Chhattisgarh’s 36Inc, based in capital Raipur, has emerged as the flagship incubation and accelerator centre of the state and is making great strides in the field of innovation. 36Inc has incubated more than 80 startups in the last six months alone in diversified sectors. The 300-seater co-working space, along with the Fablab maker space, IoT Lab and Multimedia Lab, all act as a platform to attract the best of innovators.
This can be partly attributed to the state’s falling crime rates and improving quality of life, which makes it an attractive destination for small businesses and professionals. Chhattisgarh is also emerging as an education hub. It is only city in India to have an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Bhilai is temporarily housed in Raipur), an International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and a National Law University.
In addition, there have been several initiatives to encouraging innovation and deployment of technology in the state. For instance, Think Raipur, an initiative to get the people of the state to help make Raipur a smart city received around 2,000 ideas, of which 13 were selected and received support and funding. The novel Tribal Hackathon, aimed at getting solutions for the bettering of tribals in the state, received over 1,000 entries.
Sanchar Kranti Yojana (SKY) is another initiative by the Government of Chhattisgarh (GoC), which aims to improve telecom penetration in the state. The programme augments telecom network communication and is set to provide 50 lakh mobiles to the residents of Chhattisgarh. Women members of the family will be given mobile phones and will also be given training to use these devices effectively and efficiently. The project also aims at creating an ecosystem of mobile applications and technology that will allow citizens access to all sorts of information to make their lives easier. It will allow citizens to gain access to services, whether private or government, instantly and with transparency.
SKYHack: Solutions for impact
As a means to find good solutions to facilitate the Sanchar Kranti Yojana initiative, the GoC is conducting SKYHack 2018, an online hackathon whose final round will be held on 27 August this year. The hackathon encourages innovative minds to come together and provide solutions towards creating an app ecosystem. Participants will have the opportunity to be part of the starts emerging startup culture, with access to partner resources such as incubators, accelerators and mentorship programmes, as well as cash prizes of Rs 20 lakh!
As part of the Hackathon, here are some of the challenges that participants have to find solutions for.
The first round of submissions closes on 28th July 2018. Shortlisted participants will be announced on 9 August, after which the final round will be conducted on 27 August and winners will be announced on the same day.
What SKY is doing
Through SKY, the government aims to put a smartphone in the hands of every household in the state, starting with distributing 5 million of them. As part of this initiative, SKY Hack will look into solving governance issues via the mobile app route. It gives entrepreneurs and app developers opportunities to access a market in excess of 5 million customers and additionally there is prize money and incubation support from 36Inc and Mobile 10X.