Trestle Labs emerges winner of Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2019-20

Trestle Labs emerges winner of Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2019-20
Trestle Labs emerges winner of Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2019-20

Trestle Labs emerges winner of Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2019-20

~The eighth edition of Tata Social Enterprise Challenge attracted over 1000 impact proposals~


•	Incubation: The top 23 teams will get an opportunity to pitch for incubation at IIM Calcutta.
•	Funding opportunity: Shortlisted teams for the semi-finals and finals will have an opportunity to pitch to India’s largest social VCs for seed funding
•	Cash Award: Total prize money of ₹6 lakh for the top three teams. The semi-finalists received travel grants.

Kolkata, February 26, 2020: The winners of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2019-20 (TSEC), a joint initiative of the Tata group and Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIMC), were announced during the Grand Finale held on January 4, 2020, at the IIM Calcutta campus. The challenge endeavours to find India’s most promising early-stage social enterprises and create an ecosystem for social entrepreneurship – encouraging sustainable, scalable and measurable social impact.

Trestle Labs from Gujarat (Winner), PadCare Labs from Maharashtra (1st Runners-up) and Greenikk and Aerobiosys  from Kerala and Telengana respectively (Joint 2nd Runners-up) emerged as the top four most promising social ventures, winning prize money of Rs. 2.5 lakhs, Rs. 2 lakhs and Rs. 1.50 lakhs, respectively.

Trestle Labs, the winner of the challenge, is a technology startup which invented KIBO, the World’s first intelligent personalized reading-learning companion for the Visually-impaired and Learning-disabled which helps them read any printed/handwritten/digital content in real-time through audio with an immersive reading-learning experience.

Padcare Labs which was announced as the first runners-up, is into water and sanitation. Padcare labs developed decentralized, portable, instant washroom fit able sanitary napkin disposal unit that gives significant bacterial lock. The company is using novel chemo-mechanical method and reverse osmosis for de-swelling of superabsorbent polymer that is assisted by efficient mechanical shredding.

With respect to the second runner up position, there was a tie between Greenikk and Aerobiosys. Greenikk is engaged in using state of the art technologies to make 100% bio-degradable and eco-friendly straws by using stalks of papaya plant as the raw material. Aerobiosys is a healthcare start up which developed a cost-effective, intelligent, AI and IoT-enabled ventilation system called  “Duo-vent’ for patients admitted in the Critical Care unit with Respiratory illness.

Apart from the top 4 winning ventures, the 6 ventures that have made it to the top 10 finalists are Krishworks Technology and Research Labs, Nunam, Ferrosens, Datair Technology, KBCols Sciences, Greenwear Fashion.

The ventures were judged on five parameters – Social Impact, Innovation, Business Model, Revenue and Sustainability, Leadership and Team.

Mr. Ashish Kumar Gupta, Managing Director, TM International Logistics Limited felicitated the winner.

Dr. Subhrangshu Sanyal, CEO – IIM Calcutta Innovation Park said, “Over the period of last eight years, the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge has evolved as the largest platform for early stage social entrepreneurs who are trying to solve socio-economic challenges of our country. We have seen a steady growth in participation every year and around 40% of the finalists were successful in raising funding.”

Mr. Ashish Kumar Gupta, MD, TM International Logistics shared, “The last two days of the grand finale has been very insightful for me and I have learnt a lot about the subject. I think CSR is about a cause and not just about spends, it should create social and financial impact. The success of any social enterprise depends on the entrepreneur having complete clarity and passion for the larger social purpose his/her venture sets out to achieve.”

The Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2019-20 received 1080 applications from all over India. These proposals covered several different areas such as agriculture; healthcare; water and sanitation; technology and development; education and skills development; housing; handicrafts; energy; and microfinance, among others.

How the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2019-20 was conducted:

Out of 1080 applications, 60 teams were shortlisted for the regional rounds which were conducted at Kolkata, Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai in November last year. Based on the business plan presentations, 20 teams were selected for the semi-finals. Three startups were selected from the Germany regional round. The Semi Final and Grand Finale were scheduled on 3rd and 4th January, 2020 respectively. In the Grand Finale of this event, top 10 early stage startups in the social enterprise space were identified and felicitated. Eminent personalities shared their insights to motivate the youth towards social entrepreneurship.


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