Emergent Ventures India, fourth cohort

Here is the latest EV India cohort, and I am delighted to see more applications from young women and teenagers.  I note also that a lot of the applicants for EV India are increasingly from smaller towns, or were raised in small towns before moving to larger cities for their projects.

EV India now has 75 winners!  And I met most of them in Udaipur this last weekend.  Here is the list of new winners:

Siddharth Kanungo is a chemical engineer by training and founder of Primer, an interactive conversational learning platform. Primer is designed for self-learners to learn subjects like mathematics, physics, computer science, that are usually offered in a university-level setting.

Keertana Subramani is a 23-year-old educator and social entrepreneur who wants to provide high-quality, accessible learning experiences. She received her EV grant to build SUVY Classes, a platform that vets and trains tutors for quality, and offers engaging, live classes for any learning need, and at twenty cents a day.

Arun Iyyanarappan is a 28-year-old electrical and software engineer passionate about creating alternate systems for electric power consumption. He received his EV grant to build a cost-effective solar powered house to show proof of concept for electrifying homes in rural areas at low-cost.

Gowtham Tummeda is a 21-year-old student interested in biology and programming and views biology as a software problem.  He received his EV grant to build an end-to-end AI platform for biological data analysis. His larger ambition is to use the platform to model, design and simulate changes to strands of DNA at protein level using Deep Mind’s Alpha Fold.

Tejas Sidnal is an architect and researcher from Mumbai. He is the founder of CarbonCraft, a design and material innovation startup converting carbon emissions into building materials by fusing material knowledge of clean technologies with traditional techniques. He received an EV grant to reduce the curing process for Carbon Tiles from 28 days to under four hours for tiles that store captured carbon.

Hiya Jain is an 18-year-old interested in using EdTech to make education equitable. She received her EV grant to travel to San Francisco and better understand the EdTech space. She is currently working on UnMold, a project connecting high-school students in developing countries to PhD students running high information, low pressure, cohort-based courses to inject inspiration into a system.

Shruti Karandikar is a 16-year-old high school student from Bangalore. She has started ‘Screens for the Unscreened’ to collect phones, tablets, and laptops and donate them to underprivileged students. This is being converted into a non-governmental organization called ‘Mobilize’.

Sainadh Chityala  is a 22-year-old engineering student. He received the EV grant to develop software to power self-driving cars in unpredictable and chaotic driving environments in urban India.

Samarth Bansal  is a 28-year-old independent journalist and programmer in India. His reporting has appeared in Indian and foreign press like the The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, Mint, and HuffPost, etc. He writes The Interval, a fortnightly newsletter. He received his EV grant to merge his two interests – developing AI platforms for journalism and serve the news at higher speed and lower cost.

Apurwa Masook is a 23-year-old structural engineer who graduated and cofounded and spearheaded India’s first Indigenous Student Rocketry Mission. He is the founder of Space Fields, a team of hustlers, engineers and space aficionados working towards affordable access to space. He received his EV grant to support Space Fields’s efforts in developing a low-cost high-performance green compositepellant to power next generation of Launch Vehicles.

Snigdha Poonam  is a 38-year-old journalist and author from Delhi. She has written about identity politics, income inequality, tech culture, and crime.  Her first book, Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing Their World, won 2018’s Crossword Award for nonfiction. She received an EV grant to travel across India to for her investigative work on scams and fraud in the contemporary Indian political economy.

Aniruddha Kenge is a 20-year-old student of industrial design with an interest in carbon-based materials, especially graphene. He is working towards decarbonizing plastics and making their use, reuse, and production sustainable, swiftly. He received his EV grant to develop hemp fiber-based bio-composites in India that can replace multi-use plastics.

Keya Krishna is a 16-year-old high school student in Washington DC interested in the intersection of science, technology, and public policy. She received her EV grant to measure pollution exposures at a hyper-local level with a high level of spatial and temporal granularity, specifically focusing on the pollution exposure of school-going youth.

Abhilash Mishra is the Founder and Chief Science Officer of EquiTech Futures. He trained as a physicist and holds an M.Phys from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Astrophysics from Caltech. EquiTech Futures is a network of innovators from around the world using data science and AI to tackle societal challenges. Abhilash received his EV grant to develop and scale cohort-based courses, research residencies, and educational networking, through their programs EquiTech Scholars, EquiTech Residency, and EquiTech Institutes.

Reuben Abraham is the founding CEO of Artha Global, a new Mumbai and London based policy research and consulting organization that provides the scaffolding for efforts aimed at building state capacity. He was named ‘Think Tanker of the Year 2022’ by Prospect Magazine for putting together a large platform that enabled inter-disciplinary work to tackle the Covid-19 crisis in India.

Zi Cheng “Sam” Huang is a 26-year-old ethnographic researcher interested in elite spaces and cultural replication. Currently, they are assisting on a project about the beliefs of AI researchers. In their free time, they coach Peking University in competitive debating, effective altruism, and started a fellowship for talented young debaters to engage in effective altruism. With their EV grant, they seek to understand scaling education programs in India especially IITs.

Mohammad Ruhul Kader is an entrepreneur and writer from Dhaka, Bangladesh. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure: A short guide to living an entrepreneurial life. He received his EV grant to scale Future Startup into a leading destination to learn about entrepreneurship, tech, and business in Bangladesh.

Hemanth Bharatha Chakravarthy (21) and Benjamin Hoffner-Brodsky (22) are data scientists from Chennai and Davis with backgrounds in computational social science research and government. They founded Jhana, a Bangalore-based artificial intelligence lab, and are interested in simplifying and democratizing legal processes and information, and in building alignment and ethics tools for back-checking deployed AI systems. They are building a state-of-the-art, automatic legal search interface for lawyers and students. 

Tushar Khandelwal (24), is a former investment banker turned social entrepreneur. He is the founder of Sigma91 – a career accelerator for ambitious teens, and has built a community of over 400 highly talented teenagers.

Akash Kulgod is a 22-year-old researcher, writer, and techno-optimist from Belagavi, with a degree in cognitive science from UC Berkeley. He is the founder of Dogluk — a startup-DAO aiming to augment the ability of dogs to detect disease by transforming their olfactory perceptual abilities into digital and multidimensional signatures. He is also a team member of the Rajalakshmi Children Foundation. You can follow his substack for his writing and podcasts about Dogluk, effective altruism, and the psychedelic revival.

Raghav Gupta  is a 24-year-old industrial engineer and the founder of EquiDEI, a crypto-fintech startup. EquiDEI is a blockchain based protocol designed to monetize unbanked supply chain assets of small and medium sized enterprises in India, to provide low risk liquidity options. His ambition is to use his startup to generate wealth and liquidity and jobs for the SME ecosystem.

SealXX is a bioplastic solution to replace single-use plastics based on the concept of biomimicry, and it is founded and run by five teenagers across the world. At SealXX, they want to make the everyday products by mimicking protein-based natural processes by reducing the need for plastic reliance. Chandhana, Nithi, Roy, Nathan, and Elly, cofounders of SealXX were awarded an EV grant to develop and scale their biomimicry process.

  • Nithi Byreddy is a 17-year-old innovator and author researching the applications of carbon capture in climate science. She has worked on creating a blockchain-based solution to reduce people’s carbon footprint and has worked with IKEA to create sustainable innovations to reduce their carbon emissions.
  • Roy Kim is a 16-year-old innovator and environmentalist interested in mimicking the mechanisms and designs of nature to create sustainable environments, mainly cities. In addition to working alongside Walmart, he is currently developing a theoretical ecological urban utopia and further exploring the applications of biomimicry in our society.
  • Nathan Park is a 17-year-old entrepreneur who is interested in economics and business management. He is currently doing research on the economics of the housing market, and running a student-led, scientific publication called MIND Magazines that seeks to make science universally accessible to everyone.

Nexteen is an innovation accelerator program for 13-19 years-old students with programs aimed at exposing students to exponential tech to work on global challenges. Here are some of their ambitious students:

  • Vedanth Nath,16, is is a high schooler, football enthusiast, and the creative engine at Nexteen. Prior to Nexteen, ran Media House, and has worked in in the WASH Sector. He also leads Tech and Youth at LooCafe helping them become the largest Toilet-WASH Company in the country.
  • Karthik Nagapuri, 22, is an innovator, Defi developer, and student getting his completing the last year of his undergraduate degree in Artificial Intelligence. At Nexteen, he’s building the tech infrastructure that would be useful for innovators who are part of the program. He also worked on Safe Block, a crypto wallet nominee system. He is also the winner of a separate EV grant for building open API framework and tech for LooCafe.
  • Ayush Srivastava,19, is a serial entrepreneur who likes to work on operations of new startups to help them grow. He has helped operationalize several startups before Nexteen.
  • Anvitha Kollipara,16, is an entrepreneur. She works on scaling, bringing international accreditation, and acquiring partnerships with companies such as Adobe for the non-profits she founded. She was named one of the top three teen change-makers by Forbes for her work with CareGood Foundation.
  • Harsh Vardhan Shukla,19, is a YouTuber turned entrepreneur, completing his undergraduate degree in business development while working on the side on nanotech projects. He works on content production (videos) and podcasts.

Emergent Ventures India is now large enough for top-up grants and repeat winners! Some familiar names below:

  • Nilay Kulkarni, a 22-year-old software developer from Nashik, for his fintech start up.
  • Swasthik Padma to scale his start-up TrashTrap to scale Plascrete – a high strength building material made by converting non-recyclable plastic waste – for commercial use.
  • Chandra Bhan Prasad to continue his excellent scholarship on Dalit capitalism and Dalit dignity.
  • Naman Pushp, co-founder of Airbound, for his early efforts to explore sustainable on-ground mobility.
  • Onkar Singh to continue developing his open-source CubeSat.

Those unfamiliar with Emergent Ventures can learn more here and here. The EV India announcement is here. More about the winners of EV India second cohort and third cohort. To apply for EV India, use the EV application click the “Apply Now” button and select India from the “My Project Will Affect” drop-down menu.

If you are interested in supporting the India tranche of Emergent Ventures, please write to me or to Shruti at [email protected].


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