- Prosus Social Impact Challenge for Accessibility (SICA) selected its best start-ups from over 120 applicants.
- The start-ups offer AT solutions in wheelchair technology, hands-free control of smart devices and sit-stand mechanisms, among others.
- The top three start-ups will receive grants of INR 2,500,000 (25 lakhs), INR 1,800,000 (18 lakhs) and INR 1,200,000 (12 lakhs) respectively.
- Honorable Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Pratima Bhumik presented the awards on the eve of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
NEW DELHI, December 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — india the most innovative start-ups developing assistive technologies (AT) to help people with disabilities were announced as Rut3 Engineering Pvt. Ltd of Chennai and Pune, Dextroware Devices Pvt. Ltd of Chennai, and Translead Medtech Pvt. Indore Ltd. Prosus made the announcement in partnership with Startup India, Invest India and Social Alpha. This marks the third year of the Prosus SICA challenge. Honorable Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Pratima Bhumik awarded the prizes.
Announced on the eve of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the top startups represent various themes supporting wheelchair technology, hands-free control of smart devices, and sit-stand mechanisms. Rut3 Engineering Pvt. Ltd., Dextroware Devices Pvt. Ltd., and Translead Medtech Pvt. ltd. will receive grants of INR 2,500,000 (25 lakhs), INR 1,800,000 (18 lakhs) and INR 1,200,000 (12 lakhs) respectively. The grants are intended to help companies scale and grow their businesses so that more people in India disabilities can benefit from and lead independent and self-sufficient lives.
Delivering the opening address on the occasion, Pratima Bhumik said: “The Startup India movement under the vision of PM Modi has made India the 3rd largest start-up ecosystem in the world. We have talented entrepreneurs, we have manufacturing capabilities, we have a large market. All of these must be harnessed within the accessible India movement. We are happy that global investors like Prosus are taking note of this sector and supporting start-ups working in assistive technologies. We hope Prosus will lead the way in creating the next unicorn in accessibility and bringing Digital India and Startup India to Accessible India. »
The top three start-ups will participate in the Prosus SICA mentorship program, alongside dVerse Technologies Pvt. Ltd, based in Chennai who created Curio and learn and empower Pvt. Ltd., of Vadodara and Nagpur which has innovated Learning in resonance, were placed fourth and fifth respectively. The mentorship program gives each company access to a global network of strategic advisors from Prosus, technical advisors from WHO, AT industry experts from Social Alpha and knowledge and partnership specialists from Startup India and InvestIndia. Additionally, eligible startups may have access to follow-on funding and the opportunity to incubate with Social Alpha.
It is estimated that more than 70 million Indians live with some form of disability. Many disabled children are out of school, disabled adults are often unemployed, and families with disabled members tend to be economically weaker. Coupled with a geriatric population of over 140 million people in Indiathis creates a system under enormous financial strain both at the household and national level.
When backed by capital and resources, entrepreneurs can solve some of society’s most complex problems. Assistive technology is no different. In less than three years, Prosus SICA has grown from a mere vision to a thriving assistive technology initiative in India. Through SICA, Prosus is building a business case for investments in the AT sector, which it hopes will grow and expand over time.
Since its inception, Prosus SICA start-ups have empowered people with disabilities to find jobs, raised funds on Shark Tank India and worked with major Indian companies to build accessibility into their offerings. On September 14, 2022Prosus launched this year’s SICA at the 26th World Investment Conference in Geneva. Over the past few weeks, the startups have been subjected to three grueling rounds of evaluations to arrive at a list of the top ten finalists. The shortlisted start-ups pitched one last time in front of a seven-member jury, which included Pooja Mukul, Priyank Yadav, George Sebastian and Rishab Tripathi.
The best start-up, Rut3 Engineering Pvt. aims to allow wheelchair users to have a comfortable experience when using unfriendly infrastructure. Damsus Wheel which is an integration of the suspension inside the wheel provides multi-axis suspension. This ensures safety in frontal impact crashes, reducing back injuries, eliminating swingarm and saving lives.
