Thiruvananthapuram: Kochi-based startup NavAlt ​​Solar and Electric Boats, which scripted history by launching India’s first solar-powered ferry boat service, has been selected as one among the 40 best startups from South India in the regional round of the Smart Fifty contest.

Held by IIM Calcutta Innovation Park in association with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, this contest aims at spotting 50 smart solutions from startups across the country.

NavAlt, whose activities are supported by the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), had won award in the Cleantech Global Forum 2017, held in Los Angeles, US.

The Smart Fifty initiative, a search for solutions to transform India, is aligned with the country’s focused approach to promote entrepreneurship-driven social development.

The contest seeks to identify and reward aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators across sectors, including Smart Learning, Smart Agriculture, Smart Money, Smart Sustainability, Smart Living and Smart Health.

The boot camp for the selected startups will be held on IIM Calcutta Campus from March 19 to 22. The jury will select 10 startups in the semi-final on March 23 and the top three ideas will be chosen in the grand finale on March 31 in New Delhi.

Top 10 startups can get funding up to Rs 1 crore each and assured incubation at IIM Calcutta Innovation Park. Top 50 startups will get assured funding of Rs 4 lakh each and access to dedicated mentoring. Besides, top 400 startups will get assured benefit worth Rs 1 lakh each and 3,000 startups can win assured benefits worth Rs 50,000 each. Top 50 finalists will feature on NDTV 24X7 Smart Fifty series.

Founded in 2013, NavAlt has been successfully conducting water transport service in the Vembanadu Lake for the last one year, using the sloar-powered  boat Adithya, reducing carbon emission over the ecologically sensitive backwaters considerably.

Adithya, currently being operated in the busy Vaikom-Thavanakkadavu stretch across the Vembanad lake, has benefited over five lakh people.  The 75-seater boat was launched in January, 2017 by Kerala Chief Minister Pinaryai Vijayan in the presence of Union Minister Piyush Goyal, who was in charge for New and Renewable Energy at the time.

By Manoj

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