North East Region Entrepreneurship & Startup Summit 1.0 - NERES 1.0

NERES 1.0 is an Entrepreneurship & Startup Summit aimed at offering a platform to promising start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs across NER. The programme is organized and promoted by Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE), in collaboration with Federation of Industries and Commerce of North Eastern Region (FINER) and under the sponsorship of North Eastern Council (NEC).

The priority sectors under NERES 1.0 include-
1. Agri & Food Tech
2. Textile and Handicraft
3. Tourism
4. Waste Management & Renewables
5. Services (Education, Retail & Logistics etc)
6. Health & Wellness
7. IT & ITES
8. Media & Entertainment

The various activities planned for NERES 1.O includes-
• Outreach programme across all the NER states touching upon more than 1500 aspiring and existing start-ups
• A State Wise pitching platform to shortlisted start-ups across NER
• Boot Camp for 50 selected business ideas at IIE-Guwahati
• Pitching of the final 50 business ideas at IIE and declaration of 20 best ideas as winners. Awarding 5 lakhs each to the top 20 business ideas
• Final summit of 2 days in Guwahati

With a combined effort, NERES 1.0 is aimed at stirring up entrepreneurial minds across the NER states and promote start-up entrepreneurs by offering them a platform to pitch their business ideas and also addressing various challenges faced by the start-ups. The programme also aims at understanding the challenges entrepreneurs are facing in the North-East region and solving them.

Awareness programme for NERES 1.0

Outreach programmes for NERES-1.0 were held at various locations across the North East Region, including Guwahati, Tezpur, Imphal, Shillong, Aizawl, Dimapur, Agartala, Gangtok, Churachandpur, Lunglei, and Tura during January and February 2020. The audience majorly were aspiring and existing startups and entrepreneurs, students and professionals.

The Outreach camps have successfully reached out to almost 1500 aspiring entrepreneurs and students across the region to come forward and share their start-up ideas and entrepreneurial calibre. Most of the participants have attended these workshops to seek support in monetary as well as non-monetary in nature. Many have also attended the event to understand the very concept of entrepreneurship. Thus, it can be stated that the workshops have successfully encouraged and motivated a lot of entrepreneurial minds.

In addition to the Awareness Programme, various Social Media platform like Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram was used to reach the maximum number of startups and entrepreneurs in the region.

Registration of applicants and screening

A website was developed to promote NERES 1.0 and also to provide a platform for applicants to register. A total of 695 business ideas were registered on the website. Among the applications received, it is found that most of the applicants applied under the Services and Agri and Food Tech sectors. It is also found that a significant number of applicants are based in Manipur and Assam. Among the applications received, it is found that most of the applicants applied under the Services and Agri and Food Tech sector.

The screening process was conducted through a committee comprising of experts in the respective sectors. Out of the registered 695 applicants, top 200 business ideas were shortlisted for State-level Pitching.

State-level pitching

The first State-level Idea Pitching Program was conducted at IIE, Guwahati during 25th to 28th February 2020 where participants from the States of Assam Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram presented their ideas. The 2nd State-level Pitching was held at Gangtok on 28th February 2020 followed by Imphal on the 3rd and 4th of March 2020 and IIE, Guwahati for the Meghalaya participants on the 4th of March 2020.

Based on the performance of the candidates in the State Level pitching session, 50 business ideas were selected for the Boot Camp and Final Idea Pitching session

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, NERES is proposed to be taken forward digitally. In this regard, thefollowing activities are to be taken up and completed by June 2020.

Sector Specific Webinars: Initially for NERES 1.0 Summit, there were eight business sectors identified for which sector-specific sessions were being planned. Now, the eight sector-specific sessions will be conducted through webinars. The same is being planned and will commence from the 1st week of May.

Online Boot Camps: For the final 50 shortlisted ideas, the online boot camp will start from the 3rd week of May. A tentative online boot camp schedule has been prepared. After finalising the schedule, the participants will be intimated. The online boot camp shall comprise of sessions of 1 hour per session and to be completed over 7 days starting from May 3rd week. The sessions to include the following:
- Current business scenario, the future of businesses post the pandemic
- How to pitch/prepare a pitch: Technical aspects
- Effective Communication Skills for Pitching
- Design Thinking Concept for Business Planning
- What investors look for
- Guidelines for online pitching

Final Online Pitching - The final 50 applicants will pitch their ideas through an online platform to a panel of jury members. It is envisaged to have 10 pitches per day over 5 days in June 2020. The selected 20 startups will be subsequently announced and the fund of Rs. 5 lakhs each will be disbursed.

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