A recent study by Nasscom has concluded that India is the third largest start-up hub in the world and is expected to grow by 2.2 times to reach up to 10,500 ventures by 2020. But the journey of a typical start-up is faced with quite a few challenges such as getting the much-needed valuation, funding, right advice, or even getting the visibility and a platform to announce their presence.

In such scenarios, start-up competitions play a big role. Not only do they help the start-up to connect with an audience, be it the incubators and accelerators, and angel investors and mentors, they also provide huge cash prizes to the winning start-up. While there’s nothing like winning a competition but mere participation does open up a lot of new avenues to new ideas, concepts and connections.

Here is a list of the top five start-up competitions to look out for in 2017:

The Wharton India Startup Competition (WISC)

WIEF is one of the largest India focused economic and business conferences in the world. The Wharton India Startup Competition (WISC), a hallmark of WIEF, gives Indian start-ups the opportunity to present in front of an esteemed panel of judges in India. It is expected to attract more than 300 attendees comprising Wharton/Penn alumni and Wharton Professors; other top B-school alumni and professionals and current students across Penn travelling to India as part of their winter break study programmes.  For more information, click here.

2. LetsIgnite 2017

LetsIgnite, India’s largest Angel Conference, has introduced its LetsIgnite Roadshow: an all-India event that is hosting angel workshops across nine Indian cities between October 19, 2016, and January 10, 2017. Each session will be led by Marquee Angel investors who will share insights about angel investing and industry/ecosystem trends. Curated start-ups from the platform will be selected for a pitch session and winning start-ups will get a chance to attend LetsIgnite 2017 in Bengaluru from March 10-11, 2017. Attending angels will get a chance to interact with the marquee investors and network with each other after the pitch sessions. For more information, click here.

 3. BeAChatur contest

The contest provides an opportunity for early stage start-ups to present and evaluate their business ideas in a supportive and competitive environment. The top 100 shortlisted participants will be mentored by an experienced pool of industry experts. Best Chatur Idea will get seed funding of Rs 10 lakhs along with an opportunity to raise more. Also, the top 24 participants (part of the semi finale) will be mentored and funded on case to case basis. For more information, click here.

4. G-Startup WorldWide
G-Startup Worldwide is a global start-up competition to find the most innovative, early stage start-ups, invest USD1,000,000 in them, and support them with a global network. For more information, click here.

5. Masterplan 2016

Masterplan is the annual business plan competition hosted by IIM Ahmedabad, which seeks to identify budding entrepreneurs to contribute to India’s buzzing economy. The competition will have the following five arenas: Business Start-ups, Social Start-ups, Business Ideas, Social Ideas and Cognitive Computing. The event is open for teams comprising of students, corporate professionals, entrepreneurs as well as other independent individuals (employed or self-employed). For more information, click here.