World news story

India’s top tech start-ups battle to win TECH Rocketships Awards

The last 15 applicants will compete to win an opportunity to internationalise their business via the UK.


The Department for International Trade (DIT) India and the British Deputy High Commission Bengaluru are hosting the 2017-18 TECH Rocketship Awards’ live pitching round today. This will see India’s brightest entrepreneurs fight it out for a place in the grand finale in Mumbai during next month’s India – UK Createch Summit.

The 2017-18 TECH Rocketship Awards will again connect India’s top tech entrepreneurs and scale-up businesses to the UK’s world-beating tech and funding ecosystem. 7 high-quality prize packages await this year’s winners. The competition has been the biggest yet, with 300 applications. Of these,15 of the best tech companies, in sectors ranging from cyber-security to artificial intelligence have been shortlisted.

These companies will now pitch their ideas in front of a live audience and the world’s toughest pitching panel. This will contain a range of angel funders, venture capitalists and tech visionaries including:

  • Mohandas Pai, Arian Capital
  • Alok Vajpeyi, Startup Bootcamp
  • Ravi Tyagi, SIDBI Ventures
  • Padmaja Ruparel, Indian Angel Network
  • Riyaaz Amlani, Impresario
  • Srinivas Kollipara, T-Hub India
  • Anmol Nayyar, DMI Finance
  • Shradha Sharma, YourStory
  • Karan Mohla, IDG Ventures

Amo Kalar, Deputy Director - Trade, Economics and Prosperity, India and the driving force behind the competition said:

As we exit the EU, the UK will become an even stronger proposition for India’s brightest tech scale-ups and entrepreneurs. London and the wider UK remain the world’s best place to set up a digital business. And if you thought last year’s competition, with a Royal opening and PM-PM close was big, just wait for this year’s winners.

I can guarantee the winners will be the very best, and look forward to hearing them pitch in both Bengaluru and Mumbai. We know that mentoring matches money in this space, so I am particularly grateful for our judging panel, all experts and winners in the tech ecosystem, for sharing their time and expertise so freely.

British Deputy High Commissioner Bengaluru, Dominic McAllister said:

The TECH Rocketship Awards aims to provide India’s top young entrepreneurs with business advice and support to help them go global through the UK. Where better to run this programme than in Bengaluru, India’s start-up capital and one of the world’s most dynamic cities.

I am pleased that 15 entrepreneurs are pitching their ideas today. The competition will enable them to raise their profile with UK and Indian investors, and give them the opportunity to meet with UK venture capitalists, mentors, entrepreneurs and incubators, as well as experts from DIT and leading professional services firms, who will guide them on how to establish a firm footing abroad.

Following the pitching session, the entrepreneurs will also network with leading mentors in their field.

From the 15 pitchers in Bengaluru there will be a further shortlist who will get an opportunity to present their business ideas at the first ever India-UK Createch Summit in Mumbai on 6 February 2018.

The final pitch at the Summit will witness 7 finalists competing for the coveted award across 7 categories, each relevant to the UK’s world-beating tech ecosystem:

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Big Data
  • Cybersecurity
  • Fintech
  • Internet of Things
  • Medtech

There will also be a judge’s award for creativity.

The winners will be awarded at a grand ceremony at the India – UK Createch Summit on February 6 in Mumbai, with an all expenses paid, bespoke trip to the UK. The prize package includes a programme connecting India’s fast-rising tech entrepreneurs with the UK’s world-leading growth ecosystem of venture capitalists, advisors, customers and support networks that will help spring board their business internationally.

The awards, an initiative by the the DIT in India, have been running for three years and have seen endorsement from The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, British Prime Minister Theresa May and some of biggest names in Indian business.

Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Aarin Capital Partners, Bengaluru highlighted the importance of TECH Rocketship Award and said:

This is a great initiative to connect the innovative startup systems of the UK and India. Indian start-ups will get an opportunity to work with UK innovators, venture capitalists and industries and seek entry into UK markets. The future lies in creating ‘living innovative bridges’ globally and the UK-India start up systems can be a role model for others - a great example of deepening UK-India relations!

Indian Angel Network (IAN) has closely worked with DIT to shortlist the applications. Padmaja Ruparel, Co-Founder IAN and Founding Partner, IAN Fund said:

The fourth edition of the awards marks another year of IAN’s association DIT. This partnership is a collaboration on the start-up bridge between India and the UK to help Indian start-ups grow and go global. IAN has been working closely with DIT and had also invested in the ventures of previous winners - RepUp, Get my Parking & Project Mudra (Thinkerbell Labs). I compliment DIT for this initiative, enabling young entrepreneurs from Tech Startups in India to scale and leverage the UK.

Srinivas Kollipara, Founder and COO of T-Hub said:

T-Hub is delighted to partner with the Department for International Trade for the TECH Rocketship Awards. The UK’s offer for globally minded entrepreneurs is world class, and is a great complement to T-Hub’s international market access program. We wish this year’s TRA finalists great success.

India is the third largest start-up hub in the world. The Start-up India initiative and a multitude of policies by the Indian Government have helped in accelerating the growth of India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. TECH Rocketship Awards are a GREAT for Collaboration initiative, seeking to form a lasting partnership between India’s fast-growing start-ups and UK financing and support for entrepreneurs.


For media queries, please contact:

Stuart Adam, Head,
Press and Communications,
British High Commission, Chanakyapuri,
New Delhi 110021, Tel: 44192100; Fax: 24192400

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Published 9 January 2018