Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2016-17, a joint initiative of the Tata group and the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C), has announced the winners of the challenge. The grand finale was held on January 14, 2017 at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C).

The social VC partners of the initiative were Villgro, Intellecap, Ankur Capital, Yunus Social Business, Unitus Seed Fund and Ennovent.

Prof. Ashok Banerjee, Director, IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, said, “Over the last five years, Tata Social Enterprise Challenge has encouraged many budding entrepreneurs to grow with a vision and create positive sustainable social impact. As we reach this 5-year milestone, we are encouraged with the quality of talent and the enthusiasm of entrepreneurs to make a difference from all across the country and even from overseas.”

Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2016-17 kicked-off on August 11, 2016, and invited social entrepreneurs who either had an early stage venture (not older than 3 years) or a promising idea with a plan that could create sustainable social impact in India.

There were 600 registrations done all across India, with only 214 meeting the eligibility criteria. The sectors considered were agriculture, food and dairy; healthcare, water and sanitation; technology and development; education and skills development; housing; handicrafts; energy and microfinance/financial inclusion; and more.

Of these only 20 teams moved to semi-finals and were mentored by Startup Wave Platform, Unitus Seed Fund and pool of mentors from IIM Calcutta Innovation Park.

Here Are The Top 3 Startups Of The Event

Pentavalent Bio Sciences Private Limited (Winner): A Bengaluru-based social enterprise, Pentavalent Bio Sciences is a fully integrated biotech start-up that provides innovative solutions from discovery to development, leveraging cutting-edge science, cost effective molecular diagnostics and new ideas and technologies in the diagnostics market. They are currently developing an innovative diagnostic tool using novel in-house FlapCut technology that detects tuberculosis (TB) in patients and helps doctors to prescribe patient-specific antibiotics for treatment. It has received INR 2.5 Lakh as prize money.

Arogya Medtech Pvt. Ltd (First Runnerup): A Kolkata-based venture, Arogya Medtech has developed a product called CEREBROS, a low-cost, less resource intensive, portable, radiation free, non-invasive, multi-modal (Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) and Electroencephalography (EEG/EOG)) brain-scanning device in the form a wearable head-gear, optimised using a proprietary embedded system and ‘smart’ algorithms. It has received INR 2 Lakh as prize money.

Bombay Hemp Company Pvt Ltd (BOHECO – Second Runnerup): A Mumbai-based startup BOHECO is India’s first industrial and medicinal hemp (cannabis) company, established in 2013. The company works with Central and State governments to assist farmers to improve their socio-economic standards by utilising cultivation of cannabis for industrial, construction and pharmaceutical purposes. It has received INR 1.5 Lakh as prize money.

Other startups who made it to the top 10 list were:

  • Genrich Membranes Pvt. Ltd, Pune
  • Aavishkar, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh
  • ONganic Foods, Kolkata
  • ClassIQ Educational Foundation, Kolkata
  • Scidogma Research, Bangalore
  • Lumisoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore
  • Saathi Eco Innovations Pvt. Ltd, Ahmedabad

Tata Social Enterprise has also launched, this year, the INVENT programme in association with the Department for International Development (DFID), UK. This  three year programme, which has a total budget of INR 12 Cr, aims at providing seed funding support of up to INR 25 Lakhs to for-profit social enterprise start-ups being incubated under this programme.”

Tata Social Enterprise Challenge, started in 2012, has received over 900 impact proposals across the five editions till date.

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