Mumbai-based Zone Startups India has announced the 7th edition of its annual Next BIG Idea (NBI) contest. NBI 2019 will invite applications from tech startups across the country to be selected under the program. The Next BIG Idea is an annual feature of Zone Startups India that engages stakeholders including startups, incubators, co-working spaces, investors, industry and other enablers through roadshows in 20+ cities across India.
Zone Startups India team will be hosting roadshows across 21 cities to launch the contest pan-India throughout July 2019. These roadshows allow a number of companies to understand the North American market fit for their products, thereby giving them an opportunity to apply for the program and go through multiple rounds of selection process and also speak to global jury members. The applications for the contest will be accepted online from 28th June 2019 till 30th August 2019.
NBI 2019 team will be visiting upcoming startup hubs like Hyderabad, Chennai to tier 2 and 3 cities like Vizag, Nagpur, Bhubaneswar and Jaipur in order to invite applications for the program. The idea is to find the most deserving growth stage startups who have global aspirations to expand their business.
Launched in 2013, Zone Startups India has operated 6 editions of the program till date, that has benefited 39 Indian tech Startups, through a soft-landing program across major tech hubs in Canada and the US.
The objective of the Next BIG Idea contest, since inception, has been to identify and support hi-tech, hi-potential Indian startups that are seeking to expand internationally, and are actively looking at the North American market. The selected startups get access to a bespoke market access program which includes mentorship, industry connects, investor meetings and a great international exposure.
The alumni network of Next BIG Idea Contest comprises startups that have successfully raised multiple rounds of funding, as well as, startups that have made exits through mergers and acquisitions - some of the names being, CitrusPay, Sokrati (selected in 2013 but chose not to go in the midst of their funding round), Heckyl, Vidooly, ShieldSquare, Plackal, Flip Technologies, AdSparx, Konotor (acquired by FreshDesk), Data Resolve, Uncanny Vision, Gray Routes, Sequretek, Plackal (acquired by Sheroes), etc.
In 2018, the contest came to be a part of a larger Canada-India Bilateral Entrepreneurship Initiative supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India - which allowed Zone Startups India to increase the number of benefactors to 13 entrepreneurs each year, for a period of 2 years 2018 and 2019.