On October 10th, ISW PEN had the opportunity to host the first ever Asian Business Pitch Contest in collaboration with ElevAsian at the India Center. The idea was to bring in early-stage entrepreneurs from near and far and pitch their ideas in 4 minutes, face questions for 4 minutes and convince the panel of judges. The Contest was set up in 2 tranches - New Business and Existing Businesses with 11 contestants in the first and 4 in the second category.
The audience packed the ISW India center with folks networking both before and after the pitch contest. Contestants with existing businesses or products had an opportunity to showcase their products or services in an exhibitor space during the evening.
Greg Stoller and Andrew Goldberg from ElevAsian did an excellent job of running the contest and moderating the Q&A sessions. The contestants ranged from 17-year-old high school students to adults putting their best foot forward. The quality of the pitches were remarkable and matched up with seasoned business professionals.
The final winners of the new business track were:
- First Place $1000 prize: Julie Jain and Jai Khanna (1)
- Second Place $750 prize: Pranav Ramaswamy (2)
- Third Place $500 prize: Kashvi Vishal (3)
- The Existing Business Track winner of the $750 prize was Pinaki Majhi
- The Audience Favorite prize of $250 was split between Anjana Sudhir and Kashvi Vishal.
The judges for the event were:
- Ms. Geetha Sreedhar, Founder Tarmika (acquired by Applied Systems) and TIE Boston Board Member
- Mr. Sushil Tuli, Chairman, CEO & Founder Leader Bank; Director, Federal Reserve Bank, Boston
- Mr. Subramaniam “A.V.” Aiylam, Founder and owner, Spyglass Brewing; Co-founder CenteredLogic, acquired by Enea in 2015.
The entire event was live cast on Facebook and those who could not attend can view it at these links:
Asian Business Pitch Contest Part 1.
Asian Business Pitch Contest Part 2.
After the event, Greg shared his sentiments with ISW. "I was very impressed how much pride there is in maintaining the Indian culture and how that sentiment was seamlessly integrated into so many different ideas that were presented. Finally, it was wonderful to see such a wide range of ages, and I truly wish everyone the best of luck with either existing businesses or their new ventures."
Andy, the founder of ElevAsian was also very appreciative of the teamwork he experienced with the ISW team "...sometimes I forgot that the ISW team have demanding full time jobs. There were plenty of days when I emailed a couple of dozen times and the ISW team responded to many of them immediately and all of them in a timely fashion. It was an absolute pleasure to work with Kelly, Ragoo, Raj, and Ashish. I felt like we had an engaged partner who was invested in producing a successful pitch contest as we were. The pitch contest felt like a family occasion. The pride and joy of the Asian community was evident throughout the evening".
We look forward to the possibility of making this a regular event at ISW that fosters multiple entrepreneurs in the Central Mass area.