Current Programs

Across our focus sectors, we build programs to incubate social enterprises that lie at the intersection of unique innovation, potential for high impact and the ability for sustainable scale.

FPAI- Villgro Innovation Challenge

Sectors: Healthcare

About

Villgro and The Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) have partnered to launch an Innovation Challenge to discover innovative technical solutions in the Sexual, Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) space. The “Innovation Challenge” will identify startups or individuals with innovative solutions across five problem areas in the SRHR space and provide a cohort of 15 selected innovators with a month long immersion support. The best solutions will receive a cash award of upto INR 3.5 lakhs and get the opportunity to showcase their solutions to a global audience.

The identified problem areas include:

  • Technology-driven solutions for providing multilingual comprehensive sex education to youth
    The solution to ensure access to comprehensive sex education that is accurate, age-appropriate and scientific. Solutions can be mobile app based/ NLP/ AI/ AR/ VR/ Chatbot/ Video consult based
  • Affordable, easy to use solutions for early diagnosis of pregnancy
    Solutions that can diagnose pregnancy during very early stages i.e. between intercourse and before missing periods
  • Low cost, eco-friendly, easy to use solutions for dispensing and disposing of sanitary napkins.
    Location mapping/access and clean energy could be an added advantage
  • Easy and non-invasive diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) among young girls.
    Solutions could be single test, evidence based, and easy to use, preferable DIY in nature
  • Affordable and multiparameter, ovulation monitoring and management solutions
    Ideal solutions could be point‐of‐care ovulation detection devices, which are non-invasive, inexpensive, easy to use, precise in determining ovulation, and precise in determining the fertility window

The immersion program will comprise of:

  • Virtual interactions/ webinars with industry experts, healthcare professionals, youth volunteers of FPAI (on-ground experts) in sexual and reproductive health problems
  • Dedicated Mentorship for converting ideas into for-profit business solutions
  • Connect with Incubators to help innovators receive follow on funding
  • Rapid prototyping support for building a pilot Proof of Concept (POC).

Program timeline:

  • Call for applications: 9th Oct to 30th Oct.
  • Immersion program: 5th Nov to 15th Nov.
  • Rapid prototyping and preparation for virtual pitches: 16th Nov to 28th Nov.
  • Virtual Pitches and Presentation of final cash award: 29th Nov to 3rd Dec.

Who can apply?

Any Indian citizen. Any individual, a group of individuals or a startup working to find solutions for challenges in the SRHR space.

Applications to the program are closed.

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Ecosystem Partners

Scaling Impact via Invention Based Enterprises

Sectors: Agriculture, Healthcare, Energy & Cleantech

About

Invention Based Enterprises create lasting solutions that have the potential to address challenges at different scales. Because these enterprises are developing unique, physical products, they often require a longer time to market. They require specific expertise in prototyping, manufacturing and go-to-market strategies. Villgro works to help scale such businesses and strengthen support systems that allow them to thrive.

Over the last ten years, Villgro has supported IBEs in
  • Neonatology & Late stage prenatal care
  • Screening & Detection for diabetes and cancer
  • Detection & management of infectious diseases
  • Diagnostics for skin & soft tissue infections
  • Assistive technologies for physical disabilities
  • Precision irrigation for smallholder farmers
  • Farm mechanisation solutions

Enabling IBEs to Scale

Villgro builds a nurturing environment for IBEs via high touch portfolio management, access to subject experts as mentors and technical assistance that builds long term value in – Product Design, Validation & Testing and Go-to-market Partnerships

The “Inventor’s Playbook”

We are building an open source business guide for invention based enterprises to help them grow from an idea into a sustainable business.

To know more or partner with us, write to us at playbook@villgro.org

Applications to the program are open!

Powering Livelihoods (in partnership with CEEW)

Sectors: Cleantech

About

Powering Livelihoods, a CEEW-Villgro initiative launched in 2020, aims to boost India’s rural economy by scaling up the penetration of clean energy-powered appliances for livelihoods. Over three years, the initiative will support at least six enterprises to sustainably deploy at large scale. Villgro will also use the experience and evidence generated to add back and catalyse the sector. The initiative will also help these companies execute business strategies that are gender equitable and drive for a greater participation of women in the workforce.

Enabling Enterprises to Scale

Powering Livelihoods will meet the unique needs of each selected enterprise through dedicated financial, technical, and sectoral growth support. The program aims to achieve its objectives through the following key streams of activity:

Creating Impact at Scale

Our incubation efforts will be tailored for each company to ensure technical effectiveness, business growth and financial viability.

Capacity building

Access to technical assistance worth upto USD 100,000 to bridge enterprise specific need gaps, and delivered through strategic technology partners.

Capital

Funding of up to USD 250,000 for each enterprise to help in scaling up and commercialising their technologies.

Catalyzing the ecosystem

Funding for studies and research to generate evidence that can unlock additional support for similar enterprises. The program intends to build case studies and showcase business success to leverage greater interest and support for the sector.

