Fuselage Innovations that manufactures customized UAVs/drones and Goudrika Digital Labour Chowk which helps daily wagers get jobs over phone emerged winners at the National Innovation Challenge organised by Kerala Startup Mission in association with Hitachi India.

The winners were announced at KSUM’s recent fintech summit. The start-ups won ₹30 lakh each in the contest’s two categories: smart agriculture and rural finance. Hitachi India Head (Research and Development) Kingshuk Banerjee distributed the prizes.

The awardees were selected from a total of 115 applications from across the country — 58 of them in the smart agriculture category and 77 in rural finance. Of these, 45 were from Kerala, organisers said.

The expert panel shortlisted 40 start-ups for the final round and declared the two winners based on their problem-solving projects. KSUM and Hitachi India carried out the assessment at the 19-day national challenge.

Drones for farming purposes

Fuselage won the honour for its demonstration on use of drones for farming purposes. “We provide agricultural aerial plant survey and aerial plant spraying. Our aerial surveillance solution aids in search and inspection conducted by different government departments,” according to Devan Chandrashekharan of Fuselage Innovations.

Goudrika’s software facilitates daily-wagers to find jobs by using phones instead of assembling on the streets or crossroads. “The facility helps one find the workplace without physically searching for it,” says the startup’s founder CEO Chandrashekhar Mandal.

KSUM is the nodal agency of the Kerala Government for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the State.