NASSCOM joins hands with startup accelerator MassChallenge Israel to support innovation; commits scholarship support of $50,000 to 10 Indian startups.
IT industry apex body NASSCOM, along with Deshpande Foundation, has inked a pact with startup accelerator MassChallenge Israel to support Indian startups, and has launched a scholarship fund of $50,000. Up to 10 Indian startups will be selected to join the MassChallenge cohort in Jerusalem this year.
The announcement - offering scholarship of $5,000 each to up to 10 startups - was made on the sidelines of Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to India,
The fund is aimed at helping startups access MassChallenge Israel’s industry-leading resources and focus on growing their business. The selected Indian startups will join other finalists of MassChallenge Israel 2018 for the four-month equity-free accelerator in Jerusalem.
The qualifying companies will get an opportunity to join an all-inclusive, curated international business trip that offers unparalleled access to and exposure in two US markets. They will get four months of free office space in Jerusalem. Besides these, the startups can build a strong overseas network as the cohort will get a chance to meet top corporate partners and investors. The participants are also expected to receive personalised mentorship from more than 150 industry experts from Startup Nation and get access to a global alumni network of 1,211 startups from 81 countries.
R Chandrashekhar, President of NASSCOM, hopes to create an osmosis of ideas by forging new alliances that foster collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship.
“This scholarship and several such measures aimed at nurturing a steadfast channel for knowledge sharing and partnership will lead to co-creation of value by the best entrepreneurial minds of the two nations. Entrepreneurship will serve as the foundation for further engagement and collective growth," he added.
Last year, two Indian startups, Kheyti and Sukriti, were among the top 10 finalists selected in MassChallenge Israel 2017, which witnessed participation of 500-plus companies from 40 countries. Delhi-based Sukriti has designed a smart prefab toilet cabin which depends very little on manual intervention for maintenance. It is automated for self-cleaning and self-maintenance, consumes 90 percent less fresh water, treats and reuses the waste on-site, and works on solar. Based out of Hyderabad, Kheyti develops innovative technologies to make farmers smart. The startup has developed an affordable, modular greenhouse bundled with full stack-services that uses 90 percent less water, grows seven times more food, and gives farmers a steady dependable income.
Since 2016, MassChallenge Israel has accelerated 100 companies from 10 countries, which have raised approximately $60 million.
“Building on the blossoming economic ties between Israel and India, we are proud to partner with the Deshpande Foundation and NASSCOM on this scholarship,” said Israel Ganot, Managing Director of MassChallenge Israel.
MassChallenge Israel is a non-equity and not-for-profit accelerator aimed at helping entrepreneurs across industries. Through its global network of accelerators in Boston, the UK, Israel, Switzerland, and Mexico, and unrivaled access to corporate partners, MassChallenge claims to be making a massive impact around the world.
A global business leader and philanthropist Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande, the founder of Deshpande Foundation, hopes that they can expand this opportunity and make it more accessible to teams in India by providing financial support to Indian startups accepted into the MassChallenge Israel accelerator.
"I am excited by MassChallenge Israel's commitment to helping Indian startups access Israel's deep know-how and experience in sectors such as agriculture, water, cybersecurity, digital health, and others," Deshpande said .
On the sidelines, a trilateral fund of $50 million was also launched by Israel-India Technology Group to promote business opportunities among India, Israel and the US, and to advance projects and enterprising ideas.
The Trilateral Fund is created to invest in Israeli startups, working in areas of clean water and drones, and bring these technologies to the Indian market.