WhatsApp is inviting startups and entrepreneurs to participate in the WhatsApp-Startup India Grand challenge, an initiative launched last year in partnership with Invest India.
In the lookout for innovative startups with unique ideas and business models, who are helping make a large scale socio-economic impact, the Facebook-owned company also announced a huge incentive for the participants in the form of a $250,000 cash prize.
The grand prize will go to the top five winners, who are making a change across the sectors of healthcare, financial and digital inclusion, education, rural economy, and citizen safety. With registration for the Startup India challenge already underway, WhatsApp urged interested entrepreneurs and startups to send in their entries, latest by March 10, 2019.
Sharing details about the challenge, the company said that applications will be evaluated by an independent evaluation committee. Out of all the entries, the best 30 ideas will then be shortlisted for a subsequent round, which will followed by another round where 10ideas are showcased. This select 10 will be invited to participate at the live pitch day during the grand finale. In May, the final results will be declared.
More details on the event will be shared later this year by WhatsApp. This comes on the heels of a collaboration with Invest India, touted as one of the biggest partnerships for the national agency, which was announced on October 31, last year.
As part of the tie-up, the company and Invest India aim to help the growth of startups and SMBs in India.
“Small ideas can become big. The idea of WhatsApp is to help nurture the idea. India has a great ecosystem of startups, and partnerships are the key to growth. We wouldn’t exist without partnerships with other startups. We want to be able to provide that partnership,” CEO Chris Daniels had said at the time.
A lot has been achieved in the past year with the company launching its business products — the WhatsApp Business app and WhatsApp Business API. As the expansion continues, the company recently announced that it now has over 5 million businesses registered on its business platform.