Round 1: Lessons learned, winners, and new beginnings

Posted By: Rise Team|Dated: October 3, 2011

It’s time to announce the Round One winners, but first, we should all take a brief pause, catch our breath, and acknowledge the wonderful first steps we have made – together.

Spark the Rise

No ambitious journey starts without bumps.  As Sir Ken Robinson said, ‘If you are not making mistakes, you are not innovating’.

At this point, we would like to give a salute to the Spark the Rise community for helping make Round One such a success. Here is how you’ve left your mark on our inaugural Spark the Rise round:

  • Over 300,000 visitors
  • Over 55,000 registered users
  • Over 2,000 submitted projects

But this isn’t just about numbers. You have come together on our Discussion Forums, Facebook page and over Twitter, and you have helped us to improve.

With your input, we have been working feverishly behind the scenes to continuously improve the platform, its security, and its usability.

We’ve heard you! And one such improvement we’ve been working on is vote validation. The whole registration and voting process has been made more robust, and fraudulent votes have been removed from the system. Fear not, friends—this will continue. Working with our auditors at Ernst & Young, we will continue to strengthen this initiative and to test against and suppress fraud.

This process does not end after voting ends; it only starts there.

We are delighted to announce that we are forming a partnership with The Indus Entrepreneurs or TIE, who will manage our grantees.

Before getting to work on their innovative and exciting projects, all winning project champions will be required to go through Due Diligence to ensure that they are who they say they are, and will do what they have said they will. They will be mentored throughout the process of fulfilling project aims – and will be required to provide proof of progress throughout.

So there is a very simple message to anyone thinking of cheating – don’t. Not only is it against the spirit of Spark the Rise, but we won’t stand for it!

To everyone else, we also have a very simple message:

Dear Project Champions, Friends, and Voters– please remember that winning the vote is simply the icing on the cake.

More important is the cake itself.

This platform is all about helping you to become a Spark and bring about positive change. On sparktherise.com, you can make connections with like-minded people, find eager and enthusiastic volunteers, receive (and give) advice, and secure donations of equipment or funds.

In fact, in just over a month, thousands of connections have been made between Project Champions, volunteers, and experts. It’s an exciting community.

Use this platform! Even after voting stops – in fact, particularly after voting stops – use Spark the Rise to grow and enhance your project and to support projects that you believe in.

To help you in your quest, we will prepare a ‘Top Ten Ways to Get Volunteers For Your Project’ guide. In the meantime, you can find some inspiration here!

As well as closing voting on Round One, we are simultaneously opening voting on Round Two.

We would like to welcome our new cohort of sparks publicly into the Spark the Rise community. In total, there are now close to 1,000 projects for community members to connect with. To help you in your quest, we will prepare another guide, ‘Top Ten Ways to Promote Your Project’ that will complement our existing How to Promote Page.

Use this to go out and build your base both on Spark the Rise and beyond:

The Winners of Spark the Rise Round One!

8 projects will receive a grant of 4 lakh each. The list of winners is available here in our Past Rounds page.

The following projects have been chosen by the public:

- “Rural BPO” by Vishisht Bhatia

- “To provide eco-friendly, affordable alternative of polythene bags.” by Vikrant Baibhaw

- “Hydraulic wheel lock (HWL)” by TEAM PASSIONATES

- “Kisan Raja – Smart Irrigation Automation Solutions” by Vijay Bhaskar Reddy Dinnepu

- “GATESURE” by Gowtham Udayashankar

The Jury has picked the following projects:

- “IIT Kanpur Validated Breakthrough High Efficiency – Green” by Aninda Sircar

- “Solution to Water Crisis of a Village” by Vijay Kedia

- “Prevent Suicide in Rs.100 ! by promoting use of safety down rod for ceiling fan” by Sharad Ashani

The winners will be contacted shortly to begin the Due Diligence process.

For All Other Participants in Spark the Rise Round One

Your journey has only just begun! Continue to use the Spark the Rise platform to grow connections and capabilities.

For New Projects in Spark the Rise Round Two

Welcome on board! First things first, it is time to build your base. You can start to promote your project here.

Once again, we would like to take this opportunity to give heartfelt thanks to all in our budding community.

Thank You.

Your ideas and hard work are inspirational, your feedback is invaluable – and your passion is infectious.

Get out there and Spark the Rise!

The Mahindra Spark the Rise Team

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