An Indian startup has won a prestigious award and a cash prize of $42,000 in Israel for developing an affordable modular greenhouse that aims to give farmers a steady and dependable income. Kheyti, a Hyderabad-based startup, was chosen among the ten finalists in the prestigious MassChallenge Israel contest that saw participation from over 500 companies in 40 different countries. The top ten finalists also included another Indian start-up ‘Sukriti’ which developed a smart toilet cabin employing hygiene maintenance systems to enhance user experience in sanitation. Kheyti, the Indian startup, had to go through a rigorous three-month process before sharing the honour with an Israeli startup as the “diamond winners” of this year’s contest.
Each one of them were awarded a cash prize of $42,850. The startup with a team of young entrepreneurs provides technology solutions for small farmers. It has developed a ‘greenhouse-in-a-box’, an affordable, modular greenhouse bundled with full stack services that, as per claims, uses 90 per cent less water, grows seven times more food and gives farmers a steady dependable income. “We design, adapt and implement low-cost farming solutions that help small farmers increase yield and predictability of produce. We combine these technologies with end-to-end support to give these farmers a seamless path towards income increase,” the team said in its presentation.
MassChallenge Israel, a startup-friendly accelerator, awarded $143,000 this week in zero-equity cash prizes to four of the highest-impact startups from its 2017 cohort. The cash prize winners, along with the ten finalists, will take part in the first MassChallenge Israel US Trek, a curated business trip and introduction to the innovation ecosystems in Boston and New York in November.
Kheyti shared the top honour with Israeli startup, RenewSenses, which creates novel eyes-free perceptual experience for the visually impaired. “I am very happy that two Indian startups made it to the top ten for Masschalenge awards and one of them, Kheyti, bagged the honours,” India’s Ambassador to Israel Pavan Kapoor told PTI. “This should motivate and encourage more Indian startups, especially in the social sector, and lead to further collaboration between India and Israel on this front too,” Kapoor added.