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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.


  • Sep 06 2017 - Dec 16 2017

    Apply Online

  • Dec 11 2017 - Dec 18 2017

    Evaluation / Screening By The Experts

  • Dec 20 2017

    Online Pitch Session

  • Feb 2018

    Grand Finale - New Delhi



  • 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

Technology partner

Eligibility Criteria

    • With a prototype or validation in market.
    • Traction in terms of Revenue/Clients (preferred).
    • Startups should not be more than 5 years old (Except Bio-Tech).
    • 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

  • Carole Adeline

    Carole Adeline

    Innovation Manager, InnoHub

  • Falk Fernbach

    Falk Fernbach

    Chief Operating Officer, Exxus

  • Mohamed Rady

    Mohamed Rady

    Managing Director, Inno101

  • Tal Catran

    Tal Catran

    Accelerators Guru

  • Petr Šrámek

    Petr Šrámek

    Founder, AI Startup Incubator

  • Moses Acquah

    Moses Acquah

    Founder, AFROLYNK & Acme Consultancy Oy

  • David Freeman

    David Freeman

    Co-Founder, DLT Labs

  • Miriyam Lazarte

    Miriyam Lazarte

    CEO, LatAm Startups

  • Frank Schwab

    Frank Schwab

    CEO, GIZS GmbH/Co-Founder, FinTech Forum

  • Alex Puig

    Alex Puig

    Founder, Alastria & Digital Currency Summit

  • Fola Olatunji-David

    Fola Olatunji-David

    Program Manager, Ventures Platform

  • Jürg Steiger

    Jürg Steiger

    FinTech expert, Investor, Coach

  • Ramkumar R

    Ramkumar R

    Founder and Managing Director, Pears Capital FZE

  • Taiwo Ajetunmobi

    Taiwo Ajetunmobi

    Vice President Business Development, Venture Garden Group

  • Werner Hochleitner

    Werner Hochleitner


  • Atul Narang

    Atul Narang

    Founder & CIO, HashChing

  • Damilola Thompson

    Damilola Thompson

    Corporate Counsel, EchoVC Partners

  • Hoong Chun Wong

    Hoong Chun Wong

    Technology Consulting Analyst, Accenture

  • Bernardo Bilotta

    Bernardo Bilotta

    Project Management & Fintech Expert

  • Walli Ullah

    Walli Ullah

    Founding Partner, EMU Films

  • Steve Robert Poulidis

    Steve Robert Poulidis

    Fintech Expert

  • Moussa Beidas

    Moussa Beidas

    CEO & Co-Founder, Bridg

  • Saad Ahmed Sharif

    Saad Ahmed Sharif

    CEO, Detente Technologies

  • Thomas Budd

    Thomas Budd

    Blockchain Advisor + ICO acceleration + Venture Capital

  • Gabriel Cano

    Gabriel Cano

    Private Equity Analyst

  • Dr. Chritelle Scharff

    Dr. Chritelle Scharff

    Chair of Computer Science Department, Pace University

  • 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...
  • 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...
  • 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
  • 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...
  • Charles Plessis

    Charles Plessis

    Director, B-Part Consulting

  • Lex Sokolin

    Lex Sokolin

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

  • Alexandre Bernardi

    Alexandre Bernardi

    Board Member & Head of Business Development, Raizers

    #Fintech #Fundraising #Crowdinvesting #realestate #Startup #Entrepreneurship #Europeaninvesting
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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...

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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