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Empower Innovations & Startups across 196 countries
Hunt for the next Unicorn

Who we are


NRI Startup India’s vision and mission, through the initiative of EDGE 196, is to inculcate the status of empowering startups from around the globe. This process leads to a global outreach including News, Global Events, Startup Challenges and Stories. Following their motto and passion, EDGE 196 provides with a platform titled “Global Startup Challenge”. A global competition, led by these creative minds, brings forth the Global Ecosystem in your midst. An international platform, EDGE 196 aims to achieve its mission through a forum where intellect and technology meet to create a better life.



Global Startup Challenge 2017: FinTech is an initiative  to empower innovations & startups across the globe through the platform EDGE 196. The challenge runs across 26 global clusters (196 countries) where our objective is to identify startups that have the potential to become the next unicorn in the world.

The short-listed startups (3 from each cluster) are invited for an online pitch & the 26 potential startups (one finalist from each cluster) are selected & offered the term sheet and acceleration program run by one of our global partners.



    The potential startups will be facilitated and introduced to the most fitting global markets.


    The winning startups from each cluster will get an investment of 50,000 USD +*.

    One final winner will be chosen from 26 clusters across the globe who will get an investment of 1 Million USD*.


    Selected startups will get an opportunity to enter into Acceleration program run by one of our global partners.


    The selected 26 startups will be invited to the Grand Finale (Event format will be announced shortly).


    The selected startup will have a chance to raise continuity investment through Global Investment Partners.

* Investment is equity based.


  • Aug 15 2017 - Dec 16 2017

    Apply Online

  • Dec 11 2017 - Dec 18 2017

    Evaluation / Screening By The Experts

  • Dec 20 2017

    Online Pitch Session

  • Jan 2018

    Grand Finale - To Be Annouced



  • Smart Learning
  • Effective monitory solutions for education
  • VR and AI based solutions
  • Better education for rural areas
  • Gamification and scientific learning
  • Innovative gadgets and tools for education
  • Any other Edu-Tech innovations


  • Healthcare and Pharmacy platforms
  • Innovations in laboratories, diagnosis and life science equipments
  • Big Data and AI solutions for medical industry
  • Connected Medical products and services
  • Health-Tech for rural India
  • Any other Healthcare innovations


    • Fermentation and Brewing technologies
    • Biofuels and Bio-Degradable solutions
    • Computational Genomics
    • Nano Technologies
    • Any other Bio-Tech innovations



    Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

    Banking/Payment on Blockchain

    Payment solutions (Mobile & Wallets), Digital wealth management

    Check Out, POS software

    E-Commernce & ERP

    Mobile banking

    Security and biometrics

    Fraud & Authentication

    AI, Machine Learning & Robotics

    IoT & Big Data

    Crowd Funding

    Lending: P2P, Small business, Consumer, Credit & Underwriting

    Real Estate: Digital mortgages, Residential/commercial

    Supply Chain Financing

    Banking on social media

    Asset management, Hedge fund, Off shore fund management

    Equities, Exchange

    Innovation solutions in digital banking, financial services and Insurance (BFSI), Bank partnerships

    Global financial inclusion & Financial wellness

    Conversational banking

    Rural FinTech Solutions

    Branch Transformation

    Cloud solutions in financial services


  • Solutions for agriculture monitory
  • Agriculture supply chain models
  • Agriculture Marketplaces platforms
  • Inventions and practices in crop protection
  • Innovations in agriculture sector
  • Data driven platform for farmers


  • Big Data and Analytics
  • Internet of Things
  • VR/AR
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Robotics and Machine learning
  • Any other emerging Technologies

    Social Impact Ventures

  • Any innovations impacting bottom of pyramid


  • Startups from the sectors not mentioned above can still apply (open for other sectors).


Global Investment Partner

Accelerator Partner

Cloud Partner

Community Outreach Partners

Coworking partner

Incubation Partners

Media Partners

Startup Eco-system Partners

Startup Recruitment Partner

Technology partner

Eligibility Criteria

    • With a prototype or validation in market.
    • Traction in terms of Revenue/Clients (preferred).
    • Startups should not be more than 3 years old.
    • Startups with the potential to go global.
    • Atleast a team of 2 should be working on the project. 

Selection Criteria

The jury will select the startups on below parameters.

    • Problem Solving :

      Startups with a simple solution and a powerful impact.

    • Team :

      Passionate founders and a team that believes in their vision.

