India-Pitch-Pilot-Scale-Startup Challenge


New and emerging technologies resulting from the thriving start-up ecosystem in India is providing breakthrough solutions to some of most critical challenges. This ecosystem needs to be harnessed for achieving the objectives of Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation 2.0 (AMRUT 2.0) i.e., ‘Water Secure Cities’ by developing innovative solutions and addressing complexities in the urban water and wastewater sector.

Besides, providing central assistance for universal coverage in water supply in all statutory towns, upscaling coverage of sewerage and septage management in 500 AMRUT cities, rejuvenation of water bodies (including urban wetland) and creation of green spaces, AMRUT 2.0 also aims to encourage innovative solutions under Technology Sub-Mission. Mission envisages identification of innovative, proven and potential environment friendly technologies in the fields of water & used water treatment, distribution and water body rejuvenation. To achieve the envisioned goal, start- ups will be encouraged in urban water sector.

India Water Pitch-Pilot-Scale Start-up Challenge

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Govt. of India, has initiated a one-of-a-kind startup challenge to invite applications/ proposals from interested/ eligible start-ups to provide innovative technology, business solutions to address challenges in the urban water sector in India.

The challenge will be perpetual in nature. Once sufficient number of applications are received, those will be evaluated and results will be announced.


The challenge aims to encourage start-ups to  “Pitch, Pilot-and scale” solutions to address challenges in the urban water sector. The objectives of the challenge are as follows:

  • Identify technological as well as business solutions/ innovations.
  • Endorse viable solutions that are suitable for different sizes, geographies, and class of cities.
  • Pilot test/ lab demonstration and handhold to scale the shortlisted technologies/solutions in select cities.
  • Bridge the gap between innovators/manufacturers and beneficiaries - i.e ULBs, citizens.
  • Creating an ecosystem of start-ups in the water sector.
  • Promotion of `Make in India` initiative by promoting Indian origin startups and technological solutions.
  • Partnership with private sector, institutions, industry associations etc for implementation of solutions.

Thematic areas

The start-ups providing innovative technological/ business solution in the following areas, are eligible to participate:

  1. Fresh water systems
    1. Real-time spatio-temporal mapping of groundwater quality / surface water quality
    2. Real-time spatio-temporal monitoring of water levels/volumes in aquifers and surface water bodies
    3. Nature-based treatment systems for ground and surface waters with least water and carbon footprints
    4. Innovative Rainwater harvesting systems
    5. Atmospheric water recovery systems
  2. Hydro informatics – use of water + data for
    1. Better water management in preventing floods and droughts
    2. Creating a positive impact on the health and economic prosperity of peri-urban communities or urban slums
    3. Estimating virtual water in the production of goods and services and thereby enabling a fair price for water
  3. Used water management
    1. Better sewage and septage management including – On-site sanitation solution for slums
    2. Technologies to maximise recycling of used water in industries
    3. Innovative business models for trading in used water
    4. Recovery of value from used water and creating a circular economy
    5. Treatment technologies, especially for hilly regions
  4. Urban Water Management
    1. Decentralised circular economy solutions for communities connecting groundwater recharge, greywater management, sewage recycling and solid-waste management with real-time quality and quantity information
    2. Decentralised water supply solutions to slums
    3. Restoration and preservation of rivers, lakes, ponds, shallow aquifers
    4. Urban flooding and storm water management
    5. Mapping and Management of urban aquifer systems
    6. Salinity ingress in urban settlements in coastal regions
    7. Monitoring of water service delivery standards (quality, quantity & accessibility)
    8. Water metering
    9. Desalination with Control discharge / Reject water
    10. Efficient flow Polymer/ Metal plumbing fixtures including taps without aerators
    11. High recovery/efficiency RO systems
    12. Retrofitting devices for conservation of water or wastage reduction
    13. Innovative water supply solution for hilly areas
  5. Agricultural Water Management
    1. Reduction of water usage per ton of crop along with reduced use of energy, fertilisers and pesticides
    2. AI-ML based systems that help farmer reduce their dependence on monsoons
  6. Urban Sewerage Management
    1. Better sewerage and septage management including – On-site sanitation solution for slums
    2. Odourless, Waterless urinals
  7. Water governance
    1. Reduction of non-revenue water
    2. Secure systems for 24X7 supply of potable water on tap
    3. Fostering education and awareness on water
    4. Targeting net zero water and net zero waste projects
    5. Showcasing water and energy nexus
    6. Sustainable solution for water packaging
  8. Innovation in conventional taps and plumbing systems
    1. Smart taps indicating water usage, wastage, recording efficiency, IOT enabled and connected to a central database for monitoring and improvement of performance

Eligibility criteria

  1. All entities recognised as start-ups by Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT).
  2. Start-up must be providing solutions in the aforementioned thematic areas.

How to participate in the Challenge

  1. India Water Pitch-Pilot-Scale Start-up Challenge will be available for application at
  2. The participants can register for the challenge using any valid email-id. Once registration request is made by the applicant, an email will be sent to the registered email -id acknowledging their registration and providing details of the participation process.
  3. 3. The registered applicant can upload proposal by choosing `Participate` button.

Evaluation Process & Criteria

A two-step screening process will be adopted to evaluate and shortlist the submitted proposals. Screening Committee will do initial shortlisting and shortlisted proposals will be scrutinized by ‘Expert Committee’ for final selection. The following broad parameters shall be considered by committees for evaluation of the proposals:

  1. Innovation
  2. Usability
  3. Relevance to the subject matter
  4. Impact on society i.e., how helpful will it be in solving critical water related challenges in cities
  5. Replicability
  6. Scalability
  7. Ease of deployment/roll-out
  8. Potential risks involved in implementation of the solution
  9. Completeness of the proposal

Important Dates

Start Date 21st November 2023
End Date 20th November 2024

Funding & Other Support

  1. Selected start-ups in the India Water Pitch-Pilot-Scale Start-up Challenge will be given a grant amounting to a maximum of Rs. 20 lakh, in three tranches of Rs. 5 lakh, Rs. 7 lakh and Rs. 8 lakh respectively on fulfilling certain conditions/ milestones of work as per their project proposal.
  2. Selected start-ups will be facilitated mentorship support.
  3. MoHUA will facilitate scaling up of solutions in partnership with industries & urban local bodies.
  4. Start-ups, who achieved desired outcomes, will be promoted for wider visibility.
  5. Citation from the Ministry.

Terms and Conditions

  1. All participants must meet the eligibility criteria to participate in the Challenge
  2. The funding awarded shall be consumed for development/ augmentation of the solution & piloting with a city of choice. The participant will be required to provide Fund Utilisation Certificate at each stage of milestone completion.
  3. Winners will retain the solution/product developed as part of the challenge. The winner/s will however have to conform to the terms and conditions defined for the challenge during the competition and post winning the award.
  4. Anyone found to be non-compliant may get their participation cancelled.
  5. For any dispute redressal, MoHUA's decision will be final on the matter.


Any correspondence with participants will be done through an email provided by the participant at time of filling the application form. Organizers are not liable in case of email delivery failures.


MoHUA reserved the right, at its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, suspend this contest and modify the rules, prizes and funding related to the contest without prior notice. In no event shall MoHUA/MyGov/NIC or any other organizers be liable for any claims, losses, expenses or damages, arising out of or in connection with the foregoing.

For further information, related to the challenge, address your queries to startup[dash]amrut2[at]asci[dot]org[dot]in and usamrut2a[at]gmail[dot]com