On a daily basis, everyone has numerous thoughts. These include a blooming mix of conversations that could have gone differently, pangs of hunger and craving, and ideas the world did not know it needed.
The winter of 2020 brought with it the Hult Prize MAHE, the most prominent social enterprise challenge. Organised with the support of Ms Geetha Maiya, Director of Students Affair, MAHE and Mr Yogesh Pai, Faculty Coordinator, the entrepreneurial stage saw a massive influx of young minds brimming with ideas.
The young entrepreneurs were given the creative freedom to express their uniqueness and skills with the theme of the competition being ‘Food For Good’. The winner was to receive a seed funding of $1,000,000 and represent MAHE at an international level.
The competition required teams of three or four members to impress the highly experienced judges with their presentation pitch.
A decorated bench of three veterans of the game judged the competition. The first judge was none other than MAHE faculty—Professor Alapati Vittaleswar, Professor and Mentor at Manipal Institute of Technology.
Also, we had the Founder, TechFaqtory GmbH and Director, Sri Sri Tatva Europe B.V., Mr Karthik Jeganathan and Mr Barada P Panigrahy, Director of the Incubation Centre at Sri Sri University.
The event saw the teams hold the audience as well as the judges captive with their unique ideas and plan of actions.
Hult Prize MAHE made sure that those that could make an impact got a chance to do so and pave their way to higher pedestals.
Among these, three stood out. They took the top positions of the winner and the two runner ups:
2nd Runner Up—Team Novus
The position for the second runner up went to Team Novus for their great startup idea named ‘Farm-o-Meal’ which aimed to incorporate a fast-food diner alongside a farm. They conceptualised that the primary manner of material would be the raw materials being procured straight from the farms to the restaurant. This venture aims to either take up the farmland on contractual terms or to buy the land and employ the farmers at a fair wage. They ensure the use of modern scientific methods of farming such as vertical farming as well as permaculture. In layman terms, permaculture is the science of sustainable agriculture.
They also ensure proper waste management through mushroom cultivation alongside biofuel processing.
A supply line of local food made from locally grown raw materials stands as one of the main highlights of their venture. Almost everything that they work with, from pesticides to the cooking, is entirely organic.
1st Runner Up—Team Off The Cook
Off The Cook was the team that took the position of the 1st Runner up. Off The Cook entered the competition with a simple and straightforward idea—to enable the homemakers and the unemployed to cook for those who may not have the time or the skills to do it themselves.
Off The Cook aims to utilise proper FSSAI guidelines and helps the chefs register under it.
Off The Cook also offers a service of transportation of food to the students and the workers. The students and workers can choose what to order through a mobile app that’s currently under development. The chefs can pick the order that has been requested.
First Prize—Team Udupi Fresh
The top spot was taken by one of Manipal’s homegrown companies, Udupi Fresh. The company exists as a grocery delivery service, bringing the groceries and other essential food items to the doorsteps of people. They offer a wide variety of items from the basic bread and butter, to poultry and pulses.
They also collaborate with certified poultry farms and Malpe fisheries, as well as supply a fair wage to them and the farmers.
Udupi Fresh was conceptualised during the initial days of the Covid-19 lockdown, which refrained people from stepping outside their homes.
Udupi, having no such facilities like BigBasket or Grofers, was in dire need of an app like this. Moreover, as is said about all the best startup ideas, ‘the best startups are those born out of genuine firsthand problems.’
They do charge a minimum delivery charge since it is a relatively small business. They utilise their mobile app as well as a website from which the customers can place orders. Within minutes of placing an order, the customers get a call to confirm and then all they have to do now is wait for 2-3 hours for their FSSAI certified, hygienic and budget-friendly groceries.
A tip to the freshers living off-campus once they head back—install Udupi Fresh on your mobiles or head to their website, and sit back and wait for the freshest in Udupi to be delivered at your doorstep.
Hult Prize MAHE ended on a high note, graced with the motivational words of the judges
“99% of startups definitely fail. But that doesn’t mean one should stop trying”, said Karthik Jeganathan, as he told the participants of the many blockades on the road to a successful business.
Hult Prize MAHE was witness to unparalleled calibre, unique ideas and served as an essential platform for young entrepreneurs to showcase their world-changing objectives.
Written by Aditya Kapur for MTTN
Edited by Tanya Jain for MTTN