    • Innovation :

      The technology behind the original solution and future scope.

    • Global Scalability:

      Sustainable startups that have scalable models.


Some of our panel of evaluators

  • Mircea Vadan

    Mircea Vadan

    Co-founder, Cluj Startups

    Mircea's focus is on product management and acceleration programs. He worked in several startups and he co-founded Cluj Startups community. Nowadays he works as a consultant for companies building tech products and he is organizing programs for startups.
  • Carole Adeline

    Carole Adeline

    Innovation Manager, InnoHub

    Carole Adeline works as Marketing and Innovation Manager at InnoHub Luxembourg, a soft landing platform and accelerator that helps innovative ventures strategically enter international markets. Specialized in Marketing of Innovation and Entrepreneurship & Project Management, Carole supports late stage innovative start ups in their process of fundraising and internationalization from Luxembourg....
  • Falk Fernbach

    Falk Fernbach

    Chief Operating Officer, Exxus

    Falk Fernbach is specialised in all types of value creation processes, holds a BA, MA and MBA and is currently the chief operating officer of two consultancy agencies named Exxus and Sustain. Exxus is active in the field of strategy, innovation and marketing, and Sustain is operative in the field of sustainability, technology and smart city. The agency Exxus is co-founder of the InnoHub Luxembo...
  • Mohamed Rady

    Mohamed Rady

    Managing Director, Inno101

    Mohamed Rady is manager of the INNO 101 StartUp Accelerator in Alexandria, Egypt. During the last four years, INNO101 invested & supported many startups. As the Country Champion for Google Business Groups, Rady & GBG are helping in the development of the local business community in Egypt since 2012. Rady is also a judge, facilitator, mentor and master mentor supporting entrepreneurs and small b...
  • Tal Catran

    Tal Catran

    Accelerators Guru

    Tal Catran – Accelerators Guru & International Keynote Speaker, Start-Up Ecosystem Builder. Tal is the undoubted Accelerators Guru, founded 9 accelerators programs in Israel and several globally, one of which is TLV Generator, a one of a kind program offering startup founders, missing a CTO onboard, SW development solutions so they can meet early adaptors within 4 months from joining the progra...
  • Petr Šrámek

    Petr Šrámek

    Founder, AI Startup Incubator

  • Moses Acquah

    Moses Acquah

    Founder, AFROLYNK & Acme Consultancy Oy

    ICT company builder, technology business leader, an agile coach and an innovation specialist, Moses Acquah is very much known as an individual with great passion for impact innovation, appropriate technology, entrepreneurship and sustainability.
  • Olufunbi Falayi

    Olufunbi Falayi

    Co-Founder, Passion Incubator

    Olufunbi Falayi has co-founded and managed few technology hubs including Passion Incubator, iDEA Nigeria and Innovating Justice at Hague Institute for Internationalization of Law (HiiL) based in the Netherlands. He is passionate about Entrepreneurship, Information Technology and Social Development. His areas of expertise are Enterprise Support, Startup Incubation, Acceleration and Investment.
  • David Freeman

    David Freeman

    Co-Founder, DLT Labs

    David Freeman is an experienced M&A & post-acquisition professional, focused on portfolio company operations and strategy, with a strong background in consulting and advisory. Significant international experience – having worked with companies North America, Europe, Africa and Asia.
  • Miriyam Lazarte

    Miriyam Lazarte

    CEO, LatAm Startups

    A CEO and a Pioneer, Miriyam Lazarte connects the Canadian and Latin American innovation markets to develop better tights regarding Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology. She has co-founded the LatAm Startups, a non-profit organization based in Toronto helping startups to scale.
  • Frank Schwab

    Frank Schwab

    CEO, GIZS GmbH/Co-Founder, FinTech Forum

  • Nassim Belouar

    Nassim Belouar

    Consultant, Blockchain Algeria

  • Alex Puig

    Alex Puig

    Founder, Alastria & Digital Currency Summit

    Alex is the founder and leader of Digital Currency Summit, the first conference about virtual currencies for the financial world, focused on licensing and compliance, government advocacy, and strategic market development for banks and finance ecosystem. He is an Innovation consultant and tech entrepreneur with a global knowledge on how technology can impact in our economy.
  • Steve Robert Poulidis

