Join us at Chennai - November 28, 2015!!

Can change take place in a day? Can innovation take place in a day? If you agree, then YOU have arrived at the right destination.

IITM RTBI and IBM’s - Innovation Drive for Impact is a fusion of entrepreneurs, software developers and social change makers coming together with a common objective to solve pressing problems in our society. This is a ’one day Hackathon' event where participant teams create new apps, new businesses or improve on existing ones, to make disruptive and positive changes in the society and environment. These 12 hours will largely comprise of development of applications that could lead to sustainable businesses, broadly based on themes outlined below, with guidance from an esteemed mentor panel.

For those who dream of making a change in society, this is a wonderful platform to showcase their ideas and solutions; for RTBI-IBM, this is a chance to bring some of these ideas to life through technology tools and incubation support.

When it comes to an information technology platform to build, deploy and manage a solution in a secure way, IBM makes available to participants of this Hackathon, a free access to its cloud service called Bluemix - a developer's dream platform with all the tools and services he/she needs to build applications drawing on a range of services including information management, analytics, mobility, security and even the more powerful Watson Services and the Internet-of-Things. Read more about Bluemix here

About Us

About RTBI

Since 2006 IIT Madras' Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI) aims to support rural and social inclusive start-ups, primarily those that enable scalable products and services for the under-served and bottom-of-the-pyramid segment. RTBI is looking at this event to foster new ideas, new technologies and new business models that could have a rural and social impact, and possibly offering incubation support to a select few.

About IBM

Today, innovators in India believe firmly in the need to bridge the digital divide and improve the quality of life in rural India. IBM believes that technology is a great enabler and catalyst in tapping such ideas and giving innovators a platform to create form and shape to their ideas from concept to completion as far as information technology is concerned. The convergence of disruptive technologies such as the cloud, analytics, mobility, social and security on a platform such as IBM Bluemix only makes it easy for innovators to focus more of their energies on building a solution rather than get slowed down in dabbling with technology and getting its various components to work together.

IBM by partnering with IITM's RTBI believes it can bring to the table the platform and its knowledge base via its mentorship to help startup companies and entrepreneurs to come up with the much needed solutions to problems and challenges of rural India.


Welcome to hacking, innovating and creating applications that make a difference to people’s lives and to the world. We have outlined below some focus themes that pose major challenges to the country and world at large. These are meant to inspire, not constrain and you are free to develop an app on a theme that you feel has the most relevant social and/or rural impact.

Livable earth, Sustainable living

Civic Sense- Helping society by helping each other

When one finds an animal in distress in the neighbourhood, it should be possible to know about and contact relevant organizations/individuals (such as vets) in the immediate vicinity for assistance

Waste Management - Increasing Awareness at household levels

 Environment conscious individuals can track the amount of waste generated in their house and effects on the environment, helping them reduce and properly dispose waste

Water Management - Reduce, reuse and recyle at household level

Water stress is a major problem in both urban and rural areas. Apart from action at national and river basin levels, addressing water scarcity requires actions at local/household level. Solutions can be developed to analyse the rainfall data and potential of roof top rainwater harvesting.

Enhancing Quality for....

Rural Primary Education - Improving quality of teaching and learning

A large number of school going children (6- 14 years old) in rural and urban areas are not having access to qulaity education. An innovative, practical and technology based solution to learn the subjects effectively is needed.

Micro & Small Enterprises - Enabling businesses expand their horizons/explore new possibilities

Micro & Small Enterprises need information & assistance if they are looking to scale/expand their activities

Health & Wellness: Using traditional ways for optimal health & happiness

Reviving Grandma's recipes/remedies (using traditonal food/ingredients) - trials & reviews.



Dr. Ashwin MahalingamFaculty, IIT Madras

Dr. Ashwin Mahalingam is a faculty at IIT Madras, and an entrepreneur too. Interactions with aspiring entrepreneurs, is something he looks forward to.

View more

Mr. Arun Prakash RTBI Incubatee (Founder & CTO, GUVI)

Mr. Arun Prakash is an Incubatee at IITM's RTBI. He knows the journey from being a student, landing that perfect IT job, and leaving that to start an impact driven entreprise.

View more

Mr. Senthil Nathan Co-founder and CTO, Benchmark group of companies

Mr. Senthil Nathan, rich experience in entrepreneurship. Long associate of the Incubation ecosystem at IIT Madras. A fantastic mentor!

