Tuesday, January 23, 2018


The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Intel India today announced a shortlist of 20 teams participating in the Innovate for Digital India Challenge. 20 teams from across India will receive grants of INR 200,000 per team to develop prototypes in the final stage of this nation-wide contest.

The Challenge aims to help bring technology to every household in India through grassroots innovation. It has tasked the participants with the creation of intuitive, easy-to-use solutions that can increase access to critical services for developmentin two broad areas. The first area is innovation to create citizen’s device platform with features that are relevant and drive mass adoption of technology such as, biometric sensing capabilities, peripherals using other sensors, intuitive user interface, gesture recognition, multi-lingual & voice support. The second area is innovation to create apps that accelerate delivery of e-governance services through eKranti/MyGov apps on mobile platform.

The challenge was open to aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, innovators, academia, designers, engineers and makers and drew 1913 entries from all over the country. Launched in April 2015, the challenge is now in the Accelerator phase where the participants will be mentored in Pune for up to 12 weeks starting in August during which they will develop MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) on Intel® Architecture.  By the end of the 8-week Accelerator phase, up to ten teams will be selected and will have access to grants of Rs.500,000. The remaining ten teams willcontinue their mentoring phase until completion of 12weeks.

The top 20 were selected from a pool of 50 shortlisted teams that went through rigorous paper presentations in Ahmedabad to a selected jury comprising of industry leaders like Shri H K Mittal, Adviser, Member Secretary National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Prof.Amit Karna, Chairperson, CIIE, Priyanka Chopra, Director – Portfolio Support, CIIE, VenguswamyRamaswamy,Director, Tata Consultancy Services, Ajay Bhagwat, Founder, Renu Electronics, Ashish Deshpande,Co-founder, Director, Elephant Design, SrikrishnaRamamoorthy, Partner, Unitus Seed Fund, NaganandDoraswamy , Vice President, SPAN Systems, R P Gupta, Senior Independent Consultant, Rema Subramanian, Co-Founder, Managing Partner, Ankur Capital, Shankar Maruwada, Co-Founder, EkStep, Vishwas Mahajan, President – Pune Chapter, TiE, Sachin Kelkar, Head – APAC Scale Program, Intel and Kishore Ramisetty, Senior Director, Market Enabling Solutions, Intel. The jury kept the two broad areas of the challenge and selected the top 20 on the basis of the idea’s ability solve a key citizen problem, delivering value to citizens, market opportunity, scalability of product/business, entry barrier/competition/uniqueness of idea and  potential traction in terms of revenue, users and customers.

Speaking at the announcement, Sandeep Aurora, Director Marketing & Market Development, Intel South Asia said, “We arehappy to announce the top 20 participating teams of the Intel & DST Innovate for Digital India Challenge. These teams have been selected after a rigorous judging process. The shortlisted teams have ideas that will help in the realization of the Digital India vision across education, financial inclusion, healthcare and e-governance amongst others.”

While announcing the Top 20 teams, Kunal Upadhyay CEO CIIE, IIM-A said “We are thrilledwith the quantity and quality of response that the challenge has received. The top 20 participants performed excellently in the judging rounds and we are honored to have such talent taking on the Digital India challenge.”