Chipmaker Intel has come out with a set of initiatives to help fund start-ups and small companies working on technologies for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Digital India’ push.

Called “Innovate for Digital India Challenge”, Intel has earmarked ₹2.4 crore to fund around 20 ventures, and has partnered with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) for the same, as a part of the Government’s vision of a ‘Digital India’.

IIM Ahmedabad and CIIE (Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship) will help the technology giant to pick ventures that are commercially viable in areas such as financial inclusion, agriculture, healthcare, amongst others.

“If you look at the situation when it comes to governance, most of it is centred around English as a medium to deliver citizen services and at the same time there are millions of people who are using smartphones and wanting to use these services in a way that they can understand intuitively,” Narendra Bhandari, Director (Asia Pacific & Japan), SSG Developer Relations, told BusinessLine .

The innovate for Digital India Challenge tries to address these issues by encouraging easy to use products such as biometric sensing capabilities, language-supported voice solutions, sensors, gesture recognition amongst others.

Incubation programme

Further, company officials said that the winning teams will be a part of the six month incubation programme that includes a three-month accelerator program in Bengaluru and Pune, going for market preparation to showcase functional prototypes, access to design houses, fab-labs, and 3D printing.

“We will provide technical mentorship along with industry experts and advisors, access to Intel-based product kits and software development kits (SDK), access to grants, seed fund and equity investments,” added Bhandari.

The Intellectual Property (IP) will be owned by the ventures and when asked about the possibility of Intel Capital funding these ventures, Bhandari said that it will get involved depending on the potential of the idea.