Young Innovator Wins Top Prize at SmartIDEAthon 2023 for Heat-Powered Air Blower Startup

Anup Paikaray’s Innovative Solution Aims to Transform Traditional Cooking Methods and Impact Over Two Billion Women Worldwide

In a thrilling culmination of the SmartIDEAthon 2023, Anup Paikaray, a talented young entrepreneur, secured the championship at the annual pan-India pitch-fest organized by GITAM (Deemed to be University). Anup Paikaray, a student from the Odisha University of Technology and Research, impressed the jury with his startup, Newrup Tech Solutions. The startup focuses on creating heat-powered air blowers that harness excess heat from traditional Chulas or Tandoors and convert it into rotational energy for internal fans. This innovation, priced at just Rs 500, aims to impact the lives of over two billion women worldwide still using traditional cooking methods.

Anup Paikaray’s victory earned him the winner’s title, a cash prize of Rs 2 lakh, and an all-expenses-paid trip to Boston. The event’s Chief Guest, Pawan Kumar Chandana, a prominent space entrepreneur, handed over the coveted title to Anup Paikaray. Speaking at the event, Chandana emphasized the rewards of entrepreneurship and highlighted the exciting prospects of space technology. He shared insights about Skyroot Aerospace’s upcoming projects, including a 7-storied building rocket designed for launching multiple satellites into orbit.

The SmartIDEAthon 2023, organized by GITAM (Deemed to be University), saw participation from undergraduate and postgraduate student innovators across India. The competition revolved around themes like Food and Health, Toys for STEM, Sustainable Fashion, and Frugal Innovation. The event aimed to foster collaboration and networking among young minds and promote sustainable and resilient community-building ideas.

The finalists underwent advanced boot camps and personalized mentoring to refine their pitches. The grand finale took place in person at GITAM’s Hyderabad campus, where Anup Paikaray emerged as the winner. The event also featured distinguished guests, including representatives from the government, startup ecosystem stakeholders, and international experts.

The runner-up position was secured by Vineet Kumar and Manish Bibhu from Sershah Engineering College, Bihar, for their project POLYFUELER. The project focuses on transforming plastic waste into fuel using a proprietary catalyst. Another noteworthy venture was COACT, led by K Ushasri Devi and P Sushma Devi from GITAM School of Business, Visakhapatnam, which addresses menstrual cycle-tracking challenges faced by visually challenged women.

The Leben Johnson People’s Choice Award recognized the startup MediCandy from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, offering anti-diabetic solutions. Additionally, AGRODROID, envisioned by students of the Institute of Aeronautical Engineering from Telangana, won the Best Social Impact Business Idea for its AI-powered rover aimed at revolutionizing cotton farming.

The event’s Chief Innovation Officer, Krish Nangegadda, emphasized the importance of entrepreneurship education and the event’s role in nurturing skills for life. The SmartIDEAthon 2023 concluded with promising ideas, vibrant discussions, and a strong emphasis on building an ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India.