Monday, August 28, 2017

EasyGov, Journee and Megdap Emerge Winners at the Pitch Finale of #BuildOnIndiaStack 2017



The pitch finale of #BuildOnIndiaStack, Venture Pitch Competition, organized by iSPIRT and Dalberg was close-fitting. With over 180 entries, the selected 12 finalists from diverse sectors such as e-governance, health care, education, fintech, environment and agriculture presented their ideas to a full-house audience.  EasyGov that bagged the first position was awarded a cash prize of Rs. 3 lakhs. EasyGov is a cloud solution to help billion people of India to discover the entitlement from thousands of welfare schemes from the Government. EasyGov solution will help in rolling out 10K+ schemes in local language to enable people check family entitlement from phone.

The runner-ups, Journee and Megdap received prize money of Rs. 2 lakhs and Rs 1.5 lakhs respectively. FreeSave and Krishiyog received consolation prize. The winners now look forward to interact with Nandan Nilekani, who has agreed to mentor them for shaping their ideas. The founders of the winning startup, EasyGovAmit Shukla and Vineet Sharma said “IndiaStack has created enabling environment for democratizing the government welfare scheme delivery. Acceptance of eSign document at all government offices can make it really big. We thank #BuildOnIndiaStack to provide us a platform to showcase our efforts.”

Technology evangelist, Nandan Nilekani who has also been at the forefront of the digital agenda in India said, “IndiaStack was being used mainly for Fintech. It however has vaster potential. It needs to be extended to education, health care and skill development amongst others. India Stack provides access to features such as the Digi-Locker, eKYC, eSign, UPI that can re-invent these sectors and make them accessible to the common man. #BuildOnIndiaStack was organized to embark upon this journey and interact with entrepreneurs that would be keen to serve the unserved and underserved. India Stack can be source of massive inclusion for India’s population.”

The panel of jurors comprised of stalwarts from the impact and social entrepreneurship industry like Bindu Ananth, Chair of IFMR Trust and IFMR Holdings; Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, Partner, Unitus Seed Fund; CV Madhukar, Investment Partner, Omidyar Network; Varad Pande, Partner, Dalberg Global Development Advisors and Sanjay Jain, Chief Innovation Officer, CIIE. The jury had a deservably difficult time to shortlist 12 entries from the total 180+ entries that #BuildOnIndiaStack received.

 “IndiaStack has tremendous potential to encourage innovations for India's mass market. This eve put the spotlight on a number of such applications & entrepreneurs and will help create more focus on mass market business models.” said, Bindu Ananth, Chair of IFMR Trust and IFMR Holdings.

 Varad Pande, Partner at Dalberg who also was on the jury panel said,“Today’s pitch presentations demonstrate the passion of our young innovators and the potential of technology to serve India’s 1 billion underserved. This competition is the start of a journey to support innovative tech-enabled solutions that “Build for Bharat”. We at Dalberg are excited to be part of that journey.”

IndiaStack is the largest application programming interface (API) in the world supported by an open API policy by the Government of India. The stack is a new technology paradigm that is scalable to handle massive data inflows, and is poised to enable entrepreneurs, citizens and governments to interact with each other transparently, creating an ecosystem to develop innovative ideas to serve the 1.1 billion people on the platform, specifically the BOP population.

Sanjay Jain, Chief Innovation Officer at CIIE and who has been associated with the IndiaStack initiative said, “The strong finalists, and the diversity of entries shows that entrepreneurs believe that they can make a business which meet the needs of the underserved.  This sends a strong signal, which is further strengthened by the interest from the VC community in this event.  I am confident that this will lead to more entrepreneurs and investors looking at the country well beyond the top tier of the economy.”

#BuildOnIndiaStack also created a platform for entreprenuers to interact with various partners of the eco-system.  Investment Partner at Omidyar Network, C V Madhukar said, "Today’s event brought to the fore the entrepreneurial energy in India that is attempting to solve important public problems. As entrepreneurs think about using the India Stack, investors have an opportunity to invest in companies that protect the privacy of individuals, especially in light of today’s judgement by the Supreme Court making privacy a fundamental right.”

The competition was open to all innovations that leverage the IndiaStack to unlock new business models and/or reach previously underserved, new customer segments across diverse sectors such as financial services, education, healthcare and others. Some core focus areas for the competition also included digital lending and supporting activities, such as alternative credit scoring; sector specific digital services such as health insurance or education loans, skilling and certification, property registration agreements, patient-centric healthcare management; and SaaS platforms “as a service” that support the development of other India Stack based innovations such as Digi-locker or e-sign providers.

Srikrishna Ramamoorthy, Partner at Unitus Seed Fund said, “Our priority at Unitus is to invest in startups that can disrupt the way financial services is delivered to the masses. This competition has facilitated that in a big way and we want ventures to keep building on India Stack”

Partners of this event were Bharat Innovations Fund, Omidyar Network, Unitus Seed Fund, CIIE (IIM-A). Start-up India and LetsVenture were the outreach partners for this inititative.The event was also supported by AwsActivate, 91Springboard and Rise Mumbai.

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