Times have been unprecedented, for some it has been unforgiving. However, the truth is COVID-19 has in some way or the other not only affected the regular life of people but also slowed down the economy. With the multifaceted problems that the pandemic has spiked, it is no exception to think that it has become a collective mission of all stakeholders to come together and avert the crisis. Squaring up to the necessity of coming together in these times, Action Covid-19 Team also known as ACT has put together an INR 100 crore grant fund that is backed by the community of India's startups, VC community and celebrated business leaders like Nandan Nilekani, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and Sanjeev Bhikchandani.
VC firms such as Sequoia India, Matrix Partners, SAIF Partners, Lightspeed Ventures, Kalaari Capital, Accel, Chiratae Ventures, Omidyar Network and Nexus Partners along with several start-up founders and leaders in entrepreneurial space such as Mukesh Bansal, co-founder of CureFit and Abhiraj Bhal, Co-Founder of Urban Company among others have been pivotal in putting together the ACT Grants.
To fight the spread of COVID 19, ACT Grants is looking to give wings to innovative and scalable ideas that are also capital efficient. To create an immediate impact, ACT is inviting both NGOs and startups who have solution-oriented ideas and may need an initial seeding grant to be able to execute them. The ideas that will be considered under this sponsorship are ones which can create an immediate impact and act as a force multiplier considering the present situation.
The idea behind this initiative is to destigmatize testing and to create awareness among people about the importance of testing in increased numbers. The NGOs and SMEs who have a 360-degree plan and real solutions to prevent COVID-19 spread, scaling, testing, disease management at home and also support healthcare workers. To achieve the same, ACT has onboarded a number of leading celebrities, members of parliament, social media influencers etc. The fear of the pandemic has resulted in a gross stigma about testing. This stigma and fear of testing COVID-19 positive and being deemed as an outcast actively discourage a number of people to avoid the process. To de-stigmatise the COVID 19 testing, ACT has also rolled out an awareness campaign Jaanch Bachaaye Jaan to help citizens understand that testing is a vital tool in our fight against this pandemic. Celebrities like Rahul Dravid, Saif Ali Khan, Kunal Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan have all come forward to show their support and help spread the message.
In conclusion, this is the time when innovative solutions, ideas and dedicated education can contribute towards eradicating coronavirus. Act Grants comes as a great opportunity for startups to exemplify their innovative solutions to save the world, quite literally! COVID-19 may have gotten us into a difficult position but if stakeholders from across industries come together with correct logistics, evolved planning and innovation, we can hope for this to end soon. The Logical Indian appreciates the efforts of ACT Grants initiative to bring the entire startup ecosystem under one umbrella to work towards a collective goal of beating Coronavirus pandemic.