    Steve Robert Poulidis

    Fintech Expert

    Steve is an electrical and computer engineer with specialization in Financial Engineering and Techno-economical systems. He is the co-founder of a greek NPO that offers academic orientation to high school students. He is also a core member of Oceanus Foundation, a start-up that uses blockchain technology to revolutionize the shipping industry worldwide. Right now, he is planning to disrupt the ...
  • Walli Ullah

    Walli Ullah

    Founding Partner, EMU Films

    A Global Ambassador & Dealmaker, with special responsibility for the North West, to the UK Governments Global Entrepreneur Program. Walli is a successful entrepreneur with over 25 years experience in Film, TV and Digital Media. Walli has been at the forefront of developments in digital media and was an early pioneer of VOD and IPTV .Most recently responsible for the multi-million pound growth...
  • Bernardo Bilotta

    Bernardo Bilotta

    Project Management & Fintech Expert

    Bernardo started being interested in the world of finance, technology and start-ups since a very young age. Bernardo got involved with one of the most innovative and disrupting fintech company in Australia, Pocketbook, which is changing the way Australia budget and save money, based on smart algorithm and data driven insights. At Pocketbook he continues to apply design thinking and lean methodo...
  • Hoong Chun Wong

    Hoong Chun Wong

    Technology Consulting Analyst, Accenture

    Hoong Chun is co-founder of Venture Capital Movement and technology venture analyst, he focuses his investment thesis on retail and AI sectors and has experience working with start-ups founders and VCs in both London and Singapore. His university dissertation on” The organizational benefits of open innovation through challenge-based design sprint”, documented his works with bank and innovation ...
  • Damilola Thompson

    Damilola Thompson

    Corporate Counsel, EchoVC Partners

    Damilola Thompson is a corporate and commercial lawyer with bias for venture capital transactions. She believe SMEs are the stronghold of our society and there is so much that needs to be done to help position them for the role they are expected to play on the local scene and internationally.
  • Atul Narang

    Atul Narang

    Founder & CIO, HashChing

    Atul Narang is a serial entrepreneur, a digital geek, a certified project manager, trainer and the founder of HashChing. He was recognised and awarded CIO/CTO of the year at 2nd Annual Australian FinTech Awards 2017. He was also nominated as a finalist for CIO of the year at Australian Retail Banking Awards 2017.His experience spans from ideation to branding, building, launching and online mark...
  • Werner Hochleitner

    Werner Hochleitner


    Werner Hochleitner is a Day Trading & Investment-Trainer / Motivational Speaker / Crypto Currency Consultant & Author who operates On this website he offers online video courses about daytrading, investing and trading psychology.
  • Taiwo Ajetunmobi

    Taiwo Ajetunmobi

    Vice President Business Development, Venture Garden Group

    Taiwo Ajetunmobi is experienced Business Development and Strategy executive with experience across North America and fast growing emerging market (Nigeria - Africa). Specific expertise with Early Stage Startup , Technology Investment and Fundraising, Product & Business Go-To-Market Strategy, Sales Operations, General Management.
  • Ramkumar R

    Ramkumar R

    Founder and Managing Director, Pears Capital FZE

    Founder and Managing Director - Chartered Accountant, Lawyer, Masters in Finance, First Degree in Commerce, Executive MBA from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University - 10+ years of Core Investment Banking experience - Stint with American Express bank Ltd. Financial Institutions Group – M&A, PE and Cross border Practice - 25+ Cross Border partnerships and 100+ Private equity relat...
  • Jürg Steiger

    Jürg Steiger

    FinTech expert, Investor, Coach

  • Fola Olatunji-David

    Fola Olatunji-David

    Program Manager, Ventures Platform

    Fola Olatunji-David is a constant learner, with a strong technical background and diversified work experience in several industries - mostly creating channels of business support in technology, retail banking, corporate finance, asset management, advertising and education sectors. He actively support startups and entrepreneurship 2.0, seeking for better ways to do things and connect people to s...
  • Dr. Chritelle Scharff

    Dr. Chritelle Scharff

    Chair of Computer Science Department, Pace University

    Dr. Christelle Scharff is a Full Professor of Computer Science at Pace University in New York City. She is currently the Chair of the Computer Science Department. She published more than 40 papers on global software development and mobile computing. She received a best paper award at the ICGSE 2009 (International Conference on Global Software Engineering) in 2009 for a paper entitled "Quality i...
  • Gabriel Cano

