TheNFAPost Podcast

Bengaluru, NFAPost: The National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition, a nationwide platform to showcase India’s most promising bio innovations with high impact potential in the Life Sciences and biotech domain, wrapped up its programme at virtual Grand Finale ceremony.

Grand Jury Chair of the Start-up Panel Nitin Deshmukh (Kotak Investment Advisors Founding Member and Advisor) and Grand Jury Chair of the Student Panel Anand Deshpande (Persistent Systems Founder, Chairman and Managing Director) announced 11 bio entrepreneurs and 3 student-led teams as winners of NBEC 2020, the fourth edition of this prestigious competition.

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 Rs 10 lakhs in cash prizes. The competition will also provide access to industry mentorship in tie-up with key industry leaders to all winners.

Among the winning startups is Dr. Sugandhi Gopal, Carditek Medical Devices who received the Aurigene cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs in healthcare domain. Niranjan, Cyclops Medtech has won the Biocon cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs in healthcare. Ravi Adgulwar, Avisa received the L’Oreal sponsored cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs in personal care domain. Nikhil Das, Agdhi Tech swooped up the Ankur Seeds cash prize of 5 lakhs INR in agritech domain.

Dilip Shankar, Accord Innovations won the Pfizer cash prize of Rs 3.5 lakh in healthcare. Geethanjali Radhakrishnan of Adiuvo Diagnostics won both the Anthem Biosciences and IQVIA sponsored cash prizes of Rs 3 lakh each. Dr Prerana Tomke from Nanopearl received both Novozymes and Win Foundation sponsored cash prizes worth Rs 3 lakh each, in Sustainability, Cleantech and Water & Sanitation domain. Dr Subhash Narayanan from Sascan Meditech won the Win Foundation cash prize of Rs 3 lakh in the crucial domain of maternal and child health.

Agdhi Tech and Nanopearl were selected for the Sangam Ventures investment opportunity of $300,000. Cyclops and Nanopearl were selected for the Enzia Ventures investment opportunity of $100,000. Qzense, Cyclops and Carditek were selected for the India Angel Network investment opportunity of $100,000.

Cyclops and Carditek were selected for the Molecular Connections investment opportunity of $100,000. Godaam Innovations was selected for the Social Alpha investment opportunity of $100,000. Qzense, Agdhi Tech and Godaam Innovations were also selected for the 91 Springboard and Syndicate Committee investment opportunity of $100,000.

Additionally, Cyclops and Adiuvo were also selected for the surprise investment opportunity prize from Kotak. 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 who won the Persistent Systems sponsored cash prize of 5 lakhs INR, Chandan Kumar Jha who won the BIRAC cash prize of Rs 3 lakh, and Abduljabbar Khan who won Rs 2 lakh INR in a pooled prize by K&S partners, Bioneeds and Ideaspring Capital.

NBEC is organised every year by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms under the BIRAC Regional Entrepreneurship Centre (BREC), a C-CAMP – BIRAC joint initiative, to attract, identify and nurture year game-changing deep science driven ideas with business potential.

Over the years, it has emerged as the largest and most exciting event in the Indian bio startup calendar, generating a tremendous response from India’s vibrant innovation community and an enviable geographical footprint. The trajectory of NBEC’s growth is nowhere more apparent than in industry participation. This year it chalked up 29 national and international partners with some of the biggest names in the biotech industry, from India, USA, and France.

Even though severely restricted by prevalent challenging conditions of Covid-19 pandemic, NBEC has truly set an example in its cross-country geographical reach. 3100+ registrations across 33 States/UTs including metros, Tier II and Tier III cities/towns were received for NBEC 2020.

Moreover, submitted business ideas represented all sub-domains of Life Sciences, including healthcare, medical devices, drug discovery, digital health, agri-biotech, animal health, water and sanitation, renewable energy and clean tech, industrial biotech and personal care. In a year that has underlined the need for greater indigenous technologies, a platform like NBEC has assumed crucial significance in unlocking India’s vastly untapped bio entrepreneurial talent towards the common goal of Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.

Department of Biotechnology Secretary and BIRAC Chairperson Dr Renu Swarup said in a deeply inspirational message to all NBEC 2020 finalists said the ecosystem wants to grow bigger and become global leaders.

“That’s how we’ll realize our ambition of a self-reliant Aatma Nirbhar Bharat, not just for India but for greater world as well,” said Dr Renu Swarup.

NBEC’s signature Boot Camp and Mentoring Sessions that have nurtured many a rising star in India’s startup ecosystem, had a cohort of 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 Grand Jury at the Finale consisted of eminent experts representing entire spectrum of biotech industry and investment sector.

Asking NBEC 2020 finalists to keep the biotech flag flying higher than ever before, Guest of Honour Kiran Mazumdar Shaw in her 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,” said Kiran Mazumdar Shaw.

C-CAMP CEO & Director Dr. Taslimarif Saiyed 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 & beyond,” said C-CAMP CEO & Director Dr. Taslimarif Saiyed.

    Carditek – Sugandhi Gopal

   Cyclops Medtech – Niranjan

   Nanopearl – Dr Prerana Tomke

. Student track winner – Tanish Sridhar

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