It's been well over a decade since Business Today started identifying start-ups that have the most potential. Over the years, the list of such start-ups that grew up to become big brands has become longer. Some such as Flipkart, OYO Rooms and Hike messenger have become unicorns. This time around, 134 start-ups filed nominations. They were divided into two categories based on when they were set up - those 0-2-years-old and those that were 2-4-years-old. After vetting by BT's senior editorial team, the list was down to 62 applicants. Of these, 25 were in first category and 37 in the older category. The jury, however, was provided with a docket that included all applicants. The jury looked at scale and originality of ideas, among other things, before identifying the winners.
The jury members were: Bharati Jacob, Founder-Partner, Seedfund; Ganapathy Venugopal, Co-founder and CEO, Axilor Ventures; Ganesh Prasad, Partner, Khaitan & Co; and Kanwaljit Singh, Founder and Managing Partner, Fireside Ventures. In a discussion that lasted a little over two hours, the eminent jury identified 12 winners - six from the 0-2 years category, five from the 2-4 years category, and one was a social start-up, a new category introduced this year.
The group was diverse but many had focussed on infrastructure issues: a sewer-cleaning robot, an AC-based air purifier, a security system for gated communities, and a water usage tracker.