Indigram Labs Foundation, a leading agri-tech focused incubator, has announced the winners of its smart village program - 'Adhunik Gram', an initiative to empower agribusiness in rural India.

The winner was IndusTill FarmeTech Pvt. Ltd. which won a cash prize of Rs 1 Lac. The 1st runner up was Urdhvam Environmental Technologies Pvt. Ltd. which won a cash prize of Rs. 50,000 and the 2nd runner up was Impagro farming solutions Pvt. Ltd. which won Rs. 30,000. The program which was launched in September 2019, received over 120 applications of which 14 start-ups were short listed and 11 start-ups presented on demo day.

[caption id="attachment_143696" align="alignleft" width="391"] Dr. Manisha Acharya, CEO, Indigram Labs Foundation[/caption]

Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Manisha Acharya, CEO, Indigram Labs Foundation, said, "Rural India has been getting an insignificant chunk of the pie in the economic plans of the country. Majority of the schemes for rural India are just to help earn a very basic livelihood for the people and not for the upliftment of the rural economy as a whole. Therefore, a balanced approach should be adopted to maintain a balance between rural and urban quality of life. Future course of actions, policies, tools, and instruments should deliver valuable building blocks for 'Smart Villages'. With a mission for "A Better Life in Rural Areas" we have initiated the Smart Village Program-Adhunik Gram."

IndusTill founded by Shrilesh Rajendra Mande is committed to developing an affordable smart agricultural vehicle for small and marginal farmers of India. This multipurpose vehicle has the ability to decrease the labor cost by half which constitutes a major part of input cost and double farmer's income with yields and Crop prices remaining constant.

Urdhvam Environmental Technology's [] water-recharge technology provides innovative nature-based solutions to a vexing problem affecting humanity worldwide. It was founded by Vinit Phadnis.

Impagro Farming Solution's Co-founded by Akbar Sher Khan is developing energy-efficient village-level cold chain infrastructure for farmers with a facility to pre-cool and store their crops at the farm-gate before dispatch to market which greatly reduces post harvest loss and improves profitability.

The Adhunik Gram (Smart Village) program was launched with support from NABARD and start-up India with the objective of identifying the problems of rural areas and exploring solutions with the help of science & technology based start-ups. The focus of the program is to contribute to the promotion of an innovation and technology-driven entrepreneurial ecosystem with an objective of rural development through wealth and job-creation. The innovative ideas of these tech-based start-ups will further help in promoting economic development that improves quality of life and attracts human capital to villages.

The program achieved significant outcomes for the selected start-ups who explored, developed & executed innovative solutions to address agricultural & rural development issues in rural India in collaboration with farmers/Cooperatives/Govt./Pvt. Institutions. From customized capacity building program to making them investment ready, identification and access to funding opportunities, market linkages and networking opportunities with relevant industry ecosystem, the Adhunik Gram program equipped the budding start-ups with necessary knowledge and skills.

About Indigram Labs Foundation

Founded in 2015 with its headquarters in New Delhi and promoted by Indian Society of Agriculture Professionals [ISAP], Indigram Labs Foundation is a technology business incubator [TBI] with thrust on Agriculture-Technology & food processing, Clean Energy and Automation, Rural focused Healthcare and Education. Backed by NSTEDB, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, Indigram Labs provides infrastructure, networking, technical, IPR and financial support to its incubates. It has collaborations with leading scientific research organizations, academic institutions, venture capitalists and accelerators in India and abroad. Indigram Labs has so far incubated over 40 start-ups with 28 in the pipeline. The incubatee companies have generated revenues of more than USD 25 million in FY 2019-20 and provided full time employment to more than 900 people. Some of the prominent incubatee companies in its portfolio include Intello Labs, New Leaf Dynamics, Agriwatch, Global Eats, TechnifyBiz, Farm Guide and Tractor Junction among others.

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