From time to time, you may see that this government encourages start-ups with various initiatives. While the policy focus has ensured a favourable environment for the start ups to grow, the government with various platforms also conducts competition and awards for the start-ups. For instance, amidst the Corona crisis, India found an Aatmanirbhar video conferencing solution by inviting start-ups to take part in a competition with a cash prize and further support to develop the technology.
Now, the Covid-19 challenge organised by MyGov in collaboration with UN Women has introduced six women-led start ups that are offering solutions to the various problems at present time. Three women-led start up got the winner tag, while another three have been awarded for ‘promising solutions’.
Women-led Start Ups
How have these three women-led start-ups, followed by three promising solutions start ups offer solution to certain problems? Have a look.
Chemical-free Life: Bengaluru-based Resada Lifesciences Private Limited founded by Dr P Gayatri Hela designed and developed home and agricultural-based products using plant extracts instead of synthetic chemicals. For Shri Shakti Challenge, Gayatri submitted her innovative product, a non-alcoholic hand sanitizer that is relevant not only for COVID- 19 but also for other infections. The idea had come to her in 2017, when she was battling Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) with her with her one-year old daughter.
Cost-effective use of PPE Kits: Shimla-based iHeal HealthTech Private Limited was founded by Romita Ghosh, a cancer survivor. It has been at the forefront of the fight against COVID and has been providing PPE kits to hospitals. Romita has also built a Made in India UV sterilization box for safe reuse of PPEs and masks that can help reduce costs for hospitals and other service providers.
Safe-Simple Masks: Dr Anjana Ramkumar and Dr Anushka Ashokan are the product manager and co-founder of Kerala based Thanmatra Innovations Private Limited. They offered an anti-microbial solution that could be sprayed into handkerchiefs or dupattas for making them safe to be used as Face Masks. This also made it easier to protect kids.
Saving Lungs from Corona: Vasanthi Palanivel, is the CEO & Co-Founder of Bengaluru-based Seragen BioTherapeutics Private Limited. As a scientist and researcher, she studied the symptoms and impacts of the virus and realized that the lungs were one of the worst affected organs in COVID, and she has developed a plasma solution to treat respiratory distress due to COVID-19.
Helping Pregnancy Amidst Pandemic: The pandemic discourages pregnant women to regularly visit hospitals due to infection risk. Shivi Kapil is the cofounder of Bengaluru-based Empathy Design Labs has designed Kriya, a wearable device for daily monitoring of pregnancy. The IoT-embedded product provides alerts and suggestions to expecting parents for timely action.
Automated Robot: Jaya Parashar and Ankita Parashar – a mother daughter duo are the founder and co-founder of STREAM Minds, an ed-tech company that works on promoting science, technology, reading/writing, arts, and mathematics education among school children across India. They have designed ‘Dobot’, a fully automated robot which acts as an in-house delivery assistant to make hospitals and healthcare clinics safe from the risks of COVID19.
Not Just About Awards, But building a Start Up Eco-System
25 start-ups were shortlisted among 1,265 entries. The 11 finalists that were chosen among them were provided a prize money of ₹75,000 each to further develop their ideas. So, it is not about only six winners, but developing the eco-system in that process of choosing the winners. For instance, the mentorship for the finalists involved Business Modelling, Financial Modelling, Legal Certifications, Digital Marketing, Product Design, Art of making Pitch with the support of NASSCOM, Industry Experts, and the Atal Incubation Centre at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology.
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