Inspiring Innovation: Innovation Carnival Extravaganza

Inspiring Innovation: Innovation Carnival Extravaganza

The 10th and 11th of November saw the first ever Innovation Carnival of NIT Rourkela conducted by the Foundation for Technology and Business Incubation (FTBI), NIT Rourkela, and supported by Department of Science and Technology, Government of Odisha. Organised under the Convenorship of Prof Rajeev Kumar Panda, School of Management this maiden event of FTBI was solely devoted to “Innovation.” The event conceptualised to celebrate the culture of innovation not only within the walls of NIT Rourkela but beyond. The two days saw exhibitions on a school level, industrial, food, and socio-cultural Exhibitions, Panel discussions by eminent personalities in the field of food Innovation and entrepreneurship, Start-up hunt, a Workshop by Start-Up India and more.



The opening ceremony to the carnival on the 10th of November got delayed by an hour due to unforeseen circumstances. The ceremony at TIIR auditorium witnessed Shri Jual Oram, Honourable Minister of Tribal Affairs as the chief guest. Bibhu Mohapatra, New-York based fashion designer and costume designer was the Guest of Honour alongside Mrs. Rashmita Panda, CEO Smart-City, Rourkela. Other guest included Prof. Animesh Biswas, Director NIT Rourkela; Prof. K.K. Mohapatra, Dean Academics, NIT Rourkela, and Prof. Rajeev Panda, Convenor, Innovation Carnival.

In his welcome address, Prof. Rajeev Kumar Panda emphasised on the fact that FTBI stands for “job creation and not job seeking”. FTBI, NIT Rourkela is the first recognised Centre of Incubation in the state of Odisha and boost its support to 28 start-ups which have provided job opportunities to around 200 people in the last two years.

To quote his speech,

We are here to inculcate the feeling of Innovation into audience. If they are inspired then it will bear fruits to our efforts.

In his address Prof. K.K. Mohapatra said,

At any time, NIT Rourkela is undergoing around 1800 projects. If 1% of them comes up as an innovative product with a societal value it would be great.

Prof. Animesh Biswas took to the dais to declare that this maiden event would be celebrated at NIT Rourkela each year from now onwards and he is hopeful that this would give a new picture to the institute in India and abroad.

Mr. Bibhu Mohapatra, the fashion designer to the ex-first lady Michelle Obama, termed Innovation as “creative minds coming together to create jobs”. He said,

The best moment for me was when I hired my first employee because I was able to provided him a livelihood.

Mrs. Rashmita Panda congratulated team Innovation Carnival for organising an event which invited entrepreneurs from all sections and considered only the passion and exuberance in them. She furthermore expressed her desire to work with start-ups here as project implementation partners for smart city Rourkela.

In his witty and thoughtful address in Hindi and Odia, Shri Jual Oram spoke about the urban and rural divide that exists in India. He also spoke of festivals like these where urban and rural innovators come together in an exchange of ideas as a way to fill this divide. Furthermore, talking of difference between service and business he said,

A businessman is capable of extracting money from other’s pocket. He earns his livelihood as well as provides others with one.

Felicitation of Start-Up Heroes:

The inauguration ceremony was accompanied by felicitation of successful start-ups at NIT Rourkela. The start-ups felicitated were:

  • Phoenix Robotics:-Provide affordable Automation and Robotics solutions. An FTBI start-up supported by DST and Start-Up Odisha
  • Estinno:-Vortex, a lightweight portable laundry solution. Holds the Limca book of records for the smallest washing machine.
  • Fastech Fashions:-Almost all T-shirts at NIT Rourkela are printed by them. Recognised by Start-Up Odisha
  • Srinivasan Lunch Room:- Based at NIT Rourkela, Popularly known as SLR
  • Awalk Innovations Pvt. Ltd. :- A product development company which aims at creating cutting edge technology in the field of IoT and automation.

Industry Innovation Exhibition by Quality Circle:

The Industrial Innovation Exhibition included participation from Quality Circle Forums of India and Provided a platform to showcase technologies, product and designs. There were 11 teams in total from Rourkela Steel Plant(RSP), a unit of Steel Authority of India Limited(SAIL).

