C-Camp NBEC 2020 winners get investment, prizes of ₹7 Cr from Pfizer, Kotak, Biocon, BIRAC, others

Pune: A total of 14 entries – 11 bio entrepreneurs and 3 student-led teams – have been declared winners of the prestigious National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC) for 2020. The winning startups will take home a cumulative of over Rs. 7 crores in cash prizes and investment opportunities while student-led teams stand to receive a total of Rs. 10 lakhs in cash prizes. The competition will also provide access to industry mentorship in tie-up with key industry leaders to all winners.

The winners, among startups, are Sugandhi Gopal of Carditek Medical Devices (Aurigene cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs); Niranjan, Cyclops Medtech (Biocon cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs); Ravi Adgulwar, Avisa (L’Oreal cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs); Nikhil Das, Agdhi Tech (Ankur Seeds cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs); Dilip Shankar, Accord Innovations (Pfizer cash prize of Rs. 3.5 lakhs); Geethanjali Radhakrishnan, Adiuvo Diagnostics (Anthem Biosciences and IQVIA cash prizes of Rs. 3 lakhs each); Prerana Tomke, Nanopearl (Novozymes and Win Foundation cash prizes worth Rs. 3 lakhs each); and Subhash Narayanan, Sascan Meditech (Win Foundation cash prize of Rs. 3 lakhs).

Further, Agdhi Tech and Nanopearl were selected for the Sangam Ventures investment opportunity of $300,000; Cyclops and Nanopearl for the Enzia Ventures investment opportunity of $100,000; Qzense, Cyclops, and Carditek for the India Angel Network investment opportunity of $100,000; Cyclops and Carditek for the Molecular Connections investment opportunity of $100,000; Godaam Innovations for the Social Alpha investment opportunity of $100,000; Qzense, Agdhi Tech and Godaam Innovations for the 91 Springboard and Syndicate Committee investment opportunity of $100,000; and Cyclops and Adiuvo for the surprise investment opportunity prize from Kotak.

Besides, Sanjiv Sambandan won the Health Venture Digital Health Boot Camp participation award and also took home the surprise C-CAMP special prize as a cutting-edge, emergent technology.

The winners in the student-team innovation category were Tanish T. Sridhar (Persistent Systems cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs), Chandan Kumar Jha (BIRAC cash prize of Rs. 3 lakhs) and Abduljabbar Khan (Rs. 2 lakhs pooled prize of K&S partners, Bioneeds, and Ideaspring Capital).

NBEC is organised every year by the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) under the BIRAC Regional Entrepreneurship Centre (BREC) to attract, identify, and nurture game-changing deep science-driven ideas with business potential. Over 3,100 registrations across 33 states & UTs including metros, Tier II and Tier III cities & towns were received for NBEC 2020.

Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Government of India, in a message to all NBEC 2020 finalists, said, “The ecosystem wants you to grow bigger and become global leaders. That’s how we’ll realise our ambition of a self-reliant Atmanirbhar Bharat, not just for India but for the greater world as well.”

The competition was held in phases starting from ‘Boot Camp and Mentoring Sessions’ with 54 startups and 19 student teams with mentorship support from scientific, investment, regulatory, and legal experts. Of these, 18 startups and 10 student teams were selected by the pre-finals jury to pitch at the grand finale. The Jury at the grand finale consisted of eminent experts representing the entire spectrum of the biotech industry and investment sector.

Asking NBEC 2020 finalists to keep the biotech flag flying high, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, in a special address, said, “Covid-19 has opened up a world of opportunities for the biotech world. The pandemic has in fact, seen biotech leapfrogging into the most sought-after sector by venture capitalists looking to invest. NBEC is an exciting platform to capitalise on this.”

Taslimarif Saiyed, CEO & Director, C-CAMP, said, “For an innovation-led, knowledge-based society, efforts like NBEC are crucial because they connect academia, entrepreneurs, and industry to build together a strong and dynamic ecosystem. Covid-19 has underlined how critical such an ecosystem would be for India and beyond.”

Founding Member and Advisor, Kotak Investment Advisors and Grand Jury Chair of the start-up panel, Nitin Deshmukh, announced the winners among startups, and Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, Persistent Systems, and Grand Jury Chair of the Student Panel, Anand Deshpande, announced the winners among student teams.


This information received via India Science Wire.


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