    Gabriel Cano

    Private Equity Analyst

    Gabriel Cano is a Private Equity analyst in Stratus Group since 2013. Since he joined Stratus' investment team he supported in both the Brazilian mid-market investment process and the further development of the fund's investees. In addition to his role in the Brazilian Private Equity scenario, he currently partnered with two start-ups to assist in their growth by sharing finance and investment ...
  • Oluwole Odetayo

    Oluwole Odetayo

    Executive Director, Wennovation Hub

  • Biodun Lawal

    Biodun Lawal

    Incubation officer, Wennovation Hub

  • Thomas Budd

    Thomas Budd

    Blockchain Advisor + ICO acceleration + Venture Capital

    Tom is the founder of CoinStrategem a crypto management consultancy and a co-founder of EtheraLabs and Dark Star Ventures, a crypto accelerator and asset fund respectively. He is a prominent blockchain keynote speaker and has produced award winning cryptocurrency/blockchain research at Booz Allen Hamilton. Based in NYC - he advises and mentors various blockchain & AI companies around the planet.
  • Saad Ahmed Sharif

    Saad Ahmed Sharif

    CEO, Detente Technologies

    Saad Ahmed Sharif has more than a decade of experience as a programmer and analyst in industries such as Oil and Gas and banking in United Arab Emirates. He started his company, Detente Technologies in 2014, which now builds blockchain applications. His products includes Kiraya Do ( - An online rental payment system for India, PayRent ( - A blockchain based onlin...
  • Moussa Beidas

    Moussa Beidas

    CEO & Co-Founder, Bridg

    Moussa Beidas is a Startup Founder, Designer & Creative Strategist. He has had a global brand reach that includes DeNA (Tokyo), Tata DOCOMO (India), Skype, Mathaf Museum of Modern Art (Qatar), Microsoft (USA), Hero MotoCorp, i2, ALDAR(UAE), VOX Cinemas, Omran, Zayed National Museum, Qatar Museum Authority, and Emirates NBD. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Graphic Design with an emphasis on p...
  • Lex Sokolin

    Lex Sokolin

    Partner - Global Director - Fintech Strategy, Autonomous ...

    Lex is a futurist and entrepreneur focused on the next generation of financial services. He directs Fintech Strategy at Autonomous Research, a global research firm for the financial sector, helping clients understand and leverage innovation. Covered themes include roboadvice, neobanks and banks-as-a-platform, blockchain and the cryptoeconomy, artificial intelligence, chatbots, insurtech and reg...
  • Salzmann Eric

    Salzmann Eric

    Co-Founder, FinTech Rockers/ Application manager Digitals...

  • Charles Plessis

    Charles Plessis

    Director, B-Part Consulting

    Digital enthusiast, Mr. Charles help start-ups and business build connected and profitable activities in an entrepreneurial, customer and business oriented way. Expertise in Bank as a Marketplace / Bank as a Platform models, CX orchestration, Connected business. Track record in Financial services (banking, consumer finance, payments), Retail and Automotive. Skilled in Business Strategy, Busines...
  • Daniel Paz

    Daniel Paz

    Startups Business Development, AWS & Founder, Paz.Ventures

  • Dusica Hannah

    Dusica Hannah

    Founder, Co-Founder, Tec-Hunch

    Experienced Strategist, Non-Executive Director, Mentor, Founder with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry and diplomacy. With strong entrepreneurship professional skills in Strategy, Business Models perfecting, Pitch performance, Fund Raising, M&A, Sales, Portfolio Management, Banking, Restructuring, Corporate Finance, Structured Finance and Project Management, D...
  • Eric Wall

    Eric Wall

    Blockchain & Cryptocurrency Expert

    Cryptocurrency enthusiast and researcher since 2012. Blog:, Interested with all things related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain/DLT, i.e. different technologies, platforms, protocols, trading, markets, investments, exchanges, strategy, business
  • Hussein Hallak

    Hussein Hallak

    Genral Manager & Head Mentor, Launch Academy

    Serial Entrepreneur | Speaker | Startup Advisor | Angel Investor | GM @Launch_Academy | Vancouver`s Leading Startup Hub, General Manager and Head Mentor at Launch Academy, Western Canada`s leading tech startup hub with more than 500 startups incubated, $100+ million raised, and 1000+ entrepreneurs mentored and trained. Built 20+ startups. Mentored and trained 1000+ entrepreneurs. Featured in Fo...
  • Tracy Lagasse

