Zostel: The team from India

An underdog story at the IBK Capital – Ivey Business Plan Competition

An underdog story at the IBK Capital – Ivey Business Plan Competition

The effort to raise money for flights, food and lodging to travel 12,000 kilometres for the 16th Annual IBK Capital – Ivey Business Plan Competition paid off in a big way for a team from Calcutta, India.

Representatives from Team Zostel from the Indian Institute of Management – Calcutta (IIM – Calcutta) went home $20,000 richer after winning the competition at Ivey Business School, which ran January 24-25. They’ll also go on to compete in the 2014 Global Venture Labs Investment Competition in Texas in May.

Their idea for a hostel offering amenities such as air-conditioning, access to power and Wi-Fi to India’s burgeoning backpacker and tourist industry earned the most praise from judges of the 12 team entries.

The IBK Capital – Ivey Business Plan Competition brings together some of the best MBA entrepreneurship teams in Canada and the U.S. Team Zostel was the first non-North American team to participate. The event also involved two teams from Ivey Business School and teams from University of Louisville, University of Arkansas, University of Manitoba and York University.

Although Team Zostel representatives, Paavan Nanda and Akhil Malik, had never experienced temperatures lower than -2° Celsius, they gladly braved Canada’s winter weather for the chance to compete.