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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 So Far: The Live Presentation phase of the Solar Challenge is now complete. A total of 411 teams applied to the Challenge, of which 118 made it to the Approach Note Phase. From these 118 qualified teams, 75 qualified for the Live Presentation Phase. Now, 27 teams have made it to the Working Prototype (Level 1) Phase. You can know more about the teams by clicking on the ‘Teams’ tab.


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 - 18 February 2015 Live Presentations
13 February 2015 - 01 March 2015 Evaluation of Live Presentations
02 March 2015 Announcement
15 October 2015 - 19 October 2015 Working Prototypes Level 1 (Tentative)
16 December 2015 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


Congratulations to the teams who have made it to the Working Prototype (Level 1) Phase. In case you are interested in supporting any team through ideas, funds, expertise or technology you can connect with them directly or write to us at brand@mahindra.com

The first step to make India the global innovation hub starts right here. Together we can make World Class From India a reality. List of qualified teams below.



  • A-D
  • E-H
  • I-L
  • M-P
  • Q-T
  • U-X
  • Y-Z

    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.

    • Dr. Bharath Reddy

      Dr. Bharath Reddy is currently working as Senior Manager at Solar Energy Corporation of India, New Delhi. He has around 15 years of experience in the areas of solar photovoltaic research. Dr. Reddy is a doctorate in Physics from Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati, for his work in materials for thin film solar cells. Dr. Reddy continued his research work at IIT Chennai, National University of Singapore, on next generation solar cells. Later he worked at Moser Baer India limited, Grater Noida and Sujana Energy Limited, Hyderabad in the areas R&D and Product development of solar PV systems and LED luminaires. Know More.

    • Dr. Satyendra Kumar

      Dr Satyendra Kumar, a highly respected technologist with broad management and leadership bandwidth, has over twenty five years of experience in research, development and deployment of solar PV technologies. He has more than 200 publications in International Journals and Conferences. Know More.

    • Arun Kumar

      Arun Kumar is presently Managing Director of India region operations of SunPower Corporation USA. In this role, he is responsible for all commercial and business development activities in India and adjoining countries besides managing P&L responsibility of LCM Business Unit (off-grid) in Asia Pacific and South Africa region.


      He has joined SunPower team in 2011, following the strategic investment made by Total to acquire 66% stake in the company.


      Arun Kumar has more than 25 years of experience, of which 13 years at Total, in development of large and complex projects, comprising large gas terminal projects, power projects and solar projects in an international environment cumulating more than USD 1.4 billion by the Group. Know More.

      View Profile
    • Anil Sinha

      With over 20 years of experience, Anil Sinha believes that design is about ‘connecting with, relating to, and understanding users’. He has chaired the Integrated Design Services (IDS) and Industry Programmes and Projects (IP&P) for many years and has been a member of NID’s Governing Council. Anil is also a member of the Policy and Planning Committee at NID.From designing coins for the Government of India Mint to mementoes for the Rajya Sabha, from trophies for the Defense and Research Development Laboratory, Hyderabad to a traffic island and a toll plaza, Anil has undertaken several design projects of varying challenges. Know More.


    • Debajit Palit

      Mr Debajit Palit is currently working as Associate Director, Social Transformation Division at TERI and has more than 16 years of experience working in the field of clean energy access, rural electrification policy and regulation, distributed generation, solar photovoltaic and biomass gasification.

      He has vast national and international experience, working in projects for UN organisations, Bilateral organisations, The World Bank, Asian Development Bank and national governments, spread across India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia,  Myanmar, Nepal, and Philippines in Asia and Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Uganda in Africa.

      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
    NameFile SizeDownload
    Solar Challenge - Approach Note Template467 kb
    Solar Challenge - Live Presentation Template5355 kb
    Solar Challenge - Challenge Document1156 kb


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