Technologies for Collective Good in Agricultural Water Use

Sectors: Agriculture / Water

About

India’s water challenges are widespread and complex; and agriculture has a significant role to play in ensuring our water security. The program moves beyond farm level and local community-led institutions to identify innovative solutions that can scale sustainably. Villgro will discover and build a cohort of ten innovative enterprises that are working on

The program also seeks to make social entrepreneurship more gender equitable by reserving funding and incubation support for women led enterprises and for those companies whose end beneficiaries are predominantly women.

Creating Impact at Scale

Our incubation efforts will include active facilitation of partnerships between social enterprises, grassroots organisations and public institutions.

Capacity building

Access to mentors and technical assistance to bridge enterprise specific need gaps, and delivered through strategic business and technology partners.

Capital

Seed funding that is adaptable to each enterprise depending on their ability and demonstration of scale up and commercialisation.

Catalyzing the ecosystem

Funding for studies and research to generate evidence that can unlock additional support for enterprises and foster partnerships. The program intends to highlight new ways to build partnerships and collaboration in a nascent entrepreneurial sector.

Applications to the program are open!

BIRAC-BioNest (in partnership with MSMF)

Sectors: Healthcare

About

BioNest is an initiative by BIRAC to foster the biotech innovation ecosystem in India. Villgro, in association with the Mazumdar Shaw Medical Foundation (MSMF) and Narayana Health (NH) has been selected to support and strengthen innovations in low-cost medical care.

MSMF-NH will support these enterprises with access to physical infrastructure including the use of high end equipment and testing facilities; apart from clinical expertise from the Narayana Health hospital and access to the network of industry experts from the Mazumdar Shaw Medical Foundation.

Read more at www.tbi.ms-mf.org

Applications to the program are open!

BIRAC -SPARSH Centre

Sectors: Energy & Cleantech

About

The BIRAC Social Innovation Immersion Program will support a cohort of innovators to understand and discover problems in India and mentor them to create viable products and services to solve them. These “Social Innovators” are focused on the themes of Waste to Value and Combating Environmental Pollution. Villgro will help individual innovators identify needs & gaps within communities, help gain valuable market insights and enable them to convert these insights into a feasible solution.

In the first cycle which lasts 18 months, a group of 5 Social Innovators have been identified to work on the waste to value theme, which will be followed by the second cycle of 18 months where another 5 Fellows will work on “Combating environmental pollution”. The first 6 months will be focussed on immersion where they will understand the waste ecosystem in India by interacting with various stakeholders and perusing secondary research and followed by a 12 months product development phase where they will be supported in designing scalable products and services that can create value out of the waste.

The SIIP offers Social Innovators the opportunity to work uninterrupted and in a mission mode to find a solution to their chosen problem statement. This will involve,

  • Rural immersion to gain personal insights
  • Grants to enable product development and validation
  • Generous monthly stipend
  • Capacity building and knowledge sharing
  • Dedicated Mentorship

INVENT (Innovative Ventures and Technologies for Development)

Sectors: Agriculture, Healthcare, Energy & Cleantech, Education, Livelihoods

The Innovative Ventures and Technologies for Development (INVENT) program was conceived in 2016 by Technology Development Board (TDB), and the Government of India in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID), UK.

Villgro played the role of the Lead Incubator and supported four incubators with the goal of incubating hundreds of innovative social enterprises in 8 low-income States (LIS) – Bihar, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh & West Bengal; thereby catalyzing social entrepreneurship in underdeveloped markets.

In three years, INVENT has incubated 161 startups. 72 startups have gone on to raise follow on funding of INR 1407 million. Follow on funding partners include both government and non-government bodies like Intellecap, Omnivore, IAN Fund, AgFunder, Zomato, Social Alpha (TATA Trust), Info Edge, Ankur Capital, Gray Matters Capital, Yes Bank, HDFC, Vijaya, SBI, Angel Investors etc.

Creating Impact at Scale

The INVENT Program offers Social Enterprises:

Seed funding
Capacity building and Knowledge sharing
Dedicated Mentorship
Credible Networks
Downstream Investment
Support Services

Partner Incubators

SIDBI Innovation & Incubation Centre (SIIC), IIT Kanpur

Focus StatesUttar Pradesh | Chhattisgarh

Apply at www.iitk.ac.in/invent

IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP)

Focus StatesWest Bengal | Bihar

Apply at www.iimcip.org/invent

Startup Oasis

Focus StatesRajasthan | Madhya Pradesh

Apply at www.startupoasis.in/invent.php

KIIT-TBI

Focus StatesOdisha, Jharkhand

Apply at www.kiitincubator.in

Applications are closed.

Watch this space for more information.

Past Programs

Villgro has worked with corporates, public institutions and the Govt. of India to run go-to-market and commercialisation accelerator programs

Agri-tech and cleantech startup-corporate innovation partnerships accelerator

Agribusiness scale up accelerator for the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India and Invest India