ET Startup Awards 2021: Nominees for the best on campus


The award is given to a startup whose impact can be measured by both the idea and the implementation. The founders are said to have been students whose goal was to build a trading company. There needs to be some level of validation by either an investor or a customer. College projects don’t qualify.

AND technology

Founded in: 2019

Founder: Awais Ahmed and Kshitij Khandelwal

Based in: Bengaluru

Main Investors: Lightspeed Ventures, Blume Ventures, growX, Omnivore VC, Techstars

What it does: Pixxel is a space technology startup building a constellation of hyperspectral imaging satellites that will be able to detect oil and gas leaks, determine plant and soil health, and determine air and water pollution levels. The company plans to launch its first satellite in October and the second in December.

Haystack Analytics
Haystack AnalyticsAND technology

Founded in: 2018


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Founder: Anirvan Chatterjee, Gaurav Srivastava and Kiran Kondabagil

Based in: Mumbai

Main Investors: BIRAC, Arokiaswamy Velumani, Intel Startup Program, GE Healthcare

What it does: HaystackAnalytics is a provider of genome-based diagnostic services for tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. Incubated from SINE at IIT-Bombay, the startup has developed a proprietary low-compute genome analysis platform that can sequence genomes in a matter of minutes. Its genome-based diagnostic test for TB has received regulatory approval in India.

The ePlane company

eplaneAND technology

Founded in: 2019

Founder: Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy and Pranjal Mehta

Based in: Chennai

Main Investors: Speciale Invest, Naval Ravikant, CIIE, FirstCheque

What it does: The ePlane Company is developing compact, inexpensive and battery-operated air taxis to enable citizens to commute quickly in the future. Incubated at IIT-Madras, the startup’s business case is based on short-haul flights, as these require less battery capacity. The duo opted for an electric drive because it is cheaper than conventional fuel.

FampayAND technology

Founded in: 2019

Founder: Kush Taneja and Sambhav Jain

Based in: Bengaluru

Main Investors: Sequoia, General Catalyst, Elevation Capital, Y Combinator

What it does: FamPay offers digital wallets and financial services to children under the age of 18, but with parental controls and transaction limits. The startup offers countless cards and the ability to carry out UPI transactions together with offline payments, even without a bank account. The startup gained prominence during the Covid-19 pandemic when it enabled teenagers to have a quasi-digital bank account.

Pepper content
Pepper contentAND technology

Founded in: 2017

Founder: Anirudh Singla and Rishabh Shekhar

Based in: Mumbai

Main Investors: Lightspeed India, Balaji Srinivasan, Gaurav Munjal, Kunal Bahl, Rohit Bansal

What it does: PepperContent aims to be the world’s largest marketplace for content. It counts Amazon and Facebook among its customers and works with leading media companies, educational institutions, e-commerce, technology and pharmaceutical companies. It has started operations in the United States and is looking to aggressively expand into categories such as graphic design, language translation, video and audio content.


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