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Coming together of tech leaders to fight Coronavirus is commendable: RS Prasad

The Action Covid Team (ACT) Grants, which is possibly a first-of-its-kind initiative globally, has already received about 40% of its target corpus, with some of the country’s top entrepreneurs also coming on board to not only provide capital, but also identify ventures that may be still at an ideation stage.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Apr 01, 2020, 09.00 PM IST
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“Good to see well known technology leaders of India coming together in the fight against #COVID19 by encouraging innovations. Launch of Action COVID-19 Team (ACT) by them with a corpus of Rs.100 Crore to accelerate efficient and scalable solutions on COVID-19 is indeed commendable,” Prasad said.
NEW DELHI: The coming together of the venture capital industry in India, along with leading startup founders, independent advisors and supporters of the startup ecosystem to form the Action COVID 19 Team has won applause from the union minister for electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad.

“Good to see well known technology leaders of India coming together in the fight against #COVID19 by encouraging innovations. Launch of Action COVID-19 Team (ACT) by them with a corpus of Rs.100 Crore to accelerate efficient and scalable solutions on COVID-19 is indeed commendable,” Prasad who is also the minister for communications, law and justice also said.

ET reported on Tuesday that a number of top fund managers from blue-chip venture capital firms – including Sequoia Capital, Accel and Lightspeed Venture Partners — and prominent startup CEOs have joined hands to set up a Rs 100 crore grant that will back fledgling firms working on products and services to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Action Covid Team (ACT) Grants, which is possibly a first-of-its-kind initiative globally, has already received about 40% of its target corpus, with some of the country’s top entrepreneurs also coming on board to not only provide capital, but also identify ventures that may be still at an ideation stage.

The entrepreneurs include Mukesh Bansal, founder of Curefit and Myntra; Abhiraj Bhal, cofounder of UrbanClap; Kunal Shah, founder of Cred and earlier FreeCharge; Freshworks’ Girish Mathrubootham, Moglix CEO Rahul Garg and Jaydeep Barman, co-founder of Rebel Foods, besides others.

The grant under the ACT will focus on ideas that help reduce the spread of the disease, including digital tools, social distancing apps, contract tracing, telemedicine, education etc. and all ideas which can help India scale testing for COVID-19, including new testing protocols, multi-stage testing frameworks, scaling current PCR testing capacity etc.

It will also work towards disease management at home and include initiatives where patients are supported via tele-medicine, provided healthcare services at home and guided to recover at home unless critically needed to go to hospitals and provide enhanced support for healthcare workers & hospitals apart from managing critically ill patients. and providing support for mental health.

ACT will be managed by United Way Worldwide, a non-profit firm known for its efforts across health, education and financial stability.
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