Have a tech solution to address public sector challenges? Apply for AWS Moonshot Days supported by Headstart
Less than two years ago, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the country witnessed how the startup ecosystem joined forces with the government to address pandemic-induced challenges which had turned into a national crisis. While many developed new innovations, some pivoted their current solutions to address the problem at hand - from solutions for crowd monitoring, governance, identification and tracking to healthcare assistive devices. While government-startup collaboration was increasingly witnessing an upward trend, the impact hadn’t been so vividly visible to the public eye until then. The pandemic brought to the fore how startup-government collaboration could tackle complex and pressing challenges and in a far more agile and impactful manner than if they were to do it alone.
A ‘Moonshot’ to drive impact
This road to building solutions for the public sector hasn’t traditionally been easy for startups. But, the on-ground experience of startups, investors, and governments in the last few years have displayed that a positive change is afoot in the public sector. With the right kind of insights, network and capital, startups, investors and governments are able to come together to transform public services.
Bringing to the table a comprehensive support system and structure to enable disruptive innovation in the public sector domain is an initiative by AWS and Headstart.
AWS Moonshot Days powered by Headstart is a platform that will work to bring startups, investors, and the government together. The initiative aims to identify innovative startups building disruptive solutions for the public sector domain and support projects in government, education, non profit, and healthcare sectors.
Startup innovation paired with public sector mission
Held in a physical format, AWS Moonshot Days will be hosted across 10 cities in India with focus on one city every month. Selected startups will pitch their ideas and solutions to investors, government bodies, and ecosystem players for grants, investment, and projects. These startups will be then shortlisted, and get access to AWS credits up to $100K, technical support for cost and performance optimisation, testing new ideas with Amazon’s innovation process like working backwards and digital innovation workshops, access the technology and subject matter expertise while seeking industry solutions. The startups will also receive Go-To-Market support for jointly pitching and supporting the solution to large enterprises. With AWS Partner Status and access to Headstart Boosters, the startups will also get access to AWS Partner Network portal as well as resources and tools from partners like Canva, Qapita, Pepper Content, and many more.
We are launching Moonshot Days to identify startups in impact areas with disruptive ideas – whether in ideation stage or early revenue stage. The objective is to create a platform where startups are able to pitch their solution and get mentorship from AWS and our customers/partners on domain expertise, scalable & secure technology, business acumen etc. We are supported by Headstart Network Foundation – India’s largest volunteer-led startup community – in running this program across multiple cities in the country. Different cities will also see participation from government stakeholders, VC community etc to enable innovation at scale for the India public sector, Deepti Dutt, Head of Strategic Initiatives, AWS Public Sector India.
Last year, in July 2021, AWS launched AWS Public Sector Startup Ramp in India - a new program to help early-stage public sector focused technology startups build solutions on AWS.
When startups are able to make inroads in the public sector, the opportunity is big both for the startups and the government and related agencies. “The benefits are symbiotic. For the startups, government onboard as a customer translates into impact at scale. For the public sector bodies, agencies and organisations, startups bring in the technology and expertise to address challenges that so far were unattended and also bring faster and more user-centric services,” shares Vaniya Dangwal, Head of strategic initiatives and partnerships, Headstart.
And adding oil to the initiative are India’s VCs, incubators and other organisations - Ankur Capital, Anthill Ventures, 100X.VC, Indian Angel Network, AIC Shiv Nadar University, among others.
A shared commitment
As the country continues to work on digitising public sector services – tackling challenges around healthcare, education, compliance, governance – it is obvious the startup ecosystem could play a huge role and impact some of the most diverse and critical problems that the country faces. Today, it’s no longer just the businesses which are required to future-proof their solutions, but governments, agencies, organisations and policy makers in the public sector domain are increasingly realising the need to modernise how they operate, adapt to the changing circumstances, think on their feet, and find scalable solutions.
As the public sector increasingly turns towards the startup community for disruptive innovation, AWS Moonshot Days brings the opportunity to leverage startup innovation to impact the lives of billions of people.