Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Meet the IAN Global Startup Competition Finalists: Shriyans Bhandari & Greensole

This fall, we presented a one-of-a-kind opportunity, the IAN Global Startup Competition, to our community of entrepreneurs. Babson students, alumni, faculty, staff, and parents were invited to apply to pitch their startups ready for angel funding to the Indian Angel Network for a $250,000 equity investment. Started in April 2006, the Indian Angel Network is the world’s largest and India’s first business angel network and is comprised of successful entrepreneurs and CEOs eager to invest in early-stage, high potential businesses. IAN, in addition to funding, provides access to high-quality mentoring, vast networks, and input on strategy as well as execution. 

Applications came from startups from around the world and from many different industries. The finale too will be global – The finalists will pitch in a virtual finale on Saturday, December 15, bringing together an audience located in different countries eager to see who secures the investment. We invite you to register now to watch the finale and to get to know each of the finalists and their ventures.

Greensole’s impact is threefold: environmental, social, and economic. The business, co-founded by CEO Shriyans Bhandari MS’16, recycles discarded soles to produce comfortable footwear, creating jobs in the process, and provides the new shoes to those who can’t afford them. Not only does Greensole make something wearable out of what was destined to be waste, but it is also helping to prevent soil-transmitted infections, most commonly seen in developing countries.

Along with his co-founder, Director Ramesh Dhami, Shriyans was originally inspired by the many pairs of shoes he burned through every year as a runner and athlete. When they realized they could salvage the soles and merge them with other materials to create new pairs of shoes, the idea for Greensole was born. Launched with funding won in the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India business competition in 2014, Greensole had demonstrated impact quickly, donating shoes to tens of thousands of people annually.

The shoes were also launched for purchase in November 2016, and it is this retail component that Shriyans is focusing on as he considers the possibility of an equity investment from the Indian Angel Network. The sneakers and sandals are currently sold on the Greensole website, as well as in Indian handicraft stores. Financing would allow Greensole to quickly scale its retail presence both online and offline. Shriyans is enthusiastic about the intersection of customer trends and Greensole’s product, noting that the business “has the potential to become mainstream globally in the next few years, as the new generation is much more conscious of the impact of their purchase and lifestyle on the society and the environment.”  With a mission, a measurable impact, and a market strategy, we look forward to seeing where Greensole goes next.

Register now to watch Shriyans pitch in the IAN Global Startup Competition virtual finale on Saturday, December 15!