India has propelled innovative ideas that impact society and the economy, messaging platform WhatsApp said on Tuesday.

India has proven ability to propel innovative ideas that are making significant impact on the society and the economy. “We at WhatsApp are proud to have a role in helping the next generation of innovators use technology to help improve lives in India and around the world,” Abhijit Bose, Head of WhatsApp India, said here.

Invest India, a government initiative, and WhatsApp announced the winners of the Startup India-WhatsApp Grand Challenge in which five start-ups were awarded around ₹35 lakh each.

The five start-ups that were awarded are Medcords, a rural and semi-urban healthcare start-up; Melzo, a virtual reality platform; Javis, a WhatsApp-based platform; Gramophone, an agri-tech company; and MinionLabs, which helps reduce electricity costs.

The contest was launched earlier this year to develop solutions that have socio-economic impact. It received over 1,700 entries from 25 States. Around 70 per cent of the applicants were start-ups that are in early traction (started less than three months back) and prototype/validation stage.

A shortlist of 10 entries pitched their ideas live to venture capitalists and entrepreneurs including Shailesh Lakhani of Sequoia Capital; Vani Kola of Kalaari Capital; Deep Kalra of MakeMyTrip; Harsha Kumar of Lightspeed Ventures, and Abhijit Bose from WhatsApp.


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