FAQ

The Competition
1. What would encompass a social venture idea? Which sector(s) should the idea be in? 
Any idea or a venture whose primary objective is to address a social need would be considered a social venture idea. The idea need not be specific to any sector. However, some indicative sectors include: Healthcare, Education, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Housing, Energy, Technology, Telecommunications, and Services etc. Ideas presented to ISB iDiya should be able to show direct social impact as one of the key objectives. 

As a general guideline, a social venture idea should incorporate one or more of the following elements
 • The idea is inclusive i.e. the business model should provide employment, training or opportunities to a large rural and/or urban population that is cut off from such opportunities today. 
 • The idea serves a market which is underserved i.e. the enterprise will provide goods and services to people who are currently unable to access these goods and  services, either by making them more affordable or by increasing availability. 
 • The idea creates a positive environmental impact. 

2. Can you give an example of a social venture?
You can look at these past winners.

3. Can you help us develop my idea or form a team?
No. Participants are advised to develop their ideas and form their teams by themselves.
Eligibility
1. I am a student. I have finished my academic course but have not yet received my mark sheets and degree. Am I eligible to participate?
If you have completed your academic credits, and are working for a social venture that has been in existence for at least 6 months, you are welcome to participate in the competition
2. I am an NRI. Am I eligible to participate?
Yes, you are welcome to participate in the competition. However, if selected, you must be prepared to attend the bootcamp at ISB, Hyderabad from "October 12 to October 16, 2015" both days inclusive.
3. I am an individual. Can I participate without a team?
No. You must find at least one other team member. Team size must be from a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 4 members.
4. Why aren’t individuals without team members allowed to participate?
Working in a team is an essential skill for an entrepreneur. Team participation brings different perspectives and skills to the enterprise and increases the all round expertise of the team. The bootcamp is designed to foster this team ethic and the concepts taught are best learnt as a team. Investors and Venture Capital organizations also see the team as extremely essential to the success of an enterprise.
5. We have already started our enterprise and have been operating for a while. Are we eligible to join?
Yes, if you have been in operation for less than 5 years you are eligible. However, if you have been in operation for more than 3 years, you must indicate how iDiya can help you at this stage.
6.What does a company “in existence” mean?
The venture need not be legally or physically incorporated. As long as the company has been functional with clearly defined customers/beneficiaries for at least 6 months, it is considered to be ‘in existence’ and is eligible for entry.

Submission
1. What is the submission procedure?
 • Teams should register themselves by Signing Up. After registration, teams should login with the credentials and should submit their ideas by uploading the template.
 • You will then be taken to an online gateway where you can pay Rs. 2,500/-(INR) application fee via credit card or net banking.
 • Ensure that your browser’s popup blocker is disabled.
 •After entering your credit card/net banking details, please wait for the payment successful page to show up. If this page does not display, your card/bank account will not be charged.

2. Where do I find the format/template for submission?
Please click Template to download the Template for Idea Submission.

3. I am having trouble with the online gateway. What should I do?
Please get in touch with us at the earliest. Write to us at iDiya@isb.edu and give us the date and time that you attempted the payment.

4. Can I change my submitted idea after I pay the fee?
No, you cannot upload a new document after the fee is paid. Write to us at iDiya@isb.edu

Note: Please do not wait until the last minute to upload your idea. The online payment gateway may slow down on the last day with the volume of applications. Try to submit the Idea as early as possible to avoid last minute discomfort. Teams have to submit their idea through the system by clicking the ‘Submit’ button on the Idea Submission Page.

5. Can I submit my ideas through email?
No. iDiya does not accept submissions through email. Teams have to submit their ideas after registering themselves on the portal. 

6. How do I write an executive summary?
The template for executive summary has various questions and points that will help you in coming up with a good executive summary.

7. Is there any page limit for the executive summary?
No, there is no page limit for the executive summary. However, there is a word limit of 1000 words.

