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Last updated: 18 Aug, 2017  

Entrepreneurs Gear-up for 6th Tata Social Enterprise Challenge

NewsVoir | 17 Aug, 2017
In its mission to find India’s most promising early-stage social enterprises, the Tata group, today, announced the commencement of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2017-18, a joint initiative with the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C). The challenge endeavors to create an ecosystem for social entrepreneurship and encourage sustainable, scalable and measurable social impact.

This platform is open for teams who either have an early stage venture (not older than three years) or a promising idea with a plan, that can create sustainable social impact in India.They can submit their business plans online, by logging onto Impact Proposals (detailed Business Plans) are invited in the areas of agriculture, food and dairy, healthcare, water and sanitation, technology and development, education & skills development, housing, handicrafts, energy, and microfinance/financial inclusion. The ventures will be judged on three parameters - Business Model, Social Impac, and Sustainability.

Widening the scope of enterprise programme, the Challenge further invites the public to nominate, social enterprises that they know of and who fit the eligibility criteria. The last day to submit the Impact Proposal (business plan) online is 30th September, 2017.

Some of the qualifying ventures of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge, which have been incubated at the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) are: ONganic Foods Pvt Ltd Aroghya Medtech Pvt Ltd., Doctors For You, SwitchON-ONergy, Edwell Solutions, Bodhi Health Education and Ultrasafe Ultrasound.

Mr. Atul Agrawal, Sr. Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Tata Services says, “The Tata Social Enterprise Challenge has become a platform that encourages the incredibly enthusiastic young citizens of our nation to thrive in the space of social entrepreneurship. In today’s scenario, where social enterprises face several hurdles, we believe that this initiative brings social entrepreneurs, as well as, expert partners in the limelight. Further, this platform provides social start-ups an eco-system and mentoring opportunities with regards to business techniques and approaches to find solutions for social, cultural or environmental problems.”

Prof. Ashok Banerjee, Director IIM Calcutta Innovation Park says, “Tata Social Enterprise Challenge is now recognised as a flagship programme on social entrepreneurship. We have witnessed significant growth of past winners of this contest. We are looking for budding social enterprises who are ready to scale up and create impact at the national level and firmly believe that Tata Social Enterprise Challenge will help establish a network between budding entrepreneurs and funding partners.”

Winners of last season

Pentavalent Bio Sciences Private Limited, winner of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2016-17, is a Bangalore-based social enterprise. Pentavalent Bio Sciences is a fully integrated biotech start-up that provides innovative solutions from discovery to development, leveraging cutting-edge science, cost effective molecular diagnostics and new ideas and technologies in the diagnostics market. They are currently developing an innovative diagnostic tool using novel in-house FlapCut technology that detects tuberculosis (TB) in patients and helps doctors to prescribe patient-specific antibiotics for treatment.

The 1st Runner-up was Arogya Medtech Pvt. Ltd. Aroghya Medtech is a Kolkata based venture, which has developed a product called CEREBROS, a low-cost, less resource intensive, portable, radiation free, non-invasive, multi-modal (Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) and Electroencephalography (EEG/EOG)) brain-scanning device in the form a wearable head-gear, optimised using a proprietary embedded system and ‘smart’ algorithms.

The 2nd Runner-up was Bombay Hemp Company Pvt Ltd (BOHECO), India’s first industrial and medicinal hemp (cannabis) company, established in 2013. Located in Mumbai, the company works with Central and State governments to assist farmers to improve their socio-economic standards by utilising cultivation of cannabis for industrial, construction and pharmaceutical purposes.

To engage with a greater number of stakeholders in a more sustained and integrated manner, the approach brings together social entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and members from the academia, industry, and business from across the country through:

Challenge: The national level Tata Social Enterprise Challenge is in its sixth year now.

Hackathons: This year, the programme has a new element of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge Hackathon. Tata Social Enterprise Challenge Hackathons are being organised in select cities on a range of topics to tap the young for their ideas and solutions in the Indian social entrepreneurship eco-system space. The first one, organised under the aegis of Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2017-18, by the Tata group in association with IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) and ibHubs is being held on 19-20 August 2017 at BMS College of Engineering Bangalore, on the topic of ‘Combat lifestyle diseases leveraging technology’.


Seminars: This exercise aims at building awareness, interest and desire to engage with the social enterprise ecosystem among graduate & post-graduate students who are about to begin their careers through seminars across five cities and key note lectures at IIM Calcutta.


Engage: This exercise encapsulates creating and disseminating knowledge about the status of social entrepreneurship in India through interactive digital & social media platforms such as the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge website, Facebook page, Twitter handle, and YouTube videos, among others.


Tata Social Enterprise Challenge is a unique initiative, undertaken jointly by an educational institution and a business group, to promote the spirit of social entrepreneurship in India. Started in 2012, it has received over 900 entries till date. The initiative is being supported by some of the most prominent Venture Capitalists in the social entrepreneurship space.


For registration criteria and procedure, interested applicants can log onto


About the Tata group

Founded by Jamsetji Tata in 1868, the Tata group is a global enterprise, headquartered in India, comprising over 100 independent operating companies. The group operates in more than 100 countries across six continents, with a mission 'To improve the quality of life of the communities we serve globally, through long-term stakeholder value creation based on Leadership with Trust'. Tata Sons is the principal investment holding company and promoter of Tata companies. Sixty-six percent of the equity share capital of Tata Sons is held by philanthropic trusts, which support education, health, livelihood generation and art and culture. In 2015-16, the revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $103 billion. These companies collectively employ over 660,000 people. Each Tata company or enterprise operates independently under the guidance and supervision of its own board of directors and shareholders. There are 29 publicly-listed Tata enterprises with a combined market capitalisation of about $130.13 billion (as on March 31, 2017). Tata companies with significant scale include Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Tata Teleservices, Titan, Tata Communications and Indian Hotels.


About IIM Calcutta Innovation Park

The IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) is a Section 8 company established under the aegis of IIM Calcutta (IIMC) to promote Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The IIMCIP aims at creating a comprehensive eco-system to promote and nurture innovative enterprises. There are two broad verticals under IIMCIP – Business Incubation Unit and Innovation Lab. The Business Incubation Unit promotes entrepreneurship with a focus on social enterprises and provides an ecosystem where enterprises with innovative ideas can transform into successful business ventures. The Innovation lab promotes Innovation in research and business through industry-academia partnership. The finalists of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge get an opportunity to pitch for Incubation at the IIM Calcutta Innovation Park. As part of the incubation programme IIMCIP offers dedicated mentorship, funding connect, support services and training program on various aspects of entrepreneurship at IIMC campus.


For further details please visit the official website:

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