Bihar Ideathon: How Patliputra Mahotsav Celebrated the Rise of Start-up Culture in Bihar

For the past seven days, Patliputra Mahotsav had been the hotspot of Patna. Apart from providing stage for budding entrepreneurs, artists of both traditional and modern art forms and a place to rejoice at for the citizens of Patna, it also provided a platform to the start-up ecosystem of Bihar.

The start-up phenomenon in comparison to metro cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Gurugram etc. might not have picked up pace, but in no capacity, can we say that Patna has remained untouched by the Phenomenon. Justifying this to the tee was the “Bihar Ideathon: Badalte Bihar Ki Ek Nayi Soch” at the Patliputra Mahotsav.

Bihar Ideathon was basically an idea competition where youths from various colleges and/or background took part and presented their ideas on their start-up venture. This process of presenting ideas for viable star-ups was divided into 3 categories i.e. Sociothon, Technothon and Eduthon. After submission of the ideas, a winner from each category was announced and was rewarded a memento along with a cash prize of Rs 5000 and a promise of additional support from the JDU Industry Cell.

  1. Sociothon– As the name suggests, it was about presenting start-up ideas for elimination of social problems. In this Category, Medishala, A start-up from BITS-PATNA got the first prize for their idea of providing medical facilities to people at the lowest cost possible.
  2. Technothon– This category was dedicated to presenting ideas related to technological improvement in the already running industries. Tech Get Innovation got the first prize for their start-up idea of automated irrigation system.
  3. Eduthon- This category was devised to invite start-up ideas for betterment in education system. Prodigal Learning, a start-up which provides course material in downloadable format for students of various boards got the first prize.

Along with the Start-up idea competition, another opportunity was provided to the start-ups to showcase their talent and prove their mettle in front of the citizens and investors in “Mera Start-up Expo”. For this, 5 start-ups were selected and were given stalls in the Patliputra Mahotsav through which they attracted audiences and investors and pitched their ideas to them.

These five start-ups i.e. Sakshi Textiles, Recycling,, Tech-get Innovation and were also rewarded by mementos and participation certificates from the organizing committee of the Patliputra Mahotsav.

The Ideathon which was launched on 26th December reached its climax with a panel discussion on the topic “What is the future of Entrepreneurship in Bihar?” The panel members included, Amit Choubey, member BSEA, Niraj K Das, a renowned entrepreneur from Bihar, Shazia Quaiser, Owner of Revival Shoes and Jay Kabra, a Delhi based entrepreneur.

While Amit Choubey emphasised on “Utilisation of available resources with adequate capital” to be the backbone of Bihar’s start-up field, Niraj K Das told the budding entrepreneurs to “set a deadline of 36 months of pure hard work before thinking about profits for the start-up”.

Talking about the mantra for a successful start-up, Jay Kabra, an experienced entrepreneur himself said, “The 3-m formula of Men, Money and Machine should be utilised rationally and in correct proportion to achieve our goals as a start-up”. Shazia Quaiser warned the entrepreneurs of possible failures and asked them to enter the start-up scene “only when they have full confidence in their idea and when their basics about business are clear”.  

The discussion was interestingly poised when Abhishek Goenka, an entrepreneur himself and a graduate of Indian School of Business, Hyderabad joined the panellists on the stage. He made some crucial points regarding having a “plan B,C and even D in case your plan A fails in giving you desired results.” The live audience, mainly comprising of entrepreneurs and people having keen interest in business were given the opportunity to interact with the panellists by asking them questions. It was heartening to see the audience participate so enthusiastically.

After the discussion, all the panellists and the winners of the two competitions, i.e. Start-up Idea and Mera Start-up Expo were facilitated by Sanjay Khandelia, President JDU Industry cell, Bihar. While presenting the vote of thanks, Sanjay Khandelia, addressing all the entrepreneurs said, “Remember that, ideas are always small, it’s the efforts that should be big enough to convert those ideas into brands.”

Thus, after giving platform to many ideas and inspirations, the biggest start-up idea initiative i.e. the Bihar Ideathon concluded with a hope to return next time in an even bigger and better avatar.

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