IBM’s Call for Code 2019 winner has been finally announced. While London-based Prometeo has been announced winner, India’s only entrant among the top-five finalists, Sparrow was declared first runner-up for the global challenge that assesses blockchain development.
IBM’s Call for Code rewards the startups and individuals who deploy emerging technologies blockchain, AI, ML, data analytics, 3D printing and more to develop unique solutions that could help prevent or delay natural disasters.
Prometeo, a system that uses artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things to guard the safety of firefighters as they battle blazes. The Call for Code 2019 Asia Pacific winner is Purva Suchak, a solution that’s looking to prevent pervasive flooding across Indian subcontinent by continuously checking water bodies and collating data with weather forecast information. By continuously checking reservoirs, dams and bodies of water, Project Purva Suchak can collate data with weather forecast information. This lets them generate effective flood prediction data that can be stored on blockchain and accessed by those who need the data the most including government agencies and disaster management teams.
“We are seeing increased participation every year from all across the world and it’s bringing together some of the greatest minds of this generation to build innovative solutions that can save lives in disaster-stricken areas. With regional editions being introduced from this year, we can now recognize and implement solutions that has can address issues relevant to a particular region,” said Priya Mallya, country leader, developer ecosystems, IBM ISA
Meanwhile, having planned to set up Blockchain District in the state, Telangana has now joined hands with Bitfury Group, one of the leading full-service blockchain technology companies in the world, to establish a blockchain research and innovation centre in Hyderabad.
The state’s information technology, electronics and communications (ITE&C) department has also partnered with MLR Institute of Technology to enter into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for developing a required ecosystem for the industry and for the development of emerging technologies such as blockchain in India for improving service delivery, reported Telangana Today.
According to reports, the MLR Institute of Technology and ITE&C Department will collaborate on incubation, mentorship and workspace, government services R&D and facility accessibility.
Startup Of The Week: Neo Bank Juno Raises $3 Mn Seed Funding
Founded in July 2019 by Varun Deshpande, Ratnesh Ray and Siddharth Verma, the mobile payment platform Juno has raised $3 Mn (about INR 21 Cr) in a seed funding round led by Polychain Capital and Sequoia Capital India’s accelerator programme Surge. Other investors in the round included Dragonfly Capital, Consensys Labs, Astarc Ventures and Singapore Angel Network.
The platform aims to decentralise lending and borrowing of digital assets and create high yielding accounts to help customers grow their savings by 5.5% annual interest rate. The company also plans to open up digital financial system for everyone, regardless of location or income.
The round also saw participation from some angel investors such as PayU India executives Amrish Rau and Jitendra Gupta, and Nitin Sharma from Incrypt. Juno was also one of the 20 startups that graduated from Sequoia Capital’s Surge accelerator programme on October 8, 2019. Under the programme, the company has received $1 Mn to $2 Mn from the VC firm and other coinvestors, which became a part of this series round.
With this funding, the company wants to expand its team in Singapore and India. In addition, the company will also be applying for a license in select markets. Moreover, Juno also plans to introduce a debit card in partnership with a full-service bank in the future.
Bitfury To Set Up Blockchain Innovation Centre In Hyderabad
Leading full-stack blockchain company the Bitfury Group, the largest full-service blockchain technology company in the world, will establish a blockchain research and innovation centre in Hyderabad.
To address the knowledge, talent and investment gap in India, Blockchain District has also entered into partnerships with Bitfury and Indian School of Business (ISB). ISB will be offering coworking space, access to investor network, business expertise and many more benefits to Blockchain District startups.
EY Launches STEM Tribe Education App In India For Girl Students
Pushing its agenda to achieve gender parity in the technology space, global consultancy service EY in collaboration with Silicon Valley-based Tribal Planet, on October 12, launched a mobile platform called EY STEM Tribe for girl students between 13-18 years age group.
The curriculum has been developed in partnership with ducational institutes around the world. It carries lessons on advanced technologies as well, such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing and blockchain. Other lessons on the platform include climate change and space exploration, among others.
The EY STEM Tribe has made its debut in India and will be available in the United States, starting with Seattle and Atlanta soon. The app is available for free on android and iOS devices.
Meanwhile, a Centre of Excellence, Gurugram is also being set up offering a set of features including mentorship, R&D facilities. The CoE, the first of its kind in the state, has been funded by the state government and aims to create 100 startupsto boost blockchain development in India.