Announcing the Winners of the Internet.org Innovation Challenge in India
The Internet.org Innovation Challenge in India supports our vision of a connected world by recognizing people who are working to make the internet more relevant to women, students, farmers and migrant workers in India. Our goal is to encourage the development of apps, websites and online services that provide real value for the members of these important communities.
In India, only 18 percent of the population has access to the internet. To bring one billion people in India online, the internet needs to be accessible, affordable and, most importantly, we need to help people understand the possibilities available to them online. Each of the submissions we received has a part in creating a connected India and we are excited to announce the 12 winners across four categories: Farmers, Migrants, Students and Women.
We are presenting four $250,000 USD Innovation Challenge Award prizes: one to the leading app, website, service or idea that best meets the needs of each of the designated population categories, and two $25,000 USD Impact Award prizes have been granted in each category. The winners are:
Innovation Challenge Award Winner: eKutir, provides farmers with tools and resources to support them throughout the entire farming lifecycle, from crop selection to the nurture and sales process. The service empowers farmers and communities by converting a fragmented system into a collaborated and connected distributed model.
Impact Award Winner: Farmily, enables farmers to reach new buyers and negotiate better prices for agricultural produce. Disintermediation of the middle-man in the farmer and buyer interface.
Impact Award Winner: Farmalytics, aims to make Precision Farming easy and affordable by providing state of the art sensor technology with robust Analytics to help farmers make data driven decisions like every other business of the 21st century.
Innovation Challenge Award Winner: mySangham, provides vocational training and skill building geared for women empowerment in 100 initial identified villages and communities. The service aims to strengthen the economic and social stability of the nation by empowering India’s masses with vocational skills in a fast paced, cost-effective, scalable way through an online platform.
Impact Award Winner: Embrace Angel, harnesses the power of mobile, internet, sensor, and big-data technologies to cater to the need for neo-natal care in non-urban (tier 2/3 markets), where an app allows healthcare and medical professionals to extend their support from a central set of pooled resources to distant locations.
Impact Award Winner: Rang de Habba, an eStorefront for ethnic products, with a focus on supporting local women artisans. The goal is to also increase the value retention to the artisans who are otherwise exploited by more commercial brands and platforms, popular in the market.
Innovation Challenge Award Winner: BodhaGuru, creates self-learning products, immersive mobile based learning apps, videos and a book publishing platform to make learning for children from KG to 8th grade interesting, relevant and affordable. Focuses on developing creative thinking in children through storytelling.
Impact Award Winner: Fundamentor, uses gamification to build and instill life skills for young children in third through ninth grade. The service focuses on analytical, verbal, reasoning and critical thinking skills.
Impact Award Winner: LetsIntern, provides students from tier 2-3 cities with internship opportunities by connecting them with small to media sized businesses via an online portal.
Innovation Challenge Award Winner: Helper4U, an online database of jobs that matches semi-skilled migrants in specific categories with potential employers. Focused on tackling a large need to create transparency, and help migrants workers find jobs by cutting out the middleman who take a large portion of their salary as commission.
Impact Award Winner: Mygram, empowers migrants by helping them secure a digital identity. The SMS-based email service is targeted for users who are new to the internet. Whenever somebody sends you an email, you will receive an SMS with a link to that mail. Their email address is @mygram.in
Impact Award Winner: mHS City Labs, provides a online repository of resources and technical tools for migrants who are involved in low-cost construction and may lack guidance on basic engineering workmanship. Goal is to improve their skill set through how-to tutorials.
The challenge was judged by:
- Arun Bansal, SVP & Head of Radio, Ericsson
- Chris Daniels, VP, Internet.org/Facebook
- Ameet Suri, Partnerships Manager, Internet.org/Facebook
- Raj Talluri, SVP of Product Management, Qualcomm