Kerala Start-Up Wins Rs 1 Cr Grant in Govt Challenge to Rival Zoom

The app by the Indian start-up is touted to have better security features than Zoom.

Tech News
2 min read
Kerala-based start up has won the Grand Challenge announced by the Indian government on 12 April. 

A Kerala-based tech start-up managed to bag a grant of Rs 1 crores by winning the Indian government’s ‘Grand Challenge’ to create a video conferencing app to rival Zoom.

According to The Indian Express, Techgentsia’s sub-division Vconsol was declared the winner of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology’s (MeiTY) Digital India ‘Grand Challenge’.

The programme was announced on 12 April to develop an industry-standard video-conference solution to compete with Zoom.

In terms of being a competitor to Zoom, the desi app is touted to come with additional security features. “Each participant will have a different password. And, to ensure that only those expected or invited are able to join the video-conference, an OTP verification code will be sent to mobile phones of participants,” said Joy Sebastian, who developed the app with his team.

The app has been developed in three months and adds all the premium features of Zoom with its USP being security.

The winner of the challenge was declared by IT Minister RS Prasad and they not only get financial support of Rs 1 crore but an additional Rs 10 lakh for operation and maintenance for the next three years.

Participating in the ‘Grand Challenge’

A total of 1,983 applicants enrolled for this programme, of which 12 participants were offered Rs 10 lakh each to develop their respective prototypes. Five participants were further shortlisted and received 15-20 lakh for “mentorship, testing and onboarding” on the National Informatics Centre (NIC) cloud.

While announcing the winners, RS Prasad emphasised upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for an “Atmanirbhar Bharat” saying, “We are committed to developing India’s software product and mobile app economy in a big way and efforts like this will go a long way in that direction.”

In addition to the above, the jury also selected three other products as potentials for future projects and offered them a developmental contract to be supported by Rs 25 lakh each for further developing their product within three months.

These three products will be further analysed by the MeiTY and then deployed if approved.

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