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About the Program

India has an unparalleled opportunity to lead the global energy revolution through solar power. The next step to drive this revolution is making rooftop solar adaptation a reality; through an Affordable Small-Sized DIY Rooftop Solar Kit that carries the promise of making energy available and affordable to all. From providing energy access to rural India and making solar power a large-scale reality in urban India, to disrupting the way India powers itself -- the sky is the limit.

This document contains complete information on the Challenge including quantified deliverables, evaluation criteria, and timelines.


Solar Challenge - Challenge Document Download

What's in it for you

  1. $300,000 to develop an Affordable Small-Sized DIY Rooftop Solar Kit for household energy needs.
  2. Meet with industry experts, potential mentors, and join a growing community of innovation stars in India.
  3. Get privileged access to events across the country, and take part in webinars, Twitter chats, and Google Hangouts.
  4. Free access to our Resources section for the latest updates on the innovation landscape in India.

Eligibility Criteria

  1. Applicants for the Challenge must be registered on SparkTheRise.com.
  2. Individuals, teams, organizations or institutions from India, working on the proposed solution within the geographical limits of India are eligible to participate in this Challenge.
  3. Non-Indians, residing in India, associated with an Indian organization or institution can participate provided that the work on the challenge is carried out within the geographical boundaries of India.
  4. Team sizes can range from 1 to 20 members. A comprehensive list of criteria can be accessed here.


DateStage / Phase
24 March 2014 - 19 September 2014 Submission of Applications
07 April 2014 - 06 October 2014 Evaluation of Applications and Announcements (Continuous Process)
14 April 2014 - 09 January 2015 Approach Note Submission
02 June 2014 - 16 February 2015 Approach Note Evaluation and Announcements (Continuous Process)
16 January 2015 - 20 March 2015 Live Presentations
13 February 2015 - 16 April 2015 Evaluation of Live Presentations
17 April 2015 Announcement
16 September 2015 Working Prototypes (Dates are tentative. Details to be announced by Jan 16, 2015)
16 March 2016 Full Solution Demonstration (Dates are tentative. Details to be announced later)

Intellectual Property

Mahindra has no claims whatsoever on a team’s Intellectual Property (IP).Teams are expected to take all necessary steps to protect their IP and obtain patents. Mahindra will not play any role whatsoever in helping teams obtain patents. EY are the process advisors on the Rise Prize. They oversee the entire process and ensure a safe and fair competition. A comprehensive set of guidelines on IP can be found here.

Approach Note

After submitting your application, you will receive a notification within 15 days if you have been shortlisted for the next stage. Only shortlisted applicants will be required to fill in an Approach Note.

The Approach Note is a more detailed description of your innovation and will help the jury evaluate your participation in further rounds.

Download Template

Jury Team

  • Chetan Singh Solanki

    Chetan is currently Associate Professor in Department of Energy Science and Engineering at (IIT-Bombay. His research areas of interest are Si-nanostructures for PV applications, thin film Si solar cell, concentrated PV systems, carbon nanotubes among others. He is recipient of EMRS (European Material Research Society) young scientist award and also owns three US patents for his work on porous silicon for solar cell applications. He is the author of a book titled ”Renewable Energy Technology- A Practical Guides for Beginners”. Know More.

  • VS Ravishankar

    Ravishankar is heads the Universal Design Lab at the NID Bangalore. He has spent over 18 years in domains such as IT Mobile Technology Voice Interfaces, Product Design, Retail Design and Visual Merchandising, Design and Training in the indigenous craft sector to name a few and also consulted for Indian and multinational corporations. He was awarded the NID-Business World Design Excellence Award in 2006 and is a co-author of in the formulation of the Universal Design India Principles. Know More.

  • Basant Jain

    Basant is CEO of Mahindra EPC, a dominant player in India’s fast-growing renewable energy sector. His career spans over 15 years, with cross-functional experience in Business Development and Management, Financial Planning, Financial Control, Project development, Contracts and Procurement, Merger and Acquisition, Risk Management, MIS, and Budgeting. Know More.


  • 27 February 2014Mahindra's $1 million bounty awaits desi innovators

    Part of Mahindra's first edition of the $1 million 'Rise Prize'— was unveiled on Feb 28th, 2014, National Science Day—to spur breakthrough Indian innovation which captures the mainstream imagination. [Link]



Solar Challenge - Challenge Document Download
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