Startups from around the world are on a mission to leverage existing and emerging technologies to build solutions that can improve sectors and, in turn, lives. Keeping the startup revolution in India going, with technology at the centre, the government of Gujarat is hosting a three-day summit — The Vibrant Gujarat Startup And Technology Summit (VGSTS) 2018 from October 11-13.
Among a host of programmes and events planned at the summit for experiential learning and networking for startups and aspiring entrepreneurs, the biggest one is the Vibrant Gujarat Grand Challenge, aimed at generating a viable ecosystem for technology-enabled innovations with a worldwide footprint.
The Vibrant Gujarat Startup And Technology Summit 2018 is a forerunner to the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, which is to be held in January 2019. The summit will be the ground where stakeholders of the startup and technology ecosystem come together to encourage innovations that can help solve India’s problems.
Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani will inaugurate The Vibrant Gujarat Startup And Technology Summit , which will be held in the city of Gandhinagar in the state on October 11-13.
At the Vibrant Gujarat Grand Challenge, startups will get a chance to pitch for prize money worth a whopping $423.7K (INR 3 Cr) on themes such as Agritech, Fintech, Smart and Shared Mobility, Women-Centric Solutions, Manufacturing 4.0, Governance 2030, Maritime and Military Intelligence, Healthtech, and others. The last date for filing applications is September 10, 2018, and participation is free of cost.
The Grand Challenge is inviting startups to apply at any of the following three stages:
Idea: Innovators applying at this level should have well-thought-out ideas based on reality with a socially beneficial solution. They should be able to present a business plan and demonstrate how it would work. Innovators can win 25 prizes of $142 (INR 10k) each at this level.
Blooming: This category is for innovators in the post-ideation stage. Applications at the ‘Blooming’ level are being invited from startups with a clear proof of concept (PoC) of their product/service or those that have a feasible status in the market. A prototype demonstrating an operational model with a few initial field trials is a requisite. The startup should be in existence for zero to three months. This stage will offer three prizes worth $4,200 (INR 300K), $28,00 (INR 200K), and $1,400 (INR 100K) for the first, second, and third winners.
Scale-Up: This category is inviting applications from startups with a functional prototype of their product/service — which is commercially scalable with market trials. Startups that have been generating revenue for more than three months up to five years can apply in this challenge stage. Those applying should be able to demonstrate that their innovation is scalable.
From all the ‘Scale-up’ entries, the list will be shortlisted down to 64 entries. Every contestant will then pitch their idea to a jury panel that will further shortlist the entries to 16. The shortlisted 16 will then pitch to the Super Jury, which will select the winners of this stage. The ‘Scale-Up’ stage will offer four Super Jury prizes worth $42K (INR 30 Lakh), $38K (INR 27 Lakh); $35K (INR 25 Lakh); and $31K (INR 22 Lakh) along with 12 consolation prizes worth $17K (INR 12 Lakh) each.
A Look At The Themes Of Vibrant Gujarat Grand Challenge
Agritech: The face of agriculture is changing with the use of emerging technologies to solve agricultural challenges in farming, food production, machinery, distribution, etc. The Vibrant Gujarat Grand Challenge is looking out for innovative startups that have developed affordable, accessible, and easy-to-use technology-based solutions that enhance the country’s agricultural productivity and farmers’ income.
Fintech: Fintech has been the buzzword for quite a while now. With developments in mobile payments and other areas, the way in which individuals handle their financial needs has changed completely. In fact, this is one area that is heavily using new and emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, big data, and satellite imagery. The Vibrant Gujarat challenge is seeking inclusive solutions to address the financial needs of individuals and companies.
Smart and Shared Mobility: In these times of shared economies, shared living, and continuous innovations, how an individual lives and moves in an ecologically sustainable manner is critical. In an effort to encourage startups in the smart mobility sector, the challenge is seeking solutions in areas such as congestion, mobility, and accessibility, etc.
Women-Centric Solutions: Gender inequality and women’s safety continue to remain burning problems in both urban and rural India. Under this theme, the challenge invites startups that are working on solving women-related problems — safety, health, and education — through technology.
Manufacturing 4.0: Manufacturing 4.0 creates a smart factory and includes cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing. Startups in the fields of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, automobile, textile, gems and jewellery, electronics, and system design industries, are eligible to apply for the challenge. The challenge is seeking solutions for smart manufacturing in architecting human capital, sustainable initiatives, ancillary activities, etc.
