Business aspirants get chance to present ideas, and win prizes too

Kerala’s Dreamvestor contest is aimed at luring entrepreneurs and business aspirants to explore the possibility of converting their ideas into business ventures

Prospective entrepreneurs and business aspirants will be able to present their ideas before an eminent panel and explore the possibility of converting their concepts into business ventures as part of a unique contest being lined up by the Kerala Industries Department.

Christened Dreamvestor, the contest carries Rs 5 lakh as the top prize. The selected ideas would be provided necessary handholding support such as access to incubation space in government-owned Business Incubation Centres, mentoring support to overcome the challenges, access to seed capital assistance, and market linkages.

The state government has declared Financial Year 2022-23 as the ‘Year of Entrepreneurship’. It is as part of this occasion that the entrepreneurship development initiatives are being rolled out. The contest is among them, said the state’s Industries Minister P Rajeev.

The government has been formulating policies to promote entrepreneurship among the youth to arrest brain drain which jeopardised the sustainability of the economy in the long run, besides causing social imbalance where there are no children to look after the aging parents.

Ideas to be evaluated and best ones will be selected

Prospective innovators from various sectors in the state will be offered an opportunity to submit their ideas along with marketing plans from November 24 onwards through the official website for the contest The ideas/concepts submitted through the website will be evaluated by a panel of judges and selected 100 ideas/concepts will be given the option to elaborate their ideas in the quarter-finals. Selected 50 ideas/concepts will be considered in the semi-finals and best 20 ideas/concepts will be selected for finals.

Those in the age group of 18-35 years (as on October 31, 2022) and hail from within Kerala shall apply. One contestant can submit only one business idea/concept. Ideas that won any awards earlier should not be submitted. In the first round, the ideas shall be submitted during November 24 to December 23. They will be shortlisted from December 27 to January 15, 2023. It will be followed by the announcement of 100 contestants to next round on January 18. Round 2 will witness submission of two-minute pitch elevator videos from January 20 to 30, 2023; shortlisting of ideas from February 2 to 6; and announcement of 50 contestants to next round on February 8.

In Round 3, there will be acceptance of marketing plan details from February 10 to 12 while shortlisting of ideas will be done during February 13-16. Out of these, the names of 20 finalists will be announced on February 20. In Round 4, the final event of the contest will be held in offline mode in Thiruvananthapuram on March 1, 2023.

The winner of the first prize will get Rs five lakh while those adjudged for the second and the third prizes will be given Rs three lakh and Rs two lakh respectively. The winners of the 4th to 10th place will get Rs one lakh each while those in the 11th to 20th place will be awarded Rs. 25,000 each. In addition, certificates and mementos will be presented to all 20 finalists.

Setting up one lakh new enterprises

According to P Rajeev, the Department of Industries & Commerce aims to create a robust entrepreneurship ecosystem to support and promote prospective entrepreneurs in the state. An enabling ecosystem encompassing physical infrastructure, technology tie-ups, mentoring, handholding, and market linkages will help the young generation set up successful enterprises, leverage the emerging global opportunities, while being rooted in Kerala.

As part of the entrepreneurship development initiative, the state government proposes to provide handholding support to business aspirants and targets to establish one lakh new enterprises in Kerala. Approximately, Rs. 1,000 crore investment and 45,000 employments are expected through this initiative.

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