Upcoming Competitions, Awards and Challenges

Here is a summary of some interesting opportunities for our readers:

1.The Great Indian Developer Award: “The Great Indian Developer Awards 2008 recognizes trailblazing individuals, technologies, and organizations contributing to the evangelism, productivity and innovation excellence of the Indian developer ecosystem.” [Source: PluGGd.in] Go here to vote.

2. TIE-Canaan Entrepreneurial Challenge 2008: “Canaan Partners and TIE, today announced the launch of the TIE-Canaan Entrepreneurial Challenge 2008, a business plan competition open to early stage entrepreneurs from across the country.” [Source: PluGGd.in] Deadline for submission is May 12th, go here to submit. A template for a b-plan can be found here.

3. YouthActionNet Global Fellowship Program: “Launched in 2001 by the International Youth Foundation, YouthActionNet strengthens, supports, and celebrates the role of young people in leading positive change in their communities. Each year, 20 exceptional young social entrepreneurs are selected as YouthActionNet Global Fellows following a competitive application process.” [Source: Let Me Know] Deadline is May 12th, go here for the application. (Santhosh posted on this fellowship previously here).

4. BiD “Entrepreneurship in Development” Photo Contest: “In this Photo Contest, BiD is focusing on entrepreneurs around the world who are working for innovative changes towards sustainable economic growth in developing countries. You can submit your photos to the competition by simply uploading your image on www.bidnetwork.org. To do so, you must be registered as a member of bidnetwork.org first.” [Source: Nextbillion.net] Deadline April 30th, go here for website.

Where India Fares on the Internet Access Ladder

comScore recently released a report entitled, Digital World: The State of the Internet, which provides information regarding worldwide internet usage trends.  Here is an abstract of the report:

comScore’s DIGITAL WORLD: The State of the Internet provides an indispensable reference tool for any marketer, website publisher, or investor who needs to understand how the Internet is being used, what trends are emerging in a wide variety of categories, and where future growth indicates new opportunities reside in order to optimize their online investment. Plus, the report provides the first look into a number of worldwide markets, including China, Japan, and India.

According to the report, “69 billion online searches (conducted by 775 unique people) occurred worldwide in October 2007, representing about 12% of the world’s population.”  As one might expect, the United States is the leader in terms of number of searches (21%), followed by China (9.5%).   India, surprisingly (or maybe not so surprisingly), ranks 8th of this list.  As pointed out by Ashish on pluGGd.in, India’s position doesn’t seem too shabby, unless, of course, you account for its user base with respect to its overall population.

Click “read more” to see a table from the report. Continue reading

Virtual Stock Trading Portal Launched in India

As mentioned in pluGGd.in, a new virtual stock trading portal named Khelostocks has just been launched in India.  Khelostock’s mission is as follows:

Khelostocks is a portal dedicated to educating and empowering retail investors.  Khelostocks helps budding investors to experience the dynamics of real time stocks trading at zero cost and zero risk basis. Here willing investors can test their trading fundamentals and techniques, learn new ones and turn themselves into savvy investors, before stepping into the real market.

Khelostocks provides a real time trading environment with all the trading ingredients of a cash market segment such as Intra-day trade, Delivery trade, Margin trading, Limit and Market type orders, Transfer of intraday trade position to delivery.

Khelostocks.com was developed by Akhil, Sameer and Vivek.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact them.

Op-Ed: Arrogance today, humility tomorrow

A curious micro-debate seems to be emerging in the blogosphere on what is more critical to a social entrepreneur’s success — their humility or arrogance. This is an interesting discussion, as both qualities provide varied paths to success and failure.

For example, often times organizations are inextricably tied to the charismatic, larger than life personalities of their founders or current leaders. Two that immediately come to mind are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiative. Here arrogance, or what could at least be described as leveraging celebrity status, was a crucial component to the rapid success and growth for both organizations (w/r to the Gates Foundation immense capital also did not hurt).

Continue reading


A new Bangalore startup, DhanaX aims to be the primary lending platform for low-income borrowers. While at first glance it may look simply like a Kiva.org knockoff, with 70% of India still living in the rural areas and current access to such microfinance platforms still limited, another player in this field may not be that bad.

PluGGd.in writes:

Here is how it works:

  • dhanaX identifies and partners with recognized microfinance organizations, NGOs and credit societies that look into the economic needs of the poor.
  • As a lender, you can extend credit at a mutually agreed rate of interest to a suitable enterprise or individual through dhanaX.
    At the end of the stipulated loan period, dhanaX will facilitate the repayment of principal amount with interest with the help of partner organizations.

dhanaX’s core USP lies in it’s attempt to eliminate the intermediaries and be the platform to bring lenders and borrowers together.