Headstart Network Foundation goes Global for the Startups in Mumbai


To provide global exposure to the Startups in Mumbai, Headstart Network Foundation  had partnered with 1776, a global incubator and venture fund, to host the Mumbai leg of their worldwide Challenge Cup on 21st November, 2015.

The aim of the Challenge Cup is to discover the most promising, highly scalable startups that are poised to solve major challenges in the fields of education, energy, food, health, money, security and transportation.

Startups participate through 3 rounds: Local, Regional and Global Finals to compete for over $1 million in prizes, as well as for an opportunity to spend time with investors, customers, media and other stakeholders that can help them succeed on a global scale.

The Local Challenge Cup, which was hosted by Headstart’s Mumbai Chapter on 21st November 2015 at Zone Startups, received a great response with 100 plus applications, thereby breaking all records and giving tough competition to the other participating cities across the world.


The Local Challenge Cup was spearheaded by Romil Shah, who has been a volunteer at Headstart Network Foundation since 2010, and who has been leading Headstart’s Mumbai Chapter. Romil has the dream of making Mumbai a ‘Startup Gully’ and work towards the growth of startup ecosystem in India. He has been driving many initiatives in Mumbai to help startups and has been mentoring and helping startups in the best possible way.

Now, Romil Shah has been recognized as one of the ‘Top 10 Challenge Cup Local Hosts’ and has been invited to Washington DC to attend 1776 Challenge Cup Global Finals where 45 amazing companies are  competing to win $175,000 USD in cash and over $1,000,000 USD in potential investment.

The Top 10 Local hosts were judged based on a range of factors, including: application quantity & quality, strength of winning startups, media buzz generated, and engagement with the program.

Below are the Top 10 Challenge Cup Local Hosts:

  • Accra, Ghana – Akua Baning, iSpace
  • Cairo, Egypt – Ramez Mohamed, Flat6Labs
  • Casablanca, Morocco – Omar Agodim, World Bank CIC
  • Dublin, Ireland – Ann Marie Duffin, NDRC
  • Durham, USA – Adam Klein, American Underground
  • Lagos, Nigeria – Shaina Silva, Generation Enterprise
  • Milan, Italy – Rasa Strumskyte, Talent Garden
  • Mumbai, India – Romil Shah, Headstart.in
  • Salvador, Brazil – Rodrigo Paolilo, REDE+
  • Seoul, South Korea – Sonia Lee, D.Camp

Highlights of Local Challenge Cup held in Mumbai on 21st November, 2015:

Headstart Volunteers and organizers:

  • Romil Shah
  • Rahul Shah
  • Yash Sheth
  • Shruti Botadra
  • Vibhav Gupta


  • Ajeet Khurana – Investor and Mentor
  • Aditya Mishra – Founder SwitchMe and Co-Founder Headstart Network
  • Ajay Ramasubramaniam – Director Zone Startups
  • Ravi Ramaswamy – Senior Director Philips India
  • Shubhankar Bhattacharya – KAE Capital

Special Thanks to Anuja ShuklaHead – Google Cloud Platform for the support.

Local Challenge Cup Winners:

  • Shereit (Money)
  • Saypay (Security)
  • Kitki (Education)


Out of the top 3 Local Challenge Cup Winners from Mumbai, SayPay Technologies is selected as one of the 45 Global Finalists to compete in 1776 Challenge Cup Global Finals at Washington DC. Let us all wish SayPay Technologies and its team good luck for the 1776 Challenge Cup Global Finals.

The list of all 45 competing Startups can be found here:


About Headstart Network Foundation (www.headstart.in):

Headstart Network Foundation is a Sec 25 company, established in the year 2008 with the vision to ‘Change the World through Entrepreneurship’. It has been among the first few, to have driven informal and formal meets of aspiring and inspiring entrepreneurs in India – as early as 2005 -06.

Today, Headstart Network Foundation is the largest network of early stage startups in India. It facilitates entrepreneurial learning, hiring, marketing insights and peer mentoring amongst the Startups and addresses their issues through initiatives such as:  Headstart Startup Saturdays, Headstart Higher, Headstart Cofounder Search Program, Headstart Co-work, Women Entrepreneurs’ initiative and Headstart Club.

About 1776 (www.1776.vc):

1776 is a global incubator and seed fund helping startups transform industries that impact millions of lives every day—education, energy & sustainability, health, transportation and cities.

 Written by: Romil Shah