Tie-Canaan Challenge Picks

Update: Oversight on my part. TiE-Canaan announced the winners of its entrepreneurial challenge on Saturday — Equitas, Druvaa and iKen. More details here.

Proto.in unveils its showcase startups next week (July 18-19) and I hope to catch a few interesting companies. Meanwhile, the TiE-Canaan Entrepreneurial Challenge 2008 finalists have been in the public domain for for some time. They will pick three winners out of the eight finalists soon. Meanwhile, here’s a quick look at some of them:

The last on the list, Equitas Micro Finance India, is the only pure non-technology venture on feature. This is a regular micro-finance company and operates out of Chennai, serving Tamil Nadu. Seems to be a one-year old company and is targeting 1,80,000 members in its first year of operation. The founders come from NBFC backgrounds (promoter and managing director PN Vasudevan was with Cholamandalam Investment & Finance). I’m a little intrigued by the profile description for COO S Bhaskar. It says he “started in Pricewater House…” Doesn’t quite sound like the PwC we are familiar with. I picked this company because it kind of sticks out in the line-up. Micro-finance is still a niche business but a fairly established business model, in India and globally. Does Equitas really need to contest its business plan in this sort of an entrepreneurial challenge?

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