More Galleries
5 startups that are reimagining the world Bricks that grow from microorganisms, household garbage turned into art, three-wheeled bike-cars -- these startups are redefining urban living. More
Blue collar entrepreneurs These five entrepreneurs took their blue collar experience and used it to launch innovative businesses. More
7 lifehacks to eliminate your holiday hassle Whether curating the perfect gift or finding a pet-sitter, these startups offer time-saving services that might just seem like holiday magic. More

Special Offer
34 of 36
Power for rural India
Power for rural India
Mahesh Jakhotia and Vijay Jakhotia
Team name: Vidyut Shakti

School: BITS-Pilani (Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India)

Team Members: Abhishek Syal, Mahesh Jakhotia, Prakash Sarwa, Vijay Jakhotia

Concept: Vidyut Shakti plans to provide electricity to rural Indian villages by growing and processing jatropha, a common weed whose seed oil can be converted into biodiesel.

India faces a dramatic electricity shortage, especially in rural areas. Many households rely on kerosene for light, and even homes connected to a power grid may only have electricity for a few hours a day.

Vidyut Shakti plans to establish jatropha farms and build generators on underutilized wastelands. In addition to supplying energy to the villages, the farms will create job opportunities for unskilled laborers.

Using jatropha to generate power is not a new concept in India; one other company is currently doing so. In general, jatropha farms yield a relatively small crop that generates correspondingly small quantities of biodiesel. However, Vidyut Shakti plans to use patent-pending biotechnology to increase the yield of crop and biodiesel, giving it a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

The company anticipates ongoing market growth, as India's expanding economy and growing population demand even more energy. The Indian government is eager to promote jatropha cultivation and offers subsidies for the purchase of wastelands.

Timeline: Between now and 2010, Vidyut Shakti plans to establish farms and generators in 10 villages in the Churu-Pilani region of Rajasthan. The plants will begin to yield biodiesel three years after they are planted. Between 2010 and 2012, the company plans to start producing elsewhere in Rajasthan and in other states. - Stephenie Fletcher

NEXT: Skip Chardonnay - try dragon fruit wine

Last updated May 02 2008: 11:51 AM ET

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.