30
August
2021
|
08:30
Europe/Amsterdam

Search underway for India’s most innovative assistive tech startups in 2021 with Prosus Social Impact Challenge for Accessibility (SICA)

Search underway for India’s most innovative assistive tech startups in 2021 with Prosus Social Impact Challenge for Accessibility (SICA)

~ Award-winning initiative aims to attract applications from startups in every region of India ~

New Delhi, August 30, 2021: This year’s search for India’s most innovative assistive technology startups is underway with the launch today of Prosus SICA 2021.

Created last year by Prosus - in partnership with Invest India, Social Alpha and the World Health Organization – the initiative invites Indian startups with the most promising solutions in the assistive technology space to compete for an annual grant and access to the Prosus SICA mentorship programme.

With more than 70 million Indians estimated to live with some form of disability* the societal impact of improving lives and empowering people through assistive technology can be immense. Prosus SICA was recognised earlier this month as “CSR Initiative of the Year” by the AssisTech Foundation.

Prosus has committed INR 16,500,000 to the initiative over three years, and each year awards grants to three successful startups. Partners including Invest India and Social Alpha provide additional mentoring and financing opportunities, while WHO supports the programme with technical assistance.

In its inaugural edition in 2020, Prosus SICA received over 200 applications from 25 states and seven union territories across India. The top three startups recognised for their ingenuity and impact across a range of assistive technologies were Sohum Innovation Lab (Bengaluru), NeoMotion (Chennai) and Stamurai (New Delhi).

In addition to the top startups, two other finalists were enrolled into the SICA mentorship programme to benefit from Prosus’s experience in supporting entrepreneurs and helping them to succeed: Cogniable (Delhi) and Thinkerbell Solutions (Delhi).

For Prosus SICA 2021, an expert panel of judges will assemble to identify innovative startups with the most potential to positively impact the lives of persons with disabilities. (Information on the 2020 panel here). Eligible startups can submit their applications from now until 19th October. The top startups will be announced in December to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Commenting, Sehraj Singh, India Managing Director, Prosus, said: “Enabling entrepreneurs across the world to improve people’s daily lives is our mission at Prosus. Here in India, the needs of 70 million persons living with some form of disability have remained under-served despite a vibrant startup ecosystem. We believe that there can be a thriving market for assistive technologies and last year’s excellent response to our inaugural Prosus SICA initiative validated this belief. We are so proud to continue the journey this year and I encourage all entrepreneurs in the assistive technology space to join our mission by entering Prosus SICA 2021.”

For more info on the Prosus SICA initiative, please click here.

Watch the Prosus SICA 2021 launch trailer below:

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Impact of Prosus SICA 2020

How last year’s top startups have fared

Sohum Innovation Lab manufactures a device to detect hearing impairment in infants. It used the grant money of Rs 25 lakhs ($35,000) to expand beyond India to African markets. It has partnered with state governments, private hospitals and NGOs, and has now sold over 200 devices across India, Tanzania, Uganda, and Guatemala.

NeoMotion creates bespoke wheelchairs with a motor-powered clip-on to convert them into a safe, roadworthy vehicle. It used the Rs 18 lakhs ($25,000) grant money for marketing to enhance awareness and reach, increasing sales by 3X.

Stamurai, a mobile app to address speech disabilities through automated speech therapy, utilised its Rs 12 lakhs ($15,000) grant money to make app enhancements that have driven up monthly installs by 2X and revenue by 60%.

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About Prosus

Prosus is a global consumer internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Operating and investing globally in markets with long-term growth potential, Prosus builds leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities. 

The group is focused on building meaningful businesses in the online classifieds, food delivery, payments and fintech, and education technology sectors in markets including India, Russia, and Brazil. Through its ventures team, Prosus invests in areas including health, logistics, blockchain, and social commerce. Prosus actively seeks new opportunities to partner with exceptional entrepreneurs who are using technology to improve people’s everyday lives.

Every day, millions of people use the products and services of companies that Prosus has invested in, acquired or built, including 99minutos, Avito, Brainly, BUX, BYJU'S, Bykea, Codecademy, DappRadar, DeHaat, dott, ElasticRun, eMAG, Eruditus, Flink, GoodHabitz, Honor, iFood, Klar, LazyPay, letgo, Meesho, Movile, Oda, OLX, PayU, Quick Ride, Red Dot Payment, Remitly, Republic, Shipper, SimilarWeb, Skillsoft, SoloLearn, Swiggy, Udemy, Urban Company and Wolt.

Hundreds of millions of people have made the platforms of Prosus’s associates a part of their daily lives. For listed companies where we have an interest, please see: Tencent, Mail.ru, Trip.com Group Limited, and DeliveryHero.

Today, Prosus companies and associates help improve the lives of more than 2 billion users globally. 

Prosus has a primary listing on Euronext Amsterdam (AEX:PRX) and secondary listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (XJSE:PRX) and a2X Markets (PRX.AJ). Prosus is majority-owned by Naspers.

For more information, please visit www.prosus.com.

About Prosus

Prosus is a global consumer internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Operating and investing globally in markets with long-term growth potential, Prosus builds leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities.

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