View more

Mr. Pradip Subramanian RTBI Incubatee (Founder & Director, Growtech Innovations)

Mr. Pradip Subramanian, if you want to know how to take innovations to the market. He is the person you want to have a chat with.

View more

Dr. Gaurav RainaFaculty, IIT Madras

Dr. Gaurav Raina, a student's delight to have him teach their class. Intuitive ability to tell what will work based on the needs as defined in the problem statement.

View more

Dr. Nadeem AkhtarPrincipal Research Engineer, CEWiT

Dr. Nadeem Akhtar, a very observant expert who will in a simple manner surface an aspect that we would have completely ignored.

View more

Mr. Anil Kumar S GFounder & CEO, Samunnati

Mr. Anil Kumar SG, a seasoned finance professional but CEO of a young start-up, his vast experience and unbounded enthusiasm makes him an inspiring mentor.

View more

Vijayalakshmi RaoMentor/Business Advisor

Ms. Rao is deeply committed to women's education, empowerment and entrepreneurship. Offering her earnest support to our event, the participants can hugely benefit from her guidance

View more


Last date for registering

31st October 2015

  • Registrations will open on 25th September 2015
  • Ideas submitted should offer sustainable solutions in challenge areas (some of which are outlined above in Themes)
  • Teams should not consist of more than 3 members
  • Each team can register only once

Announcement of selected teams

5th November 2015

  • Registrations on the website will close on 31st October 2015
  • All submitted ideas will be reviewed by a selection committee
  • We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, age and gender
  • ONLY 20 ideas from all the submissions will make it to the actual Hackathon
  • The selection committee decision will be final and binding to all applicants

Pre-Hackathon Work shop

14th November 2015

  • Timing: 9:30 am to 1:00 pm
  • All 20 teams selected for the Hackathon will be invited for a Pre-Hackathon Workshop
  • Hackathon organizers along with mentors will propose the hackathon challenge, introduce various technologies available and answer any questions to help ensure a smooth, yet exciting experience. Read more

Hackathon Day

28th November 2015

  • Timing: 7 am to 9:30 pm; Hackathon timings: 7 am to 7 pm (12 HOURS)
  • Teams are expected to arrive well before the start of the event so as to maximize the time allotted for development
  • Maximum team size is 3; Teams will begin work at 7 am on 28 November and must complete by 7pm on the same day
  • Technical and Impact/Business mentors will be present throughout the Hackathon to provide guidance to participants and help in early judging
  • Lightning presentations and judging: 7:30 pm to 8:45 pm
  • Top 3 prizes – announcement and distribution ceremony: 9:00 pm to 9:30 pm Read more


Watch this space for announcement about the prizes on offer. We promise you will not be disappointed!!


If you are passionate to innovate and provide solutions that disrupt the status quo of the social and environmental problems of India, you can participate in the event.
You can be a student, innovator, entrepreneur, programmer, and a common person who is not happy with the existing social problems.
1. Entry: Register online in the link here.
2. Wait for selection list: The entries will be evaluated based on the following criteria mentioned in the Hackathon day details .
No! Participation is free and includes food, drinks, and lots of exciting interactions with peers & experts!
The deadline for registrations is 31 October, 2015 and in fairness to all applicants, we cannot extend the registration beyond the deadline.
If you have missed the confirmation deadline, your spot has been given to a lucky team on the waitlist.
You will be receiving a detailed email outlining the next steps – you can also visit our website for regular updates.
We would urge you to do your best to attend the Pre-Hackathon Workshop. Not only will you get to familiarize yourself with the place and get introduced to the other participating teams, you will get to pick the brains of technical mentors as well as impact/business mentors. More important, you will lose the opportunity to be evaluated on your idea and its maturity in this session. This evaluation acts as an input for the final judging.
You will need to bring all the equipment that you might possibly need such as laptops, tablets, data cards, extension cords, etc. While we might provide Wi-Fi access, there might be speed and security issues with the network being shared amongst multiple users.
Winning at the hackathon does not assure you of incubation support. In fact, the Hackathon organizers have sole discretion on which ideas to .take up for consideration of incubation support
Please email us at if you have any concerns at all! We’d love to help you out!

Get in Touch

RTBI, Module#6, I Floor IITM Research Park, Kanagam Road,
Tharamani, Chennai 600 113
P: 9962550195