The third edition of Youth Ideathon 2023, a ground-breaking festival of ideas, reached its pinnacle on November 19, 2023, with a grand finale held at the prestigious Dogra Hall of IIT Delhi. The event witnessed the final pitch of the top 25 teams from across the country selected from over 1.5 lakh participants, culminating in the announcement of the Top 10 National Winners, each selected for the prestigious Rs 1 lakh ThinkStartup Incubation Award.

Launched on October 6, 2023, at the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) headquarters in New Delhi, Youth Ideathon 2023 is a comprehensive program designed to nurture a startup ecosystem for high-schoolers. A collaborative effort between ThinkStartup and the Management Entrepreneurship Professional Skills Council (MEPSC), under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, the initiative aims to instill entrepreneurial thinking among young minds, which aligns with the vision of an Atma Nirbhar Bharat in relation to the country’s economic development.

 

The five-stage festival of entrepreneurial thinking, featuring rewards and recognition opportunities, climaxed with the bonus sixth stage, where the Top 10 student teams were awarded a coveted Rs 1 lakh Incubation Grant each. ThinkStartup and MEPSC have diligently worked together to guide these young innovators in identifying societal problems, proposing solutions, and transforming prototypes into real-time solutions through financial assistance and relevant industry exposure.

 

Shivani Singh Kapoor, Founder of ThinkStartup, highlighted the urgency of fostering entrepreneurial thinking in young minds, emphasizing that this transformation is essential in schools. The program incentivizes the efforts of school students and teachers, offering Prototyping Awards of Rs. 15,000 each for the top 25 teams and an incubation grant of Rs. 100,000 each to the top 10 teams.

 

The Top 10 teams selected for the Rs 1 lakh incubation grant are as follows:

1. MyBionicc Sahara, Bal Bhavan Public School, Delhi

  • Creative prosthetics implements developed by young students

 

2. Netra AI, BGS National Public School, Bengaluru

  • A beacon of hope for visually impaired individuals that converts written text and images into voice-modulated speech.

 

3. Uniconnect, GD Goenka, Vasant Kunj

  • A college selection and guidance app developed by students.

 

4. Team Chote Kadam, Mansukhbhai Kothari National School, Pune

  • A college selection and guidance app developed by students.

 

5. Playpals, Reliance Foundation School, Koparkhairane

  • An all-girls team that is solving the challenging of learning barriers faced by slow learners

 

6. TranQR, RPVV Surajmal Vihar

  • A QR code-based attendance system by students that is already in business.

 

7. Team Ahilya, BR Ambedkar School of Specialised Excellence, New Delhi

 

8. Safe Spark, BVB Vidyashram, Pratapnagar

  • Innovative shoes that empower women’s safety.

 

9. Tau Neutrino, Springdales School, Pusa Road

 

10. Team Bricks, Vasant Valley, New Delhi

  • An innovative economic solution to address pollution caused by stubble burning.

 

The event attracted the participation of over 1.5 lakh school students from more than 8000 schools. Additionally, it provided training to over 6000 school teachers on innovation, design, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy in classrooms. The entire program was made accessible to all, due to the generous support from sponsors such as Bajaj Allianz Life, CONCOR Limited, Sheatwork, TIDES Business Incubator of IIT Roorkee, Macmillan, Unlock.fit, and others.

The award ceremony at Dogra Hall of IIT Delhi celebrated not only the achievements of the Top 10 National Winners but also recognized the outstanding contributions of school teachers, mentors, and school principals. Select principals were honored as Principals of Innovation, with Smt Asha Prabhakar of Bal Bharati Public School, Noida, emerging as the National Winner.

The judging panel comprised of esteemed personalities from the startup ecosystem, including angel investors and startup founders such as Ankur Mittal from Inflexion Point Ventures, Rohit Chanana from Sarcha Advisors, and Neeraj Gulati, a serial entrepreneur and the driving force behind the EMC curriculum of Delhi.

The Youth Ideathon 2023 has not only ignited the spirit of innovation in schools but has also set the stage for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

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