The 22nd Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) has announced the winner of the YES Bank – Wharton India Startup challenge, which concluded in Mumbai today. Out of the top 10 finalists, three startups made it to the final pitching round. Eduvanz Financing won the Judge’s Choice Award along with $12K; SpotDraft won the People’s Choice award along with $6K, while Saral Design won the Startup Exhibition Award and $2K prize money.
Mumbai based Eduvanz Financing, founded by Raheel Shah, Varun Chopra, Atul Sashittal and Dinesh Gehlot, aims to make education universally accessible by providing easy, transparent and speedy financial assistance using innovative technology solution. Meanwhile, SpotDraft is an AI-driven end-to-end contract lifecycle management platform launched in January 2017 by Harvard Law School graduate Shashank Bijapur and Madhav Bhagat. SpotDraft’s technology is currently aimed at small businesses and freelancers to help them draft solid contracts, send automated invoices and payment reminders.
Saral Designs is a Mumbai-based startup working on increasing access to high quality affordable sanitary napkins using a smart distributed manufacturing technology developed in-house. Founded in 2015, Saral aims to create a better future in menstrual hygiene and sanitation-focussed product design, machine technology and innovative delivery mechanisms. The founders are Suhani Mohan and Kartik Mehta.
Originally announced in August this year, the contest offers up-and-coming Indian startups a platform to interact and connect with investors and industry stalwarts from the Indian startup ecosystem. The other eight finalists were namely Anaxee, Ruban Bridge, SoundRex, Gamezop, Confirm Ticket, Perpule, and PlexusMD.
The startup challenge jury included people like – Rehan Yar Khan (Managing Partner, Orios Venture Partners), Sandeep Murthy (Partner, Lightbox Ventures), Shivani Bhasin Sachdeva (MD & CEO, India Alternatives), Karan Mohla (Executive Director, IDG Ventures India), Preeti Sinha (Senior President and Global Convenor, YES INSTITUTE at YES Bank Limited), Vishal Khare (Director, Enterprise, Citrix India and Angel Investor).
Founded in 1996, the Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF), is an annual conference hosted by the students of Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. It is a global business forum focussed on understanding and engaging with India’s startup landscape.
Hosted by the WIEF, the annual Wharton India Startup Challenge (WISC) is aimed at promoting entrepreneurship in the country. Last year, IoT-based startup Detect Technologies received the “WIEF-SBI Startup Of The Year” award along with $12K cash, while Kanpur-based social enterprise HELPUSGREEN was prized with “WIEF-SBI People’s Choice” award along with $6K cash.
The competition also featured a Startup Exhibit, which hosted the top 10 finalists as well as 10 additional high-calibre startups that have demonstrated tremendous potential. While the Judges’ Choice and People’s Choice winners also get five hours of legal service from NovoJuris, all other startup exhibitors of the Wharton India Startup Challenge will have also have access to WeWork India co-working space, fundraising services from LetsVenture, Baytree, and Mumbai Angels, mentorship from INNOVEN, and mentorship from Knowlarity and access to their Super Receptionist and Super conference product.