Like all college students, Naman, Isha and me always had fantasies of how we would start our business and someday be like our icons – Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg.We would joke how we would start our company and then instead of taking placements in our college we would be the ones offering them. Last year at around August we learned about IICDC 2017 through our college, Sardar Patel Institute of Technology. We had worked together for our college fest and knew we worked well as a team.
So our idea, HealthSet was basically to create a remote health monitoring system. HealthSet is a comprehensive diagnostic suite. It measures multiple medical parameters like ECG, body temperature, body movement and BPM. These readings are stored on a cloud which are accessible to a doctor. So we needed a team to participate in this competition. I would handle the Marketing and Business part while Naman & Isha would handle the technical part.
Over 15,380 students from 965 colleges all over the country had participated in this elite competition. For the first round of the contest we had to submit our idea with its description. We expected to sail through this round and so it happened. In the next round we had to give technical details about our idea. We also got selected in this round. Next for the quarterfinals we had to make a prototype of our project. For this we could order electronics components from TI website for free. TI is one of the best companies in the world in this sector and we were delighted to get components from them. We had to make 2 videos for the quarterfinals, one from the business point of view and one from technical point of view. Now we had wanted to something different for this so that it could stand out. This is where it would get tougher to qualify for the next round. So we found out about an animation software that we would use to make our Business video. I spent 2 days learning it and then in 1 day I made the business video. Luckily everyone loved it. Then for the technical demonstration video, I thought it would be great if could demonstrate a skit and show how our product could be used actually. So we went ahead with my idea and did the video. We were really satisfied with our video and were expecting to be selected for the semi-finals. When we got results for the quarter-finals, we were overjoyed to know that we had been selected for the semi-finals of 70 teams, our happiness knew no bounds. This is when we actually started to believe we could actually win this. Now we needed more expertise in software part, so we approached our good friend Neil Daftray for help and he obliged. At this stage we showed our project to our professor K.T Talele . He was really happy with the progress we had made and referred us to Vikrant Potnis, the CEO of SP-TBI, who could help us with our project. So for the semi-finals in Delhi to be held on 9thJune, we had to make a PPT and a pitch. We had also been assigned a mentor from IIM B to help with the business part. That was where we learned about how businesses work and all the calculations behind everything. It was a great learning curve for us all to learn about these things. The first PPT that we made was not at all good. Then with Vikrant’s guidance we reworked the whole PPT and gave it a direction. This is where we learned how to make a PPT for a pitch. Also in preparation for the semi-finals we visited a hospital to get feedback for our product. We tested our product on over 30 patients. It was a new experience for us in field work. For the semi-finals, we were pretty confident about ourselves but at the time of the presentation, the evaluators gave us a really hard time, they pointed out the flaws in our product we were flabbergasted. But we did not back down and stuck to our plan. We were pretty confused after the presentation and weren’t so confident as we were before. We were praying like anything to get selected for the finals and crossed our fingers on 15thJune when the results were due. The moment we knew we were selected for the for the finals of 30 teams, we knew we had to put every drop of blood to work and do all the changes necessary that we were criticized about in the semi-finals. IICDC had also organized a boot camp for us from July 4-6. Also we had come up with a name for our company, a logo and its website. This is where we started to feel like actual entrepreneurs. The best part was that we also had to print out business cards. This was the most critical part of the competition, this where we learned things and gained insights into our product. This is where we had a clear vision for our product. The sessions with business mentors at IIM B gave us a clear direction for our product. The technical mentors at TI told about the various setbacks of our products and how we could overcome them. These 3 days were probably the most resourceful of our lives. What we learned here in those 3 days was simply unbelievable. We will always be indebted to IICDC for this experience. We also got a workshop about patents at the TI campus. When we came back, we all set to work, we knew if we had to win this we had to work like anything. Naman & Isha focused on making the new hardware according to new inputs we had got from the boot camp. I contacted all the doctors I knew to get their opinion about our product. We had reviews about our product from doctors with our contacts from rural areas like Badlapur, towns like Nasik and also big hospitals like Sion hospital & Wockhardt hospital. After some days after the boot camp, we got a mail that we had to make patents and it be an evaluation criteria. Now patent filing is something we thought we never do in our life. Also we had to do a video about all the changes we had incorporated till now. Talele sir was an expert in making patents and luckily we had his guidance to draft our patent. Now there was a lot of work to be done and very less time. So we had to work efficiently and divide work accordingly. I kept working on the video about how our flow would be, Naman & Isha spent countless nights making the hardware. Neil & Naman worked really hard to make the patent. I worked on the business model with Vikrant. There was not a night when we slept before 3 in the night. One week before the finals we got a mail from the organisers that we had to have a minimum of 3 patents and the deadline was 2 days. Now making the first patent took us more than 2 weeks and to make 3 more in 2 days seemed like a near impossible task. But we did not give up, we wanted this more than anything. Naman, Neil & me slogged the night out to make a patent each and by the end of 2ndday we were ready with 3 more patents.Our professor Mr.Kasambe gave us a simple yet brilliant idea for the patent that we could not think of. What seemed impossible 2 days ago was done by our sheer will power. This was an unforgettable experience. While we were doing patents, Isha made our new look product which was compact and extremely comfortable to wear as compared to the previous one. For the new packaging we had guidance of Mr.Manoj from SP-TBI. Again for the finals we had to make a pitch and a PPT. Valuable inputs from Talele sir & Vikrant helped us finalise the PPT. With help from Vidya Ma’am and Vikrant Sir, I prepared a rough script for the pitch. One day before the finals we were slogging it out on my pitch. I must have practiced my pitch more than 50 times in that one day and I was pretty confident about it by the end of it. On day of the finals everything went well and we were hoping we might win something for sure. When our name was called for the 2ndrunners up, we were literally in 7thheaven. Our happiness knew no bounds. The amount of efforts Naman, Isha , Neil & me had put in had finally paid off and nothing felt more satisfying than this.
This was a one-in-a-lifetime experience for us. We had never thought we would be doing the kind of things we did in this competition. From dreaming to start a company to actually coming so close to make it a reality was an awesome experience. All the help and support provided by our college SPIT management and faculty, especially electronics dept was invaluable. We are lucky to be in this college who supported us in this competition. This experience will forever be itched in our memory. Kudos to TI, IIM B & DST for coming together to create this awesome experience at IICDC. This is a blessing for all college students who dream of making it big but don’t know the means for it.