Technology and business mentors
TREC-STEP, the country’s first and pioneering Technology Business Incubator with over 3 decades of intense incubation experience, has empowered over 250 aspiring entrepreneurs, from Start to Scale. TREC-STEP is the preferred ‘Development Lab’ for many, path-breaking National and International initiatives in Innovation and Entrepreneurship development and has contributed significantly to driving favourable policy change, benefitting innumerable Indian Tech start-ups. TREC-STEP has extensively worked with the World Bank, The European Union, UN Agencies and many other International development agencies, to further the spirit of Entrepreneurship in our society and has been well recognized through their several Awards. These experiences are now encapsulated as Incubation packages and unleashed as customized, need-based services, to budding Technology Start-ups of the Chennai NEXT Challenge 2019.
TREC-STEP supported under the NITI Aayog’s, Atal Innovation Mission and has now modernized its Incubation infrastructure to World-class standards at its 50 acre-campus in Trichy, which houses advanced Prototyping and Production facilities and 40,000 sq. ft. of modern Incubation space, to suit the needs of any innovative venture from manufacturing to IOT, AI/ML and other tech domains. TREC-STEP has also expanded its incubation footprint to Chennai and has operationalized the Chennai Innovation and Technology Incubation Centre, CI-TIC, at the heart of Chennai at Kilpauk, housing state-of-the art office space with discussion rooms and Conferencing facilities. Over 70 winning Incubatees are currently benefitting from the focussed Mentoring and Incubation services at Trichy and Chennai. The Chennai NEXT Start-up Challenge 2019 shall now reach out to budding Tech Start-ups in other cities of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states as well, through their info desks and outreach programmes.
During the Chennai NEXT Challenge, aspiring tech Entrepreneurs receive a wealth of nurturing inputs from TREC-STEP’s curated team of over 50 business mentors, domain experts, investors and other start-up stakeholders, hand-picked from its vast worldwide network of Specialists, especially experienced Indian diaspora professionals in the US, also, European and Asian Business Incubation Networks, among others. The Experts provide crucial strategic insights to budding Entrepreneurs, connects to the Industry, etc, leading these New Exciting Technology (NEXT) ventures through a well-defined path, towards leveraging their market performance, successfully, all in an engaging and collaborative environment, amidst a vibrant community of fellow start-ups and dedicated Incubation managers, always ready to lend a listening ear and a helping hand. Winners are Seed funded too!
TREC-STEP facilitates an exciting environment where new tech business, gets done!
Indo - US
The Chennai NEXT Start-up Challenge had a resounding and successful launch last year and brought in tremendous interest from Investors, Mentors, Start-up networks and the like, that has spurred us into organizing a bigger and better round this year! Chennai NEXT is a prestigious global start-up competition designed to address the stage specific start-up needs of Tamilnadu’s innovative tech entrepreneurs, across several industry sectors. This Challenge is conceptualized by TREC-STEP, India’s first and pioneering Technology Business Incubator, having successfully incubated over 250 vibrant start-ups primarily in the deep-tech space. TREC-STEP’s customised mentoring and curated Investor and other vast support networks and modern infrastructure shall propel the participating tech start-ups into leveraged growth in the global markets, successfully.
Applicants with relevant expertise, aspirations and capability to take their innovative tech products to market, will be supported with intense Incubation support, focussed training and mentoring, access to funding on a milestone basis, among other supports. This Chennai NEXT Start-up Challenge provides Innovators and Tech entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their innovative products/services. Participants gain global visibility and connections with key players in the tech innovation network and a vibrant peer community of supportive fellow entrepreneurs, helping these novel tech products find new markets and grow their clientele, while overcoming early stage challenges successfully. Top 10 start-ups shall be provided seed funding of upto INR 50 Lakhs, based on the recommendations of the eminent Jury panel.
The applications are open until October 20th 2019. Shortlisted Winners for the Semi-final and Final stages shall be notified. The Challenge Organizing committee reserves the right to modify the scheme as and when required, without prior notification, so please tune in periodically.
The Start-ups-to-be do not have to be incorporated at the time of registering for the Chennai NEXT Challenge 2019, but they should have clear plans for this, within the current year and for their future growth. Incorporation is a vital criterion for selection for sanction of Seed support at a later stage, no funds can be transferred until the company is incorporated.
All Technology based start-ups are eligible and the domains/tracks for the Chennai NEXT Start-up Challenge 2019 have been deliberately kept broad, to allow for game-changing innovation and out of the box solutions. The following distinct tracks are identified and also an ‘Other Tech sectors’ track. Participants should clearly choose one of the tracks when registering for the Challenge
Please select only one track that best fits the product/service offered .
