Cisco Agri Challenge Receives 844 entries; 25 startups selected post-selection process
Bengaluru, NFAPost: A total of 25 agri-tech startups have made the cut as semi-finalists of the Cisco Agri Challenge, co-hosted by The/Nudge Foundation, in partnership with the office of the Government of India’s Principal Scientific Adviser.
The startups were selected from 844 entries received in the challenge. Cisco Agri Challenge is an initiative aimed at mobilizing agri-tech startups to innovate solutions that have the potential to positively impact at least 10 million lives.
With a prize purse of Rs 2 crore, the challenge supports participants in developing, testing, and scaling solutions that help alleviate the issues of low income and diminishing profitability, farmers are facing.
The top 100 selected startups went through a pitch round before an eminent panel comprising Mark Kahn (Co-founder, Omnivore), Hemendra Mathur (Venture Partner, Bharat Innovation Fund), Ashok Dalwai (CEO, National Rainfed Area Authority), Shamika Ravi (Non-resident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution), PVS Suryakumar (Dy. Managing Director, NABARD) and others, and 25 contestants were shortlisted as semi-finalists who will start the user-testing of their solutions on the ground beginning April.
Commenting on the initiative, Cisco India and SAARC Managing Director, Public Affairs and Strategic Engagements Harish Krishnan said the startups selected promise to bring much required innovation and solutions that can increase productivity and profitability of the agriculture sector.
“There has never been a more exciting time in agri-tech, and we look forward to partnering with these startups to bring the benefits of digitisation to the farming sector,” said Harish Krishnan.
The Cisco Agri Challenge is a platform that draws talent, technology, capital, and attention to the most pressing land, crop, infrastructure, market fulfillment, and social protection issues of small farmers, spurred by the pandemic.
It solves an urgent need to bring together resources and action to address population-scale challenges for the agriculture sector, which is the backbone of India.
Agriculture value chain
Commenting on the announcement, The/Nudge Centre for Social innovation CEO Sudha Srinivasan said it is heartening to note that the 25 shortlisted agri-tech startups have innovated and developed solutions to improve efficiency and add value across the entire agricultural value chain.
“We are enthused about the work they are doing and feel that they can make a huge difference in improving farmers’ income and overall prosperity,” said Sudha Srinivasan.
The conceptualisation and management of the Cisco-Agri Challenge has been undertaken by The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation.
For more information on the ‘Cisco Agri Challenge’ please visit https://prize.thenudge.org/ciscoagrichallenge
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The/Nudge Centre of Social Innovation is an impact stream of The/Nudge Foundation, with a purpose to “nudge and nurture top talent to solve India’s biggest challenges”.
Its initiatives provide hands-on support to individuals and early stage for-purpose startups working on problems of poverty through grants, deep mentoring, and ecosystem connect. AIC NCore is an SPV of The/Nudge with NITI Aayog, specifically focused on promoting the application of technology to solve development problems of national importance.
Since starting up in 2017, The/Nudge has selected and supported 80 non-profits through its incubator and accelerator programmes. Many of these have gone on to win accolades for their path-breaking work on both the international and national levels.
They have also been very successful in raising follow-on funding for their work post their graduation from The/Nudge’s programmes.