WhatsApp just awarded $50,000 to these 5 Indian startups

Winners of the Startup India – WhatsApp Grand ChallengeWhatsApp
  • WhatsApp and the Indian government’s Invest India program announced the winners of the ‘Startup India - WhatsApp Grand Challenge’.
  • The contest received over 1,700 entries from across the country but only five startups ultimately won.
  • Each of the five startups have been awarded a grant of $50,000 each to continue developing their ideas.
WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned messaging service, collaborated with Indian government’s investment promotion agency, Invest India, to invite startups from all over the country for a contest involving prize money of $250,000.

Five startups — Medcords, Melzo, Javis, Gramophone and MinionLabs — outshined the rest winning a grant of $50,000 each.

The ‘Startup India – WhatsApp Grand Challenge’ was launched earlier this year to inspire entrepreneurs to develop solutions that have socio-economic impact on the Indian economy.

The contest received more than 1,700 entries from all over the country, which were then judged on the basis of innovative thinking, scale of impact and the ability to solve real problems faced by Indians.

Around 70% of the applications received were from startups that were less than 3 months old and in prototype stage. According to WhatsApp, this is an encouraging indicator of the vibrancy of startups in India.

Meet the final five that made it to the finish line in the ‘Startup India – WhatsApp Grand Challenge’:
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Medcords

Medcords

Access to good quality healthcare is still a distant dream for millions living in rural and semi-urban areas. Medcords is using technology to bring dependable and affordable access to quality healthcare to those areas.

Their solution stores patient medical records digitally and allows for comprehensive consultations with a doctor using nothing but an internet connection.

So far, Medcords is operating in 2,000 villages with online health profiles managing medical records for 7,00,000 patients.

Melzo

Melzo

The use of internet is booming in India but not everyone has access to fast data connectivity. Added to that, online content is only going to get more data-heavy as advertisers get more creative.

Melzo, an affordable virtual reality content platform, is trying to bridge the gap by allowing people to consume content easily on low-end devices.

The company is working with over 140 brands all over the world — not just in India. So far, they have managed to reach 3 million views for audiences across 200 countries.

This isn’t Melzo’s first award. During the Vibrant Gujarat Startup Summit 2018, they came in first and won another grant of $50,000.

Gramophone

Gramophone

Farmers in India have always complained about the low margins on any crop that they try to sell. Gramophone, an agri-tech platform, is trying to increase that margin and reduce the cultivation costs by 15% to 20% using agronomic intelligence.

The aim isn’t just to make farming more lucrative in India but to increase the overall production of a given crop, by more than 30%.

Javis

Javis

Javis might not be the same as Jarvis out of the Avengers, but it’s trying to solve the problem just like Tony Stark’s virtual assistant. The aim of the WhatsApp-based conversation AI platform is to make sure that the right people get connected to the right information in the shortest amount of time possible.

It’s essentially a very smart research tool. So far, the platform only has 1,500 users and deals with around 3-4 individual queries per day. But Javis is set to expand its footprint, pun intended, to 15,000 footwear outlets starting next month.

MinionLabs

MinionLabs

India’s energy crisis is a reality that a lot of business have to deal with when the power bill comes in at the end of the month.

MinionLabs wants to help cut down on that cost by 12-16% by giving businesses real-time insights into how they can reduce their energy consumption — using machine learning.

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