    Tracy Lagasse

    Co-Founder, Fintech Growth Syndicate

    Tracy Lagasse is Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer of the Fintech Growth Syndicate. With over 20 years experience in corporate, consulting and startup businesses, she brings Innovation strategy and execution experience to their clients. Tracy has held senior roles within the global finance and technology industries in business development, product management, strategy and management. As the Inn...
  • Alexandre Bernardi

    Alexandre Bernardi

    Board Member & Head of Business Development, Raizers

    #Fintech #Fundraising #Crowdinvesting #realestate #Startup #Entrepreneurship #Europeaninvesting
  • Syed Husain

    Syed Husain

    Founder, CEO & Architect, Adarsa Pay

    As Principal Architect at Adarsa Services, Syed Husain is in a multi-faceted, agile and significantly dynamic role which is crucial in the process of planning and implementation of technology which enables digital transformations for his clients in financial services. He works closely with business leaders to develop business capability models and align them to IT architecture. He is a technolo...
  • Michael Fernandes

    Michael Fernandes

    Advisor, Mentor, Fund Raising expert

    FinTech Professional with 30+ years experience in a variety of regional and global technology management roles, possess strong multi-cultural stakeholder and people management skills. Have delivered complex business change program's, built divisions, and understand how different sized organisations and associated ecosystems operate.
  • Craig Borysowich

    Craig Borysowich

    Emerging Digital Platforms Strategist, Capco

    Craig has been a founder, investor, entrepreneur, author, consultant, pubic speaker and mentor to Canadian start-ups for over 30 years.
  • Fern Karsh

    Fern Karsh

    Compliance & Legal | Asset Management, Fintech & Cryptocu...

    Fern Karsh is a lawyer and consultant focused on frontier asset management, fintech and cryptocurrency. Fern has 10 years of legal experience and seven years in asset management and securities law. Fern started her career at a full-service Bay Street law firm prior to occupying General Counsel and Corporate Secretary roles in investment fund management, supporting hybrid business needs and mana...
  • Rayaan Arif

    Rayaan Arif

    Founder, Funding Tree

    Rayaan is a serial Entrepreneur and founder of He has a passion for tackling difficult problems. This passion has to lead him to find better ways to deliver Capital and Deal Flow using technology, marketing, and relationships he has cultivated over several decades. Rayaan has a Management Degree and a 20+ year career with Kodak, he has invested and launched several companies fr...
  • Greg Limon

    Greg Limon

    Global ICO Expert, Bitcoin Mining Equipment China direct,...

  • Mark Kovarski

    Mark Kovarski

    The Humanized Internet Co-Founder & Digital Growth GTM Ex...

  • Stan Milc

    Stan Milc

    Entrepreneur | ICO launch service | In stock Cryptocurren...

    Entrepreneur | ICO launch service | In stock Cryptocurrency mining equipment : Antminer S9 / Baikal Giant B / Avalon A8 / Antminer G2 | Set-up crypto farm Worldwide | Blockchain Investment
  • Serge Shilnov

    Serge Shilnov

    Planet Partners, Co-Founder - Worldwide ICO accelerator/i...

    Serge Shilnov, New York, USA Planet Partners, Co-Founder - Worldwide ICO accelerator/incubator . QCoders, CEO

FAQs : What else should I know?

Global Startup Challenge is an initiative of NRI Startup India to empower innovations & startups across the globe through the platform EDGE 196. It's a series of challenges which will get launched every quarter across multiple sectors, the first being the - Fintech. The challenge runs across 26 global clusters (196 countries) where our objective is to identify startups that have the potential to become the next unicorn in the world.
The current challenge is for the FinTech sector. Other sector challenges will follow soon.
Startups can apply online. There are no application fees.
Global startup challenge has 26 clusters. Each Cluster has set of countries defined. The clustering is done considering the geographies, stage of the ecosystem and regional partnerships.
The startups selected by the jury will be invited for a video conference to pitch for 20 min followed by a 10 min Q&A.
Yes, the funding is against equity.
EDGE 196 team will communicate (via email) to all the shortlisted startups.
You can connect at -
Partnership is at the heart of everything we do at EDGE196. We are driven by our vision to build trust and opportunity globally that can only be achieved by working with our partners. We’re interested in exploring partnership opportunities with you. Contact us at to learn more.
Two weeks post the completion of each cluster challenge, the winner will be announced.

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