San Francisco-based nonprofit Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center recently unveiled the name of the 15 Indian startups it has finalised for its Milestone Makers India programme. As the name suggests, the programme aims to lend a helping hand to early-to-mid-stage founders in achieving crucial milestones for their startups and make their businesses a roaring success. Although the programme doesn't promise any direct funding opportunity, it does offer to connect deserving entrepreneurs with potential investors through the Startup India Advisory network.

The programme, which is the Center's first one outside of the United States, was launched in March earlier this year in association with New Delhi-based Startup India Advisory.

The Milestone programme is different from most accelerators in the country as against focusing on startups and companies per se, the programme focuses on building a great leader with excellent execution skills out of each of the enrolled startup entrepreneur.

Though initially the startup set out to select 25 startups for its first May 2017 batch, it ended up choosing only 15. The list, which boosts of having eight women and seven men, has each of 15 different startups belong to a different sector.

The 2014 established organisation, which has been designed to educate, innovate, and connect aspiring and current entrepreneurs, will be closely working with the selected entrepreneurs for a long period of 12 weeks (3 months). During this time, each of the enrolled startup founder will be provided with one coach, three to four business mentors, a customized set of classes and access to other useful resources—all valued around a whopping $250,000.

The 15 finalists are as follows:

Name: Manuring It!
Founder: Amit Arora

Starting its official journey in October, 2016, Manuring it! works with landless farmers in states of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh to produce organic manure and sell the same in rural areas to farmers through a Mobile Missed Call with zero cash payments. It helps with the employment of landless farmers thus trying to rid them of poverty and bringing organic manure to the land holding farmers with just one missed call.

Name: DAZL
Founder: Aditi Chadha

The startup, which has won seed funding from Vodafone and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, has successfully developed a IoT device that fits right inside fashion accessories and helps women manage their safety, health and daily communication needs. Being pitched as fashion with intelligence, DAZL provides location based safety alerts and a wide range of customised notifications.

Name: Zola India
Founder: Gina Joseph

Zola is a culmination of Gina Joseph’s passions and creative ideas about jewellery. It draws inspirations and appreciation of art, architecture and culture of India; the vibrant colours, textures, rich cultural heritage and folklore, fine workmanship and seamless Indian beauty. The startup provides rural and folk artisans a platform to express themselves through wearable art and is a voice that narrates their stories to the world, which thereby allows them to realize sustained economic empowerment by conducting regular design Intervention and Innovation workshops and introducing new materials, processes and technologies in jewellery design. Gina's seven years experience as a media professional in advertising, public relations and journalism helps her in spreading the message about the extraordinary work they're doing.

Name: Rooter
Founder: Piyush Kumar

Started in September 2016, Rooter aims to connect its users to fans with similar sport interests around their workplace and home. Within just a few months of going live, Rooter has been successful in connecting 100,000 fans on board across football, cricket, tennis and basketball. Available for both Android and Apple's iOS devices, the startup is funded by Bollywood actor Boman Irani and Intex Technologies.

Name: Crop Stacks Agritech
Founder: Vivek Naik

Founded in November 2016, the startup as the name suggests aims to help Indians grow food in their homes using hydroponics. Naik, who is also the founder at Goa Startup Launchpad, has a rich experience of working in the manufacturing industry which is helping him well in growing Crop Stacks Agritech.

Name: Caredose
Founder: Gauri Angrish

The New Delhi-based startup simplifies the process of managing our medication and ensures strict adherence, which helps the user maximise the benefit of their medication and minimise their healthcare expenditure. They do so by realising the power of their inventive packaging, proprietary technology and full service pharmacy. Angrish experience of working as an analyst at McKinsey and Co. in the pharmaceutical and medical device vertical helps him in Caredose.

Name: EasyGov
Founder: Amit Shukla

EasyGov provide easy and convenient access to and availability of Government schemes and services. The information to avail any service with rights of people is offered at no cost on EasyGov. Though the startup charges for doing all task on behalf of individual for availing any Government service.

Name: G for Gestures
Founder: Rachana Bagde

The startup integrates gesture technology with virtual reality and allows users to interact through their body gestures and get an immersive experience in VR without having to wear any expensive VR headgear. Bagde is currently pursuing final year of a dual degree course for M.Tech degree from IIIT Gwalior.

Name: Little Passports Edutours
Founder: Prachi Kagzi

Little Passports is a novel concept in the kids travel space for India and aspires to organise educative travel tours for kids aged between 3 to 15 accompanied with their mother/father. The concept resonates well with today's parents who value 'learning by doing'.

Name: WaterScience
Founder: Sudeep Nadukkandy

Starting its journey in July 2014, WaterScience aims to make treated water affordable and accessible to everyone in India. Its first product, CLEO Shower Filter, reduces chlorine and effects of hard water, which is serious problem in India.

Name: Fandoro
Founder: Smita Mishra

A SaaS-based social gifting platform, Fandoro is making gifting hassle-free with its machine learning algorithm-enabled recommendation engine and gift checkout process. The platform enables small and medium gift retailers to have an online presence and leverage technology for increased sales. Mishra's 15 years experience in IT industry helps her immensely in Fandoro.

Name: Planet Abled
Founder: Neha Arora

Planet-Abled provides accessible travel solutions and leisure excursions for people with different disabilities. There are over a billion people with different disabilities in the world, but the percentage of them travelling is miniscule, owning to lack of accessible travel options available. The startup has an identified this gap and has come forward to give them the freedom to travel no matter what their disability is. Whether they want to experience a small facet of the city they are in or they want to travel across multiple cities of their interest, they have something unique, safe and enjoyable for everyone.

Name: Threye Interactive
Founder: Anurag Rana

Working around the fields of gaming, augmented reality, virtual reality and robotics, the startup aims to bring military technology for consumer use. It's esteemed list of clients include the Defense Research and Development Organisation and Indian Air Force. The award winning interactive tech development company is currently in the midst of developing an augmented reality headset which will facilitate training and operations.

Name: Happy Adda Studios
Founder: Raja Sekhar Vasa

Being accelerated by Google through its Developers Launchpad Accelerator programme, the startup is into developing vernacular mobile games that reach out to the untapped audience in small towns and villages. Its mobile game “Jalebi – A Desi Adda” has already crossed over 500,000 daily active users within just six months of release and now has 6.5 million users. The startup has acquired a unique status of being India's first ever desi game center.

Name: Let’s Barter India
Founder: Pooja Bhayana

The startup is a community for like-minded people in India to connect and barter their pre-loved goods. Its bring back the concept of barter, and make exchanging a cool concept again. Founded in October 2015, Let’s Barter has started as a Facebook group to be a facilitator of barter and trade. It has currently 1,86,000 members.

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