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India crowdsources COVID-19 response – startups told to make YouTube vids to win

Online hackfest designed to help government response, provided entries arrive in 12-point Arial

India has turned to its national crowdsourcing platform to find ideas that might crimp COVID-19.

The nation’s MyGov Innovate platform regularly hosts challenges designed to enlist startups keen on winning some cash, helping to tackle national issues and perhaps also stimulate local industry. Past challenges have targeted cybersecurity, working with government data and developing new textiles industry policy. And yes, that’s textiles as in cloth.

Exactly what the COVID challenge is after is a little hard to divine from its description, which says the Indian government is working hard to disseminate good information through its Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, but is “also getting inputs with regard to individuals and companies who have developed technologies and innovative solutions, Bioinformatics, datasets, Apps for diagnosis etc that can be leveraged for strengthening the fight against Corona.”

Entries are to be submitted either as YouTube videos – three minutes tops, please – or as three—page documents in 12-point Arial. The rules don’t mention if single-spacing is allowed.

The best solution will walk away with Rs 1,00,000 – about £1060 – and lesser prizes are also on offer.

Which may seem hardly worth fighting for, given India’s definition of a startup ( PDF is an organisation under ten years old that has never achieved annual revenue of US$13.5 million.

However on this occasion the competition also offers the chance to attain the tech industry’s most-coveted achievement: literally making the world a better place! ®

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