Fifty Solutions to Transform India

‘Smart Fifty’, an initiative to identify, recognize and reward aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs and innovators aims to create large scale positive changes in India.

‘Smart Fifty - 50 Solutions to Transform India’, an initiative introduced to drive innovation and entrepreneurship by the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) was launched today in the capital.

With a vision to promote ‘Startup India’ and socio-economic development, IIMCIP focusses on nurturing innovative startups across India and plans to launch Smart Fifty in Singapore and North America soon.

The initiative is planned in association with the Department of Science & Technology (DST), GoI, and is aimed at identifying, recognizing and rewarding aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs from various sectors who will come up with innovative solutions which can transform India from a socio-economic perspective. It will urge participants to present solutions that are SMART (Sustainable, Motivating, Affordable, Responsible and Transformative). The platform is also envisaged to evolve, for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators that facilitate success through strategic networking, seed funding, and mentoring support.

The selected entrepreneurs will get access to mentorship from the experts from IIMCIP on various aspects of business model, fund raising, and real-life lessons. On the other hand, DST will provide access to the best practices of the startup ecosystem and seed fund for prototyping.

Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary to GoI, Department of Science & Technology (DST) was present at the launch to support this first of its kind initiative and discussed about how the young citizens of the country are encouraged to foster growth through such innovative ideas. “The government’s outreach programme, MANAK, that aims to attract talent to the study of science at an early age and thus building the required critical human resource pool for strengthening and expanding the Science & Technology system and R&D base, has this year reached out to 5 lakh schools pan India to award the best of the ideas for further mentoring,” he said.

MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspirations and Knowledge) is an innovative programme sponsored and managed by the DST. A striking feature of the programme is that it does not believe in conducting competitive exams for identification of talent at any level. It relies on the efficacy of the existing educational structure for identification of talent.

Speaking at the occasion Prof Ashok Banerjee, Director IIMCIP, said, “It is our objective to create a nurturing ecosystem for entrepreneurs working on innovative solutions to our socio-economic challenges. We encourage sustainable, motivating, affordable, responsible, transformative or SMART ideas and provide them necessary support so that they may create a positive impact in the country. We will provide mentorship, visibility and access to funds to the participants that will help them to take their venture to the next level.”

Futhermore, Dr. R. Ramaraj, Chairman, IIMCIP Board said, “The objective of Smart Fifty is to identify and mentor innovative startups, working on ideas that can help positively transform India. We would gladly provide mentorship, seed fund, training and networking opportunities to the promising entrepreneurs in this field. IIMCIP has created an ecosystem with all required support to translate an innovative idea to a self-sustaining and financially independent business.”

Aspiring participants can present their business ideas in the following domains by logging on to


• 3000 selected participants will receive startup kits and get to attend knowledge sessions

• 400 selected participants will get access to mentoring, funding and incubation opportunities

• 40 SMART solutions will be selected from the regional or quarter final rounds (quarter-finals)

• Upto 10 SMART solutions will be selected from International rounds (Singapore, North America)

• The SMART 50 get to attend structured multi-day Boot camp at IIM Calcutta Campus

• Further screening of plans by a jury in the semi-finals to identify 10 participants for the grand finale

• Top 10 to feature at Grand finale in Delhi to select top 3 winning ideas by eminent jury

• Top 50 entrepreneurs to get seed grant of Rs 4 lakhs each

• Top 10 entrepreneurs to pitch for a total of Rs. 10 Cr. Funding

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