NICE Aarohana Business Plan Competition - FAQ

Who Can Apply to Aarohana Business Plan Competition?

  • Open to cultural enterprises/idea stage startups in any of the 5 NICE Sectors:
  • Health, Wellness, and Beauty
  • Food and Beverages
  • Home Decor and Furnishings
  • Fashion and Accessories
  • Tourism
  • Only  the founding team/ entrepreneur(s) must apply
  • 2 Categories:
  • EARLY: Idea stage ventures with zero revenues to startups generating up to Rs. 50 Lakhs revenue/annum
  • GROWTH: Companies at greater than Rs. 50 Lakhs revenue/annum

What is the Application Process & Timelines ?

5th Jan- 26 Jan: Applications Open : Download Pitch Deck & Prepare | Submit on the Website before 26th Jan
Feb 10th – mid-Feb: Shortlisted Finalists are Informed; Mentorship for Final Pitch Practice Scheduled
26th & 27th Feb: Finalists Pitch to Jury
1st March: Winners Announced- Mentorship Program Start

How do I know if my idea/ company is a Cultural Enterprise?

  • Please click for more details on the Cultural Enterprise definition to ensure your idea & startup is a cultural enterprise.

What are the Key benefits for winners of this competition ?

  • Awards Include: Total Cash Prize of Rs.3 Lakhs + Mentorship by Industry Experts + Pitch Deck Practice + Showcasing to Investors and Media Coverage + Networking 
  • Cash Prize details:
  • Category EARLY GROWTH
    1st Prize Rs. 75000 Rs. 75000
    2nd Prize Rs. 50000 Rs. 50000
    3rd Prize Rs. 25000 Rs. 25000

My startup is only an idea and not a company generating revenues, can I still apply ?

  • Yes, you can apply in the category EARLY
  • If you win, please ensure to incorporate your company by June 30th, 2021

This is the first time I'm hearing about NICE Org or NICE Aarohana and haven't attended any of the mentorship sessions, can I still apply?

  • Yes

I am not based in India/my company is not incorporated in India, can I still apply ?

  • You can apply
  • If you win, please ensure to incorporate your company in India before June 30th, 2021 to receive the prize money

What is the selection criteria ?

  • The selection is based on the pitch deck application format.
  • Follow the instructions on the deck and ensure the best application
  • 2 step process: First NICE Team shortlists
  • Next, the Selection Panel of Industry Experts select the top 10 in EARLY & GROWTH categories respectively
  • Top 10 Finalists pitch to Final Jury who select the Top-3 in EARLY & GROWTH categories respectively

How do you ensure confidentiality of application details?

  • NICE Org will ensure utmost privacy & security of all applications
  • We will delete all the applications 30 days from processing
  • Please save the original version

How does winning the competition help me ?


  • Validation of your idea by eminent Jury
  • Mentorship, guidance, and advice by Industry Experts
  • Start-up success is a continuous journey and winning this competition will be an important milestone