The Top 50 most promising and scalable start-ups will be selected by Chennai NEXT Jury panel and are groomed and given special audience to interact with prominent Members in the Start-up support community, such as sector specific Investors, top Industry experts, Entrepreneurs, TREC-STEP’s Incubation experts and fellow founders.
Top 25 semi-finalists are also invited to the Pitch Day, where they will have the opportunity to pitch in front of select Investors and eminent Jury panellists, while also competing for the 50 Lakh Seed capital. One-on-one meetings and feedback from the top-tier Jury panel members is also planned. Two grand winners, and eight other winners shall receive the Seed funding support after meeting all the due-diligence criteria. Jury’s decision, to award Seed fund to fewer start-ups and to fix the amounts to each, shall be final.
Applicants showing capability and commitment to be able to produce functional prototypes and take it to market will be awarded seed support, strictly on a milestone basis and starting in the form of equity/debt/other relevant structures. The exact amount and mode of each seed package shall be decided by the eminent Jury, based on the pitch, the application and business plan. The Challenge Organizing committee reserves the right to modify the rules and guidelines, as and when required, without prior notification. Please watch the website periodically for latest updates.
All 50 semi-finalists are eligible for the following
There are 3 main phases for selecting the Finalists. Selected Applicants will be informed at each step.
All Applications received will be reviewed for completeness in the preliminary round, by TREC-STEP’s core Incubation Team. Thereafter the Applications will be reviewed/interviewed by Chennai NEXT Challenge committee, comprising eminent members - investors, entrepreneurs, Industry executives and other domain experts in their field, who will work under NDAs. The applications will be judged according to the following criteria:
The Jury will rate and select start-ups based on the quality of the pitch deck and the complementary information provided by the start-ups after the semi-final selection rounds (1-page summary & pitch deck slides).
TREC-STEP with its 3-decade experience in grooming 100s of new Entrepreneurs, working intensely with the Government of India, has designed the Chennai NEXT Start-up Challenge specifically for innovative tech start-ups, acknowledging their intense nurturing needs and specific resources needed for promoting ventures based on deep technologies. In this 2019 round there will be intense focus to bring professional Incubation services to start-ups from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, Tirunelveli, Madurai, Pondicherry and others. Backing this Challenge is a larger focussed group of experts in various technology domains, including Industry experts, investors, seasoned Incubation executives, entrepreneurs and prominent Mentors, who have vast expertise and understanding of the needs and potential impact of innovative tech solutions being launched in the global markets. They continue to be part of this technology development and transfer continuum. The Vibrant Tech community of over 70 Start-ups, currently in Incubation offer peer learning and compete positively. They act as a huge pillar of support, they actively share notes on resolving common work issues, become internal clients to a few and more than anything offer a shoulder of support when you are going through a bad patch!
Another highlight of this Challenge is the ‘Indo-US Innovation bridge’, promoted by TREC-STEP and supported by pro-actively by members of Tamil Nadu Foundation Inc., a diaspora organization of eminent Technocrats, Professionals and serial Entrepreneurs, wanting to share their business advice and domain expertise gained over decades, with budding Start-ups. TREC-STEP has intense working partnerships with the European Business and Innovation Network (EBN), Technifutur, Belgium, Munich Technology Centre (MTZ) to name a few, in its vast global Network. Thus, the Chennai NEXT Start-up Challenge 2019 provides a unique, golden opportunity for global visibility for early-stage start-ups and the right connections, to truly make Tamil Nadu a go to destination for New EXciting Technology – NEXT Start-ups wanting to accelerate their innovations into the world!
No. Applying for the Chennai NEXT Challenge is entirely free of charge and taking up Physical Incubation is optional. Chennai NEXT Challenge does not require any action from the applicants apart from providing the completed application material, and does not claim any kind of decision or power over the participants. However, in case Seed support is provided, then the Start-up needs to be housed inside or virtually linked to TREC-STEP, Trichy or the CI-TIC Incubator at Kilpauk, Chennai. The Seed support may be operated in Debt or Equity mode, based on the preferences of the particular Start-up and TREC-STEP.
The Application information will only be available to the following individuals:
The Chennai NEXT Organizing committee and our IT team, managing the online application process and our expert Jury members, who all are party to Non-Disclosure. However, if some information might be too sensitive (because of a pending patent), we advise that you refrain from sharing such specific technical details.
The tentative date for notification of Results is October 30th 2019. Please visit the website periodically for latest updates.
TREC-STEP is currently developing a network of local hubs across Tamil Nadu to bring mentoring support to your doorstep and is strengthening its partner networks, pan India. In this round of Chennai NEXT Start-up Challenge 2019, we are aiming to empower entrepreneurs from across Tamil Nadu and neighbouring states and helping them access opportunities within this ecosystem and gain global visibility.