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Start Up Awards

About the Program

With a rising population and climate change, India’s Agri food industry requires adoption of advanced technologies to tackle industrial bottlenecks. India’s talented startups, smart innovators, and aspiring youth work can alongside important stakeholders from the government and industry to build novel and cost-effective solutions to persistent problems.

Through this national-level Grand Challenge, Ministry of Food Processing and Industries (MoFPI). Startup India aim to facilitate generation of disruptive ideas fuelled by fresh perspective and leading research.

  • Generate innovative and futuristic ideas utilising modern technology to address pressing issues faced by the Government.
  • Provide a common platform to startups, innovators, and students to connect and interact with various key stakeholders from the ecosystem.
  • Catalyse innovation by identifying problem areas preventing adoption of unique products/ services.
  • Learn from industry experts and collaborate with them to build solutions that will change the industrial business and technology landscape.

Proposed Problem Statements

Low-cost primary processing gadgets with capabilities to handle multiple millets

Technology for on-farm & on-shelf and rural-level safe long-term storage of millets

Waste to wealth: Innovative concepts for utilization of food processing wastes

Eligibility Criteria

Startups and individual entrepreneurs/ innovators (the challenge is open to Indian nationals only)

Startups and individual entrepreneurs/ innovators

Students studying at any Indian university/ institute

Professionals/ employed individuals

Proposed Process Flow

  • Call for applications on Startup India Portal

  • Marketing and Outreach Activities

  • Constitution of Evaluation Committee

  • Preliminary Evaluation of Applicants

  • Masterclass Series for Shortlisted Applicants

  • Handholding Support: Incubation, Pilot Opportunity

  • Grand Finale: Announcement of Results & Disbursal of Cash Prizes

  • Announcement of Finalists

  • Evaluation of Shortlisted Applicants

Key Elements And Incentives

The Grand Challenge applications will be hosted exclusively on the Startup India website – www.startupindia.gov.in – for 4-6 weeks. Rigorous marketing and outreach efforts will be undertaken during this time through emailers and Startup India accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, to ensure participation from across the country.

A committee would be set up by DPIIT and MoFPI for evaluating all the applications, providing mentorship and feedback to applicants, and selecting the winners. The members of Evaluation Committee will include:

  • Representatives from Central Ministries and Central Government Departments
  • Representatives from a Venture Capital Fund or Angel Network
  • Domain and technical experts/ scientists from industry
  • Domain and technical experts from Academia
  • Successful entrepreneurs

Information completeness and essential documents will be checked for all applicants by the Startup India team, to shortlist them for the next round – attending Knowledge Series.

A series of sessions will be conducted by Startup India, sector experts, investors, and other key stakeholders. These would be closed-door sessions where industry experts would interact with the selected participants, mentor them on various opportunities and address their queries. The series will deep-dive into the ecosystem and equip the participants with required skills and knowledge.

The proposed solutions and accompanying business plans will be analyzed by the Evaluation Committee. A shortlist with finalists will be announced, post the analysis by the Evaluation Committee.The proposed solutions and accompanying business plans will be analyzed by the Evaluation Committee. A shortlist with finalists will be announced, post the analysis by the Evaluation Committee.

Finalists will pitch their solutions to the Evaluation Committee via video presentations.

Top 06 innovative and resilient ideas/solutions will be awarded a cash prize and other offerings and will be provided with incubation support and pilot opportunities to convert their idea into tangible solutions.

Technology and Innovation: Value-added technology with the potential for its applicability for enterprises/industries and degree of innovation.

  • Commercial viability: Applications must have a defined and sizable target market and a route to long-term financial viability.
  • Relevance to India: Applications must address the supply chain issues and challenges in the food sector in India.
  • Environmental Sustainability: Efficient use of natural resources and contribute to the food and agricultural environment sustainability.

  • Cash Prize: Top 06 ideas will be provided with a cash prize by MoFPI. NIFTEM (T) to provide complete roadmap to the winner start-ups.
  • Incubation Support: Top 06 winning solutions will be provided with 9-months’ incubation support with the on-boarded incubation partner. The incubator would be responsible for virtual/ physical incubation of the selected participants, mentor matchmaking, conducting business and investor workshops, and tracking the progress of the selected applicants for up to 3 months after the completion of the program. Note: The incubator will be onboarded by MoFPI. Startup India will support MoFPI in the process of onboarding the incubator.
  • Pilot Opportunities: At the end of the incubation, selected participants will have the opportunity for field trial and pilot their product in the market. They will have access to validate their technology from the relevant Ministry/ Department’s network of institutions.

  • Application Start Date  : 9th May 2023 
  • Application End Date    : 11th June 2023
  • Application Result Date: 5th Nov 2023

Evaluation Criterion

Criteria Marks
Problem Identification

Does the product/service offer a potential solution to the problem statement


How innovative, effective, and appropriate is the proposed product/solution?

Financial Sustainability

Manufacturing cost of the solution and Roadmap of money utilization

Operational Scalability

Feasibility and reasonability of the technical claims, methodology used/ to be used for PoC and validation, a roadmap for product development and commercialization


Strength of the team, Technical, and Business expertise, etc


Registration Process

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