Genius Energy wins Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022; puts the focus on grassroots innovation
India has become the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world and today, and entrepreneurship in India isn’t limited to only the top metros. Small and medium businesses across the country are contributing significantly to India’s GDP, and digitization and e-commerce are playing a key role in offering a level playing field for businesses of all sizes and scale.
With a growing entrepreneurship culture and a supportive ecosystem, anyone from a home-based entrepreneur or a grassroots innovator to the largest businesses can leverage Notion Technocrats rage the digital economy, online marketplaces and e-commerce to get instant access to millions of customers all over the world. And that’s the thought behind the Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge.
Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge provides an opportunity to high-potential Indian startups to accelerate their growth journey and create long-term impact at scale. It is a key highlight of Amazon Smbhav, Amazon’s annual marquee summit with the objective of unlocking infinite possibilities for a digital India.
In the second edition of the Challenge, Amazon collaborated with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, National Innovation Foundation, NIF Incubation and Entrepreneurship Council, Fireside Ventures and Freshworks to advance the objective of reaching entrepreneurs in the deepest pockets of the country.
This year, Amazon received applications from ~2000 diverse startups across 240 cities. The competition was open to Indian startups across all industries, verticals and business models. The top 250 shortlisted startups were invited to a curated mentoring program, to equip themselves for the rest of the competition and the journey ahead. The top 30 startups participated in the Demo Day and presented their businesses to eminent leaders of the startup ecosystem.
In a celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation, the 5 finalists shared their stories, products and services with Amazon customers, who voted for their favourite startup to help determine which of them will emerge as the Startup of the Year. The winning startups were then selected through a combination of customer votes and jury scores, and will get access to equity-free grants up to INR 65 lakhs, market linkages, global exposure, mentoring, AWS credits, Amazon Launchpad access, Amazon Global Selling support, Freshworks credits, other exciting rewards, and an opportunity to showcase their business to customers, investors and industry experts.
Genius Energy Critical Innovation, headquartered at Alwar in Rajasthan, emerged as the Startup of the Year. Ecoware and Teabox have been recognized as the first and second runners-up.
Congratulating the winners, Sumit Sahay, Director, Selling Partner Services, Amazon India said, “At Amazon, we are committed to the vision of a Digital India, one that is powered by digital empowerment and digital inclusion. Our priorities are perfectly aligned with the government’s vision to create a more digital Atmanirbhar Bharat. In 2020, we pledged to digitally enable 1 crore+ MSMEs across the country by 2025. As we engage with lakhs of small and medium-sized businesses across India, it is our vision to transform the way India buys and sells by supporting the entrepreneurial spirit in India. Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge is a step in furthering our support to entrepreneurs, small businesses and emerging brands. I congratulate all the winners of Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022 for their contribution towards building a self-reliant India through their unique innovations. I am excited by the tremendous opportunities that lie ahead for these startups.”
Amazon Smbhav ’22 Startup of the Year: Genius Energy
A village boy and high school dropout at the age of 15, Subhash Ola thought of capturing heat energy emitted by vehicles and reusing it. His curiosity led him to build heat recovery systems in his backyard which earned him an award and recognition from the President of India. Today, with, Subhash has been able to showcase that firewood required for producing mawa from milk can be reduced from 100 kg to just 20 kg using their flagship boiler. Today, they are continuing their journey of innovation by diversifying and entering different industries across India to save energy and protect the environment.
First Runner Up: Ecoware
is addressing the challenge of the huge amount of plastic waste generated by the Food & Beverage industry. Ecoware offers a sustainable alternative that is 100% natural, biodegradable, and compostable. Made from the waste of renewable crops such as sugarcane, wheat and rice, Ecoware offers a range of food packaging and serveware such as plates, cups, bowls, trays, and boxes in a variety of shapes and sizes. The products degrade naturally in soil within 90 days, and are affordably priced at par with most single-use plastics. In addition, Ecoware is microwave and freezer safe.
Second Runner Up: Teabox
is bringing to the world the freshest and finest of Indian teas, sourced directly from heritage estates across the tea growing regions of India. The startup is working towards changing the perception of tea from being just another commodity to that of an immersive experience, and bringing a new approach with an established and complex system of processors, distributors, importers, exporters, auction houses, warehouses, buyers, and sellers. By eliminating the middlemen, Teabox cuts down the travel time between the produce and the end consumer from a minimum of five months to a few days.
In addition, the Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge 2022 saw startups being recognized in four award categories.
Most Promising Sustainability Focused Startup: EcoRight
Born out of the urgent need to replace plastic with biodegradable alternatives,makes affordable, reusable, natural, durable and eco-friendly bags. With attractive designs, the brand is taking its eco-friendly bags to customers beyond the environmentally conscious.
Most Promising Woman-Led Startup: Atom360 (Skyfire Applied Intelligence)
Skyfire Applied Intelligence is on a mission to make healthcare affordable, accessible and efficient for everyone, using technology such as AI and Robotics. Their solution,'s Berry.care app, runs on smartphones and uses AI algorithms to identify lesions from images captured by the smartphone's camera, enabling early detection of oral cancer.
Most Promising Consumer Product Startup: Dipitr Technologies
has designed Strack, a smart wearable posture corrector and trainer. Strack uses gentle vibrations to remind you to sit upright when you slouch, thus helping you live healthy through better back health. It takes care of posture correction, posture training, posture tracking, and posture management functions.
Most Promising Grassroots Innovation Startup: Notion Technocrats
is the manufacturer and distributor of energy efficient, environment friendly and cost-efficient natural water coolers and solar-based natural water cooler equipment, based on the principle of heat exchange. The startup focuses on the needs of various industries, institutions and businesses.
The high calibre, fresh thinking, unique innovations and cutting-edge technologies of innovators in India are fueling India’s thriving startup ecosystem. The entrepreneurial spirit of India needs to be celebrated and nurtured and the importance of platforms like Amazon Smbhav Entrepreneurship Challenge, which support emerging small and medium businesses cannot be overstated. Local innovators and job creators across India are driving sustainable and inclusive growth, and we need more of them for India to realize its true potential and achieve the goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy.