Quarterly Newsletter : December'21 Edition

Dear <<First Name>>,

The last couple of months have been significant and as we welcome the new year, it serves as a good reminder for us to pause and reflect. The/Nudge Prize was launched with the vision of nudging top talent, capital, and innovation to solve some of the biggest underserved problems of the country. The inaugural edition of it, the Cisco Agri Challenge, has reaffirmed our faith in the potential of the platform to catalyse the change that we envision. Despite the pandemic, all the stakeholders involved- the contestants; Cisco, the prize sponsor; our advisors; and mentors- came together to continue delivering high impact work.  

2021 was a landmark year for The/Nudge Prize and we don't see any reason why 2022 should be any different. We now have identified the finalists and are betting on them to go full throttle over the next few months before we attempt to zero in on the organisation with the strongest potential to impact 10 million lives. We are also preparing ourselves to look for the next big problem to take on. The road ahead is exciting and we are glad to have you on board. 

Wishing you a very happy new year!

-The/Nudge Prize Team

Selecting the finalists of Cisco Agri Challenge

When the Cisco Agri Challenge was announced in December 2020, more than 800 organisations applied, out of which, 25 semi-finalists were shortlisted. After six months of on-ground implementation, the semi-finalists underwent a rigorous monitoring and evaluation (M&E) exercise, complemented with a pitch round before a panel of experts. The combined scores of the M&E exercise and the jury presentation was used to help the program team arrive at the top performing 5 teams that would make it to the final round and win the milestone grant of ₹15 lakhs each. 

1. The Monitoring and Evaluation Exercise 
Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) was onboarded to be the independent monitoring and evaluation (M&E) partner for Cisco Agri Challenge. IRMA, led by Prof Rakesh Arrawatia and Prof Shyam Singh, designed the evaluation framework which was informed by the prize objectives- Farmer Profitability, Farmer Centricity, Scalability, Social and Environmental Impact; and the Global Impact Investing Network's Impact Reporting and Investing Standards (IRIS). To evaluate the impact of the semi-finalists' work on the lives of the Small Holder Farmers (SHFs), IRMA team visited the fields of operation of the semi-finalists and spoke to the stakeholders at length, in addition to having a detailed conversation with the founders. Upon completion of the field visits, a report on each of the teams was presented to the program team.
2. The Jury Panel
On the 27th and 28th of October, 2021, the semi-finalists presented their progress to the expert jury panel. The panel, consisting of Jitesh Shah (Chief Revenue Officer, CropIn), Kalyan Guntuboyina (Account Manager-Asia, Wageningen University and Research), Ritu Verma (Co-founder, Ankur Capital), and Ujwal Thakar (Former Chief Executive Officer, Pratham), was assisted by the report submitted by IRMA. Each panellist brought their expertise to ensure that the organisation's progress and impact were evaluated from multiple lenses-  financial viability, technical edge, social consciousness, in addition to the prize objectives.
Meet the Cisco Agri Challenge Finalists
The combined scores of the M&E exercise and the jury scores should have led us to the top 5 organisations. However, arriving at it proved to be tougher than anticipated as the organisations were closely ranked which was yet another testimonial of the calibre of the organisations. Finally, in addition to the top five, the program team took a decision to not lose out on some high potential solutions and, as a result, three additional teams found themselves making wildcard entries to join the top 5 as finalists.

 Milestone Grant Winning Finalists

  1. Bioprime Agrisolutions

  2. Ecozen Solutions

  3. S4S Technologies

  4. Takachar

  5. Whrrl

 Wildcard Finalists

  1. Dvara E-Dairy Solutions

  2. EmerTech Innovations

  3. Khethworks

Cisco Agri Challenge Contestants in the News

1. Oorja Secures $1 Million in Seed Funding

2. Takachar Wins Prince William's Earthshot Prize

3. Bioprime Raises an Undisclosed Amount in Funding from Omnivore

4. VCCircle Highlights Finalists' Work

5. Finalists in Conversation with Rishabh Gulati, NewsX

News from the AgriTech Ecosystem

1. CNN in conversation with Sudha Srinivasan and Atul Satija on AgriTech and Sustainable Future

2. Boosting AgriFood Life Sciences is Key to India’s Agricultural Future

3. DeHaat Raises $115 Million in India's Biggest Ever Agtech Round

4. AgFunder Releases India AgriFood Startup Report 2021

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