Four of promising Indian origin entrepreneur win prizes in New Venture Competition 2014, an annual student competition sponsored by Harvard Business School’s Rock Center for Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise Initiative. Interestingly, 3 out 4 entrepreneurs are women from India who won the competition.
On 29th April, the grand finale of the Harvard Business School New Venture Competition (NVC) held, which awards cash and in-kind prizes totaling more than $300,000.
Saurabh Mahajan, Amrita Saigal, Prita Kumar and Mira Mehta are four budding entrepreneurs who won prizes at the competition, while Saurabh Mahajan was in Business Track winner team, Amrita Sehgal was in Social Enterprise Track winner each received $50,000 cash prize.
Prita Kumar and Mira Mehta were in runner-up teams of Business Track and Social Enterprise Track categories, each got $25,000 and $2,500 respectively.
The grand winner of business track category ‘Alfred‘, a new venture being launched by Marcela Sapone, Jess Beck and Saurabh Mahajan is a kind of service layer on the sharing economy, it allow one to get service of reliable person for just $99 per month to clean your apartment, pick up your prescription, wait for the cable guy, run your errands, and buy your groceries etc.
The grand winner of social enterprise track category is ‘Saathi‘ led by Amrita Saigal and Kristin Kagetsu. Saathi provides affordable sanitary pads made from waste banana tree fiber to women in rural India. Currently it operates in two villages of India and plans to expand soon to 5 more villages and employ 50 women to make the product. It received the $50,000 Peter M. Sacerdote Prize, which was established through the generosity of the Sacerdote family to honor the late Peter Sacerdote (MBA 1964) and enable more HBS students to apply their skills to develop and launch their own social purpose ventures.
The runner-up of business track category is Booya Fitness led by Prita Kumar is an on-demand video platform featuring workouts created by the industry’s best boutique gyms and instructors.
Another runner-up in social enterprise track is Tomato Jos, founded by Mira Mehta and Nike Lawrence (both MBA 2014), Shane Kiernan of the Harvard School of Public Health, and Jared Westheim, is a vertically integrated tomato processing company that helps small farmers in Nigeria grow tomatoes that can then be made into tomato paste.
Interestingly, another Indian is there which fifth among all Indian origin entrepreneurs is Pratik Agarwal who is among finalists in the student competition for his venture easyBiodata.