"Competition on Innovative Fleet-oriented Business Models for E-Vehicles in Northeast India"
jointly organized by the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE), the Centre for Innovation & Incubation of Startups of Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU), the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Meghalaya, and Barefoot Trust on December 4, 2023
Winning entry ‘Watt-Go’ of Mr Phibanraiphang Kharkongor and Team from SECM, MLCU accorded ‘Special Mention Winners’ at the first of its kind, Intercollegiate – “Competition on Innovative Fleet-oriented Business Models for E-Vehicles in Northeast India,” jointly organized by the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE), the Centre for Innovation & Incubation of Startups of Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU), the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Meghalaya, and Barefoot Trust.
Meghalaya bears witness to the first of its kind, the Competition on Innovative Fleet-oriented Business Models for E Vehicles in Northeast India, jointly organised by the Alliance for an Energy-Efficient Economy (AEEE), the Centre for Innovation and Incubation of Startups of Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU), the National Institute of Technology (NIT) Meghalaya, and Barefoot Trust, concluded successfully on December 4, 2023, at the National Institute of Technology, Meghalaya.
In this competition, participants were invited to explore and present their business models specifically designed for fleet operators. Fleet operators play a crucial role in the electric mobility ecosystem, and the task was to develop comprehensive strategies encompassing various aspects such as charging infrastructure, vehicle acquisition, operation, maintenance, and even vehicle resale. Business models were expected to demonstrate financial viability and priorities sustainability, scalability, and social impact. The competition encouraged participants to think outside the box, challenge existing paradigms, and propose innovative solutions that address the unique needs and challenges faced by fleet operators in the Northeast.
During the event, prominent speakers shared their insights on the significance of sustainable transportation and innovative business models. Prof. Pinakeswar Mahanta, Director of NIT Meghalaya, emphasised that the ideas generated during the competition should be transformed into practical solutions to drive sustainability. Prof. T. K Kharbamon, Vice Chancellor of MLCU, highlighted the importance of such competitions for young entrepreneurs and underscored the state's pressing need for electric vehicles.
Dr. Vikas Nimesh, Senior Research Associate at AEEE, discussed how electric vehicles could contribute to tourism and reduce vehicle-related emissions by creating green zones. He stressed the importance of collaboration and the active involvement of young entrepreneurs in driving change towards sustainability. Ms. Lakshmi Rao, Advisor at PRIME Meghalaya, emphasised the importance of technology in the North Eastern region, highlighting the need for innovation specifically tailored for the hilly terrains of the region. Her address concluded with a resounding assertion that innovation must be adopted to ensure a sustainable future, and this competition served as the perfect platform to facilitate such progress.
Ms Sweet Syiemiong, the Program Coordinator was delighted to have equal representation of boys and girls for the pitch presentation. She urged more women to become involved in developing business models and exploring the opportunities in the charging port sections. The competition offered a prize pool of Rs. 20,000, with the first-place winner receiving Rs. 10,000 and special mentions each receiving Rs. 5,000. Furthermore, participants will have the opportunity to interview for paid internship positions at AEEE, providing them with hands-on experience in clean energy and innovation. The competition featured discussions on various topics, including E-bikes, multi-level electric transportation, and charging infrastructure.
The winning entry the Development of a sustainable electric vehicle fleet using an intelligent charging management system using block chain secured the first position. Additionally, Watt-go Eco-Friendly Electric Carrier Designed for Empowering People with Disabilities, received special mentions. Furthermore, the Entrepreneurship and incubation cell of MLCU and NIT Meghalaya along with PRIME Meghalaya may seek interested and potential teams for further incubation.