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startupdosti-2014

Startup Dosti: Indo-Pak Business Plan Competition is a contest like business plan competition aimed at involving startups in India and Pakistan which are currently in their initial stages. The competition has been initiated by the Dosti partnership, which is a result of cross border partnership between SEED ventures and the Atlantic Council. The partnership aims at encouraging trust and greater collaborations between the business communities of the two nations.

The Dosti partnership recently concluded the business plan competition, which is one of its most important events on 30th April in Chiang Mai, Thailand by selecting its three winners. The entire competition was shot in the form of a reality show. It had 12 contestants and five judges from both India and Pakistan. The judges even played the role of investors. The reality show has been named “The Rising Entrepreneur” and is expected to hit the television screens of both the nations most probably before August 2014.

The competition has proved to be a great learning experience for its participants as they received specially and individually designed mentorship from experienced and well established entrepreneurs, business leaders and investors from both the countries. They also got a once in a lifetime opportunity to earn seed funding and free incubation in both the nations for three to six months. They were even made available with a network of entrepreneurs who helped them in accomplishing their business plans and ideas.

The contest was open to all early-stage startups based in Pakistan and India. The deadline for applications was 20th December, 2013. Even concept stage startups that were planning to launch themselves within 3 months of applying were also allowed to apply and contest in the competition. The competition was only open to people under 35 years of age. While startups having an element of cross border were preferred, it was not a necessity for applying.

The last and final round of the competition will see the contestants pitching business plans to an experienced panel of investors from both the nations and the diaspora. The whole reality show has been produced in partnership with GEO TV in Pakistan and CNBC in India.

Indian Finalists

Zuarinagar, Goa based Changemaker.be – a platform aimed at empowering NGOs on multiple fronts such as funding and access to human resources to carry out their projects. The startup is founded by value-driven youngsters all in their early 20s namely – Chaitali Pandit,  Abhijith Asok, Rishabh Makharia, and Kunal Bajpai.

Bangalore based Green Nerds Solutions works in area of clean technology space and provide innovated solutions for waste management, specifically segregation and processing such as waste to energy or waste to fertilizer. Its primary innovation is the ‘Automatic Garbage Mould’ that range from five to 12 ton capacity to enable segregation and conversion of waste into reusable substances and help you reduce the waste quantity up to 75%, and ensure minimal rejects to landfill thus reducing the space utilized for garbage dump yards which can be converted to gardens/green space. The company was founded in 2011 by 40-year-old Nidhish Shetty.

New Delhi based Mobile Harvest Solutions is a social startup in education and healthcare sector that uses mobile applications in the rural areas. The startup developed tools that are used by various organizations and are targeted on large scale of users for information dissemination, training, feedback and communication in the areas of governance, healthcare and education. This startup is also founded by young entrepreneurs Sachin Gaur (30), Jayvardhan Jaju (30), and Prashanth Pattabiraman (27).

Mumbai based Vishwas is a social enterprise startup in the space of healthcare delivery targeted to both patients and doctors. The company has created an IT platform that allow content sharing, real-time epidemiological monitoring, and crowdsourcing ideas for community development of physicians. Vishwas has also developed an android application that runs on a tablet, exclusively catering to the needs of family doctors in low-resource, high-volume settings. The startup is also on verge of developing first-of-its-kind community portal for doctors and patients that will display real-time trends of diseases in the population, and allow for crowdsourcing content and social networking for doctors community.

Jodhpur based Zostel Hospitality is a startup that work for tourism & accommodation sector , it have a chain of hostels that offer hygienic, secure, centrally located and affordable accommodation to budget travelers targeted to young travelers and backpackers who are looking star hotel alternatives.

Pakistan Finalists

Lahore based bio-tech startup Bu Technologies designed a low-cost human brain controlled prosthetic hand for upper limb disabled persons which functions like a hand of any normal human being. This prosthetic hand uses muscle pressure technology with microprocessors that can sense, feel, and even automatically tighten when necessary.

Another Lahore based startup Plant4Plants provides investment, consultancy, rehabilitation and market relationship services to owners of waterlogged areas, they offer Rs. 40,000 per hectare to the owners to grow eucalyptus which sucks water and cures such land and in turn its pulp is used as a raw material in the paper and pulp industry.So far, over 1,236 acres of land has been recovered for agricultural use.

Karachi based KG Hub is a startup in the publishing industry which makes comics books and provides content for marketing purposes to various FMCG and agencies.
The History Project, curates books on significant events and shared conflict on both sides of the border – India and Pakistan. The startup collects and collates facts from textbooks, juxtaposes them, and introduces them to students through interactive presentations, highlighting embedded stereotypes. The project is founded by  Qasim Aslam and Ayyaz Ahmad.

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Kirti Sharma
She is a fun loving girl who's always scouting for innovative startups and fun entrepreneurs to write about. When not writing, you can find her perched in the corner of her room with her laptop running a serial marathon of her favorite sitcoms.

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