Telecom major Bharti Airtel and Meta-owned instant messaging app WhatsApp on September 22 announced a partnership to launch ‘Airtel IQ Hackathon’ inviting start-ups to build new-age business solutions on the app. The event will offer prizes worth up to Rs 1 crore, business mentorship across product, engineering and business functions along with training engagements and learning modules on the WhatsApp business platform, the telecom stated.
It also said that the hackathon’s objective is to identify and build new-age business solutions using the WhatsApp Business Platform across five key sectors of the economy -- e-commerce, ed-tech, banking and financial services (BFSI), travel and tourism, contact centre operations -- where start-ups have made a mark and entrepreneurs have developed robust businesses.
"Airtel IQ hackathon aims to offer emerging Indian startups, Independent Software Vendors (ISV) and the student community an opportunity to leverage technology and drive customer experience and better customer engagement," the telco said in a statement.
Applications for the event will close on October 9 and participants will be evaluated over three rounds and a mega finale on December 1. Click here to know more details and registration.
Coming back to offer, Airtel IQ will also give winners free conversations on the WhatsApp Business Platform and the WhatsApp API helping them reduce their operating costs and focus on building the future of conversational experience using chat-based experiences. Winners will also get an opportunity to leverage Airtel Business’ channel network to achieve reach and scale with enterprises.
Furthermore, a select few startups would be offered to onboard the Airtel Startup Accelerator Program and hyper-scale their company with the company. "Under this Program, in addition to the funding in the range of $500,000 – $2 million, startups gain access to Airtel’s core platform strengths of data, distribution, network, and payments," it added.
Commenting on the occasion, Abhishek Biswal, Business head, Airtel IQ said: "Airtel IQ is thrilled to partner with WhatsApp @Meta bringing together our expertise to empower technology entrepreneurs, software publishers and emerging startups to build future-ready CPaaS solutions. On behalf of Airtel, I invite startups to be a part of this Hackathon and benefit from the opportunities to chart their growth journeys, and scale up quickly and sustainably.”Ravi Garg, Director of Business Messaging, Meta India, said, “...Our partnership with ‘Airtel IQ Hackathon’ intends to foster and nurture start-ups in building technology-based solutions towards achieving the Digital India vision. Technology offers immense potential to make e-commerce, ed-tech, banking and financial services, travel & tourism more accessible, convenient, and inclusive for millions of Indians.”