The Prestigious Economic Times Startup Awards 2016 – The second edition of the prestigious economic times startup awards, 2016 with its jury and categories was announced lately. The jury consists of the finest minds who will meet on August 6, 2016 to track Indian startups in order to select the winners of ET Startup Awards, 2016. We present the jury first

Nandan Nilekani

With a huge investment in nearly a dozen of startups which includes Team Indus, a company involved in building a spacecraft capable of landing on moon, Nandan Nilekani, the former Infosys CEO is selected as one of the jury members for the ET Startup Awards, 2016. He was the one to spearhead the Aadhaar project and also plays a role of mentor for a dozen of other startups. “His investment philosophy is to back big, transformative ideas that address major pain points of society.”

Amitabh Kant

Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, played a key role of an architect of path-breaking federal initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Startup India’. Till March 2016, he served as secretary of DIPP and was responsible for formulation of industrial and foreign direct investment policies. The credit of re-positioning Indian tourism with the ‘Incredible India’ campaign in 2002 also goes to him.

Sachin Bansal

As a co-founder of Flipkart, Sachin Bansal has pioneered several innovations that majorly defined India’s e-commerce sector. As a keen investor he has backed Ather, an electric scooter maker lately which is preparing for a commercial launch this year. He has also invested in an online platform for artists called as TouchTalent and news aggregator In Shorts.

Vijay Shekhar Sharma

“Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s latest obsession is his new payments bank. The CEO of One97 Communications, the parent company of Paytm, is preparing to launch financial products including insurance, loans and wealth management services — returning to the cycle of starting up. He had cofounded his first venture, Xs Corp, while still in engineering school.”

Subrata Mitra

Subrata Mitra earliest investments include future unicorns Flipkart and Mu Sigma while his other investments include Myntra and Perfint. As a senior partner at Accel India, he took the firm’s total assets under management to over $500 million by playing an instrumental role in raising three India funds.

Vani Kola

The managing director of Kalaari Capital, Vani Kola possesses an enviable record of spotting entrepreneurs who went on to build some of the largest companies in their respective categories such as Myntra founder Mukesh Bansal and Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal. ET Startup Awards 2015’s ‘Midas Touch Award for Best Investor’ was won by her.

Rajan Anandan

The managing director of Google— Southeast Asia and India, Rajan Anandan has backed about 60 early-stage ventures in the consumer internet, big data, mobile commerce segments and cloud computing. “He was among the earliest backers of Druva, Capillary Technologies, and Sapience touted to be among the next big product tech ventures to emerge from India.”

Mukesh Bansal

The founder of Myntra, Mukesh Bansal, busy with his second venture — a healthcare, fitness, and sports company sold Myntra to Flipkart in 2014 for about $375 billion which is among India’s largest startup acquisition deals till now. Before stepping down in February 2016 he helmed the core online business at Flipkart.

 Kartik Hosanagar

A teacher of internet commerce and entrepreneurship at Wharton School, Kartik Hosanagar is also an entrepreneur and an investor. He was the Co-founder of Milo that was sold to eBay, Yodle which was later acquired by and LiveLovely which was bought by RentPath. He has played a role of an investor in at least a dozen of startups which include Sociosquare, NextGenPMS, and RJMetrics.

Following are the award Categories:


The award is based on the selection of a startup that has the potential to become a blue-chip corporation. The ET Startup of the Year will be characterized by breakthrough innovation, fast-paced growth and top-class execution. The key component of decision making will be the quality of the founding and management teams.


This award is to recognize an investor having a track record of identifying potential winners. The startups backed by the investor should have gone to a level to demonstrate exemplary growth.


A startup whose impact can be judged both by the idea and the execution will be the eligible contender for this award. As the name suggests, the idea of the startup should have begun on campus and it should have gained some level of validation either through investors or customers. Note: The college projects do not qualify for this award.


The top innovations i.e an original idea which is core to the business or otherwise an idea that differentiates a business and sets it apart from the competition will be recognized through this award.


The Bootstrap Champ will be awarded to the startup that has demonstrated the ability to earn revenue by winning customers without having raised the funds from outside sources. It should have the potential to build itself into a large enterprise.


The woman ahead award will be awarded to the woman who competes against the best in the business and wins the competition.


This award will be given to an entrepreneur who was able to bounce back from his failures and demonstrated resilience in order to rebuild or launch a successful business.


“This award will recognize the startup that best embodies the ‘double bottom line’ model that combines profits and a public good.” 

The jury will select the finalist from a list of 5 shortlisted entrants in each of the categories. They will be provided with a ‘black book’ containing profiles of the chosen companies and individuals.