Second place, Dextroware Devices Pvt. Ltd., enables amputees and people with neurological disabilities to control smart devices hands-free using simple head movements. All the user needs to do is attach the Mouse (headgear) and rotate its head in the direction the mouse cursor should be moved. Tracking sensors transcode movements into corresponding cursor coordinates on the screen.
In third place, Translead Medtech Pvt. Ltd., is a start-up that is building an assistive chair for the elderly that uses a novel compliant hinge mechanism to enable STS (sit to stand) assistance to people with reduced muscle abilities in the lower limbs. He developed Get comfortablewhich minimizes the effort required to sit down and get up from the seat of the chair.
Congratulating the winners and all applicants, Sehraj Singh, Indian Managing Director of Prosus, added: “This is a pivotal year for Prosus SICA, which has grown over the past three years to become a leading form to identify and help advance the most promising support solutions and technology start-ups in India. We are very proud of the positive impact SICA start-ups have had on improving the lives of people with disabilities. It’s a privilege to help these entrepreneurs scale their business, raise equity and forge new partnerships to drive assistive technology adoption across the board. India and beyond. I hope this is the first of many chapters of india history of the assistive technology industry.”
Suraj Balkrishna Ettam, co-founder of Rut3 Engineering Pvt. Ltd, the start-up that ranked first at SICA 2022, spoke about their experience: “The SICA platform has enabled many start-ups to showcase a range of innovations and their impact on the tech industry. We are grateful to Prosus for arming us with the right resources to put our solutions into action for the greater good.”
During the third year of SICA, more than 10 start-ups that had built a prototype and carried out user tests were evaluated by a jury of experts, in real time, on criteria of product readiness, the needs of the market, financial viability, business scalability and future roadmap. . Particular attention has been paid to the user-friendliness of the products outside of controlled therapy and rehabilitation sessions.
Prosus is a global consumer internet group and one of the world’s largest technology investors. Operating and investing globally in markets with long-term growth potential, Prosus builds leading consumer Internet companies that empower people and enrich communities.
The group is focused on building meaningful businesses in the online classifieds, food delivery, payments and fintech, and education tech industries in markets such as India and Brazil. Through its team of companies, Prosus invests in areas such as healthcare, logistics, blockchain and social commerce. Prosus actively seeks new partnership opportunities with exceptional entrepreneurs using technology to improve people’s daily lives.
Every day, billions of customers use the products and services of the companies in which Prosus has invested, acquired or built. For an overview, please visit our Companies page.
For listed companies in which we have an interest, please see: TencentDelivery Hero, Remitly, Trip.com, Udemy, Skillsoft, Sinch and Similarweb.
For more information, visit www.prosus.com.
About Startup India
start India is a flagship initiative of the Government of Indiaintended to catalyze start-up culture and build a strong and inclusive ecosystem for innovation and entrepreneurship in India. The initiative has deployed several programs aimed at supporting entrepreneurs, building a robust start-up ecosystem and transforming India in a country of job creators instead of job seekers.
For more information, please visit www.startupindia.gov.in.
About Invest India
Invest Indiaestablished in 2009, is a non-profit enterprise under Department of Promotion of Industry and Domestic Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
As a national investment promotion and facilitation agency, Invest India focuses on targeting sector investors and developing new partnerships to enable sustainable investments in India. In addition to a core team that focuses on sustainable investments, Invest India also partners with major investment promotion agencies and multilateral organizations. Invest India is also actively working with several Indian states to build capacity and introduce global best practices in the areas of investment targeting, promotion and facilitation.
For more information, please visit www.investindia.gov.in.
About Social Alpha
Social Alpha is a multi-stage innovation and business development curation platform for science and technology start-ups tackling the most critical social, economic and environmental challenges through the power of entrepreneurship and market-creating innovations. Since its creation in 2016, Social Alpha has supported more than 150 start-ups, including more than 50 seed investments.
For more information, please visit www.socialalpha.org.
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