Delhi school students pitch ideas to investors at Business Blasters expo

Aspiring young businesspersons, investors meet at a day out at Thyagaraj sports stadium


Delhi schools | business  | Delhi

Security alarm systems for home, digital visiting cards, a model to help prevent drunk driving, home décor items, and organic fertilisers were among the many ideas presented to investors at the Business Blasters expo held at the Thyagaraj sports stadium in New Delhi on Saturday.

The stadium was abuzz with activity as students from government schools across Delhi pitched their ideas to investors and venture capitalists, seeking capital and mentorship for business growth. As many as 126 teams had been selected from a total of 51,000 to participate in the expo-style exhibition.

For Soofee (he uses only his first name), a Class 11 student from government co-ed senior school in Nangloi, who sells a healthy powder made from date seeds, it was a big day. “We have worked very hard these past few months. A lot of investors have shown interest and I am very excited for where this will go,” he says.

The team of five students is seeking Rs 40 lakh to build its base and help with deliveries outside Delhi, besides developing a unique brand image.

“It is a wonderful programme and I have seen many innovative ideas today,” says Ethiopia-based entrepreneur Shobhit Jain, who flew to India two days ago specially for the expo. “I am looking to invest in ventures that have seen a growth in sales over the months and those that have an impressive future vision,” he adds.

Among the ideas that piqued Jain’s interest were Gaming Beast, a five-day mobile gaming tournament platform by Keshav Siharwar of Vikaspuri, block F, government co-ed senior secondary school, and Divine Creations, a project that looks to selling made-to-order handmade paintings such as Madhubani art online. Both these ventures are hoping to build a global audience.

For Heena Aroora and Ritin Agarwal of FundVice, a Noida-based investment banking and private equity firm, the expo has brought a wealth of innovative ideas. “I think what we’re seeing here is amazing. A government platform that provides these students ample opportunities and exposure to the entrepreneurship ecosystem,” says Aroora, FundVice managing director and founder.

“The expectation for money is small, and what these students are really asking for is guidance and on-ground mentoring,” says Agarwal, the director and co-founder. “The students here are doing the hard work of finding the most cost-efficient ways of doing business and are putting in the hours. It is impressive, to say the least.”

The duo is willing to invest up to Rs 10 lakh in different projects. One of the projects that has caught their eye is Glorious Greens—a 100 per cent organic fertiliser.

Created by Nikhil (he uses only his first name) and his five-member team, the fertiliser is made with cow dung, bone meal, mustard cake, leaf waste, and neem cake powder. Manufactured at a cost of Rs 30, it is sold at Rs 60. So far, the team has sold fertiliser worth Rs 27,000.

“What impressed me about Glorious Greens is that the students understood that plants need varying amounts of nutrition during different seasons and the team customises the product based on the time of the year,” says Aroora.

Team Glorious Greens is seeking Rs 1.27 lakh from investors to help expand the business, which will include leasing a piece of land where they will be making the fertiliser.

“It is an amazing initiative, and you have to commend the Delhi government for it. At 18 years, these students are trying to create a livelihood for themselves and others. From simple, local businesses to very creative and tech savvy innovations, these kids have a lot to offer,” says Anuj Grover, a professor at the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIITD). “Not just seed money, it is clear that a lot of guidance has gone into this,” he adds.

The interested investors signed letters of intent for the projects they were keen on, and now the Business Blasters incubation cell at the Delhi Skill and Entrepreneurship University will take the conversation forward.

The programme, which is a part of Delhi government’s entrepreneurship mindset curriculum, started in September 2021. As many as 300,000 students received Rs 2,000 each as seed money to build on their proposed business ideas. Finally, 24 shortlisted teams were part of a TV show, a la Shark Tank.

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