Startup India – WhatsApp Grand Challenge – $250K Grants to be won!

Startup India – WhatsApp Grand Challenge

In an effort to fuel the growth of India’s entrepreneurial and small business community, Invest India through it’s flagship initiative Startup India has partnered with WhatsApp on a program that focuses on the proliferation of startups, promotion of economic growth and generation of employment opportunities in India.

Dedicated to driving success and enhancing grassroots innovation, WhatsApp has launched a grand challenge that will grant of a total of $250,000 to the top 5 winners. The winners will be selected at a live pitch day during the grand finale. 

About WhatsApp Business

WhatsApp Business is helping over 5 million small businesses grow and engage with their customers globally. WhatsApp is widely used for business communication across India. It enables businesses to connect with consumers and vendors, showcase merchandise, and streamline internal business processes. In fact, 77%* of small and medium sized businesses on WhatsApp in India have been able to hire more employees due to growth since joining WhatsApp. 

WhatsApp offers end-to-end encryption of messaging and free calling, making it both a secure and affordable platform for business use. This has led to it becoming prevalent both for external communication and used to manage internal business processes as well. 

* Refer to


Relevant Stakeholder

  • Individual
  • Ideation Stage Startup
  • Validation Stage Startup
  • Early Traction Startup
  • Scaling Stage Startup
Detailed Eligibility Criteria

Entrepreneurs with highly innovative ideas, business models that solve for a local India problem, making a large scale socio-economic impact, are invited to apply.

Requirements – All applications must be accompanied by a pitch deck, with a maximum of 6-8 slides.

Relevant Industry

  • Marketing
  • Aeronautics Aerospace & Defence
  • AI
  • Analytics
  • Animation
  • AR VR (Augmented + Virtual Reality)
  • Architecture Interior Design
  • Art & Photography
  • Automotive
  • Chemicals
  • Telecommunication & Networking
  • Computer Vision
  • Construction
  • Dating Matrimonial
  • Design
  • Education
  • Non- Renewable Energy
  • Renewable Energy
  • Green Technology
  • Enterprise Software
  • Events
  • Fashion
  • Finance Technology
  • Food & Beverages
  • Technology Hardware
  • Healthcare & Lifesciences
  • Human Resources
  • Internet Of Things
  • IT Services
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Nanotechnology
  • Pets & Animals
  • Professional & Commercial Services
  • Real Estate
  • Retail
  • Other Specialty Retailers
  • Robotics
  • Safety
  • Security Solutions
  • House-Hold Services
  • Social Impact
  • Social Network
  • Sports
  • Textiles & Apparel
  • Transportation & Storage
  • Travel & Tourism
  • Advertising
  • Agriculture
  • Others
  • Logistics
  • Airport Operations
  • Waste Management
  • Passenger Experience
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Themes for Challenges

  • Healthcare
  • Rural Economy
  • Financial and Digital Inclusion
  • Education
  • Citizen Safety

Problem Statement

Build solutions to solve for India’s unique challenges

The Indian market is stated to reach $5Tn by 2025. Startups will contribute significantly in achieving that goal. India is a unique market with it’s typical quirks coupled with a large market opportunity that makes it very attractive. 

If you have an idea that solves for a local India problem, creates high impact, bridges the digital divide, or/and builds in efficiency and effectiveness in an existing unique, innovative solution, then apply now for the challenge!


Fiscal Incentives

Grant of $50,000 each to the 5 winners of the StartUp India-WhatsApp Grand Challenge.    

Procedure Post Submission

Applications once submitted shall be evaluated by an independent evaluation committee. The best 30 ideas will be shortlisted for the subsequent round and to 10 in the following round. The selected 10 ideas will be invited to participate at the live pitch day to announce the 5 winners. 


31 JAN, 2019 10:00:00 IST

Start date

10 MAR, 2019

Valid Till

24 MAY, 2019

Result Date

Organisation Details

Organisation Name
Invest India
Person In Charge
Kriti Jain
Partnership Manager
Support Email ID

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