About The Contest

India has emerged as a powerful developing economy over the last 70 years. However, it continues to face some of the trickiest development challenges that will require the combined might of youth, entrepreneurship and innovators to develop sustainable solutions. To bridge the gap and take India to the next level, the need of the hour is to come up with innovative solutions to the various socio-economic challenges thereby impacting lives of people at large.

Government of India is actively encouraging Entrepreneurship development and is working closely with key stakeholders in the eco-system to develop multipronged strategies to energise youth to take entrepreneurship as their preferred choice through innovative programmes like Start-up India and Stand up India. Smartfifty  is an initiative aligned with the country’s focused approach to promote entrepreneurship driven social development. IIM Calcutta Innovation Park in partnership with DST – GoI, has launched ‘Smartfifty’ – a search for solutions to transform India’. This contest will be covered on NDTV and will identify, recognize & reward aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs and innovators across targeted sectors. Through this TV show, the country desires to seek entrepreneurs with smart ideas to transform India, who, with little help and recognition, may become successful entrepreneurs, creating wealth, solving social problems profitably and generate employment opportunities. This platform is envisaged to evolve, for aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators, as a platform of choice that facilitate their success through strategic networking, seed funding, and mentoring support.



This contest will follow a rigorous multi-stage process to identify promising entrepreneurs. The broad outline of Smartfifty would be as under:

  • Launch at Delhi.
  • Extensive digital/electronic promotion.
  • Focused National and International road shows, outreach and promotional events targeted to reach out to aspiring entrepreneurs.
  • Source upto 50,000 Startup ideas.
  • Top 3000 selected applicants will be called for regional knowledge sessions.
  • Top 400 Selected contestants will present their business ideas in front of a jury who will evaluate each plan according to pre-defined criteria. The jury will select 40 top entrepreneurs from the regional rounds (quarter-finals).
  • Upto 10 top notch ideas from International road shows (Singapore, Boston etc ) to participate in the Boot camp and compete at the semi-finals.
  • Structured multi-day Boot camp at IIM Calcutta Campus with top 50 contestants.
  • Further screening of plans by a jury in the semi-finals to identify top 10 participants for the grand finale.
  • Grand finale in Delhi to select top 3 winning ideas by eminent jury on TV.
Top 3000 participants for start up kit and certificate. Please click here.      |     Top 400 participants for certificate. Please click here.