New Delhi, November 20, 2018: NASSCOM 10,000 Startups and Facebook, today concluded the second edition of the Code for The Next Billion programme with ten shortlisted social impact start-ups showcasing their products on the Demo Day. The programme, a joint initiative by Facebook and NASSCOM 10,000 start-ups, started in the year 2015, had a singular focus to discover and empower the next generation of social impact start-ups in the country. Moving beyond the boundaries of digital natives, the second edition of the program was aimed at nurturing social impact start-ups creating digital innovations that serve to bring larger sections of new-to-internet/bottom of pyramid users into the digital fold.

The six months long immersive program saw over 250 applications, and after a rigorous screening and selection process, including an in-person presentation to a jury of industry stalwarts, 10 high impact start-ups from diverse sectors such as healthcare, education, agritech, blockchain made the final cut. The last leg of the six-month long programme kicked off on November 20th at the 10,000 Start-ups Warehouse in Noida. The full day conference witnessed a high profile participation from some of the leading corporates, start-ups and industry veterans, discussing the impact of inclusive design and immersive experiences and emerging generation of new age technology interfaces in strengthening the backbone of today’s infrastructure,  followed by mentorship and  networking sessions between the start-ups and investors.

Speaking on the occasion Ms. Sangeeta Gupta, Sr. Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, NASSCOM, said, “Today, we are witnessing a remarkable growth in the start-up ecosystem, propelled by innovative thinking and attitude to build solutions in key sectors where technology can play a revolutionary role. This is a positive step towards our objective to empower the developer community and motivate large scale innovation impacting bottom of the pyramid. Through the program, we aimed to accelerate the development and adoption of mobile internet applications across India. We would like to thank all our partners for their valuable support and trust and hope to work with a lot more people in the future”

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Satyajeet Singh, Head of Platform Partnerships, India and South Asia, Facebook, said, “Identifying, encouraging and mentoring start-ups focusing on India-first innovations is vital to foster an ecosystem that supports innovative solutions tailored to the historically unconnected and underserved. The joint initiative with NASSCOM and other partners from the industry is aimed at building the much needed infrastructural support that offers an avenue for the unique imagination, risk appetite and skills associated with social enterprises building applications to solve education, financial, health and public utility challenges. We are excited to support the journeys of these startups and hope that their journeys inspire the next generation of developers to apply their talents to solving these problems."

The program was also supported by funding partners Unitus Seed Fund, Ankur Capital and Indian Angel Network, outreach partner Invest India, incubation partner Social Alpha and design mentorship partner Design4India.

As per NASSCOM's internet report, the number of internet users in India will see a two-fold rise at 730 million by 2020 and are expected to take an incredible leap towards internet accessibility. This opens up immense possibilities for bringing a world of benefits to them. Over the past two editions, participating start-ups as well as industry have given an encouraging response to the initiative for promoting entrepreneurship, and providing a learning and networking platform. By driving discussions, engagement and mentorship the platform will continue to evangelize India's entrepreneurial prowess across the globe and open new horizons for the developer community in India providing them the right support to develop and build innovative apps and mobile websites in the areas of education, financial, health and public utility.

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