30 Nov 2017 21:26 IST

Ajaita Shah wins global start-up pitch at GES 2017

She wins over $400,000 in start-up resources, which includes a mentoring session with an Amazon Executive

Jaipur-based woman entrepreneur Ajaita Shah has been named the grand champion of the Global Innovation Through Science and Technology (GIST) Catalyst Pitch Competition at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2017 held in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Her start-up Frontier Markets is a last-mile energy product distributor, with a focus on solar technology, that empowers women. Frontier Markets is engaged in helping rural households gain access to solar technology products, among other clean energy resources.

Shah, who was engaged in micro finance earlier, won the competition beating out hundreds of competitors from 65 countries. The semi-finals had 24 entrepreneurs competing and four made it to the final round.

As the grand champion, Shah will receive $50,000 in Amazon Web Services credits, an exclusive virtual mentoring session with an Amazon Executive, $100,000 in Google Cloud credits, a Dell laptop and admission to the 2018 Circular Summit from Alice (Dell’s AI-powered platform to empower female entrepreneurs). She will be designated the Cognizant “Genesis Award” Winner and receive a cash award of $2,000.

Speaking to BusinessLine, Shah said her company has helped a few hundred rural women earn ₹65,000 - ₹1 lakh, by way of distributing or selling solar products.

Established in 2011, Frontier Markets has invested $1.5 million till date and is planing to raise another $2 million for expansion. “We have lined up expansion to six States that include Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Orissa,” she said.