People's Choice Awards

The People’s Choice Awards are presented to five student startups that win the highest number of votes in the platform’s online public poll, running from October to November. The Awards are a fantastic opportunity for student entrepreneurs to build awareness and support for their ideas beyond their own campus and networks. Last year, for example, 415 startups registered over 79,000 votes of support on our website!

Winners of the People’s Choice Awards will be invited to the National Conference in Bangalore, where they will be recognized and provided an opportunity to pitch their ideas and startups to leading entrepreneurs, investors, experts, and national media.


National Judges' Choice Awards

The TATA First Dot Powered by NEN National Judges’ Choice Awards honor five student startups that demonstrate potential and impact through their scalability, innovativeness and key accomplishments (example: hitting key product development or customer acquisition milestones). Selected by a panel of established entrepreneurs, investors, academicians, and leaders of the TATA group and NEN, the five winners will be recognized at the National Conference in Bangalore, where they will be provided an opportunity to present their startups to the audience and media.


5 Reasons to Nominate Your Startup


01 | Showcase Your Startup to the World

Win a chance to get featured in national media! Our media partners in the past have included business newspaper Mint, and TV networks NDTV Profit and CNBC TV18.

02 | Pitch to Leading Investors and Experts

Get multiple opportunities to interact with investors, experts, established entrepreneurs, and leaders of the TATA group and key partner organizations. And they all want to hear YOU!

03 | Equip Yourself with Cutting-Edge Skills

Take part in our hands-on workshops, bootcamps, online courses, and forum discussions. Learn how to build business plans, test business models, plan marketing strategies, and make that perfect sales pitch!

04 | Get 1-to-1 Help from Top Mentors and Experts

Building a startup is hard – building a startup while studying is harder. But there is help! Our top mentors and experts will work with you to give you all the support, advice and encouragement you need.

05 | Build a Powerful Network

Reach beyond your campus to cities across India – meet hundreds of like-minded student entrepreneurs at our National Conference and workshops. Who knows, one of them could even be your future co-founder!


  1. 01 |In order to be eligible, startup teams must submit the Awards nomination form on this website on or before November 30, 2014.

    Please note: Submission of the nomination form does not automatically mean that your startup is nominated. Submitted forms will be reviewed to ensure information is complete, accurate, and that the startup meets our participation criteria.
  2. 02 |Startups must at least be in the prototype stage: ideas must have been fully developed into a functioning product/service that can be offered to a prospective customer.
  3. 03 |Startups must be led by student entrepreneurs, who are actively involved in running day-to-day and strategic operations of the business. The founding team may include non-student members, but student members must account for at least 45% of the team.
  4. 04 |Student entrepreneurs must be enrolled in a full-time degree program recognized by the UGC/AICTE. In case of students enrolled in international degree programs, recognition by their host country's regulatory body will be considered.
  5. 05 |While the TATA First Dot Powered by NEN Awards are open to student founders of all nationalities and to student startups located anywhere, the platform itself is currently fully based and organized in India.

Awards Process: Guidelines and Tips

  1. 01 |Register yourself on our website. Use your Facebook or Google account to make it quick!
  2. 02 |Fill in and submit your nomination form. There is only one nomination form for both the Awards, and it is comprehensive. It's a good idea to take some time to think through the information you are submitting, as we will use it to create your online profile page for the People's Choice Awards and for judging in the National Judges' Choice Awards.
  3. 03 |After your form is reviewed and accepted, you will receive a confirmation email from us, notifying your startup's nomination for the Awards. Please note, this means your startup is now automatically nominated for both the Awards.
  1. 01 |The online voting phase for the People’s Choice Awards kickstarts immediately after nominations close, and will run for 30 days. Each nominated startup will get an online profile page, outlining key information about their business and team.
  2. 02 |Nominated startup teams should ideally begin soliciting votes for their startup as soon as their profile page is published. In order to vote for a startup, voters must click the Vote button on this page.
  3. 03 |The five startups that receive the highest number of audited votes will be declared winners and recognized at the National Conference in Bangalore.
  4. Tip! Be sure to check out our marketing resources to solicit votes for your startup. We have put them together to help you!
  1. 01 |The National Judges’ Choice Awards run in parallel to the People’s Choice Awards.
  2. 02 |From the total pool of nominees, 100-125 startups will be shortlisted based on their business and team potential, and invited to attend two-day, intensive bootcamps that will happen in five cities. During these bootcamps, experts and mentors will work 1-1 with teams to help them identify key opportunities, refine their business model, and develop elevator pitches. Participation in the bootcamp is a requirement for startups to make it to the next round.
  3. 03 |Among the bootcamp participants, a group of 15-20 participants will be further shortlisted by NEN experts and invited to Bombay, where they will pitch to a judging panel, comprising angel investors, industry experts and leaders of the TATA group.
  4. 04 |The judging panel will then decide the five winners of the National Judges’ Choice Awards, based on the startups’ scalability, innovativeness, and key accomplishments. The five winners will be invited to the National Conference in Bangalore, where they will be recognized and provided an opportunity to present to the audience and national media.