Swachhata Startup Challenge Winners Receive Rs. 25 Lakhs Grant From MoHUA and AFD

Top 10 winners receive personalized professional support and more | Villgro, as an implementation partner, will reinforce India’s waste management ecosystem


New Delhi, Delhi, India | 22nd September 2022: The Swachhata Startup Challenge, launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) and Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), with Villgro as the implementation partner, concluded the closing and award ceremony, Swachhata Startup Conclave, on Tuesday, 20th September 2022, at Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi.

Top 10 winners of Swachhata Startup Challenge

The top 10 startups creating innovative solutions, catalysing the momentum of the waste management ecosystem in India, were felicitated by Shri Kaushal Kishore, Hon’ble Minister of State, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, H.E. Mr Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, Ms Roopa Mishra, Joint Secretary and National Mission Director, Swachh Bharat Mission (MoHUA), and Shri Manoj Joshi, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

The top 10 startups will each receive funding to the tune of Rs. 25 lakhs from MoHUA and AFD as well as personalized professional and capacity-building support for a year. Eligible startups will also receive Rs. 50 lakhs in follow-on investment from Villgro.

Speaking at the event, the Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain remarked, “France and India are committed to working together on tackling plastic pollution and waste management. The AFD-MoHUA Swachhata Startup Challenge is a concrete step in this direction, and we are proud of the overwhelming response it has received. I warmly congratulate the 10 winners whose innovative solutions will bring about socially impactful transformation to India’s waste management ecosystem.”

Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, Hon’ble Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, interacted with the founders of the top 30 startups, who were featured in a booklet launched at the Swachhata Startup Conclave, along with their innovations. Two panel discussions, Sankalp, facilitated by Ananth Aravamudan, Sector Lead, Climate Action, Villgro, and Prerna, facilitated by Mohammad Azhar, Lead, Government & Public Sector Initiatives, were also held to discuss the challenges, learnings and journeys of Indian soonicorns and unicorns.

The Swachhata Startup Challenge seeks to create a conducive environment and nurture impactful startups creating solutions at the nexus of social innovation and technology. Furthermore, it provides financial, capacity building and GTM support to the startups to reinforce India’s waste management ecosystem and catalyze digital transformation, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India under the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 (SBM-U 2.0).

The Swachata Startup Challenge received an overwhelming response with a diverse application pool of 244* applications from 23 States and Union Territories, including 100 women-led startups.

The Top 10 winners are

  • Genrobotics develops robotic scavengers engineered to clean manholes and sewers, thereby eliminating manual scavenging.
  • The Kabadiwala enables users to sell and schedule free pickup of over 40 different categories of recyclable wastes.
  • Bintix Waste Research tracks collection, weighing, sorting and recycling of dry waste coming from each household.
  • Recycler India-Saltech transforms single-use plastics, construction and industrial waste into high-performance composite building materials.
  • Jal Sevak recycles wastewater from bathrooms, sinks, cloth-washing and dishwashing for flushing toilets and urinals.
  • GreenJams produces carbon-negative building materials out of crop residues and industrial by-products to replace conventional bricks.
  • Mudita and Radhesh transforms chicken waste into handloom cloth, which is turned into clothes and accessories by tribal women and local village artisans.
  • Green Delight Innovation produces India’s first FDA-approved sanitary pads that are organic, plastic-free and biodegradable.
  • KNP Arises offers a platform for hotels, restaurants and other food businesses to dispose of used cooking oil in a traceable and effective manner.
  • Cherries produces a portable, multi-functional Sanitation Service Equipment, which pumps high-density fecal and sanitary sludge from leach-pits, septic tanks and manholes.