Maharashtra Startup Week 2020: Scale-up, network and pilot projects with the government

The third edition of the Maharashtra Startup Week is offering a unique opportunity for startups to meet experts, interact with industry peers, pitch ideas and win government work orders worth upto Rs 15 lakh to affect social change. Applications close on February 16.

India is the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world today, and if the number of unicorns is any indicator of success, the country is home to 31 of them and growing. And while the ecosystem is thriving, new players often find it difficult to access the correct channels due to a gap in the opportunities to network, receive mentorship and the right platforms to pilot their innovations. So, to help innovators get access to all this and more, the Maharashtra government is hosting the Maharashtra Startup Week 2020.

Launched in 2018, this initiative is an effort to provide a platform to the vast entrepreneurial talent in the state and across the country, support the best ideas and innovations with work orders to pilot their solutions, and provide an opportunity for various stakeholders of the startup ecosystem to connect and network with each other.

Now in its third edition, Maharashtra Startup Week 2020 is offering a unique opportunity for early-stage startups working in sectors across education and skilling, agriculture, healthcare, sustainability, smart infrastructure & mobility and governance. Apply now, registrations close March 2.

Plethora of opportunities

With the help of multiple ecosystem partners, the top 100 startups participating in the Maharashtra Startup Week 2020 will be shortlisted to showcase their solutions to a panel of judges comprising representatives from the government, industry, academia and investors. The Top 100 startups will be invited to Mumbai to pitch their solutions.

Out of the top 100, 24 of the best startups will be chosen as winners across multiple sectors, and will receive work orders of up to Rs 15 lakhs from the Maharashtra State Innovation Society to pilot their solutions within different state departments. Moreover, the startups will also receive support in terms of access to government machinery and mentoring from its institutional partners for a period of up to 12 months to deploy their solutions on the ground. The participating startups also get access to multiple other benefits such as cloud credits, access to multiple events, connect with ecosystem players such as mentors, investors, etc.

With the Maharashtra Startup Week the aim is to establish “Government as a Platform” to achieve dual objective of not only improving citizen services but also leverage and nurture thriving startup ecosystem with opportunities for growth and collaboration.

Last year, over 1,500 startups applied for an opportunity to win prestigious work contracts from the government across sectors such as Agriculture, Cleantech, Education and Skilling, Fintech, Governance, Healthcare, etc. This year, the focus is on startup solutions that can create social impact, offer solutions to solve public challenges and help bring innovation in governance.

Creating an impact

Winning startups from the last two editions of the Maharashtra Startup Week have piloted successful projects with the government to help mitigate social challenges. Among them is Sagar Defence Engineering, one of the winners of the 2018 edition, which worked with the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (Pune) to collect 1.72 tons of floating waste following Ganesh Visarjan. It deployed surface water drones in three water bodies to collect the waste.

Offee, another 2018 winner, worked with the State CET Cell to help students from low and no connectivity areas who wanted to appear for MH-CET exams with the help of their software that requires no internet connection. “Offee approached us and made a presentation to our team. Our team found their product very useful. Their solution was exactly what we needed,” Anand Rayate, ex - Commissioner, State CET Cell said.

Similarly, another startup, Urvi Agrotech is working with the Women and Child Development Department of Maharashtra on a pilot project to provide hand tractors to women self-help groups (SHGs).

Since its launch, the event has seen participation from budding entrepreneurs, VCs, angel investors, senior government officials, academicians etc. Apart from pitching sessions of the startups, the week-long programme also hosts insightful panel discussions, workshops and keynote speeches.

So, don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to meet experts, interact with industry peers, explore new startup ideas, and discover new partnership opportunities. Apply now. Registration closes on March 2, 2020


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