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|July 15, 2000|
Indians score in biz-plan contest
Anand Chandrasekaran and Mala Ramakrishnan of Stanford University when their business plan, Kwaish, won the first place in the PLANedu biz-plan contest organised by garage.com.
Palo Alto-based garage.com, is an on-line venture capital company that helps entrepreneurs and investors create, build and fund promising early-stage technology companies. Over 600 teams of student entrepreneurs from 143 universities attended their inaugural PLANedu biz-plan contest. The prizes awarded includes one 'grand prize' of $ 150,000, two first places of $ 50,000 and two-second place of $ 25,000.
The 'grand prize' went to Quicksilver Genomics by University of California, San Francisco. While no students of Indian origin are part of this team, Indians figure in the teams in the first and second places.
Kwaish, which means dream in Urdu, is an application distribution network designed to deliver any business application to any wireless handheld device "quickly, cheaply and easily".
Chandrasekaran and Ramakrishnan are teaming up with fellow Indian students Pratik Kumar Nahata and Veeru Mehta to set up a company. They have some other non-Indian students from Stanford on board as well.
The Kwaish team plans to generate revenue using its patent-pending "Application on Demand" architecture by selling subscriptions to mid-tier businesses and other organizations. They project it can earn $ 40 million in revenues by 2003 and that it already has a nine-month lead over its competitors.
Anand Chandrasekharan is from Coimbatore, where his father A P Chandrasekaran is managing director for a software firm.
After graduating in Electronics and Communication Engineering from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, Anand moved to Stanford to pursue his masters in electrical engineering with an emphasis on networking.
Mala Ramakrishnan, who is also from Coimbatore, graduated from the Institute of Road Transport Technology, Erode. Pratik graduated from Bangalore University while Veeru is an alumnus of Banaras Hindu University.
While Veeru and Mala have graduated from Stanford and are concentrating full-time on Kwaish, Anand and Pratik are taking leave of absence from Stanford to work on Kwaish.
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