(From left) Rejaul Gabil Momin, Baldilla T Sangma and Babatdor Dkhar -- winners of NERES 1.0 Credit: PRIME Hub Team

Shillong: Three entrepreneurs identified through Meghalaya chief minister’s E-Champion Challenge Cohort 1 have emerged as winners in NERES 1.0, an entrepreneurship summit aimed at offering a platform to promising start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs across the Northeastern region (NER).

Babatdor Dkhar, Baldilla T Sangma and Rejaul Gabil Momin are among the winning entrepreneurs shortlisted after the final round of the NERES 1.0.

The three are among the best business ideas who will receive a grant of Rs 5 lakh under the sponsorship of NEC for the year 2020.

While thanking his mentors, Dkhar said, “Winning NERES 1.0 along with the Chief Minister’s E Champion Challenge Cohort 1, while also being selected for the IIM Shillong Incubation Center have been important events. I feel extremely fortunate because of the many opportunities that are opening up. I look at each as vital stepping stones in my entrepreneurial journey. PRIME Hub and the resources that it offers is a platform that I hope many entrepreneurs in our state will have access to. A boot camp that PRIME Hub organised in February 2020 was instrumental in helping me formulate a more well-rounded approach to the business development of my startup Ka Ktien Media.”

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Sangma, founder of Ama food products, said, “On winning the NERES 1.0 Summit, I would like to firstly thank the organisers of the competition. I would also like to thank IBDLP (Integrated Basin Development and Livelihoods Programme), MIE (Meghalaya Institute of Entrepreneurship) and PRIME hub who have helped me in ways more than one to achieve new heights. The mentoring sessions for the Chief Minister’s E- Champion Challenge not only guided me but also built confidence in me to participate in the Summit and thereby emerge victorious.”

The third winner — Rejaul Gabil Momin, owner of Gabil Cashew Processing Centre — said, “When I went for my first session of pitching, I immediately knew that the competition was fierce and I had to pull up my socks and had to give my best shot. I was overwhelmed and filled with joy knowing that my hard work and perseverance had finally paid off as I was declared as one of the winner of NERES 1.0.”

He added, “I was just an entrepreneur at first but it was through rigorous mentoring by PRIME start up hub that gave me a vision and guidance. Prime start-up hub has a big role to play in my achievements that I have gained today”.

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Meanwhile, Barnari Mawlong, joint secretary, Commerce and Industries, Director, MBMA and director, MIE, while congratulating the winners, stated, “I am so glad that all the efforts made, by the entire team from MBMA, MIE, MBDA, IIM-CIP, and other support groups, to this first cohort, right from the 1st bootcamp running up to the E-Champion Challenge 2019, up to the 1st diagnostic bootcamp after the PRIME Summit in January 2020, has bore fruit. The challengers have worked very hard and we can see the results of this hard work.”

Meghalaya Chief Minister’s E-Champion challenge cohort 1, a first-of-its-kind annual open challenge, was launched on August 14, 2019, which identified 50 business ideas that are receiving incubation support at the PRIME STARTUP HUBs at Shillong and Tura. The PRIME STARTUP HUBs are being managed in collaboration with IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) as the Knowledge partner.

The government of Meghalaya, based on the learning of entrepreneurship promotion initiatives, launched a comprehensive programme that looks at enterprise promotion and incubation in a holistic manner. This programme is called the Promotion and Incubation of Market-driven Enterprises (PRIME). The PRIME programme was launched on January 21 at Meghalaya’s first ever Entrepreneurship and Start up Summit 2020 held at State Convention Centre in Shillong.

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