With an objective to empower common public in the fight against disease causing micorbes, Thanmatra Life started working on hygiene and sterilization related products. When looking for funding, we came across the Shri shakti challenge on MyGov website in April 2020 which encouraged women led startups/ researchers to come up with innovative solutions that can help in the fight against disease causing microbes. This was a collaborative initiative of MyGov and UN Women.
The Challenge was implemented in two stages: Ideation stage and Proof of Concept (PoC) Stage. The application deadline for this challenge was in the beginning of May 2020. The challenge received an overwhelming response with a total of 1265 entries, from across the nation.
After an exhaustive screening, 25 startups were shortlisted for presentations to the Jury which included Debjani Ghosh, President NASSCOM, Rohini Srivathsa, National Technology Officer (CTO) Microsoft India, Dr R Ramanan, MD Atal Innovation Mission, Nishtha Satyam, Dy Country representative, UN Women India and Abhishek Singh, CEO MyGov.
All 25 selected contestants presented their solutions to the Jury which evaluated the solutions proposed based on the parameters that included innovation, usability, relevance and impact of their idea on the society and after thorough review 11 finalists were chosen for the next stage. All the 11 selected startups were provided a prize money of INR 75000 each to further develop their ideas.
Since August 2020, mentorship sessions were organized to enable graduation of the ideas into Proof of Concepts that can be scaled up. These sessions were topics that included Business Modelling, Financial Modelling, Legal Certifications, Digital Marketing, Product Design, Art of making Pitch and were conducted with the support of NASSCOM, Industry Experts, and the Atal Incubation Centre at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology. Even individual mentorships were arranged if any startups requested for it.
After giving time to the 11 Startups to develop the solutions, the final presentations were again made before the same Jury on 27th Oct 2020. From the final presentation, the Jury selected top 3 entries as winners, and 3 additional entries as ‘Promising Solutions’. In addition to the earlier announced reward of Rs 5 lakhs for the top 3 winners, UN Women was generous enough to agree to reward Rs 2 lakhs each to the 3 startups chosen for their promising solutions. Thanmatra Innovations Pvt Ltd was among the top 3 winners.
Thanmatra Life Liquid Mask
Dr Anjana Ramkumar and Dr Anusha Ashokan who are the co-founding team members of the Thanmatra Innovations Private Limited took an initiative to apply for this challenge. The idea they proposed was a “Liquid Mask” which is an anti-microbial solution. This is a simple, scalable solution and can help convert any piece of cloth to anti-viral mask within minutes by a simple process of spraying and drying with our unique formulation. Liquid-Mask contains a unique fabric-binding, anti-septic formulation which when sprayed-on and dried, (within a few minutes) forms a thin film over any cloth/fabric and functions as an effective anti-viral / anti-bacterial shield. The piece of clothing could then be used as an effective face-mask up to full working day. The cloth/fabric can be re-activated by repeated spray-drying of the formulation. The formulation can also be easily washed off using soap and water and does not leave a stain on the fabric.
The content of the solution is already established as safe for human use by US/European and Indian regulators and is free from metal-ions such as copper, zinc etc. This is also a safe to use solution for kids. This solution can also be used to reactivate general masks into an anti-viral mask. The product has no color and hence it won’t stain the cloth, and the same cloth can be reused multiple times by repeated spray-drying.