Bengaluru girl’s agri startup wins award

Her team won the challenge for her company that helps players in food supply chain

Published: 15th August 2021 05:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th August 2021 10:35 AM   |  A+A-

Manasa Gonchigar

Manasa Gonchigar

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Bengaluru girl Manasa Gonchigar is one of the 10 young winning entrepreneur teams of the agri-enterprise challenge S.O.L.V.E.D (Social Objectives-Led Volunteer Enterprise Developed), who were felicitated by Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi recently.

The 25-year-old’s team won the challenge for her startup company PureScan AI — a technology startup that helps players in the food supply chain, and also assists them in making informed decisions on food safety. This year, the International Youth Day theme focused on transforming food systems.

Expressing her happiness on winning the challenge, Manasa told TNIE that her company is preparing an optical device — Afla Scan — which does rapid aflatoxin assessment of maize, chillies and peanuts. “Aflatoxin can easily affect crops and has shown high presence in peanuts, maize, dry fruits and sunflower. This contributes to immunosuppressive health effects of the body, leading to stunted growth and malnutrition,” explains the IIT-Madras graduate.

Born and brought up in Bengaluru and granddaughter of a farmer, Manasa said she had a good understanding of agriculture and while studying applied physics at IIT-Madras, she developed a keen interest in interdisciplinary work.

Her co-founder Ayush Nigam’s expertise in the agritech space, through his startup firm ‘Distinct Horizon’, led them in the right direction. She says her extensive travel, including her Academia Industry training in Switzerland, helped her understand how India has taken a backseat in terms of food safety. Five years from now, she wants to bring in a massive change in the quality of food we eat.


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