12 Indian kids to pitch their ideas to Silicon Valley’s top venture capitalists

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 26, 2020 Published on February 26, 2020

These kids will also visit the Waymo facility to experience driverless cars and talk to their product managers.

12 Indian kids between 6-14 years of age are set to travel to Silicon Valley in the United States (US) to pitch their designed apps to venture capitalists (VCs). WhiteHat Jr, an EdTech startup that teaches coding to young kids, has announced the winners of its first-ever Silicon Valley Program. The kids have been shortlisted from the exhaustive list of over 7000 entries from across India.

The week-long trip is likely to take place in May, where the kids will get an opportunity to pitch their ideas to VCs including Nexus Venture Partners and Owl Ventures. They will also meet some noted Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to learn lessons on entrepreneurship. Their itinerary also includes a visit to Googleplex and an interaction with their engineers.

These kids will visit the Waymo facility to experience driverless cars and talk to their product managers.

The selection process

The kids had to compete in the Silicon Valley Challenge. They were asked to curate an idea that solves a real-life problem and code an app independently. The shortlisted students had to undergo a mentorship program. Eventually, 12 students emerged victorious.

According to the official release by WhiteHat Jr, over the past decade, there have been many young, technology entrepreneurs who have made their mark on the world stage. This phenomenon is expected to further accelerate with even younger kids now actively taking up 'coding'. The company stated that kids from not only metro cities but also from smaller cities like Nagpur, Balangir, Guwahati, Shillong, among others, had enrolled on WhiteHat Jr to create some industry-grade apps.

Enabling kids to become creators

Talking about this initiative, Karan Bajaj, Founder and CEO, WhiteHat Jr saids “WhiteHat Jr was started with the mission of enabling kids to become creators rather than consumers and the apps that our students have created as part of the Silicon Valley Challenge is a testimony to this.”

According to Bajaj, most of the winners have created transformational and high impact apps within just 40 hours of coding on the WhiteHat Jr platform. “We wanted to offer them the right global exposure to facilitate entrepreneurship at an early age and our Silicon Valley Program is that much-needed platform for kids,” Bajaj added.

Among the winners was a 7-year-old Brinda Jain from Bengaluru, who has created an app that aims to facilitate a green corridor for ambulances by coordinating with traffic control for the efficient management of traffic.

8-year-old Souradeep Sarkar from Burdwan, West Bengal, created an app that helps children with dyslexia learn letters, numbers, and colors. To tackle the menace of bullying, 9-year-old Mae Mae from Shillong has created an app that helps kids report bullying to relevant authorities anonymously.

Bajaj mentioned that the WhiteHat Jr has also started a 15 under 15 fellowship program wherein the company will help the top 15 kids on the platform incubate their own startups and provide a $15,000 fellowship to young people.

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Published on February 26, 2020
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