Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Think Time’ with Nandan Nilekani for Winning Startups of #BuildOnIndiaStack

#BuildOnIndiaStack, a recently launched venture-pitch competition, has announced ‘Think Time’, a mentorship session with technology evangelist, Nandan Nilekani. This one-on-one mentorship time will be offered to all winners in addition to prize money of Rs 8 lakhs in total, coaching and exclusive collaboration opportunities.

Organized by iSPIRT and Dalberg in collaboration with Bharat Innovations Fund, Omidyar Network and Unitus Seed Fund, #BuildOnIndiaStack is open to all innovations that leverage the India Stack (a set of open APIs released by the Government of India) to unlock new business models and/or reach previously underserved, new customer segments across diverse sectors, including financial services, education and healthcare amongst others.   

"India will go from a data-poor country to a data-rich one in three years. India has a unique digital infrastructure, a set of well developed public APIs, such as eSign, Unified Payments Interface, Bharat Interface for Money, the Goods and Services Tax Network and eKYC, developed as public goods. It also has a robust authentication infrastructure. India is the only country in the world that can empower every resident with her own data, thanks to the technology infrastructure for inversion of data available due to Aadhaar and India Stack. We should ensure this data wealth will translate into real wealth for users. The innovation ecosystem around the India Stack to do this and this venture pitch competition is the first step towards that", said Nandan Nilekani who is looking forward to interact with the winners in a mentorship session.   

Some core focus areas for the competition will also include digital lending and supporting activities such as, alternative credit scoring; sector specific digital services such as health insurance, 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.

The startups that qualify will be in teams of minimum two to maximum four members, including the founder. They will also have to be early stage startups, that have received only seed or limited angel funding.  Further, they need to meet the three point criteria of being tech-enabled, leveraging India Stack platform and serving the underserved.

Shortlisted ventures will pitch to some of the leading investors and thinkers in the Indian start-up ecosystem, including the Bharat Innovations Fund, Omidyar Network and Unitus Seed Fund. The investor group will provide strategic business support to their investees. The network of investors will also provide mentoring through their specialists and experts. The ventures also stand to interact with select India Stack network of investors and operators, entrepreneurs and technologists, designers and engineers, academicians and policy makers, with the singular mission to solve some of India’s toughest problems.

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