rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » 7 incubators that help social start-ups

7 incubators that help social start-ups

October 30, 2013 17:03 IST

7 incubators that help social start-ups

     Next

Next
Marianne Heinisch

These incubators, realising the importance of the intervention, have stepped in to develop and launch new ventures in the country.

Why do start-ups need hands-on assistance to make progress?

Besides the lack of adequate funding, there are other issues holding promising social sector organisations from achieving their potential: lack of clear strategies and skilled staff, weak organisational structures, inadequate systems and processes. Hence, the incubation process is one of the most effective mechanisms to develop and launch new ventures.

Incubators enable the exchange of ideas and technologies between entrepreneurs, who learn the importance of sharing the same space and form partnerships.

It is a place specially designed to cater for business, offering a structure configured to stimulate, facilitate and accelerate the transfer of research results to production activities.

This environment provides emerging companies with mentoring, training, infrastructure, working space, neighbours committed to innovation, support services and more by lower cost than market factors.

Another reason which increases the chances of success of companies operating in incubators: they capture the best practicable projects and select the fittest entrepreneurs.

According to the study 'A Market Landscape of the Indian Social Enterprise Ecosystem', published by the German Society for International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammen Arbeit), the incubator market in India is still in a nascent stage and there is a lack of representation in terms of social enterprise incubators headquartered in the country's eastern region.

Furthermore, results suggest that health, energy, water and sanitation and technology are the sectors focused on by the majority of incubators in the study.

Housing waste management, financial services and agriculture receive less attention.

Considering the benefits brought by the incubation process to improving the social space, we bring you a list of seven incubators investing in Indian social enterprises.

Please click NEXT to continue reading...


Image: For representational purposes only
Photographs: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

     Next

7 incubators that help social start-ups

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

1. Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship

Apart from incubating and investing in over 50 Indian ventures, CIEE has taken up several initiatives to strengthen India's entrepreneurial ecosystem.

They operate within the clean technology and ICT sectors, providing mentoring, financial and knowledge inputs through the initiatives iAccelerator, Piramal Prize, MentorEdge and Infuse Ventures.

Incubatees: Biosense, Baruni Systems, Aspiration Energy, Aura Herbal


Image: Entrepreneurs discuss plans at the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship's workshop
Photographs: Courtesy Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship's Facebook page

Prev     Next

7 incubators that help social start-ups

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

2. Dasra

Their executive education programme has helped visionary social change makers build the skills required to operate their organisations at scale.

Dasra provides social businesses with training, networking, mentoring, assistance and raising funds in order to accelerate their impact.

With over 14 years of experience, they have invested $35 million in more than 80 organisations.

Incubatees: Milaap, Educate Girls, Under the Mango Tree, Mann Deshi


Image: Dasra organises various social campaigns across India to create awareness and raise funds
Photographs: Courtesy Dasra's Facebook Page

Prev     Next

7 incubators that help social start-ups

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

3. Deshpande Foundation

Through the Hubli Sandbox Ecosystem, Deshpande Foundation creates an environment to encourage innovative approaches addressing social challenges.

The Sandbox provides a place to test ideas and allows sharing, networking, collaborating and sharing with other catalysts.

They also provide financial resources and strategic support to their partners.

Incubatees: AquaSafi, Next Drop


Image: Deshpande Foundation's Sandbox Fellow interacts with children from a rural Indian school
Photographs: Courtesy Deshpande Foundation's Facebook Page

Prev     Next

7 incubators that help social start-ups

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

4. Khosla Labs

Khosla Labs focus on building profitable technology products that solve large scale problems in financial inclusion and unorganised retail.

They brainstorm, test and experiment ideas, prototype projects through in-house design and technology teams, and test the pilots on the ground.

There are plans to get follow-on funding through Khosla Ventures when there is traction.

Their current focus areas are: mobile payments and banking, retail efficiency, big data analytics and healthcare.

Incubatees: Pay Near Me, Vox Media, Health Tap, Eco First


Image: For representational purposes only
Photographs: Reuters

Prev     Next

7 incubators that help social start-ups

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

5.  Rural Technology and Business Incubator (RTBI)

Supports entrepreneurs in building ventures to promote livelihoods, education, healthcare, agriculture, connectivity and financial inclusion in India's rural areas.

Conceived by the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M), it provides an incubation system suitable to entrepreneurs at any phase in their venture, including advice and mentorship, infrastructure, preliminary funding and access to networks, building around prior domain knowledge and matching business ideas.

Incubatees: Humble Paper, Box Tree, Mobil Train, Invention Labs


Image: RTBI representatives at the launch of Namma Ooru Website (NOW) initiative
Photographs: Courtesy http://now.rtbi.in/

Prev     Next

7 incubators that help social start-ups

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

6. UnLtd India

UnLtd India offers entrepreneurs a complete ecosystem of seed funding, advisory services, incubation support and co-working space to launch their ventures.

UnLtd India has the following sister brands: Bootcamp -- an intensive accelerator for early-stage social entrepreneurs, Bombay Connect -- a laboratory and co-working space and Social Mashup -- a national conference for early-stage social entrepreneurs.

Incubatees: The Learning Lab, Sounds of Silence, Cuddles Foundation, Greenway Grameen


Image: Aspiring entrepreneurs participate in a workshop organised by UnLtd India
Photographs: Courtesy UnLtd India's Facebook Page

Prev     Next

7 incubators that help social start-ups

Prev     More
Prev

More

7. Villgro

Villgro provides mentoring, networking, marketing, office space, funding and facilities for prototyping and market research and a 12-month in-residence programme for very early-stage entrepreneurs.

For the past 11 years, they have mentored 64 start-ups in the energy, health, education and agri-business sectors and invested $740,000.

Incubatees: First Energy, Rope, Sustaintech, Windmill Health


Image: A start-upper shares a prototype at a Villgro social entrepreneurship camp
Photographs: Courtesy Villgro's Facebook Page

Prev     More