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Improving first and last mile connectivity to metro with STAMP 2018 Challenge

The development of viable last-mile solutions is key to improving the lives of urban Indians. When it comes to last mile connectivity to metro stations in Bangalore, most commuters tend to take the bus while others prefer walking, or use autos, private cars and cycles. However, many users feel that the bus service is inadequate, and that autos are unavailable when they need them.

WRI India Ross Center and the Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) in collaboration with Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited (HMRL) organised the STAMP 2018 Challenge from 8th August ’18 to the 11th August ’18 in Hyderabad, at the headquarters of the HMRL quarters to address such commuter challenges. It focused on refining startup solutions for last mile connectivity and select proposals with high potential for impact for pilot demonstrations. The programme has been designed for the Indian scenario to catalyze innovation for mobility. It also supports proven solutions in their critical growth period to ensure success and sustainability. The multi-year, multi-city initiative works with metro rail agencies and other local partners, to enable innovative solutions for integrated mobility in Indian cities.

The STAMP 2018 Challenge was launched in June 2018 and received applications from India, US, South Africa and Europe. The startups hailed from multiple backgrounds comprising electric vehicles, IoT, new services and commuter experience, shared mobility and aggregated platform for medical emergencies. Eminent experts of the city gathered at the Interim Jury to shortlist the startups in an intense review process and formed the STAMP 2018 Cohort. “The biggest challenge in India is the practicality of the solution when it is executed on ground,” explained Mr K. T. Rama Rao, Minister for Information Technology, Municipal Administration and Urban Development at Government of Telangana, who played an integral role in this session.

11 startups were shortlisted and participated in a comprehensive mobility Bootcamp from 8th August to the 10th August ’18, with sessions led by experts from transit agencies, investment groups, product management, customer relations and communications. This was followed by the Pitch Day on the 11th of August ‘18 where the cohort pitched their solutions to a panel comprising government, industry and mobility experts, investors and Venture capitalists.

Tweet on 11 startups:

The Bootcamp was inaugurated by Mr. Pawan Mulukutla, Head of Integrated Transport at WRI India. “Hyderabad Metro has helped to introduce electric vehicles across stations to solve the last-mile connectivity problem. Strong last-mile connectivity, ample sidewalks and feeder services are instrumental in containing traffic. The best part about STAMP Challenge is that the evaluation of solutions will be done on basis of how it can be implemented locally and contextually as well as for its ingenuity and usefulness” explained Mr. NVS Reddy, Managing Director at Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited, who also pioneered the first day of the Bootcamp.

The highlights of the Bootcamp and Pitch Day were as follows:-

Breakout Sessions: This programme included small round-table discussions between experts and startups. The themes were electric mobility models and digital platforms for integrated mobility. Dr. Ashwin Mahesh, Founder at Mapunity and Mr. Murali Talasila, Partner and Innovation Leader at PwC were experts in these sessions.

Mentor Sessions: The cohort had one-to-one mentoring sessions with leaders and experts from government, mobility and the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Mr. Sujai Karampuri, Director at Electronics and Semiconductors of Govt. of Telangana, Mr. Vijay Jaiswal, Director-Automotive of Govt. of Telangana, Dr. Anant Maringanti, Director at Hyderabad Urban Labs, Mr. Sreekanth Perepu, Investment Director at Hyderabad Angels, Ms. Deepthi Ravula, CEO at WEHUB, Mr. Pawan Mulukutla, Head of Integrated Transport at WRI India, Mr. Sanjay Enishetty, MD and CEO at 50K Ventures and Mr. Ramesh Loganathan, Head Research Outreach at IIIT-Hyderabad were experts in these sessions.

Visit to headquarters of L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad: The cohort paid a visit to the headquarters on the third day of Bootcamp. They had the opportunity to see the simulation space where metro rail drivers receive training and understand the nitty-gritty of metro rail operations in Hyderabad. It was spearheaded by Mr. Anil Kumar Saini, COO at L&T Metro Rail Hyderabad Limited.

The Smart Mobility Startup Festival, an initiative of the New Mobility Lab was an integral part of the Pitch Day. Startups demonstrated their unique mobility solutions to experts and enthusiasts.

On STAMP Pitch Day, the jurors selected three winning solutions: Mobycy, Journee, and Three Wheels United & Bykerr (a collaboration). The winning solutions were evaluated on the basis of their proposals to improve commuter experience and increase accessibility and utilization of the metro transit in Hyderabad. Grants totalling USD 50,000 were awarded to the winners to demonstrate their projects in cities. The grant amount is further supplemented with mentorship from WRI India, who will provide support to design and implement last mile solutions.

Stay tuned for more updates on STAMP 2018 Cohort. This statement is written by Rusha Sen, Research Consultant, WRI India.

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