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Last Updated Thursday March 22 2018 08:19 AM IST

Solar boat takes Kochi start-up to top 40 in Smart 50 contest

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Solar boat takes Kochi start-up to top 40 in Smart 50 contest

Thiruvananthapuram: Kochi-based start-up NavAlt Solar and Electric Boats, which launched India’s first solar-powered ferry boat service last year, has been chosen among the best 40 start-ups from south India in the regional round of the Smart Fifty contest.

Organised by IIM Calcutta Innovation Park in association with the Department of Science and Technology, the government of India, the contest is aimed at choosing start-ups that can present innovative ideas. The contest will choose 50 smart solutions from start-ups across the country.

The initiative also aims to transform India through entrepreneurship-driven social development. NavAlt, which is backed by the Kerala Start-up Mission, had won the Cleantech Innovation Award in the Cleantech Global Forum 2017, held in Los Angeles, the US.

The Smart Fifty contest seeks to identify and reward entrepreneurs across fields like Smart Learning, Smart Agriculture, Smart Money, Smart Sustainability, Smart Living and Smart Health.

IIM Kolkata will host the primary camp for the chosen start-ups from March 19 to 22. The semi-final will be held on March 23, when 10 start-ups will be chosen for the final round. The top three ideas will be chosen in the grand finale in New Delhi on March 31.

Top 10 start-ups will get funding up to Rs 1 crore each and incubation at IIM Calcutta Innovation Park. Top 50 start-ups will get funding of Rs 4 lakh each and access to mentoring.

Besides, top 400 start-ups in the list will get Rs 1 lakh each and those that made it to the first list of 3,000 start-ups can win Rs 50,000 each. Top 50 finalists will be featured on NDTV 24X7 Smart Fifty series.

NavAlt, founded in 2013, has been successfully operating solar-powered Aditya in Vembanad lake for the past one year. NavAlt's innovative tech in Aditya has helped in reducing carbon emissions, thus protecting the ecology of the backwaters.

Aditya, which plies on the busy Vaikom-Thavanakkadavu stretch, has so far benefited over five lakh passengers. The 75-seater boat was launched by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the presence of presence of Union minister Piyush Goyal in January 2017.

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