An inDrive project

Unicorn starts with U

An international prize for the best tech startups outside big tech hubs and communities
294 Underdogs participated

 Underdogs participate

Winners of the Underdog Tech Award announced!

Winners 2024

Elmira Safarova
1st place

Elmira Safarova

For their efforts in helping families with rare genetic diseases.

Raru Health is a Digital ecosystem to improve diagnostics and quality of life 
for families with rare genetic diseases. Digital assistant guides them through diagnosis and treatment in a smart, data-driven way. Specialists can work 
as a team using data from family.

Mohamed Tarek
2nd place

Mohamed Tarek

P-vita, Egypt

For their innovative solution recycling palm waste 
and reducing carbon footprint.

P-vita solution is extracting beta carotene, also known as pro-vitamin A, from the waste of palm trees that 
is usually burned or thrown into the Nile. They not only reduce pollution in the environment but also produce a high-quality and affordable source of beta carotene for food, cosmetics and skincare.

Saúl Paniagua-Lapenta
3rd place

Saúl Paniagua-Lapenta

VAKA, Bolivia

For connecting farmers with micro investors.

Vaka is a platform that allows farmers to connect with micro investors. Farmers can raise funds to buy cattle and increase productivity, investors have the opportunity to become neo farmers and grow their capital.

Special prize

Jury mentions the high need to prioritize mental health support and notes the impact these two startups have.

They will receive 5000$ each as a special prize.

Victor Juarez

Ashraf Bacheet

O7 Therapy, Egypt

O7 Therapy closes the gap between Arabic speakers and quality mental health services.

Victor Juarez

Victor Juarez

Tu Consejeria, Guatemala

Tu Consejeria helps the Hispanic community receive mental health support during a crisis through chat.


Victor Juarez
Basima Abdulrahman
Elmira Safarova
Omar Ahmed Abdelwahed and Ibrahim Karim Eid
Carlos Andrés García Iguarán
Amos Muthoni Kimani
Mostafa Dawoud
Roikhanatun Nafi'ah
Chandramouli Samatham
Ashraf Bacheet
Royford Mutegi
Sadman Sadek
Akhlad Mohamed Alabhar
Julian Garcia
Biplab Karki
Mohamed Tarek
Felipe Castañeda
Constantine Fedosev
Abdelrahman Rashwan
Saúl Paniagua-Lapenta
Show more

What you’ll get


Boost your startup with the top three winning prizes:
1st Place
2nd  Place
3rd  Place


  • Get access to the inDrive mentorship program and guidance from industry top experts.
  • Benefit from PR support to attract new target audience and partners/investors.
  • Join an international network of like-minded entrepreneurs.

Every applicant

  • Reviews by VC fund experts:
  • Enhance your startup's potential with feedback from VC analysts
  • Increase your chances of receiving investments

How it started

We know the struggle — we started out as an Underdog ourselves. It can be tough to keep moving forward towards something you believe in with so many obstacles in your way. Sometimes, to shine you just need a bit of support.
To do our part, we roll out social justice projects that maximize the positive impact of inDrive in global communities.
Our mission is

To challenge injustice in an effort to make the world a fairer place for 1bn+ people by 2030

Rules of the Underdog Tech Award


Okay, you are a founder and a C-level executive. First, make sure your startup:

  • Was founded in the last 5 years
  • Already has an MVP
  • Hasn't raised investments larger than seed ($4 million)
  • Has never participated in any international conferences

If all is good, complete the application and attach your PDF-presentation before November 28

Download the presentation template here

  • Basic info about your startup
  • Why is your startup an Underdog?
  • What is your product/service about?
  • Market and competitors
  • Product: MVP, plans for the product development, technology
  • Unit economics and business model
  • Scalability
  • Team
  • Impact & mission
  • Why do think you should win the Award?

After that analysts from VC funds will review and evaluate all projects based on these criteria:

  • Personal

    • Leadership skills
  • Startup

    • Potential size market
    • Scalability
    • Ability to generate profit
    • Unique competitive advantage
    • Product market fit
    • Go-to-market strategy
    • Team potential
    • Mission driven/social impact
    • Underdog startup (why are you underestimated—challenges/disadvantages overcomed)

Finally, our jury will assess the “impact” criteria with a focus on startups that have a mission to create positive change in people's lives by challenging injustice

Full rules

Application review process

September 19, 2023
Open Call
Acceptance of applications
November 28, 2023
Open Сall end
Evaluation of applications based on formal criteria
Scoring by VC analysts
February 1, 2024
Shortlist announcement
Mentorship program for the Shortlist
Voting of the Jury members
April 1, 2024
Announcement of the laureates

Community Partners

VC Partners

Want to become our partner?
More info


Fatma Nasujo
Global Head of Corporate Operations at Wasoko
Sean Kim
President and Chief Product Officer at Kajabi
Arsen Tomsky
Founder and CEO of inDrive
Charles Eesley
Associate Professor and W.M. Keck Foundation Faculty Scholar in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University
Daniel Gándara
Vice President MercadoLibre
Damla Buyuktaskin
Senior Regional Livelihoods and Economic Inclusion Officer for Asia Pacific Countries in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
More info

Mentors of 2023

Bruno Paim
Head of Product at Cromai
Dmitri Sedov
CFO at inDrive
Egor Fedorov
Chief of Staff at inDrive
Elena Mazetova
ex-Vice-President of Legal at inDrive
Nikita Yuriev
Investment Director,
Sean Kim
President and Chief Product Officer at Kajabi
Valeriya Verkhovykh
Head of Engagement Products, Oxygen
Yury Palevich
ex-VP of Innovations at inDrive
More info

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