The Maharashtra State Innovation Society (MSInS) organises the Maharashtra Startup Week to support the startup ecosystem in the state and gives a platform for budding entrepreneurs to grow by showcasing their innovative solutions to the Government of Maharashtra.
For startups, this is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to engage directly with the government and open doors to scale their solutions further and mitigate development challenges.
After four days of intense pitching sessions by the top hundred startups at the Maharashtra Startup Week, 24 startups were crowned winners of the Maharashtra Startup Week from an initial pool of over 1,500 applications. They will receive work orders of up to INR 15 Lakh ($21.3K) each through which they can demonstrate their proofs of concept (PoCs) and pilot their solutions in the state.
The second edition of the bi-annual, five-day event, organised by the Maharashtra State Innovation Society (MSInS), was held from January 28 to February 1. The winners were selected across seven sectors — agriculture, cleantech, education and skilling fintech, governance, healthcare, infrastructure and mobility, water and waste management and a miscellaneous category by a jury comprising of eminent members such as, Sudhir Srivastava, Chairman, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board; Gunjan Shukla, CFO, Paypal India; Dileep Mangsuli, CTO, GE Healthcare; Aarti Wig, CEO & Co-Founder, Yunus Social Business India; Dr. Surendra kumar Bagde, General Manager, B.E.S.T. and representatives from Intellecap, Bharat Innovation Fund, Omidyar Network, Acumen and more.
The 24 Winners At The Maharashtra Startup Week
SatSure: SatSure’s technology solutions are helping commoditise space data to address the macro challenges in the agriculture sector with a high impact on enabling financial inclusion of farmers and food security for the nation.
Earth Analytics India: This startup provides visibility into risks to nature and infrastructure by aggregating information from space. It helps its clients better manage their risks in agriculture, forestry, and infrastructure through these insights.
Sansaavi Bioresearch: This startup has low-cost livestock diagnostic devices, reducing dependency on rural population centralised laboratories.
Jai Kisan: Jai Kisan’s platform is built to empower the growth of rural Indians, especially farmers. It provides low-cost and timely financing for agricultural equipment, dairy equipment, and other rural yield generational assets that is flexible and transparent.
Impact Guru Technology Ventures: It is a tech-for-good platform that provides complete crowdfunding solutions to empower individuals, NGOs, and social enterprises to raise funds for medical emergencies, personal needs, creative projects, or any other social causes.
Ayu Devices: Ayu Devices is a technology-based healthcare company. Its innovative medical devices and services enable early screening of heart and lung diseases.
NIRAMAI Health Analytix: NIRAMAI Health Analytix is a Bengaluru-based deep-tech startup addressing critical healthcare problems through automated solutions.
Print2Block: This startup creates truthful Infrastructure for issuing digital documents on private or public blockchain.
CrossForge Solutions: This startup uses Blockchain to stop forgery of student certificates without compromising the privacy of students.
OMiOM Cleantech: It is a green technology company. Its innovations and technologies are dedicated towards producing clean water, air, and energy.
Chakr Innovation: This startup aims to create pioneering, sustainable, and scalable technologies to combat the grave threat posed by pollution. Its product — Chakr Shield — is an innovative emission control device that captures pollution at the source and converts it into something useful.
RECITY Network: RECITY partners with citizens to reflect, identify, and take the onus to resolve urban issues. By collaborating with experts and the government, it builds capacity for academic institutions and NGOs to implement projects developed through collective problem solving.
Water and Waste Management
Urdhvam Environmental Technologies: It provides end-to-end solutions that include consulting, design, execution, and commissioning.
Gorgonian Tech: This design and consultancy firm designs and manufactures custom wind turbines for building wall surfaces. These turbines are made to look like an artwork on the exterior wall, and enable onlookers/pedestrians to see the wind grazing over the wall surfaces. The art lies in the motion of these micro-turbines and hence it can termed as kinetic art rather than a wind turbine.
WEGoT Utility Solutions: The startup gives access to detailed analytics and gainful insights that help with precision planning and ensure continuous supply and longer life of utilities.
Humble Shit: This is a hardware startup developing a hygiene and usability rating system for public toilets. Through a Toilet Monitoring System installed at toilets, users can rate their experience as good, average, or bad. Supervisors then receive a report based on this data, showing them how their janitorial staff are working.
