surprise C-CAMP special prize as a cutting-edge, emergent technology.
The winners in the student-team innovation category were Tanish T. Sridhar (Persistent Systems cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs), Chandan Kumar Jha ( BIRAC cash prize of Rs 3 lakhs) and Abduljabbar Khan (Rs. 2 lakhs pooled prize of K&S partners, Bioneeds and Ideaspring Capital).
NBEC is organized every year by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) under the BIRAC Regional Entrepreneurship Centre (BREC) to attract, identify and nurture game-changing deep science driven ideas with business potential. Over 3,100 registrations across 33 States/UTs including metros, Tier II and Tier III cities/towns were received for NBEC 2020.
Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology, Govt of India, in a message to all NBEC 2020 finalists said “The ecosystem wants you to grow bigger and become global leaders. That’s how we’ll realize our ambition of a self-reliant Atma Nirbhar Bharat, not just for India but for the greater world as well.”
The competition was held in phases starting from `Boot Camp and Mentoring Sessions’ with 54 startups and 19 student teams with mentorship support from scientific, investment, regulatory and legal experts. Of these, 18 startups and 10 student teams were selected by the Pre-Finals Jury to pitch at the Grand Finale. The Jury at the Grand Finale consisted of eminent experts representing the entire spectrum of biotech industry and investment sector.
Asking NBEC 2020 finalists to keep the biotech flag flying high, Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, in a special address said “COVID-19 has opened up a world of opportunities for the biotech world. The pandemic has in fact, seen biotech leapfrogging into the most sought-after sector by venture capitalists looking to invest. NBEC is an exciting platform to capitalize on this.”
Dr. Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO & Director, C-CAMP said “For an innovation-led, knowledge-based society, efforts like NBEC are crucial because they connect academia, entrepreneurs and industry to build together a strong and dynamic ecosystem. COVID-19 has underlined how critical such an ecosystem would be for India and beyond.”
Founding Member and Advisor, Kotak Investment Advisors and Grand Jury Chair of the Start-up Panel, Mr. Nitin Deshmukh, announced the winners among startups and Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, Persistent Systems, and Grand Jury Chair of the Student Panel, Dr. Anand Deshpande, the winners among student teams. (India Science Wire)