[National Youth Day] Meet 5 young entrepreneurs harnessing the power of tech and digital for greater good

These young entrepreneurs are making creative use of technology to preserve India’s heritage sites, connect youth with global experiential opportunities, charting financial activities, and even helping senior citizens become tech-savvy.
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In India’s growth story where startups and innovation are gaining attention, the youth is a large part of the buzz. Their startups have spawned innovations that have redefined daily chores like grocery shopping, hailing auto-rickshaws, and even bill payments.

Women’s contributions too are second to none in this evolving scenario. Entrepreneurs like Upasana Taku and Falguni Nayar have today become household names.

On National Youth Day, which is celebrated on the birthday of Swami Vivekananda every year, HerStory highlights five young female entrepreneurs who are leveraging technology in unique ways and colouring India’s growth story. 

Avantika Khanna

Seventeen-year-old Avantika Khanna discovered that many historical monuments in India suffered due to neglect by authorities and lack of proper preservation. 

She decided to launch India Story, a student-run app that chronicles heritage content with detailed and curated audio guides on various monuments in the country. 

A student of Humanities at Shri Ram School’s Aravalli Campus in Gurugram, the young entrepreneur brought together 30 history lovers and students to form teams of writers, marketing experts, photographers and programmers who surfed through archives and research papers to curate content. 

Launched on both IoS and Android, the startup received seed funding from the Indian Angel Network. Moving ahead, Avantika hopes to expand the platform to include heritage walks, regional languages, and make it accessible for the differently-abled as well.  

Smriti Tomar

Smriti Tomar (23) is helping the financially illiterate people by providing a platform to invest in international markets like China and South Korea. In 2019, she started InvestoAsia, a fintech startup that aims to redefine personal finance by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and blockchain technology.

Based in Gurugram and Hong Kong, the startup claims to be a one-stop platform that offers saving, investing, lending, borrowing, and spending options.

A graduate from NIT-Bhopal, it was while working part-time with a broker where she assisted 25 Korean investors to invest in India that she saw the challenges in investing overseas first-hand. This became the genesis to start InvestoAsia.

By 2023, the young entrepreneur hopes her startup will join the coveted unicorn club, with a monthly revenue of $50 million and over a million active users.

Tanvi Arvind

Fourteen-year-old Tanvi Arvind founded TechEdEn to help the “tech-challenged,” especially senior citizens.

A student of Sishya School in Chennai, Tanvi would see her grandparents struggle with simple tools online every time she visited them in Bengaluru. She also noted their priceless reaction after she taught them to log into FaceTime, connect to the internet, or navigate Google Maps.

Founded in 2019, she charges Rs 500 for an hour’s individual session and Rs 300 for an hourly session for four people. 

“More now, than ever before, with an emerging ‘new-normal’ of everything moving online and social distancing, I believe these services will find a significant value with the senior citizens,” she said in a previous interaction with HerStory.

Mehr Sonal

Teen entrepreneur Mehr Sonal’s The Joyful Peach may be the much-needed digital platform for positive and feel-good stories amidst the pandemic. A student of Neev Academy in Bengaluru, she took it upon herself to harness the power of media after coming across Hans Rosling’s article on how the world is faring better than most people think.

Claiming to be a “repository of happiness”, the portal features epiphanies and opinions, community anecdotes and experiences, art and poetry, and highlights incidents of positivity during the pandemic. 

Founded in early 2020, the 16-year-old is looking to increase readership, improve the quantity and quality of content, and generate revenue through advertisements.

Anushika Jain

It is common to feel clueless about career after completing higher studies in colleges and universities. Anushika Jain was one of them till she landed an internship at Globally Recruit, which works on recruitment plans, partnerships, and public relations for universities around the world.

Seeing the vault of opportunities prompted Anushika to start Globalshala to provide global experiential opportunities by connecting students with universities for paid internships and organising educational events and contests where students and potential employers can network.

Based in Delhi and Saint Louis in the US, the startup claims to be profitable since inception with its sole revenue coming from partnerships with universities. The entrepreneur is now pursuing her master’s in economics at Northeastern University. 

Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan

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