Six women led startups have won COVID-19 Shri Shakti Challenge organized by MyGov in collaboration with UN Women. With an objective to encourage and involve women led startups to come up with innovative solutions that can help in the fight against COVID-19 or solve problems that impact a large number of women, MyGov in collaboration with UN Women, launched the COVID-19 Shri Shakti Challenge in April 2020.
This was a unique challenge hosted on the Innovate platform of MyGov that called for applications from women led startups as well as startups who have solutions that address issues faced by a larger number of women.
The Challenge was implemented in two stages: Ideation stage and Proof of Concept (PoC) Stage.
The challenge received an overwhelming response with a total of 1265 entries, from across the nation.
After thorough screening, 25 startups were shortlisted for presentations to the Jury which included Debjani Ghosh, President NASSCOM, Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer (CTO) Microsoft India, Dr R Ramanan, MD Atal Innovation Mission, Nishtha Satyam, Dy Country representative, UN Women India and Abhishek Singh, CEO MyGov.
All 25 selected startups presented their solutions to the Jury which evaluated the solutions proposed by the startups on the parameters that included innovation, usability, relevance and impact of their idea on the society and after thorough review 11 finalists were chosen for the next stage. All the 11 selected startups were provided a prize money of INR 75000 each to further develop their ideas.
Mentorship sessions were organized to enable graduation of the ideas into Proof of Concepts that can be scaled up.These sessions were topics that included Business Modelling, Financial Modelling, Legal Certifications, Digital Marketing, Product Design, Art of making Pitch and were conducted with the support of NASSCOM, Industry Experts, and the Atal Incubation Centre at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology.
After giving time to the 11 Startups to develop the solutions, the final presentations were again made to the Jury on 27th Oct 2020. The quality of the solutions presented was excellent and the Jury had a tough time evaluating them. After intense discussions and deliberations, the Jury selected top 3 entries as winners, and in view of the high quality of solutions presented decided to recognize 3 additional entries as ‘Promising Solutions’. In addition to the earlier announced reward of Rs 5 lakhs for the top 3 winners, UN Women was generous enough to agree to reward Rs 2 lakhs each to the 3 startups chosen for their promising solutions.
Top 3 winners are as follows:
Top 3 Startups identified as winners in ‘Promising Solutions’ category are:
MyGov congratulates the winners of Shri Shakti Challenge and hope that the solutions developed by them mature into full-blown products, and can scale up into robust solutions that help in our fight against COVID-19; and of course also help address challenges facing women. All the winners and the participants of Shri Shakti Challenge are true testimony to the talent pool that exists in India and this challenge will go a long way in promoting women entrepreneurship in India.