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Startup India and WhatsApp have partnered earlier this year to initiate The Startup India- WhatsApp Grand Challenge, five Indian finalists of the startups were awarded INR 35 lakhs ($50,000) each.
The challenge is to push entrepreneurs towards the solutions of socio-economic problems faced by the country. The event was conducted on June 18 at the Live Pitch Day.
The Startup Challenge has received over 1700 entries from 25 states in India. The participants judged based on innovative thinking, the ability to solve real-time issues, and measurable impact. From the substantial list of entries, 10 were shortlisted for the finale where startups got a chance to pitch their ideas to venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.
- Shailesh Lakhani- MD, Sequoia Capital
- Deep Kalra- Founder, MakeMyTrip
- Vani Kola- Founder, Kalaari Capital
- Harsha Kumar- Partner, Lightspeed Ventures
- Abhijit Bose- Head, WhatsApp India
The Five Finalists of The Startups
The finalists’ startups who completed the levels are MedCords, Gramophone, MinionLabs, Melzo and Javis, where each of them grants nearly INR 35 Lakhs.
Other startups who participated in the pitch includes-
- Multibhashi- Language learning platform
- Squats- Fitness platform
- MyCrop- Agritech startup
- ThinkZone- EdTech platform
- Fabric Monde- Textile company
The Famous Five Startups
MedCords was founded in 2016 by Shreyans Mehta, Salda Dhanavath, and Nikhil Baheti. The startup uses a channel of 800 Sehat Sathis, the local pharmacies in an urban or village, providing the best healthcare in rural and semi-urban India.
The startup has reached maximum users in 2K villages basing online health profiles and managing medical records over 700K patients and with 325 on-boarded doctors. With the winning money, the company plans to use for expansion, marketing, product development, and data intelligence platform.
Gramophone was founded in 2016 by Tauseef Khan, Ashish Rajan, Harshit Gupta, and Nishant Vats. The startup provides agronomic intelligence to farmers aiming to become a destination for all the agricultural input needs to support farmers. The company has helped farmers to decrease the cultivation costs to nearly 15-20% by increasing their cultivation and production to more than 30%.
Bengaluru-based MinionLabs is founded in 2017 by Gokul Shrinivas and Jeyakumar. The company assists businesses in reducing electricity costs and usage of machine learning approach by improving productivity and offering real-time electricity utilization insights.
OYO, Fortis, Cowrks, Saudi-based Aramco. And CISCO is its clients.
Surat-based Melzo was founded in 2017 by Hardik Desai. It is a virtual reality content platform allowing users to utilize content efficiently on low-end devices.
The company offers a network of features including creation, content discovery, viewing, chatbot interactivity, and live streaming support catering services to over 140 brands and even globally across 200 countries. It has partnered with big brands like Cult.Fit, Reliance Jio, Taj Hotels, and the Gateway chain of business hotels.
Javis is a WhatsApp related conversational AI base founded by Parthasarathi Sinha. The platform provides users with complete information to speed up business processes. It is built on WhatsApp Business API and currently has users of 1.5K users where it receives on an average of four individual queries a day.