To discover ‘moonshot’ suggestions in assistive tech, Prosus launches SICA 2021


In search for India’s most modern assistive technology begin-ups, Prosus the global shopper web group of Naspers on Monday released the second edition of its Social Effect Obstacle for Accessibility in partnership with Invest India, Social Alpha and the Earth Health Organisation.

The initiative invites Indian start-ups with the most promising solutions in the assistive technology area to contend for an yearly grant and entry to the Prosus SICA mentorship programme.

Prosus has dedicated ₹16,500,000 to the initiative in excess of three yrs, and every single 12 months awards grants to a few successful get started-ups. Partners including Make investments India and Social Alpha deliver supplemental mentoring and financing alternatives, although WHO supports the programme with specialized help.

The prime winner of the challenge will be provided with a grant of ₹25 lakh, followed by an ₹18 lakh grant to the 2nd prize winner and the 3rd prize will consist of a grant of ₹12 lakh.

In addition to the grant award, eligible commence-ups receive an possibility to function with Social Alpha, an incubator that promotes innovation and entrepreneurship across India. As an incubation associate, Social Alpha can also give up to $40,000 in equity to the top startups.

Sehraj Singh, India Running Director, Prosus, explained,” Right here in India, the demands of 70 million individuals residing with some type of incapacity have remained below-served irrespective of a vibrant startup ecosystem. We feel that there can be a thriving marketplace for assistive technologies and last year’s excellent response to our inaugural Prosus SICA initiative validated this belief.”

Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO, Devote India, explained: “The excellence of Indian ingenuity has been at the forefront. The ability of our business people to pivot and develop impactful frugal answers is India’s power. This challenge will guide the way in reworking assistive systems in the place and propel India to come to be a environment leader in the discipline.”

Manoj Kumar, Founder and CEO, Social Alpha, reported, “Assistive technologies is a 25 billion dollar market globally but affordability and user practical experience concerns hinder the current market growth in India, in spite of getting a massive population that desires obtain to high-quality assistive answers. I am optimistic that Prosus SICA 2021 will unlock more opportunities and methods for innovators and assistance them go to marketplace as they make environment-course answers.”

Bringing assistive tech under Electronic India

“When we begun this initiative previous calendar year, we thought in the thesis that Electronic India experienced positively benefited so quite a few various sectors in technologies, and the online. But we felt that assistive know-how experienced not arrive into the umbrella under Electronic India. And we believed, “let us consider and do anything that can aid the sector also come below that umbrella.” There have to be sturdy small business situations that simply call for motion,” Singh advised BusinessLine.

About the previous calendar year, the assistive know-how sector has witnessed a important sum of desire from early-stage and angel traders in this sector. The Prosus initiative has also received traction from govt entities this kind of as the Condition of Kerala, Punjab and Haryana.

With its SICA initiative, Prosus is aiming to assistance this kind of startups scale up even more.

For instance, in accordance to Sehraj, companions this sort of as WHO can help Indian startups in the sector following they’ve achieved scale to enter the worldwide markets with its world current market understanding, examination and reach.

“That is where by we seriously hope to choose the Designed in India, to the environment tale,” stated Singh.

Chapal Khasnabis, Head (a.i) Obtain to Assistive Technologies and Professional medical Units, WHO, Geneva stated, “Prosus SICA is a special programme that delivers collectively field skills, funding and executional abilities. We are happy to guidance the programme to remodel India’s health care landscape aided by Manufactured-In-India assistive technological innovation for her individual populace and past.”

Moonshot strategies

The Prosus SICA problem this calendar year will scale it up, as organisers seem for specific “moonshot” strategies in the assistive tech place.

Aside from technologies, affordability, and scalability, “What we’re concentrating on is enabling the judges to also glimpse at some moonshot tips. Some concepts that may initially not seem variety of normal, but one thing that could be extremely transformative in the near foreseeable future,” reported Singh.

“Collectively as a jury panel, as a company, we would like to search for 1 or two of those organizations and then mentor them,” included Singh.

As the second version progresses, winners from past year’s SICA problem will also be actively playing a considerable purpose.

“From previous yr, this calendar year, the part that the a few winners will participate in in creating the groundswell and supporting the startups currently being a portion of the jury, and getting a part of the mentorship program is likely to be really pivotal,” Singh explained.

In its inaugural edition in 2020, Prosus SICA experienced obtained about 200 purposes from 25 states and seven union territories throughout India. The top rated a few winners were Sohum Innovation Lab (Bengaluru), NeoMotion (Chennai) and Stamuri (New Delhi).

Sohum Innovation Lab manufactures a device to detect listening to impairment in infants. It utilized the grant funds of ₹25 lakhs ($35,000) to develop outside of India to African marketplaces. It has partnered with point out governments, private hospitals and NGOs, and has now bought around 200 units throughout India, Tanzania, Uganda, and Guatemala.

NeoMotion produces bespoke wheelchairs with a motor-run clip-on to convert it into a safe, roadworthy automobile. It used the ₹18 lakhs ($25,000) grant money for internet marketing to greatly enhance consciousness and achieve, raising profits by 3X. The firm’s alternatives has attracted interest from the likes of Mahindra Team Chairman Anand Mahindra.

Stamurai, a cell app to address speech disabilities by means of automatic speech remedy, utilised its ₹12 lakhs ($15,000) grant income to make application enhancements that have driven up regular monthly installs by 2X and income by 60 for every cent.

The top five finalists of this year’s problem will be inducted into the Prosus SICA mentorship programme.

This year’s mentorship software for the successful startups will be a “360-degree holistic plan that aids them at the grass stage can help them at the proto industry level at the internet marketing at the fundraising, as perfectly as the engineering item and technician level,” said Singh.


For Prosus SICA 2021, an pro panel of judges will be evaluating the startups. Qualified startups can submit their apps from now right until Oct 19. The prime startups will be announced in December to mark the Intercontinental Working day of People with Disabilities.

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