Newsreach, an Ahmedabad-based digital media tech startup took the winning Conquest 2021 award home. The brand enables local content publishers in rural regions to go online. Earlier this year, the platform raised $300,000 from JITO Angel Network, ShuruUp Ventures, and FAAD Network to head strongly towards the future.
Conquest is BITS Pilani’s student-run startup accelerator and 2021 was the 17th edition. Backed by Canara Bank VC and Icertis, the 6-week accelerator program culminated in a Demo Day on August 1. The event provides promising startups with incubation possibilities, networking with industry leaders, and funding opportunities to navigate a highly competitive and challenging startup environment.
During the final stages of the accelerator program, top-10 startups pitched their ideas to a jury composed of VCs and industry experts. The top-three winners were given a Rs 10 lakh equity-less cash prize.
The runner-up was Ecovia, a sustainable packaging company and the second runner-up award went to Backyard Creators, a tech start-up addressing environmental, social, and medical problems, specifically health care and disability sectors. Backyard Creator’s advanced adhesive non-surgical hearing device, Impulse, is specially designed for patients with total hearing loss by birth or otherwise. In addition, Valerio Electric, a one-stop center for future-ready EV charging solutions, took the BITSian Track award home.
This year, 30 companies were chosen from a total of 1,000 registrants to attend one-on-one mentorship sessions over a week, meeting industry professionals in design, UI/UX, product management, growth, operations, sales, and marketing.
Aritra Guru, CEO - Conquest, said, “This year we saw several of the industry’s brightest minds convene to share their mantras for success with aspiring entrepreneurs.”
The event featured Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) sessions with established YouTuber, content creator, and influencer Ankur Warikoo (Founder – Nearbuy and Groupon). Leveraging his vast experience as a leader and content creator for blooming start-ups, Ankur shared nuanced insights about the initial growth of modern-age start-ups. The session was hosted by Ayush Wadhwa, the founder of Owled Media.