Conquest, BITS Pilani: Building India's First Student Run Startup Launchpad

By siliconindia   |   Monday, 02 April 2018, 11:16 Hrs
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Founded in 2004, Conquest soon became India’s biggest student-run startup conclave receiving over 1000 startup applications consistently since previous three editions. Fourteen years have passed by, with a couple of revamped models and success stories laden throughout, Conquest has now evolved into a six-week summer program for India’s top ten startups which receive free space to live and work in Bengaluru along with intensive mentoring, investment opportunities and media coverage.

In the past, Conquest has had success stories like SocialCops, which is acclaimed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has been recognized as the Most Impactful Startup of 2017 by the YourStory team. Swagene and Gamezop which were the top two startups in Conquest 2015 went on to create genetically customized medicine and social gaming platforms respectively. Thinkerbell Labs, winner of Conquest 2016 aims to bring Braille within the reach of all visually-impaired people.

With a network of top investors like Sanjay Nath, Dev Khare, Barath Shankar from investment firms like Blume Ventures, Lightspeed Ventures, Accel Partners, Matrix Partners, and Indian Angel Network, Conquest serves as a networking paradise. Infotech Hub and Balsamiq as associate sponsors, Conquest is on a mission to empower founders, to catalyse innovation and to assist creation.

“The only way to push the human race forward is to have enterprising small groups of people reject the status quo and build the future. In those magical moments of giving birth to innovation, we stand by the crazy ones who dare to change the world, the ones who love building and creating just for the fun of it.”, says Rahul Chhabra, CEO at Conquest, BITS Pilani who plans to build India’s first student-run startup launchpad for early age startups.

What all is Conquest upto?

From one of India’s grandest startup events, Conquest is now under transition to become a leader in India’s startup ecosystem with multiple initiatives for all stakeholders in the industry.

- Summer Mentorship Program - With a goal to help the best founders build great businesses and raise money, Conquest provides a six-week long summer mentorship program at Bengaluru to their Top 10 Startups. This will comprise of free coliving space at The Hub - a coliving space where people come together to live, work and express themselves, along with free coworking facilities.

- Grand Finale - The Summer Mentorship Program will be followed by a Grand Finale where the Top 10 Startups get to pitch themselves before India’s top investors and media houses to raise funds and gain media attention.

- Conquest Mentoring Sessions - From among all the startups that register for Conquest, the Top 50 are called for a day-long mentoring session in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai with industry stalwarts in tech, customer acquisition, fundraising and so on.

- Conquest Community - The Conquest Community is a curated community of past startups, investors, mentors and experts from the Conquest network. It sparks discussions and provides an opportunity for members to connect with and gain insights from each other.

- Conquest Hiring Platform - This gives an opportunity to Conquest Campus Ambassadors, college E-Cell partners and developers to get a chance to work with one of the previous Conquest Finalists as well as the current startups looking to hire.

- Conquest Academy - Building a repository of great advice to first time founders which have everything from how to find the right co-founders to how to achieve a product market fit.

- Conquest Meetups - Regularly held meetups and hackathons with mentors, founders and developers which helps get the most talented people of the country under one roof.

Why should a startup register for Conquest?

If you are an early stage startup founder who really cares about the company you are building, then Conquest has built a distraction-free, high growth environment for you so that you can single mindedly focus on building your company. Conquest provides intensive mentoring from founders who have built great companies themselves who are the best source of experiential knowledge on nascent stage startup problems. Another important element of the program is a collaboration focused environment which requires all Top 10 Startups to stay and work together in order to solve each other’s problems and leverage complementary skill sets. Finally, Conquest helps the startups overcome one of the most common roadblocks - fundraising. Conquest provides investors from top VC firms, Conquest alumni and experienced founders to help craft your pitch, build your deck, maneuver deals and secure funding.

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