Internet.org Innovation Challenge: India Winners Revealed

Facebook announced the winners of its Internet.org Innovation Challenge: India, which was announced at the inaugural Internet.org Summit in New Delhi last October.

Facebook announced the winners of its Internet.org Innovation Challenge: India, which was announced at the inaugural Internet.org Summit in New Delhi last October.

The social network said when it announced the competition:

Connecting the world requires understanding whose needs aren’t currently being served by the Internet and recognizing the people working to change that. If you’re building an application, website or online service that makes the Internet more relevant to women, students, farmers or migrant workers in India, we want to support you.

The judges for the competition were:

Internet.org presented one $250,000 Innovation Challenge Award prize and two $25,000 Impact Award prizes in each category, and the winners were:

Farmers

Innovation Challenge Award winner: eKutir, which provides farmers with tools and resources to support them throughout the entire farming life cycle, from crop selection to the nurture and sales process. The service empowers farmers and communities by converting a fragmented system into a collaborated and connected distributed model.

Impact Award winner: Farmily, which enables farmers to reach new buyers and negotiate better prices for agricultural produce — disintermediation of the middle-man in the farmer and buyer interface.

Impact Award winner: Farmalytics, which aims to make precision farming easy and affordable by providing state-of-the-art sensor technology with robust analytics to help farmers make data-driven decisions like every other business of the 21st century.

Women

Innovation Challenge Award winner: mySangham, which provides vocational training and skill building geared for women empowerment in 100 initial identified villages and communities. The service aims to strengthen the economic and social stability of the nation by empowering India’s masses with vocational skills in a fast paced, cost-effective, scalable way through an online platform.

Impact Award winner: Embrace Angel, which harnesses the power of mobile, Internet, sensor and big-data technologies to cater to the need for neo-natal care in non-urban (tier two and three) markets, where an app allows healthcare and medical professionals to extend their support from a central set of pooled resources to distant locations.

Impact Award winner: Rang de Habba, an electronic storefront for ethnic products with a focus on supporting local women artisans. The goal is to also increase the value retention to the artisans, who are otherwise exploited by more commercial brands and platforms that are popular in the market.

Students

Innovation Challenge Award winner: BodhaGuru, which creates self-learning products, immersive mobile based learning apps, videos and a book-publishing platform to make learning for children from kindergarten to eighth grade interesting, relevant and affordable. It focuses on developing creative thinking in children through storytelling.

Impact Award winner: Fundamentor, which uses gamification to build and instill life skills for young children in third through ninth grade. The service focuses on analytical, verbal, reasoning and critical-thinking skills.

Impact Award winner: LetsIntern, which provides students from tier-2 and tier-3 cities with internship opportunities by connecting them with small and midsized businesses via an online portal.

Migrants

Innovation Challenge Award winner: Helper4U, an online database of jobs that matches semi-skilled migrants in specific categories with potential employers. The app is focused on tackling a large need to create transparency and helping migrants workers find jobs by cutting out the middlemen who take large portions of their salaries as commission.

Impact Award winner: Mygram, which empowers migrants by helping them secure a digital identity. The SMS-based email service is targeted for users who are new to the Internet. Whenever somebody sends you an email, you will receive an SMS with a link to that mail. Their email address is <your-phone-number>@mygram.in.

Impact Award winner: mHS City Lab, which provides an online repository of resources and technical tools for migrants who are involved in low-cost construction and may lack guidance on basic engineering workmanship. The goal is to improve their skill set through how-to tutorials.

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