Dalberg and iSPIRT in collaboration with Bharat Innovations Fund, Omidyar Network and Unitus Seed Fund launched BuildOnIndiaStack – a venture pitch competition for early-stage startups, building on top of the India Stack, a set of open APIs released by the Government of India. The competition is open to all innovations that leverage the India Stack to unlock new business models and/or reach previously under-served, new customer segments across diverse sectors such as financial services, education, healthcare and others.
Some core focus areas for the BuildOnIndiaStack competition will also include digital lending and supporting activities, such as alternative credit scoring; sector specific digital services such as health insurance or education loans, skilling and certification, property registration agreements, patient-centric healthcare management; and SaaS platforms “as a service” that support the development of other India Stack based innovations such as Digi-locker or e-sign providers.
The startups that qualify will be in teams of minimum two to maximum four members, including the founder. They will also have to be early stage startups that have received only seed or limited angel funding. Further, they need to meet the three point criteria of being tech-enabled, leveraging India Stack platform and serving the underserved, said a statement.
Under BuildOnIndiaStack competition, shortlisted ventures will pitch to some of the leading investors and thinkers in the Indian start-up ecosystem, including the Bharat Innovations Fund, Omidyar Network and Unitus Seed Fund. The investor group will provide strategic business support to their investees. The network of investors will also provide mentoring through their specialists and experts. The ventures also stand to interact with select India Stack network of investors and operators, entrepreneurs and technologists, designers and engineers, academicians and policy makers, with the singular mission to solve some of India’s toughest problems.
The group of investors is looking forward to solutions that go beyond the confines on conventional and are path-breaking. Roopa Kudva, who is a Partner and India MD for Omidyar Network said, “The time and cost benefits associated with the India Stack can enable a new wave of entrepreneurs to reach out to previously excluded sections of society in a wide range of sectors including financial services, education and healthcare. We therefore want to support businesses that use the Stack to empower individuals in a secure, cost-effective and privacy-enhancing manner.”
United Seed Fund’s Partner, Srikrishna Ramamoorthy said, “For more than a decade now, the Unitus group has pioneered financial inclusion in India and globally through its work in microfinance investing. At Unitus Seed Fund, we’re continuing to build on this strong legacy – we’re looking to invest one-third of our current fund in startups that can disrupt the way financial services is delivered to and accessed by the masses.”
Deadline to submit an online application for BuildOnIndiaStack is August 14th, 2017.