Startups roll out Rs 100 crore grant to aid COVID-19 solutions

New Delhi:  Founders of Indian startups, members of investment advisory firms and independent advisors have joined hands to launch a Rs 100 crore grant for supporting innovators working on solutions to control COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed thousands of lives globally.

The mission of ACT (Action COVID -19 Team) is to provide guidance and resources to startup founders and employees, and empower teams through financial grants and mentoring to create a large-scale impact in the fight against COVID-19.

The group will be supported by partner NGOs and industry veterans and will collaborate with government agencies to scale up solutions that show promising results.

“Investors, industry veterans and founders will collaborate and support startup founders in their preparation and planning as they face significant economic impact caused by COVID-19. It will be a dynamic resource to share best practices with them and enable them to collaborate and co-operate efficiently with business partners and various other external and internal stakeholders,” a statement said.

A Rs 100 crore ACT Grant will springboard innovators who are working on solutions to overcome COVID-19, it added.

The grant is seeking applications from NGOs, SMEs and startups that are working on innovative solutions to combat the effect of COVID-19 in areas like prevention of COVID-19 spread, scaling testing, disease management at home, enhanced support for healthcare workers and hospitals, management of critically-ill patients, and support for mental health.

“A 25-member team combining the resources of the startup community has been formed to enable rapid evaluation and recommendations on potential projects. A leadership team comprising members of the investment advisory community, founders and independent advisors has been formed to make grant decisions,” the statement said.

Further, a mentoring team has been constituted who can monitor and support post-investment for the projects, it added.

Corporates have been rushing in to help the government and citizens fight the Covid-19 pandemic in India.

IT major Cognizant has also announced an initial USD 10 million philanthropic commitment to support communities around the world in addressing the immediate and long-term impacts of COVID-19.

Cognizant and its US and India-based foundations will provide critical resources to strengthen public health systems, education and workforce institutions, and the economic outlook of communities worldwide, the company said in a statement.

As part of the USD 10 million commitment, the Cognizant US Foundation will match all Cognizant associate contributions to GlobalGiving’s ‘Coronavirus Relief Fund’ throughout April.

In a separate statement, short-video platform TikTok said it is donating Rs 100 crore worth of medical equipment in India.

TikTok is donating 4 lakh hazmat medical protective suits and 2 lakh masks to protect doctors and front line medical staff in India, it said in a statement.


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