OctaNE extends an invitation to startups for Open Challenge Program

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OctaNE, a group of eight Center of Entrepreneurship (COE) in the Northeast India, is welcoming applications from startups and entrepreneurs for the Open Challenge Program (OCP). This program provides startups with a chance to get qualified for COEs. The last date for the submission of applications will be September 30, 2023.

Image via Express Computer

The goal of the Open Challenge Program is to find, acknowledge, and reward tech entrepreneurs who are in the early stages of their journey. The challenge encourages finding creative solutions to problems in various fields such as IoT in Agriculture, Animation, Emerging Technologies like AR/VR, Graphic Design using IT Applications, Data Analytics and AI, Gaming and Entertainment, IT Applications in Healthcare and Agritech, and GIS Applications including Drone Technology.

Vandana Srivastava, the director of STPI (Software Technology Parks of India) Northeastern state’s jurisdictional spoke to the media at Hotel Vivor. She invited startups working in the field of IT/electronics, IT/electronics professionals, students, both central and state governments, along with private organizations, to collaborate on addressing local challenges using emerging technologies.

She said that four startups have already come forward with their ideas and their ideas had been processed, and the selected startups will get a direct funding of Rs 25 lakh. She also encouraged all the startups to come forward with their ideas. She mentioned that in order to turn the Digital North East 2022 vision into a practical plan for each of the North East states, STPI has established Entrepreneurship Centers and Startup Innovation Zones in each state of North East India.

Abhishek Mishra, the Additional Director and Officer in Charge of STPI Kohima also highlighted STPI’s role in supporting startups and small to medium-sized IT companies. He said that STPI’s offers a nurturing environment, mentorship, and help these businesses grow and compete globally and further invited all IT enthusiasts to visit their incubation center, which has cutting-edge technology and digital equipment.


To be eligible in this programme, startups should have the following criteria:

  • The startup should be registered either as a Private Limited Company, as defined in the Companies Act of 2013 or a Registered Partnership Firm under Section 59 of the Partnership Act of 1932, or a Limited Liability Partnership under the Liability Partnership Act of 2008.
  • The startup’s registration or incorporation should not exceed 10 years. If the company is not yet registered, an application may be made in the names of the founders or promoters. However, it’s important to ensure that the company gets registered within 3 months from the date of selection for COE.
  • The startup should not have an annual turnover exceeding Rs. 100 crores for any financial year since its incorporation. It should not have been created by splitting up or restructuring an existing business.
  • Furthermore, entity should be focused on innovation, development, or improvement of products, services or processes and should have the potential to create jobs and generate wealth.

You can apply for the Open Challenge Program until September 30, 2023.

Pankaj Luitel is a graduate from Manipur University and loves reading and writing. At MountainEcho, Pankaj contributes to the content team efforts and regularly writes for our website

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