The Quality Circles in participation were Vazra, Udaan, Naba Nirmaan, Samadhan, Milan, Udaya, Dynamic, Black Diamond, Parivartan and Karmayogi all from SAIL, RSP showcasing their innovation projects which included “Eliminating premature Failure of caster equipments”, “Improvement of gas safety in pump house areas” and “Minimising Mechanical Tippling delay in wagon”.

In a follow-up to this exhibition, there were Case Study Presentations by the Quality Circle Teams. They were divided into two groups of six and five. The two groups of 6 and 5 presented their innovations in their corresponding departments in the Conference Hall and the Smart Seminar Hall respectively.

Valedictory Session:

Held during the latter half of the first day after the start-up India Workshop, there was a delay in the valedictory session for the Quality Circle Innovators due to the judges who verified and estimated each project elaborately with an unbiased and fair hand. The first prize was bagged by Team Naba Nirmaan and Team Parivartan was declared as the runners-up for Quality Circle Industrial Innovations.

School Level Exhibitions:

The schools level exhibitions in collaboration with LEO club of NIT Rourkela brought together in display around 20 exhibits of creative minds from school children from Rourkela and outside. Student form 7th to 12th participated with their innovative ideas destined at changing the world. The schools in participation were Mother Public School, Bhubaneswar, CVEM, Rourkela, Municipal College, Rourkela, St. Arnold School, Rourkela, Ispat English Medium School, Rourkela, DAV public school, Rourkela, DAV Public school, Rourkela, REC Campus School, Rourkela among many others.

The projects in the display included Maglev trains, Hydrogen powered trains, Dead body disposal systems, Tesla’s wireless electricity, electricity generation from tidal waves, light fidelity, BAGADS etc and covered domains from biotechnology to interstellar space each with its own bit of innovation.

Valedictory Session:

The winners of the exhibition were:

  • 1st – Cash prize of Rs. 7000- English Medium School, Rourkela. Project: Promession- A new technique to dispose of the dead bodies.
  • 2nd – Cash prize of Rs. 5000. DAV Public school, Bhubaneswar. Project: Integrated farming and waste water management using Azo shefrol.
  • 3rd – Cash prize of Rs. 3000. Municipal College. Project: Robot – A low-level implementation of machine learning.

The award for the school with most of the best innovative ideas went to Chinmaya Vidyalaya English Medium, Rourkela.

Participation certificates and goodies were given to all.

Panel Discussion on Food Innovation:

The lunch hour session was followed by a Panel Discussion on Food Innovation in TIIR Auditorium at 3 pm. The panel comprised of some of the big-wigs from the food industry like Rachit Kirteeman, a Head Chef at AJ’S Deli and Take Out and Rohit Srivastava, a food vlogger and founder of FoodFindo Network along with renowned owners of numerous eateries like Tamarind Sky Restro, Flavour Box and Srinivasa Lunch Room (SLR). There was a lively discussion among the panelists about Food innovation and the need for innovation in the food sector in India. They stressed upon the art of presenting food, the significance of eating food packed with nutrients, cultivating indigenous food products, cooking with love and passion and the importance of maintaining the quality of the pocket-friendly food.

In the words of one of the Food Panellists, Rachit Kirteeman,

We need to convince people to resort to Smart Eating using innovation in the food sector. Nowadays people prefer eating genetically modified pulses and to cater to their needs even farmers have stopped growing seven types of millets. Some chefs have started working towards cultivating millets that can survive the harshest of environmental conditions.

This was followed by an interactive session with the food enthusiasts among the audience who fired a volley of questions pertaining to R&D to develop new recipes, reusable food items to generate paper products, textiles or using it as a manure, etc.

In one of the replies, Rohit Srivastava stated some undeniable facts,

Before you become a food entrepreneur make sure you incorporate enough R&D in your approach and understand the food choices of your target audience. People are not very experimental with food so to ensure that they dine out at your place, you need to respect their food choices which appeal to their taste buds.

Start-Up India Workshop:

To add to this Innovation Carnival extravaganza, a Start-up India Workshop was held in the TIIR Auditorium at around 4:30 pm. It commenced with an interactive session with the audience with queries pertaining to start-ups, the difficulties faced in scaling it up, the cool start-up culture and ways to convince people to join start-ups without formal prototypes at nascent stages.

