A website where one can customize furniture, a portal to book venues for various events, help persons set up organic and kitchen gardens in houses and an app that enables people to skip cash counter queues.
These were some of the innovative ideas put forth by a number of entrepreneurs who battled it out at the Aarambham Start-up contest organised by Yi-Young Indians and Nativelead Foundation at Thiagarajar College of Engineering here on Saturday.
The start-up contest had two categories which enabled students to present their entrepreneurial ideas as well as entrepreneurs who had just ventured into the markets with their start-ups to speak about their businesses as well.
“Through free range poultry farming, we ensure that the poultry is given a healthy and synthetic free diet as well as are not abused with antibiotics and hormones to produce eggs. We provide a natural environment and adequate space for the birds as well,” said K. Ashok Kumar, a differently-abled entrepreneur, speaking about his venture ‘Happy Hens.’
Sathya Pradeep, who presented his start-up idea of an online portal ‘Furnify’ which allows people to customize and purchase furniture, said that he hit upon the idea after noticing that many other portals did not give the customisation option.
“The customers here can chose the type of wood or material as well as the design and customise furniture to fit their budgets,” he explained.
The entrepreneurs all agreed that in Madurai, there was a need for more organisations to step forward and mentor upcoming entrepreneurs.
“Budding entrepreneurs need to be guided in the right direction and mentored from the college level. Incubation and entrepreneurship cells have to be more active,” said Soumya Raghavan, who presented her venture ‘Jolly Eventz’, a web portal which allows people to book venues in Madurai and Chennai.
At the separate competition held for college students from the southern districts, the start-up ideas presented included a restaurant exclusively serving millet-based and healthy foods, a device to weigh domestic LPG cylinders and give alerts about the quantity left and an app for tourists and people to know about the bus and train routes in Madurai.
“Through the contest, we hope to identify potential business ideas which would be promoted by mainstream entrepreneurs and be funded by angel investors. Business ideas need effective guidance and mentoring to emerge as successful ventures,” said R. Sivarajah, Founder of Nativelead Foundation.