8. When should I submit the complete business plan?
The ISB iDiya challenge requires teams to submit only the executive summaries as per the template. We do not require teams to submit their complete business plans. However, the winning teams receive mentoring to build their skills in creating high quality business plans. Towards this, the winning teams will be expected to come to the bootcamp with a rough cut business plan which will serve as the basis for many of the bootcamp activities. 


Evaluation
1. What is the evaluation process?
The evaluation process consists of 3 rounds
Round 1: All submissions will be read by two evaluators from a select group handpicked from the ISB community. The evaluators will consider the submission based on equal criteria for social impact and financial viability. The evaluators will also log their questions, comments and concerns regarding each plan. In the case the evaluators differ from each other substantially, a third evaluator (an industry expert) will moderate the plan. The score given by the third moderator will be considered final. 

50 plans will be shortlisted for the 2nd round
Round 2: At this stage, the plans will be reconsidered by a panel of experts from ISB community and rescored based on the same criteria. Shortlisted teams will be interviewed telephonically by a panel consisting of Faculty, Social VCs and industry experts. 

Based on the responses, 10 winners will be selected to attend the boot camp.

2. I am concerned about the safety of my idea. How will you ensure that the idea is not disclosed to anyone?
All ideas come directly into the online portal which is accessed only by the iDiya team. Each idea is read by at the most 5 people for the purposes of evaluation. The ISB iDiya team does not reveal your ideas to anyone outside the evaluation cycle and will not use your submission for any purpose besides evaluation. We do not share plans with our partner organizations except for the purpose of evaluation. If our partners express interest in seeing your plans outside the evaluations, we will request your permission to share your plan and will help you to engage with the partner organization. If your plan is not shortlisted in the first round, it will not be seen by anyone outside the 2 initial evaluators and if required, the third evaluator.

3. My idea is dependent on donations or grants. Will this affect my evaluation?
IDiya is a competition for Social Enterprises, which means that your business idea must become profitable and self-sustaining. If your idea is initially funded by donations or grants, your submission must outline a model to become profitable and self-sustaining within 3 years of operation.

4. How do I measure the social impact of my idea?
You can choose the measure of the impact - Number of people served, number of job opportunities created, number of tons of CO2 saved, etc. However, you must make clear in your submission why you believe that this metric is important to you, and how you calculated the value.

5. I have just begun thinking of my idea. How important is it to have a financial model?
 • While you need not submit detailed financial statements, it is extremely important to have a revenue model. The evaluation team will take into account your understanding of the market size, the capital requirements, the projected revenues and profit margins and the overall realism of your projections. We will also be interested in seeing how you would plan for financial risk in your enterprise.

 • Some of the points of evaluation will require an extensive study of the market potential of the business idea. Some points may require a lot of research and we encourage participants to be thorough with their plans. These issues regarding the market potential, unique value proposition, financials etc are crucial to the eventual selection and funding of the business plan
ISB iDiya Application FAQ List
1. How many members are allowed per team?
A maximum of four members are allowed per team

2. When is the deadline for receiving the applications by ISB?
The deadline for receipt of applications by ISB is 23:59hrs(IST) on August 16th 2015.

3. Is there a word limit for answering the questions? Is there any penalty for exceeding the specified word limit?
Yes, there are strict word limits for answering each section and the same has been mentioned in the application form against each section. Teams are requested to kindly adhere to the word limits as non adherence to the same might lead to deduction of marks at the discretion of ISB.

4. Is the total word limit mentioned against each section to be equally split amongst the questions asked under the section?
No. The total word limit can be split in any desirable way by the team to answer the questions asked under any particular section. (For eg., if the section specifies 600 words as the limit and there are 3 questions asked, it is not necessary to answer each question in a maximum of 200 words).

5. Is the Executive Summary the same as the synopsis of the project?
Yes, the Executive summary is the brief synopsis of the project and should include keywords about all aspects of the project which are sought to be highlighted via the application form.