Governance 2030: For a smooth and sustained development of a state, its citizens and government need to join hands. Governance 2030 is an open, social, communicative, interactive, and user-centred version of the government, aimed at reshaping the relationship between government and citizens. The Vibrant Gujarat Challenge is inviting startups working on solutions that enhance governmental processes, comprehensive policy, etc.
Maritime and Military Intelligence: Unmanned aerial vehicles and objects are being used by armed forces to keep track of the movement of opposing forces. The conditions under which the armed forces operate pose many challenges, among them a big challenge is dealing with new technologies being used by opposing parties.
The Grand Challenge on Maritime and Military Intelligence is inviting solutions for the development of drone/unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) countermeasure technology, precision drones with higher payloads for delivering stores, cybersecurity, and others.
Healthtech: The Vibrant Gujarat Grand Challenge is inviting solutions to improve healthcare in India and across the globe by fostering innovation and research to develop affordable and sustainable solutions to improve healthcare in India. Established researchers, young entrepreneurs, and other innovators are invited to help the state of Gujarat achieve the goal of expanding its pipeline of ideas for developing new preventive and curative therapies, piloting new technologies, and researching new ideas.
Others: Startups falling outside the purview of the aforementioned themes can apply in the ‘others’ category.
What Startups should Keep In Mind While Applying To The Challenge
- Both individuals and teams can apply for the challenge
- An entry should be an ‘original idea’ based on an implementable and feasible solution
- Only startups registered/incubated in India will be eligible to compete for the Grand Challenge
- Entries can be submitted in English, Hindi, or Gujarati
- Evaluation will be done on the basis of thoroughness, innovation, practicality, tech and business feasibility, scalability, and team competency
- The entries are not limited to the problem statement specified on website only
The Vibrant Gujarat Startup And Technology Summit 2018
Besides the Grand Challenge, The Vibrant Gujarat Startup And Technology Summit 2018 is set to bring next-gen technologies such as AI – The Dawn of New Intelligence; IoT – Connecting the Dots; Blockchain – Creating a New Order Block by Solid Block; Big Data – A Mega Vision; Cyber Security – Securing the Community.
The technology focussed VGSTS 2018 summit will act as a catalyst to boost entrepreneurship in the state. It is bringing together a list of noteworthy stakeholders and experts in the startup ecosystem who are curating the entire event. The summit will witness participation from leading companies, innovators, entrepreneurs, venture capital firms, academic institutions, and NGOs in the space of innovation and Information Technology from India and abroad. It will also provide a gateway for startups to connect with policymakers, angel investors, incubators, CXOs of tech giants, and corporate leaders.
The summit is expected to see participation from 400-500 national and international delegates, 2,500 participants, more than 600 exhibitors, and a footfall of 40K audience from across the globe.
The summit is also hosting ‘TIS — talks by inspirational speakers’, along with a tech exhibition.
The Gujarat government wants tech-based startups to solve these burgeoning problems under the 8 themes. The summit brings together innovative minds on a platform to facilitate the development of tech-led solutions that can tackle these problems from the root.
Initiatives By Gujarat Government For Indian Startups
In recent years, state governments across India have intensified their efforts to boost entrepreneurship in their respective states and have been taking various initiatives to revolutionise and grow the startup ecosystem.
In line with the central government’s aim to facilitate 2,000 startups by 2021, the Gujarat government introduced the Scheme for Assistance for Startups/Innovation under the Industrial Policy 2015. The aim of the policy was to bridge the existing gaps for startups and create a conducive environment for the growth of the ecosystem.
The government wants to help the youth of the state hone their entrepreneurial skills by providing them with mentoring and other facilities. The state is also creating a favourable environment for startups by facilitating innovation and technology transfer.
The government has also set up startup incubation centres at educational institutions in the state, thereby establishing a direct link between industries and academia. Thirty-three such “nodal institutions” have been approved till date to facilitate startups as incubators. The state government has recognised 184 startups to date.
The objective of The Vibrant Gujarat Startup And Technology Summit 2018 is to showcase the forces driving India and Gujarat’s startup revolution. While on one hand, it will provide startups opportunities to network with business and global accelerators, showcase their innovative ideas and prototypes, and get mentoring and funding support, on the other, it will enable them to come up with tech-led solutions to India’s pressing problems thereby changing the lives of millions — a win-win situation for all the stakeholders participating in the summit.