A new year rings in a new edition of Western Digital India’s Data Innovation Bazaar 2020. I am proud to officially announce the launch of Data Innovation Bazaar 2020, along with our incredible partners: Startup India, Invest India, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the Department of Science & Technology (DST), and TiE Delhi-NCR. It is one of our most powerful forums to showcase ideas that could help solve key issues of national importance for India, by leveraging the power of data.

Data Innovation Bazaar 2020 – New Categories and Expanded Industries

Our first edition of the Data Innovation Bazaar was a big success and it inspired us to “Think Big and scale the program to even greater heights. The first step was to expand our problem statements around three core categories: Data for Social Transformation, Data for Innovative Applications and Data for a Connected World. We believe that each of these categories has a significant role in addressing the economic and societal needs of India.

For Data Innovation Bazaar 2020, we are focusing on these seven verticals:

  • Agriculture
  • Education
  • Energy and Environment
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Healthcare
  • Smart Cities
  • Smart Transportation

Our thinking behind including these additional verticals in this year’s edition was to support emerging technologies and data services for more sustainable solutions. We believe that it is important to explore innovative ways to use data to improve city infrastructure and raise the quality of life.

Calling University Students and Early-Stage Startups in India

We are looking for innovators, big thinkers, and ideators who are passionate about improving the lives of Indian citizens through the use of data and technology. Students, entrepreneurs, and startups throughout India are all welcome to join us – whether in the ideation, validation, early traction, or scaling stage – in the Data Innovation Bazaar 2020 challenge.

At the close of the entry period, our partners along with my team will work together to identify and announce the top 40 entries. Each winning team will receive an invitation to present their innovative idea to leading policymakers, industry veterans, investors, and academia in a bazaar-style format at a marquee government venue. As a bonus, we are providing automatic membership to TiE across all India chapters for the winners.

Following the Data Innovation Bazaar, 10 teams will be chosen to attend an exclusive, three-day “Innovation Boot Camp” with Western Digital leadership at our Bengaluru campus. You can find out more about this invite-only event in my previous blog post. To close out the challenge, the top-3 winning teams will be named. Cash prizes are on the line, ranging from INR 10 Lakhs for the first-place team to INR 4 Lakhs for the third-place team.

We are also excited to add a new award to Data Innovation Bazaar 2020, the “Women Entrepreneur Award”. This recognition will be given to an outstanding entry led by one or more exceptional women innovators. It is our commitment to support women entrepreneurs in technology, and encourage them in the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in India. A financial award of INR 2 Lakhs will be provided to the award winner.

Timeline and Final Thoughts on Data Innovation Bazaar 2020

We are currently accepting applications, and the challenge will remain open through March 15, 2020. Following the close of the entry period, the top 40 teams will be announced and invited to attend the in-person Data Innovation Bazaar 2020. We anticipate the bazaar taking place in a marquee government venue.

Through Data Innovation Bazaar 2020, we aim to play a critical role in supporting the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem — creating significant value to India as a nation. Our goal is to create even greater value to the people of India by addressing these key economic and societal needs. I am excited to see how students and startups across the country will use data for social good in this year’s innovation challenge!

If you would like to learn more, I encourage you to follow the links below.

Find Out More about the Data Innovation Bazaar

Supria is VP and Country Manager of India, expanding strategic customer relationships with 20+ yrs of experience in business and leadership.