Deepanshu Malhotra from Start-Up India, Govt. of India started off with his workshop telling about the idea behind start-up India,

Tapping technology and innovation to make start-ups to transform the country.

The salient points of the discussion include

  1. Simplified handholding by simplifying regulatory compliances, providing start-up India hubs and faster exit.
  2. Funding and support provided through tax incentives, fund of funds of Rs. 10000 crores and credit guarantee schemes.  
  3. Industry-Academia partnership and incubation opportunities provided trough start-up fests, Atal Innovation Mission and Research Parks.
  4. Start-Up India Online Hub – Professional networking platform like LinkedIn for Start-Ups.
  5. International Exposure and Market Access provided through collaboration with Portugal, Israel, Sweden and Singapore.
  6. Challenges like Swachchh Bharat Grand Challenge, Data Innovation Bazaar etc to provide opportunities for ideas to prosper.

There was an informative quiz comprising of 8 questions at the end of this event with questions based on a presentation that was shown earlier to the audience, with attractive Make in India goodies up for grabs. As a part of its concluding activity, there was a group activity to think a start-up idea in groups of maximum 2 to 3 people. The teams were required to present the idea to the judges and sell their idea by pitching in for it within 1 min, after 15 minutes of group discussion. The winning team, led by Abhijeet Sahoo, was awarded ‘Make in India' goodies.

Day 2(11th November)

The second day of the Innovation Carnival had its beginning with the Start Up Hunt challenge, which was organised in collaboration with E-Cell and started as slated at 10 a.m. and had a smooth sailing for the most part. It continued on well into the afternoon with an interval for the lunch break. The partcipants presented their ideas alternatively in front of two seperate panel of judges comprising of the professors at the institute and a few entrepreneurs. With a total of nineteen teams participating and the top ten startup concepts being awarded a grant worth 1.5 lakh each from the FTBI, the Start Up Hunt challenge was an unmatchable golden opportunity for young minds to advocate their ambitious ideas.

The post-lunch hour of the 11th November was lucky enough to witness a  heart-melting panel discussion by Eminent Entrepreneurs of our country. The panel included 5 panelists listed below:

  1.  Dr.Lalit Ranjan Manik, co-founder & president (Medtel healthcare)
  2.  Mr. Sitanshu Mishra, Founder and CEO cum Managing Director (APOGE consultancy &training services)
  3. Mr. Rajiv Kumar Panda, PIC FTBI.
  4. Mr. Abhijeet Sahoo, The co-founder of Fastech Fashions
  5. Amiya Samantaray, founder member of Pheonix Robotix.

It was a very interactive session which witnessed all type of critical analysis and solutions to startup-related problems like the business model failure, weak team, poor launch timing, product failure e.t.c. the panelists went on to deliver their experiences about how they started their voyage of entrepreneurship and how they overcame all the hurdles in their life. They were of the opinion that student life is the best time to start entrepreneurship because of the enthusiastic market and ample amount of energy that they carry. The house was then opened to questions which varied from time management to fundraising issues which the panelists were able to answer swiftly taking instances from their real-life experience.

With the startup hunt challenge coming to an end it was now time for the valedictory session.

A fresh gush of curiosity about the winners ran through the audience as the hosts set their throat clear to announce proudly that 10 teams would be given incubation space and an initial funding of Rs.1,50,000 from FTBI NIT Rourkela.

Here is the list of the top 10 rank holding teams

RankTeam Name
1Flouro Q

My Vendor, Safarguide, Flamingo

5Anticollage System
8Arihanth, Greencement, Castthombrec


The first three ranked teams were felicitated by the panelists who encouraged and inspired them to work harder and smarter.

Closing ceremony

It was now time to give the innovation carnival extravaganza a warm adieu. Shrimati Rohini Verma took over the podium to propose the vote of thanks to one and all present over there. She thanked the entire organising committee and was overwhelmed to see the support and enthusiasm of the NITR JUNTA.

All in all, the first-of-its-kind confluence of some of the best entrepreneurial minds in the country ended with a grand participation, lukewarm response and more importantly, setting the platform for a better exposure for the start-ups of NIT Rourkela. Team MM applauds the initiative in this Carnival and wishes that such ventures are encouraged even more in future in the interest of the innovative minds in the institute.


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