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Amitabh Kant Highlights Potential of India's Startups in Driving Climate Action at Grand Challenge for ClimateTech Innovation

The Grand Finale of the Avaana Capital - Startup India Grand Challenge served as a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation in addressing climate change challenges.

Shivam Dwivedi
Amitabh Kant Highlights Potential of India's Startups in Driving Climate Action at Grand Challenge for ClimateTech Innovation
Amitabh Kant Highlights Potential of India's Startups in Driving Climate Action at Grand Challenge for ClimateTech Innovation

The Avaana Capital - Startup India Grand Challenge for ClimateTech Innovation recently reached its culmination at the grand finale event held at Vanijya Bhawan. This collaborative initiative between Avaana Capital and Startup India marks a significant milestone in advancing innovative solutions aimed at propelling India towards a sustainable and green future. The initiative saw close collaboration with partners such as Startup India, NITI Aayog's Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), and the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), among others.

With the primary objective of recognizing and supporting innovative startups dedicated to tackling climate change challenges, the initiative aimed to contribute to India's efforts in achieving net-zero emissions. Key corporate supporters, including industry giants like Tata Power, Nestle, and HSBC, played a crucial role in providing vital support to participating startups.

Out of over 400 applications received across six key themes, namely Energy Transition, Mobility and Supply Chains, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, Circular Economy and Resource Management, Water and Industrial Decarbonisation, and Built Environment and Carbon Capture, 12 finalists emerged. Notable among them are Zerocircle, Cancrie, Sangti, CarbonTrail, Banofi, MiniMines, Baud Resources, Recyclers, and AquaNurch, with the top three winners being Greenpod labs, Ambiator, and Nexus Power.

The distinguished Grand Jury, chaired by Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, included notable personalities such as Sally Taylor from the UK Government, Chintan Vaishnav (Mission Director, AIM), S Ramann (CMD, SIDBI), and Anjali Bansal (Founding Partner, Avaana Climate and Sustainability Fund), among others. Esteemed knowledge partners like GEAPP, RMI, Social Alpha, CEEW, and CCAMP played a vital role in the rigorous evaluation process.

The event featured the presentation of Grand Challenge Awards by Rajesh Kumar Singh, Secretary, DPIIT, and Anjali Bansal, Avaana’s Founding Partner, recognizing the innovation of startups. Winners received awards up to 1 crore rupees, with additional grants totaling up to 2 crores from ACT, along with credits from AWS and Google and mentorship from industry leaders. The breakdown of awards included 20 lakh rupees for the winner, 15 lakh rupees for the runner-up, and 10 lakh rupees for the second runner-up, with access to cumulative grants from ACT. Additionally, participating startups are eligible to join MIF’s Scale-Up Program after meeting criteria and diligence.

All applicants received mentorship from industry leaders through masterclasses, with sessions hosted by organizations like Tata Power, RMI, and GEAPP, covering topics such as fundraising for climate tech startups and the role of startups in energy transition.

Vision for a Sustainable Future

Anjali Bansal, Founding Partner at Avaana Climate and Sustainability Fund, expressed optimism about the event's success and its contribution to India's progress towards a net-zero and green financing future. Similarly, Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, emphasized the importance of collaboration and the transformative potential of startups in driving climate solutions.

"At the Avaana Capital - Startup India Grand Challenge, we witnessed the prowess of India's startup ecosystem in spearheading ClimateTech innovation. The event illuminated the path to a sustainable, green future. It's imperative for diverse stakeholders to unite, fostering a collaborative approach for a successful green transition. These startups, with their transformative solutions, not only echo technological brilliance but also address profound societal impacts. Let's champion green solutions and eagerly anticipate the diverse pitches that shape our sustainable tomorrow”, expressed Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa.

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