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UNDP-AIM Awards Six Youth-Led Indian Startups for Impactful Solutions

Which Indian startups were honored by the UNDP for their pioneering solutions? Six startups were awarded for innovations in AgriTech, tribal community support, and assistive technology. Read the full story to learn more about their UNDP-AIM Awards!

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Swati Dayal
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UNDP AIM Awards Six Youth Led Indian Startups for Impactful Solutions

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The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) awarded six Indian innovative startups for their pioneering solutions across various sectors. These startups provided solutions to address challenges faced by small-scale farmers through AgriTech, innovative solutions for tribal communities, and advanced assistive technology.

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The Award and Its Purpose

Co-created in 2017 by UNDP and Citi Foundation, Youth Co:Lab aims to establish a common agenda for countries in the Asia-Pacific region to empower and invest in youth so that they can accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social innovation, and entrepreneurship. In India, Youth Co:Lab was launched in 2019 in collaboration with Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog.

The 2023-2024 edition saw 209 applications from across India, with 36 startups receiving mentorship and capacity-building sessions over two months. These startups presented their solutions in April 2024, and six winners were chosen to receive up to USD 3,000 in seed funding to scale their innovations.

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Who Are The Winners?

Agriculture Fintech and Insurtech for Small and Marginal Farmers

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GreenPod Labs emerged as the winner in this category. Founded in October 2019 and based in Chennai, GreenPod Labs is an agri-tech company utilizing nanotechnology to extend the shelf life of fruits and vegetables during storage and transport. The company’s vision is to minimize post-harvest losses globally.

Innovative Solutions for Indigenous Groups and Tribal Communities

Scarlet Blinks, founded by Richa Shukla, won this category. The startup specializes in digital accessibility services, focusing on impactful storytelling that connects people with brands. Shukla emphasized, “Our agency is committed to creating campaigns that build brands, inspire, and engage audiences. We stay at the forefront of industry trends to help our clients achieve their goals.”

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Assistive Technology and Solutions

Rhosigma Technologies, led by Prerit Rathi, took the prize in this category. Known for his accolades as the youngest ever UNDP Youth Co:Lab winner and recipient of the National Innovation Award 2021, Rathi’s company is hiring interns specializing in machine learning and 3D design.

The runner ups for the awards under the three categories are - Riksrang Momin, Founder, OriGIndia, Prantish Francis Narzary, Founder, Click Cafe and Dohaapia Momin, Founder, Aadya Foundation.

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Ashu Khullar, Citi India CEO, said, “Youth Co:Lab harnesses the power of India’s youth and its vibrant startup community. At Citi India, we support startups through tailored banking products, mentorship, and funding. We wish the Youth Co:Lab movement success in advancing India towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”

Isabelle Tschan, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP India, highlighted the diversity and creativity of the participants. “This year’s Youth Co:Lab challenge spotlights real-world solutions for India’s most underrepresented communities. The diversity and creativity of these young innovators are truly inspiring. UNDP is honored to support the innovative journeys of these young people.”

Empowering Youth for Sustainable Development

Since its inception, Youth Co:Lab has supported over 250 youth-led social enterprises in India, addressing themes like climate action, gender equality, sustainable consumption, and mental health. The program continues to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among young Indians, driving progress towards a more sustainable and equitable future.

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