5 youths win hackathon; to start solar project

5 youths win hackathon to start solar projectNEW DELHI: A group of five youths, including one from Chile, has won an international hackathon event, co-hosted by the NITI Aayog and others, for their idea on the implementation of blockchain in the Indian solar industry.

Blockchain is a latest technology that takes a digitized and decentralized approach in handling large data.

The hackathon was the largest in the world and saw 1,800 participants applying for the online round and 60 teams participating in the main event on August 3 and 4 in Hyderabad, the winners said.

Five youths under the banner of ‘Team Unergia’ concentrated on implementing blockchain into the solar industry. They were adjudged winner in the event organized by the International Blockchain Congress, the largest gathering of innovators, businesses, technologists, regulators, start-ups and enthusiasts in India to-date, Abhishek Pillai, one of the team’s members, said.

Their idea of developing a crowdfunding platform for solar projects fetched them a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh during the event, he said.

Team Unergia, after the massive encouragement received by all the members of the panel, has decided to turn their efforts into a full-fledged start up. They are implementing blockchain to crowdfund solar projects, Pillai said.

India has a massive capacity to power itself through renewable energy but the high initial upfront cost and lack of sound financial system is thwarting the uptake, he said.

Unergia is creating a platform powered by blockchain, to enable crowdfunding solar projects. The investors will have an incentive of getting high returns on their funds and roof providers will receive cheaper electricity. Unergia will remove middlemen and ensure transparency through blockchain, he claimed.

The team comprises Farhan Ahmed, who hails from Hyderabad, Manan Mehta (Kolkata), Esteban Mino (Chile), Projjal Gupta (Chennai) and Pillai, who is from Mumbai. PTI

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