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Indian Entrepreneurs Solving Social Issues: The AatmanirbharAI Challenge Winners, 2020

09 Nov 2020

AI has the power to solve many societal challenges and be an enabler for inclusion; and as the winds of Aatmanirbhar Bharat blow over the land, there is a need to identify and promote innovative AI solutions for both the general public and the industry who may benefit from these.

Recently, India’s first ‘AI Solution Challenge’ was organized for Indian startups in the field of Artificial Intelligence.
The Challenge was hosted on the MyGov Innovation platform and was supported by the MeitY Startup Hub and Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog.

The Categories were diverse and exhaustive and covered Healthcare, Education, Agriculture, Natural Language Processing, Smart Mobility, and Transportation and Others – the last-mentioned was for emerging hybrids which defied categorization.

We were thrilled to receive a total of 299 applications were received. The contest evaluation was divided into two stages- the Initial Screening Stage and the Jury Stage. Each entry was evaluated during a three-day marathon by a jury comprising experts from academia, industry, and the government.

The jury deliberated on presentations by 40 shortlisted entries and selected 21 start-ups (15 winners and six special mentions) for the ‘Pitch Fest’session at RAISE2020, India’s first-ever AI Summit for a global audience.

RAISE2020, as you probably know, is the ‘Responsible AI for Social Empowerment 2020’ Global Summit on Artificial Intelligence held virtually from 5th Oct to 9th Oct 2020. This was organized by MeitY.

Here’s a quick showcase of the winners:

In the Health category, the Jury selected SigTuple Technologies Private Limited, as the winner. They developed an AI-enabled in-vitro diagnostic system that enables digitization, storage, and archival of microscope slide specimens of urine/ blood samples. This start-up was co-founded by Tathagato Rai Dastidar in 2015.

The capability of AI to bring efficiency in insurance by learning from historic data of disease, risk, etc. based on symptoms, medical history, diagnostic reports & environmental factors got Artivatic Data Labs, founded by IIT Kharagpur alum and two-time entrepreneur Layak Singh recognized as the second-best solution under the category AI for Health.

The jury also identified the solution of Dr. Sasikaladevi N, Senior Assistant Professor, SASTRA University, Tamil Nadu as a promising solution. Her solution ‘LungXpert’ is an AI-based prognostic App – an assistive tool for Cardiologists and Pulmonologists for the early detection of common cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.

AI in Education was the next category and the solution by CogniAble was declared the winner. This is a machine learning-driven assistive technology for early detection and affordable treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder and it delivers personalized programs for special needs children aiding their long-term self-dependency and life-skills development.
Manu Kohli was the cofounder of the solution which brings affordability, accessibility, and high-quality management for Autism.

Second, on the list was Indiavidual Learning Limited founded by Aditi Avasthi. They provide an artificial intelligence platform to personalize the delivery of education to students.

An AI-based scanner and reading assistant by Hind AI Labs, a company founded by Rohit Kumar Chaudhary and Kavin Agrawal of IIT Bombay, was declared as ‘Promising Solution’.

India is a diverse country with multiple languages and dialects, and  AI-based solutions could bridge this language divide.  Natural Language Processing was one of the key categories wherein solutions were invited by Entrepreneurs.

With its impressive NLP engine and capabilities, Haptik, a conversational AI startup, was adjudged the winner in this category. Kartik Poddar of Haptik said they were powering conversational assistants through Voice and Chat.

Rezo.ai, founded in 2017 by IITian couple Manish Gupta (Co-founder and CEO) and Rashi Gupta (Co-founder and Chief Data Scientist)., a Conversational AI Platform that automates conversations across multiple channels (email, social, WhatsApp, chat, and voice) was selected as the second-best solution under the category, followed by Enixta, founded by Giridhari Devanathan.

Enixta taps the customer voice (feedback) from multiple channels (eCommerce, social media, vlogs, blogs, discussion forums, and et al.) in varied formats (Audio, text, images, videos).

The Jury also found two entries – one from GNani and the other from Devnagri– as ‘Promising Solution’ under the AI in the NLP category. GNani.ai  was founded in 2012 by Ganesh Gopalan (CEO) and Ananth Nagraj (CTO) and provides real-time speech to a speech translation system.
New Delhi based startup Devnagri, founded by Himanshu Sharma (CEO) and Nakul Kundra (COO), is an AI-powered human translation platform to help businesses reach Indian Internet users in their regional languages, by translating all their communication & content into Indian regional languages.

The fourth category was AI in Mobility. The Jury declared Jayant Ratti-founded Nayan India Science and Technologies as the winnerNayan uses crowdsourcing to search for traffic hazards, violations and city-wide road and highway monitoring; and Artificial Intelligence for informatics and video analytics.

Uncanny Vision, founded by Ranjith Parakkal, provides Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and bank ATM monitoring system: this was adjudged the second-best solution.

The third-best solution was a road condition alert and route selection mobile app developed by RoadMetrics. Founded in 2007 by DipenBabariya (CEO), Nikhil Prasad Maroli (COO), and Mishal Jariwala (CTO), RoadMetrics is a deep tech start-up on a mission to map road characteristics at scale.

Agriculture is the backbone of this country and a segment that needs urgent technological intervention. The Winner in this category was TartanSense, a Bangalore-based startup founded by Jaisimha Rao. TartanSense provides an AI-based Robot vehicle to be used in farms for weed management. The Jury liked the solution as it reduces the usage of chemical per acre and results in savings for the farmer – and is also good for the environment.

The second-best solution in this category, Intello Labs a Gurugram-based agritech startup launched by Milan Sharma, Nishant Mishra, Himani Shah, and Devendra Chandani in 2016, helps in segregating the good/bad quality fruits/vegetables using AI.

Megara Robotics’ AI-based robot climber that climbs a coconut tree, identifies the ripened coconuts, and cuts them automatically was identified as a ‘Promising Solution’. Rajesh Kannan Megalingam is the Chennai-based founder of Megara Robotics.

The final category was the ‘Others’ category.

Mumbai-based Sequretek was adjudged the Joint winner by the jury. Founded by Anand Naik and Pankit Desai, it enables AI-based proactive and predictive threat detection. It has offerings in the areas of Endpoint Security, Identity Access Governance, Threat Intelligence, Security Monitoring, and Security Management.

The next joint winner was Gaurav Mittal-founded GingerMind.ai, which leverages artificial intelligence to help the visually impaired through a mobile App to identify objects, navigate directions while commuting, and read the text in most languages.

The third in the Others category was Sirena Technologies. Hariharan Bojanfounded Sirena in Bengaluru in 2014, which built the first Indian Humanoid Robot ‘Nino,’ and also introduced SKIP(Sirena Knowledge and Information Programme).

MatisoftCyber Security Labs, which deals in AI-based antivirus software and offers a product called Advance Malware Scanner that focuses on catching a very advanced form of virus called ‘File-less Virus’ using AI, was adjudged ‘Promising Solution’. Matisoft is an IIT Delhi incubated company founded by Varun Seth.

MyGov would like to congratulate these solutions which not only showcased the capability of the AI power that India possesses to a global audience but also significantly showcased how AI can help in resolving social issues. AI will be a key driver in India’s march towards total Aatmanirbhar, and the participants ably demonstrated this!

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