Students' business plans of new and clean technology wow the judges
Team Green Nation Technologies, students from the Faculty of Business, University of Dhaka, clinched the first prize at the Al Gore Sustainable Technology Venture Competition here on Sunday. While Team ‘Sampurn(e)arth' from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences came in second, the two teams from the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University shared the third spot.
Seven finalists who presented business plans of their version of a new and clean technology were judged by an eight-member panel who were on the look out for a project's sustainability quotient.
The first woman solicitor general of India and lawyer, Indira Jaising gave away the prizes and said: “The word sustainability may have within it many injustices. Sustainability for who is the question?” Study the constitution of India which has a lot to say about the environment and sustainability, she urged the students. Gopal Srinivasan, managing director, TVS Capital Funds Ltd. said it is commendable that students have taken up the challenge of finding a solution to the sustainability problem.
At the competition, the students from the University of Dhaka showed that a workable business model is what sells. “We have with us the Green Tin, a sustainable tin made of jute which can be used to build basic shelter,” said Saimun Hossain, a final-year, business administration student. The judges were impressed with the meticulous hard work shown by the team as they had already launched their product. “We have started operations with 40 families at Badamtoli, Chittagong,” said student, Badhan Mazumder.
While one team from IIT-Madras presented a project on geothermal energy for power production, the second team, presented ‘Aquaregia', a water purification unit to be implemented at the rural level. Postgraduate student, N. Jayanth from Tata Institute Social Sciences presented ‘Sampurn(e)arth', a decentralised solid waste management solution. “Through this project, self-sustained decentralised system for waste handling can be put into place” he said.
The two teams from the Banaras Hindu University, presented on solar energy for rural electrification, the other went the geothermal way of adapting it for heating and cooling purposes. “By presenting our business model we got to learn about the loopholes in it,” said Nitish Saxena, a third year student. IIM-Shillong students presented ‘Kalptaru', bamboo based pipes.
One of the judges, Vinod Nair, CEO, Enzen Global, said the judges were looking for innovative technologies. “For instance, the Green Tin is not just a theory but a workable model.” Pradeep Ranka, CEO, Ranka Group, who was judging the event for the second time said, “We come as experts in our field but we are blown away by the quality of presentations.”