Mahindra Rise Prize – the why, what and how behind the challenge
This article is sponsored by Mahindra Spark The Rise
“The Rise Prize is a direct application of the brand Mahindra’s idea of challenging and inspiring people to stretch, to raise the bar and do more than they thought possible; to RISE.” – Team Rise
The Mahindra Group is well known in the innovation space in India with its initiatives such as Spark the Rise which was launched 2 years back. This year, with the USD 1 million Rise Prize, Mahindra intends driving disruptive innovations that can solve some of the pressing problems our country faces. Rise Prize has been launched with two exciting challenges – Driverless Car Challenge and Solar Challenge.
Both the Driverless car challenge and the Solar Challenge come with very specific requirements. Through the former, Rise Prize is looking for a solution to the problem of commuting and transport in form of driverless cars that will cater to Indian traffic and driving conditions. The latter challenge aims to develop affordable solar power solutions and products for the Indian population.
“The motivation behind the Rise Prize challenge is to stretch the boundaries and raise the bar for Indian innovation” says Rahul Subramanian, Manager Corporate Brand Council at Mahindra.
“The Spark the Rise platform was launched 2 years back, with an intent of making it a platform of choice for innovators, entrepreneurs and change-makers. The first 2 years saw programs in the grassroots space; this year they’ve decided to extend the platform to cover the disruptive innovation end of the innovation spectrum. Thus was born the Rise Prize. Other programs, focussing on grassroots innovations are also up & running, on sparktherise.com” says Rahul.
The two challenges launched this year have been done keeping in mind the in-house expertise Mahindra can provide. Rahul says, “As the Mahindra team has expertise in the auto as well as the solar industry, we thought it will be a good starting point to venture in and support innovations in these sectors. In the days to come, we will launch more challenges other domains like healthcare, advanced computing, water technologies, waste management, nanotech etc. With the Rise Prize, we aim to create a vibrant and strong technology ecosystem around the platform – an ecosystem that we hope will attract Indian youth to advanced science, technology and engineering work that is then taken from an idea stage to the market.”
“We believe the impact of the innovations that come out of Rise Prize will be tremendous and far reaching. These innovations will have the potential to lead to developments in allied fields as well. We are a country with a billion possibilities. We have the potential to create technologies that are disruptive and world-class; breakthroughs that transform our world. With a billion people, we believe we can achieve more. Through the Rise Prize we aim to create a culture of innovation that can inspire and enable Indians to innovate more, disrupt more, create more, and push boundaries that will make the world sit up and take notice,” says Rahul. He also stresses that Mahindra will have no claims whatsoever on a team’s Intellectual Property (IP) – the teams own the IP of their innovations completely and are free to use it the way they deem fit.
He adds, “We are building a base wherein we reach out to industry experts to rope them in as mentors. We are talking to funding agencies & investors and educating them about Rise Prize and its vision. We aim to bring together these ecosystem players and connect them with the participants, through a series of workshops, seminars and meet-ups. This is something we will extend beyond the Rise Prize challenge where we will try connecting the participants with investors and mentors. We won’t do match-making per-se, but hope to provide a platform where match making can happen on its own.”
The Rise Prize Team believes that “World Class from India” can become a reality by enabling people to create breakthrough innovations. Rahul says, “The magnitude of change innovators can usher in, is unimaginable. The Rise Prize is unique as nothing like this has ever been done in India before. The Rise Prize is about providing opportunities to innovators and entrepreneurs who believe that they have it in them to drive positive change in the country. That, is the biggest incentive for someone who applies for Rise Prize – An opportunity to play a role in changing the face of the India by providing solutions to some of the major issues the country faces.”
Applications close on 19th September. Apply now!
More details at Spark The Rise.