Omidyar Network and Village Capital Host India's First Civic Technology Event

BENGALURU, June 15, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

Civic Tech Connect 2018 marked the official launch of the Civic Tech India 2018 Accelerator and brought together entrepreneurs and investors to build the civic technology ecosystem in India  

Global philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network, in partnership with venture development firm Village Capital, hosted India's first-ever civic technology event - the Civic Tech Connect 2018- focused on bringing together investors and entrepreneurs to build India's civic tech ecosystem. The event, held in Bengaluru on June 14, saw more than 100 entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropic funders, industry experts, and civic tech opinion leaders from across the country come together on a single platform for the first time.

     (Photo: https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/706316/Omidyar_Roopa_Kudva.jpg )

The event connected aspiring civic tech entrepreneurs with potential investors, mentors, and potential customers to drive conversations around the development of the civic tech industry in India and further boost its adoption. While the industry is still at a nascent stage in India, its development has accelerated across the globe in the past couple of years.

With 337 million Indians slated to use a smartphone in 2018 and an increasing number of technology-led initiatives by the government such as Digital India, BharatNet, and the Smart Cities program, the Indian civic tech ecosystem is poised for growth. Omidyar Network, which has invested more than $132M across 75 civic tech organizations around the globe to date, with more than $9M+ investments in India, is keen to further nurture and develop this budding ecosystem in the country through the Civic Tech India 2018 Accelerator program, in collaboration with Village Capital.

Speaking at the event, Roopa Kudva, Partner and managing director at Omidyar Network India Advisors, commented, "India needs more entrepreneurs driving the growth of the civic tech industry. With important technology enablers in place, the sector has the potential to develop rapidly. As the 'next half billion' Indians come online for the first time through their mobile phones over the next five years, there is a huge opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs to create innovative civic tech solutions to enable central, state, and local governments to be more responsive and efficient in the delivery of critical services, while empowering citizens to engage more effectively with governments."

The event also saw discussions with experts such as Viraj Tyagi, CEO, eGovernments Foundation; political economist and former IAS officer, Santhosh Mathew, and Kartik Desai, executive director, Asha Impact; as they shared their insights and experiences in developing technological initiatives that will scale and create long term impact. Poor infrastructure, lack of waste management and traffic issues were identified as some of the key civic issues that can be tackled through civic tech, and the discussion highlighted the opportunities and challenges for entrepreneurs looking to build scalable and impactful solutions in this space in India.

"Awareness around the application of civic tech remains low among potential end-users, even with increasing smartphone and internet usage," said Deepak Menon, regional director, Emerging Markets, Village Capital. "It is important to not only create business opportunities and provide mentorship for entrepreneurs to ideate and innovate within this space, but also proactively initiate conversations around civic technology among citizens as a viable solution to their everyday civic and social issues," he added.

Civic Tech Connect 2018 was the official launch of Omidyar Network and Village Capital's Civic Tech India 2018 Accelerator program. The three-month accelerator program will train early-stage civic engagement ventures by bringing together entrepreneurs, influencers, the government, and potential funders from across the country, through a series of forums and workshops. The program is designed to help the ventures scale, grow their revenue, and become more investment ready, while building a community of diverse ventures and stakeholders working to solve India's most pressing civic engagement problems.

About Omidyar Network 

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm, established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam. We create opportunity for people to improve their lives by investing in market-based efforts that catalyze economic and social change. In India, Omidyar Network focuses on helping the hundreds of millions of Indians in low-income and lower-middle-income populations, which we define as ranging from the poorest among us to the existing middle class.

Omidyar Network has committed more than $1 billion through equity investments in for-profit companies and grants to non-profit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple areas, including Digital Identity, Education, Emerging Tech, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights.

To learn more, visit http://www.omidyar.com and follow on Twitter @omidyarnetwork #PositiveReturns

About Village Capital  

Village Capital builds bridges for entrepreneurs who are creating an inclusive and sustainable world. Our programs connect high potential, early-stage entrepreneurs with the people, institutions, and capital they need to succeed. Since 2009, Village Capital has supported more than 1,000 entrepreneurs through our programs, and partnered with affiliated investment funds, including VilCap Investments, that have invested seed capital in more than 90 program graduates.

Media Contact:
Nairita Ghosh
nairita.ghosh@fleishman.com
+ 91-9821260959
FleishmanHillard for Omidyar Network

SOURCE Omidyar Network and Village Capital



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