Startup Competition

Details of Wharton India Startup Competition 2017

WIEF is one of the largest and most prestigious India focused economic and business conferences in the world. The Wharton India Startup Competition (WISC) is a hallmark of WIEF, giving startups from India the opportunity to present in front of an esteemed panel of judges in India. Last year we had more than 750 startups apply to the competition.


Do you have a business model which targets the Indian market?
The 21st Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) is hosting the prestigious Startup Competition for the fourth year in a row to promote entrepreneurship in India.

Who can apply?

A startup (subject to eligibility requirements) with a business idea or business model featuring products and/or services targeting the Indian market.

How developed does the startup have to be?
  • Pre-seed
  • Seed
  • Early stage/ growth

What is the selection process like?
  • Competition entries will be pre-screened by a panel of experts including top entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and investors. This panel will select semi-finalists.
  • Shortlisted semi-finalists will be provided with 15-minute time slot to present their ideas to the judges (via teleconference) based on which finalists will be selected.
  • Finalists will pitch to top Indian entrepreneurs and venture capitalists on January 6, 2017 in Mumbai. The pitch will consist of a 5-minute presentation and a 3-minute Q&A               session.


  • $12,000 in prize money for Judges’ Choice Award Winner.
  • $6,000 in prize money for People’s Choice Award Winner.
  • Pro-bono legal advice and workshop from Khaitan & Co.
  • Unparalleled mentorship of upto 4 months from some of the most renown names in the industry on strategy and funding.
  • Beyond prizes, the winners will have the opportunity to connect with investors and be featured at international level by media partners such as CNBC-TV18.


Final deadline at 11:59 PM IST
Semi-finalists announced
Finalists announced
Finalists pitch in Mumbai

*Please note that the above timeline is subject to minor changes.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications are open to any early-stage entrepreneur, in any industry, from anywhere in the world with business ideas focused on a product and/or service targeting the Indian market. We accept early-stage startups. As we define it, this means:

  • You are in product development stage; or
  • You have rolled out a beta product; or
  • You have sought and collected data on customer validation (beyond conducting surveys); and
  • You don’t exceed $1M in equity-based investment or $1M in annual revenue


  • Please submit the application here.
  • All teams will have to submit a pitch deck along with the online application form. Please format your presentation as per the guidelines provided in the template here.                     Ensure you address all the points mentioned in the guidelines so that your application is evaluated on all the merits. Please name the file as "company name_pitch deck".
  • All teams will have to submit resumes of all the founders. All the resumes should be in one pdf file and should not exceed one page per resume. Please name the file as               "company name_resumes".
  • Teams have an option to provide a link to elevator pitch video. Please note that this is completely optional, you should submit it if you feel you can explain the product                       better with the help of an elevator pitch. The pitch should be no longer than 60 seconds.

Rules and Regulations

  • Business plans must be targeting the Indian market or developing an India focused product and/or service. Any idea or business plan outside this scope will not be                         considered.
  • Only complete applications will be considered. This includes submission of pitch deck adhering to the guidelines and submission of resumes of all the founders.
  • We will not consider any submissions that exceed the number of slides stated in the guidelines.
  • We will not consider submissions having just a business idea. This means the core team should already be working on the idea to bring the product/service to the market               in future or have already launched the product/service.
  • Judges’ decisions shall be final.
  • Submissions after the second round deadline will not be considered nor any such requests be entertained.

Past Finalists

Some of the past finalists include:

  • 2016: Ketto (Grand Prize Winner), Kheyti (People's Choice Award), Pratilipi (Powerhouse Winner), Trebene (Powerhouse Runners Up), Acuity, FRS Labs, Greensole,                               LoanMeet, iFreedom and Art & Found.
  • 2015: Flintobox, Postergully, Babychakra, Haptik, Leova, Simpa Networks, Jiffstore, Mr. Hot Foods, Smart Paddle and Pratilipi.
  • 2014: Zoomcar, Zostel, Targeting Mantra, Qlicket, Samaan, Ambitioni, Level Counsel, Travel Gourmand, V Help and Wish Guise.