Ventura 2013, one of the Asia’s biggest international business plan competitions, organised by the Entrepreneurship Cell of National Institute of Technology-Tiruchi (NIT-T), attracted 400 entries this year from top-notch universities and colleges belonging to 10 countries, including National University of Singapore.

From India, there were participants from IIMs, IITs, BITs and NITs for the contest that entitled the winner to an incubation support of Rs.2 crore for incubation support through the Indian Angel Network. The prize-money amounted to Rs.3 lakh.

Eight finalists showcasing business plans ranging from social entrepreneurship, medical innovation, renewable energy, and technological solutions vied for the top honours at the NIT-T on Sunday. Guwahati-based team Fusion Craft International that showcased a business plan for marketing handicraft products was declared the winner.

Presentations by the finalists were evaluated by a jury consisting of Marie Banu, Director, Centre for Social Initiative and Management (CSIM); Mukund Mohan, CEO of Jivity, Microsoft start-up accelerator; and Gagan Aggarwal, Incubation Head, Indian Angels Network. Prior to the presentations, the finalists went through two rounds of intensive mentoring by industry experts, E-Cell Faculty Advisor P.Kalaichelvi said.

Thanks to the sustained guidance and support of the Indian Angel Network and the NIT-T administration, the E-Cell could put up an impressive show, student organisers said, thanking Chhattisgarh Tourism, RECAL (Regional Engineering College Alumni) and Canara Bank for their funding support.

Ventura ’13 was preceded by Genesis, a guest lecture series aimed at instilling in students a spirit of enterprise, on Saturday. Speakers equipped the students with entrepreneurial wisdom and inspiration to start own enterprises.

While Kaustav Sengupta, Associate Professor, National Institute of Fashion Technology, provided students insights into the current marketing scenario in India, and exposed them to the general perspective on consumerism, Mukund Mohan, a successful entrepreneur, elaborated on the essential qualities that an entrepreneur requires.

Other speakers included Maalavika Manoj, a young singer-songwriter and composer who dwelt on the link between music and entrepreneurship; and Sameer Bharat Ram, CEO of BrandMuni on ‘the evolving Indian middle class and the entrepreneurial opportunities associated with it’. Ira Trivedi, the critically acclaimed best selling author of "What would you do to save the world" shared her views on being a successful young entrepreneur, and Subramaniam, an alumni of NIT-T, explained what it took to become the Managing Director of Masibus.