6. Does each section need to answer the questions raised therein separately?
Not necessarily. The questions are indicative of what we are looking for in your answer to the particular section and hence there is no need to address each one separately. However, please note that your summary should seek to address the issues raised by ALL the questions that are mentioned under a particular section.

7. Are annexure(s)/ tables allowed? Can we use any pictures/ logos/ screenshots to support our answers?
Please note that annexure(s) and tables are ONLY allowed for the section on “Financial Stability” and the figures/ data cited therein will not be counted towards the word limit mentioned against the section. However, please note that the page limit for such an annexure/table is ONE page only and all formatting guidelines mentioned in the application form are also applicable to the annexure/table.

No pictures/logos/ screenshots/ tables or any other image may be used in answering the questions, unless specifically allowed for under a particular section.

8. Can we make any assumptions/ projections to support our answers?
Yes, assumptions and projections can be made for answering questions (as required). However, teams are encouraged to CLEARLY specify any assumptions which they make for calculations or future projections in their answers.

9. Will the data provided by us be cross checked?
All data provided by the teams would be internally checked at our end (if required) and in case any discrepancy is found in the projections or data provided, the same would qualify as a ground for disqualification. However, all teams are to be held responsible for the accuracy of the data provided by them and it is not the onus of ISB to check for their authenticity.

10. Will our marks be disclosed?
No. As a matter of internal policy neither the marks nor the evaluation criteria would be disclosed to the teams by ISB under any circumstances.

11. How do we know what are we being judged on?
Broadly the team applications would be judged on:
a) The social need being addressed
b) Social impact articulated
c) Uniqueness of the solution/product
d) Relevance of the team’s background and experience
e) Market potential
f) Business and revenue model
g) Strategy for launch of product/venture
h) Investment and resource requirements
i) Progress/ current stage

12. Will we know who will check our applications?
All applications are to be checked by authorized personnel of ISB and there shall be no disclosure of the names of the evaluators under any circumstances as a matter of internal policy. 

13. Can we refuse to answer any question/ section?
All incomplete applications will be disqualified as a matter of policy. A submission would be considered incomplete if particular section/questions are not answered. In case you choose to refuse to answer a few questions under a particular section, please provide your reasons for doing so. This would, however, result in an appropriate deduction of marks.

14. In case we are not satisfied with the evaluation can we raise our objections?
No. All decisions taken by the ISB internal team are final and binding and no objections can be raised at any stage. We assure you a fair and just grading scheme and thus, by agreeing to participate the teams are voluntarily waiving their right to question any evaluation criterion or decision that may be taken by ISB.

15. What may amount to disqualification of a team based on application form? Will the teams be intimated of the same with detailed reasoning?
 •  A team may be disqualified on the basis of application form on any one or more of the following grounds:
 •  Non adherence to general guidelines provided to the team by ISB
 • Submission of application form after the deadline
 • Incomplete application form
 • Providing incorrect data
 • Exceeding the more than one page of annexure(s)
 • Not adhering to formatting rules as specified in the application form

Any team who is disqualified for any of the reasons cited above will be intimated over mail by ISB. However, ISB reserves the right to decide whether to communicate the reason for such disqualification to the team.

16. Will all teams who give in their application be intimated of the results and feedback?
Yes, results would be announced over email and shall be communicated to all teams. However, specific feedback will ONLY be provided to selected teams.

17.What do you mean by all-inclusive Boot Camp?
ISB will arrange for the entire food & lodging during your stay at ISB.
For domestic travel, teams will be provided with two-way AC-3 tier train tickets from the nearest railway station along with a pick-up and drop-off to the airport / railway station in Hyderabad.
For international travel, teams will be reimbursed up to $600 per team.
 
18. In case we have any queries on the application form, whom can we contact?
All application related queries should be sent to iDiya@isb.edu.