StartUp Mumbai Challenge Sparks Innovation at Mumbai Festival 2024

Mumbai Festival 2024

In a ground-breaking move, the dynamic city of Mumbai is set to usher in a new era of innovation and entrepreneurship by introducing the StartUp Mumbai Challenge, a signature event of the highly anticipated Mumbai Festival 2024. In collaboration with Turbostart and the United Nations India, this initiative aims to position Mumbai as a global hub for innovative and sustainable development. The initiative is in line with Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Mission LiFE- Lifestyle for Environment and India’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The StartUp Mumbai Challenge named ‘Forever Planet’ signifies a forward-looking commitment to nurturing early-stage startups, specifically focusing on sectors like sustainability, entertainment, media, sports, and lifestyle enhancement. Beyond being a competition, it offers a transformative journey, providing selected startups with robust support, funding, mentorship, and market access through Turbostart’s extensive network. 

Participating startups would get the unique opportunity to receive mentorship from some of the brightest entrepreneurial minds and also funding up to USD 500000.

The panel of Mentors for the StartUpMumbai Challenge are some of the most inspirational leaders in business and innovation: Anand Mahindra, Chairman- Mahindra Group, Ronnie Screwvala, Chairman- Swades Foundation, Vikas Agnihotri, Director- InMobi and GlobalBees, Kaustubh Dhavse, Joint Secretary and OSD to the Deputy Chief Minister- Govt of Maharashtra and Harsh Jain, Founder-Dream11.

Highlighting the importance of StartUp Mumbai Challenge, Hon’ble Minister of Tourism and Rural Development, Shri Girish Mahajan said, “The launch of this ‘Forever Planet’ challenge will position Mumbai as a global nucleus for innovation and sustainable development. This ground-breaking StartUp Mumbai Challenge is a call to action for budding entrepreneurs to contribute their transformative ideas towards a sustainable future. Accompany us on this entrepreneurial journey as we strive to establish Mumbai as a worldwide hub of innovation, originality, and dedication to a robust and sustainable future”.

Wizcraft Entertainment Agency Pvt. Ltd., known for creating immersive experiences, is a key collaborator, ensuring that the Mumbai Festival 2024 celebrates business, culture and entrepreneurship and becomes a beacon of innovation and enterprise. 

The challenge is open to all startups, demonstrating a strong founding team, innovative technology, scalability, and impactful solutions. Top contenders stand to win up to USD 500,000 in funding and various other benefits, including mentorship, market access, and branding opportunities. 

Anand Mahindra, Chairperson, the Mumbai Festival Advisory Committee, renowned global entrepreneur and esteemed mentor, exclaimed, “The initiative’s dedication to nurturing environmentally impactful startups resonates with the principles I’ve always advocated in my own business. Fostering an ecosystem where these startups can thrive and meaningfully change the landscape of sustainable innovation is vital, and I am glad to play my part.”

Ronnie Screwvala, Chairman, Swades Foundation, one of the most active investors in innovation and startups, who will be present at the event as a mentor said, “Today, as we stand on the precipice of unprecedented environmental challenges, it is imperative that we empower the next generation of innovators to drive sustainable solutions forward. The Forever Planet Challenge is an invitation to make a difference. Together, we can create a lasting impact on our planet, and I am excited to witness the innovative solutions that will emerge from this transformative challenge.”

Emphasizing on government’s efforts and intent to build a sustainable future, Kaustubh Dhavse, Joint Secretary, Govt of Maharashtra, focused on innovation, investments and startups, said “Prioritizing sustainability is crucial for our collective future. The event aligns seamlessly with our vision for positive environmental impact. This initiative reflects the power of partnerships between the public and private sectors. Anticipating impactful solutions to emerge, shaping a greener and more sustainable future.”

“The startup landscape is evolving rapidly, and sustainable solutions are not just a necessity but a strategic imperative. The Mumbai Festival’s vision for the Forever Planet Challenge presents an exciting opportunity to support and catalyze the growth of startups that will redefine the future of sustainability. One must commend the pioneering efforts of Maharashtra’s Tourism ministry, Wizcraft and Turbostart.’ said Vikas Agnihotri, Director InMobi and GlobalBees, till recently Operating Partner of Softbank Vision Fund India, a mentor at the challenge.

Harsh Jain, CEO & Co-Founder, Dream11 & Dream Sports said,“Mumbai is one of the largest start-up hubs in India, and as the financial capital, offers unlimited opportunities for entrepreneurs. The Forever Planet Challenge provides founders with a fantastic platform and underscores the pivotal role that technology can play in addressing global climate challenges. As a Mumbai start-up, it is heartwarming for us at Dream Sports to see startups receive the support they need to turn their innovative ideas into scalable solutions.”

Ganesh Raju, Founder-Turbostart, expressed enthusiasm about extending Turbostart’s successful platform to the Mumbai Festival 2024. At Turbostart, we are excited to witness the fusion of innovation and sustainability at the Mumbai Festival 2024. “Launched in 2019, Turbostart is a global fund & accelerator specializing in handpicking outstanding early-stage startups through a unique cohort format. Over the last four years, Turbostart has invested in approximately 40 startups, nurturing them into industry trailblazers. This collaboration with the Mumbai International Festival 2024 aligns seamlessly with our vision, offering an unparalleled platform for eco-conscious startups to showcase transformative solutions and fostering a global movement towards sustainable entrepreneurship.”

Jayshree Bhoj, Secretary, Tourism, Government of Maharashtra said, “StartUps are the best opportunity to encourage entrepreneurship among our youth to become job creators and contribute to the country’s fast-growing economy. The StartUp Mumbai Challenge is particularly exciting with its focus on environment-friendly business ideas. We are grateful to the esteemed panel of mentors for shouldering the responsibility to guide our youth in this area. The Forever Planet Challenge not only provides a platform for these visionaries but also underscores the pivotal role that innovation plays in addressing global challenges. It is a unique opportunity for startups to receive the support they need to turn their innovative ideas into scalable solutions.”

Sabbas Joseph, Founding-Director, Wizcraft Group, emphasized, “We are not just creating an event; we are cultivating an ecosystem that thrives on innovation, resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit. Mumbai Festival 2024, with the StartUp Mumbai Challenge, is a testament to Mumbai’s unwavering commitment to progress and transformation. The StartUp Mumbai Challenge is being organised to drive attention to the need for innovation and technology to create businesses that can help align our lifestyle to being planet-friendly.” 

This challenge is more than an opportunity; it’s a call to action for all visionaries, disruptors, and change-makers. Mumbai invites the brightest minds globally to join this movement and contribute to shaping the future of a city that never sleeps.

Join us in celebrating innovation and entrepreneurship at the Mumbai Festival 2024.

For more information on the StartUp Mumbai Challenge and to participate, visit


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