Entrepreneurs and startups who are interested can now begin the registering process for the WhatsApp Startup challenge through the microsite. Registrations will stay open till March 10. The entries will be assessed by Startup India and the results will be declared on May 24 this year.
Facebook-owned WhatsApp, in partnership with Indian government’s Start-up India, launched the “Startup India – WhatsApp Grand Challenge” on Thursday. The challenge was first announced in October 2018; but this time the social messaging app will award $250,000 prize money to the top five winners ($50,000 each) in partnership with Invest India.
WhatsApp also listed the eligibility criteria and said, “Entrepreneurs with highly innovative ideas, business models that solve for a local India problem, making a large scale socio-economic impact, are invited to apply.” The challenge requires all applications with a pitch deck having a maximum of 6-8 slides.
The relevant industries for startup ideas range include several fields that include AI, AR VR (Augmented + Virtual Reality), analytics, food & beverages, waste management, transportation to marketing, fashion, among others. The themes for the startup challenge are rural economy, citizen safety, healthcare, financial and digital inclusion and education.
The first few rounds will shortlist 30 ideas which will be cut down to 10. These 10 ideas will be exhibited live to reach the finals. The five ideas who win will receive a grant of $50,000 each.
In the year since its launch, WhatsApp Business app has now over 5 million businesses registered. In addition, the business platform by WhatsApp also rolled out three new features for its web version that include features such as quick replies, labels and chat-list filtering. As per Startup India, the Indian market will be reaching $5Trillion by 2025 and it will be the startups who will contribute in that.