An event that caters to the budding startups of our country, Upstart - Our highlight - stands apart from the conventional Start-up Competition and 10-minute pitching; we strive to give our participants more than just the prize. The start-ups go through multiple rounds of screening, which are essentially brainstorming sessions at different levels and face to face mentoring. Finalists get to develop their ideas and hone their business plans with a panel of mentors.

If you wish to give wings to your startup and soar high above the giants, Upstart is just for you.A Business plan competition like no other which offers you a 2 week mentoring session followed by intensive face to face mentoring with eminent leaders from the world of entrepreneurship. If your startup is new in the business and looking to pick up help in terms of funding, incubation or mentorship, Upstart is the platform you've been waiting for.

Every beginner seeks guidance from those who've already tread the path. Here is your chance to get that push your startup requires, to make an impactful presence in the world of entrepreneurship. Selected startups will get the chance to interact with a group of leading entrepreneurs, who'll analyse every aspect of your business and look at your startup with the eye of a critique as well as a mentor. We are offering you the chance, it’s up to you to grab it!

  • Two Step Registration:

    All participating startups have to register via two step process.The participants need to fill the concerned details and top startups will be shortlisted for the Final Round Mentoring sessions, to be held in IIT Kanpur during eSummit'17.

  • Intensive Mentoring Sessions:

    Ten shortlisted startups will have a Two - Week mentoring session with our esteemed mentors where they will get to discuss their ideas and business plans to build a proper legal, operational and structural framework. This will be followed by intensive face to face mentoring and brainstorming sessions with a VC from the panel of Upstart. Along with invaluable advice from one of the most experienced Entrepreneur-cum-Mentors in the country, startups also get to enhance their network manifold with help from them.

  • Elevator Pitch:

    The teams have to pitch their summary to an independent panel in under 200 seconds. It is a prerequisite to the finale and will be held in campus on 2nd September. It has a 20% weightage in the total evaluation. The best pitches will also receive a cash prize.

  • Final Pitch:

    After the session, Startups will have time till the next day to build upon their Plan and modify their Pitch based on the inputs they received. They will then participate in a 10-minute pitch (followed by Q&As) to present their improved Business Plans before the Upstart panel, a panel of 5 judges on 3rd September. The start-ups will accordingly be given their final positions based on the Judging Criteria as elaborated in a later section.


  • Concept
    • Originality of Idea.
    • Scalability, in terms of the potential for growth and replication of the venture.
    • Well-conceived implementation plan and timetable.
    • Overall likelihood of achieving demonstrable results
  • Market
    • Evidence of demand for the venture in the marketplace; market size and growth opportunity.
    • Demonstrated knowledge of target market
    • Competitive analysis , SWOT analysis
    • Marketing Plan addresses (wherever applicable): positioning, pricing, advertising, promotion, packaging, timetable.
  • Performance Benchmarks
    • Outline the development of systems to track, monitor and assess the performance milestones articulated in venture plan
  • Financial Aspects
    • Fundability: The potential for the venture to receive financial support from additional investors/donors(including opportunities for funding from foundations, social venture funds, angel investors and venture capitalists)
    • The rigor and feasibility of the venture's financial model and goals
    • Potential for follow-on funding to grow the venture through self-sufficiency or profitability.
  • Risk Assessment and Contingency Plans
    • Identify risk factors associated with the enterprise and external environment. Develop a plan for mitigating them.

  • Demonstrated Leadership Ability
    • Quantify venture leader's ability to develop people, promote change and achieve results
  • Improvement
    • Improvement in the business plan from original proposal, post the mentoring session, will be taken into consideration.


As Upstart is a competition meant only for initial phase startups, we have put the following criteria for entry into the Final Round:

  • Your enterprise must have a prototype of its product or service and has conducted a significant number of pilots in the field, or must be already in operation. It must have conducted one pilot at least.
  • Enterprises which have been in operation for more than 3 years from the date of the incorporation will not be considered.
  • The Team should have atleast 1 and maximum 5 members.
  • The Startup should not have been VC funded. Startups financed through Bootstrapping or Seed Funding by Angel Investors are allowed to participate.
  • Startup entries must be the original work of participants i.e. team members competing must be the principal owners of the venture.
  • Winners of Upstart Pioneer’17 which was held in Techkriti’17 at IIT Kanpur.
  • Startup entries must be the original work of participants i.e. team members competing must be the principal owners of the venture.


Upstart Launch

June 19

Deadline for Online Registration

July 31


August 4

Mentor Connect

August 6

Two Weeks Mentorship Commencement

August 7 - August 21

Grand Finale at IIT Kanpur

September 2 - September 3



  •    All participants are required to Register via a two step prcoess online.
  •    Incase participants omit one of the steps of the registration procedure, they shall be disqualified.
  •    This year we are not accepting any submissions via mail or offline.
  •    You must separately register for eSummit '17, if you have not yet done so.

Terms And Conditions

  1.    It is mandatory for participants to register online for eSummit ‘17.
  2.    NO offline submissions of the B-Plan for UpStart ’17 will be accepted.
  3.    Contestants are free to participate in other business plan competitions as well.
  4.    Entries submitted after the deadline shall not be considered.
  5.    Entries need to have an innovative value (an innovative idea provides a solution for a new need, or advancement compared to existing products, services or technologies).
  6.    The confidentiality of the entries/ ideas is guaranteed.
  7.    The registration form and entries of the teams shall not be returned and their personal data will remain available only for statistical purposes.
  8.    Entries remain the property of their legal owner.
  9.    All conflicts are subject to jurisdiction of Kanpur courts only.