Clock starts ticking in Disrupt Unlimited’s ‘500 Hours’ challenge

Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The race to a prize of $ 50,000 (about Rs. 6.5 million) in seed funding, leading to a lucrative business start-up, has begun in earnest for 54 innovators competing in the ‘500 Hours’ innovation competition hosted by Disrupt Unlimited, the Brandix-led start-up seed accelerator. A group of innovators discusses one of the challenges posed at the 500 Hours competition of Disrupt Unlimited   Launched at Brandix Apparel Solutions Limited – Intimate Apparel in Welisara, the competition brings together external entrepreneurs as well as ‘intrapreneurs’ from within the Brandix Group. Each participating team has exactly three weeks to develop a technology-driven conceptual solution to one of 15 apparel industry challenges posed by Disrupt Unlimited. The 500-hour clock started ticking at 9 a.m. on Monday, 19 January. The teams have until 29 January to work on their ideas and present them on that day to Disrupt Unlimited at the ‘semi-final’ of the 500 Hours competition. Selected finalists identified as contenders for the prize money of $ 50,000 for every game-changing solution, will go on to present their ideas at the final ‘Pitch Day’ on 9 February 2015. Six of the challenges have also been posted online at by Disrupt Unlimited, and are open to anyone to solve and submit a solution online. These challenges are: Tracking fabric throughout the manufacturing process; capturing real-time manufacturing output; increasing asset utilisation and eliminating machine downtime; error-proofing the production line; an ‘Apollo 13’ style waste challenge; and automating fabric inspection and stripe matching. Details about each challenge can be found online. Disrupt Unlimited Chief Operating Officer Surendra Karunakaran, said: “If participants can stretch their minds to understand the root problems and develop game-changing solutions, in three weeks they will achieve a level of impact that would normally take three years.” Winning teams would have the opportunity to commercialise their ideas through Disrupt Unlimited’s four-month seed accelerator program, which offers start-ups seed funding, office space, continuous mentorship, experienced advisors, practical workshops, networking opportunities, and legal and administrative services. Launched in early 2014, Disrupt Unlimited runs a seed accelerator that seeks to inspire, mentor and fund start-ups with breakthrough, technology-driven solutions to disrupt products, practices, processes and business models in the Apparel, Textile and Accessories sectors.