Planys Technologies: Planys Technologies is an IIT Madras-incubated company that provides submersible robotic inspection and survey solutions using Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs).
Minkville Innoventures: This startup is providing digital payment solutions which can help tribals, illiterates and villager go cashless without internet.
Phi Commerce: Phi Commerce is a new-age financial technology company focussed on innovating digital payments. Their solutions optimise efficiency for mature digital champions while taking digitally challenged businesses and consumers up the digital payments curve.
LetsEndorse Development (Project Paathshala): It works towards improving the quality of school education and learning outcomes of children from low-income communities in India.
Ennoble Social Innovations: The company aims to improve the quality of life of people in developing countries through its need-based, low-cost innovative products for solving various day-to-day problems.
Tisser Rural Handicraft: At present, Tisser links over 300 products coming from multiple rural clusters encompassing more than a thousand artisans across the country. It is creating a base for skilled, sustainable rural employment and preserving India’s traditional handicrafts in the process.
Dimension NXG: The startup, with its revolutionary product Anja, helps build custom work instructions, training modules, and data visualisations for any environment. By applying its development knowledge and technological expertise, along with an individual understanding of everyday challenges, customers can solve problems that earlier required costly customised solutions or were unsolvable.
ScoutMyTrip: ScoutMyTrip is a platform and planner for road trips anywhere in India. It enables people to discover new places or explore known places better on road trips by using a intelligent and intuitive road trip planner.
Highlights of The Maharashtra Startup Week
The Maharashtra Startup Week witnessed participation from industry stalwarts and senior government representatives, apart from the investor and influencer communities of the Indian startup ecosystem. Some of the eminent names at the event were Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar, Minister of Labour and Skill Development, Bharath Visweswariah, director, investments, Omidyar Network; and Ronnie Screwvala, cofounder, UpGrad,Vineet Rai, Founder & Chairman, Intellecap Aavishkaar Group etc.
The agenda of the workshop events was curated keeping in mind the frequently asked questions by startups. Some of the workshops conducted were: ‘Go to Market and Scaling’ by Jay Krishnan, Partner SRI Capital ‘Challenges While Starting up And Leveraging Ecosystem To Grow’, by Bala Girisaballa, president of Techstars, a seed accelerator.
While pitching sessions by startups was the key focus area of the event, there were also learning sessions and workshops by Google on machine learning, by Lexstart on fundraising for startups, and more.
One of the biggest highlights of the event was a panel discussion on ‘Making Maharashtra More Attractive For Startups: Roadmap To The Future’, which comprised panelists such as; Namita Dalmia, Principal Investments, Omidyar Network, Pooja Dhingra, founder, Le 15; Mayank Kumar, MD & CEO – upGrad; Pranay Gupta, co-founder, 91 Springboard. The panel was moderated by Aseem Kumar Gupta, IAS, principal secretary, SDED (Skill Development and Entrepreneurship Department ).
The panel discussed how the environment in the state could be made more cohesive and collaborative for startups and the measures that could be taken by the government in terms of policies and initiatives to support the growth of startups. A VC mixer was also organised where close to 40 startups interacted with investors, corporates and senior government officials.
Global Innovation Policy Accelerator Final Conference
As part of the event, the Maharashtra State Innovation Society also hosted the final conference of the Indian iteration of the Global Innovation Policy Accelerator (GIPA). The GIPA is funded by the UK government’s Newton Fund and delivers executive development to national cohorts of senior policymakers, strengthening the implementation capabilities of their teams.
In May 2018, two teams of senior policymakers and influencers from India’s central Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) and the Maharashtra government travelled to London to receive coaching and mentoring support.
Innovation in India is fast becoming central to the dialogue around economic development. Policymakers are looking for effective approaches to foster innovation and develop skills, insights, tools, evidence and networks to help design, implement, evaluate and improve innovation policies. The GIPA is a step in this direction.
As part of the conference, the teams showcased the work they have been doing over the past nine months to a broader group of senior policymakers and thereafter plan for the long-term impact of their work.
Enabling Startups To Be Good Samaritans
The Maharashtra Startup Week has accorded startups loads of traction and much-needed opportunities, was a massive success in its second run as well.
The Maharashtra Startup Week encourages and brings to the fore startups with a view to strengthen the state’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. It also aims to carve out an important role for the startup ecosystem in socially relevant activities and in the state’s socio-economic development.