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.

Sustainable Mobility Challenge

Sector: Climate Action, Mobility

About

The 'Sustainable Mobility Challenge' is a multi-pronged program targeting startups at different stages of maturity who are focussed on solving problems related to sustainable mobility. In a rapidly urbanizing country like India, although there is an increased focus on public infrastructure, there is a large gap when it comes to sustainable, convenient and cost-effective modes of transportation for large sections of society. At Villgro we believe that data and data-related technology can bridge this gap and hence are focused on creating a cohort of tech startups to bring about a socially impactful change in the mobility sector.

Focus Areas

Early-stage, Market-ready and Revenue stage, For-profit enterprises that are working on areas of sustainable mobility as per the below sub-categories are encouraged to apply:

  • Multi-modal transport fulfillment
  • Optimization – traffic flow, routes, fleets
  • Road Safety

  • Shared mobility and better access to transport
  • Application of Electric Vehicles to one or more of the above areas

Program Timelines

23rd Aug - 20 sep, 2022

Call for Applications

Incentives

Selected startups receive the following benefits:

  • Access to Villgro’s blended finance debt instruments
  • Subsidized access to subject matter experts & partner agencies with focus on sales partnerships

  • Upto 50 L Non-dilutive funding
  • Follow-on funding

Applications Now open

Last Date: 20 Sep 2022

If you have any queries, write to Gowtham Sundararaju, Manager – Climate Action: gowtham@villgro.org 

Climate Smart Agriculture

Sector: Agriculture, Climate Action 

About

The Climate Smart Agriculture Program aims to support startups working to mitigate the environmental footprint of Indian Agriculture by using technology to reduce the use of inputs, water and emissions from agricultural activities while increasing productivity.

Focus Areas

Early-stage Pilot ready for-profit startups focusing on the below problem areas can apply

  • Reducing the use of water in agriculture
  • Improving soil health through testing or regenerative practices
  • Reducing the use of fertilisers and pesticides
  • Post-harvest solutions that reduce waste/increase shelf life of produce

  • Innovations in feed and fodder that involves upcycling of waste
  • Fodder solutions to improve cattle gut health and reduce emissions
  • Novel food solutions- dairy alternatives
  • Solutions that result in large-scale carbon mitigation

Program Timelines

17th Aug - 11th Sep, 2022

Call for Applications

15th Sep - 20th Sep, 2022

Announcement of Winners

30th Nov 2022

Funding to Selected Startups

Incentives

Selected startups receive the following benefits:

  • Access to Villgro’s blended finance debt instruments
  • Subsidized access to subject matter experts & partner agencies with focus on sales partnerships

  • Up to INR 50 L Equity Investment
  • Follow-on funding

Applications Now open

Last Date: 11 Sep 2022

If you have any queries, write to Krithika R – Analyst, Agriculture at krithika@villgro.org

NIDHI Social Accelerator Program

Sector: Health, Agribusiness and Climate Action

About

NIDHI Social Accelerator supported by NSTEDB DST aims to identify and select 15 startups creating innovative solutions in Agribusiness, Healthcare & Climate Action. In doing so, NIDHI Social Accelerator's vision is to enable startups to achieve their goal — of a developed, refined and strengthened go-to-market & finance strategy within a total 6 months period.

Program Timelines

01

5th May- 31st May, 2022

Call for Applications

02

1st June - 10th June, 2022

Shortlisting of applications for Bootcamp

03

18th June - 22th June, 2022

Virtual bootcamp

04

23th June - 30th June, 2022

Final pitch round and shortlisting of startups

05

1st July to 31st December, 2022

Acceleration Phase

Access to finance

  • Technical assistance grant to startups from DST
  • One-to-one meetings with downstream Investors
  • Support from Villgro to raise follow-on funding to the eligible startup
  • AWS Promotional Credits upto $100,000 USD.

Access to market

  • One-to-one meetings with the corporates, and Industry Partners
  • Access and partnership with Villgro's network of startups

Capacity building

  • Connect with Industry experts through diagnostic panels
  • Dedicated 1-to-1 mentorship support
  • Technical Assistance from industry experts

Applications Now Closed

You can direct any program related inquiries to info@villgro.org or mohammad@villgro.org

Program Partner

Partners

Yash Entrepreneurs Program

Sector: Health 

About

The Program, supported by USAID's MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership: India-Yash, envisions creating a strong ecosystem of mid to late-stage investment-ready enterprises, addressing critical challenges in the Sexual and Reproductive Health space.

Program Timelines

01

14th April-15th May, 2022

Call for Applications

02

16th May-5th June, 2022

Pre-selection

03

6th June-15th June, 2022

Selection phase

04

16th June, 2022-30th June, 2022

Onboarding Cohort-1

Applications Now Closed

Applications for the next cohort will reopen in February 2023

If you have queries on the selection process, support to incubatees, partnerships, investment and financing opportunities for the cohort enterprises, please email us at yep@villgro.org

TANSEED 3.0

Sector: Agriculture, Climate Action, Livelihoods

About

TANSEED is a Grant Program by Tamil Nadu Startup And Innovation Mission (TANSIM), which serves as the policy implementation agency under the MSME Department, Government of Tamil Nadu. TANSIM has empanelled Villgro as its implementation partner to discover & support innovative enterprises working in the sectors of Agriculture, Climate Action & Livelihood, and also to provide incubation support to startups. TANSEED, shall support early stage financing requirements of the Startups in the form of grants to fill the gap in fund requirement for research & innovations, anything from mind to marketplace (which may also be patentable).

Program Timelines

01

25th February-11th March, 2022

Call for Applications

02

12th March-16th March, 2022

Shortlisting of applications

03

17th March - 19th March, 2022

Virtual bootcamp

04

20th March - 31st March, 2022

Grant funding to selected startups

05

April-June 2022

Pre-incubation to selected startups

06

June-December 2022

Acceleration of startups

Applications Now Closed

In case you have any queries, write to Mohammad Azhar, Lead – Government and Public Sector Initiatives at mohammad@villgro.org

MoHUA – AFD Swachhata Startup Challenge

Sector: Climate Action

About

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) in collaboration with AFD (Agence Française de Développement), have launched the Swachhata Startup Challenge to nurture the evolving ecosystem of the Indian waste sector. The goal is to support 10 startups working at the nexus of technology and social innovation to solve India’s waste management challenges by improving efficiency of waste management, increasing social impact, improving transparency of waste value chain and reducing the use of single use plastic.

Program Timelines

01

27 January - 31 March, 2022

Call for Applications

02

1 April - 30 April, 2022

Pre-Selection

03

1 May - 30 May, 2022

Selection phase

04

June 2022

Award Ceremony

Applications Now Closed

In case you have any queries, write to Mohammad Azhar, Lead – Government and Public Sector Initiatives at mohammad@villgro.org

Startup India Seed Fund Scheme

Sectors: Agriculture, Healthcare, Climate Action

About

Startup India Seed Fund Scheme (SISFS) aims to provide financial assistance to startups for proof of concept, prototype development, product trials, market entry and commercialization. The Seed Fund will be disbursed to eligible startups through eligible incubators such as Villgro.

Who should apply

  • A startup, recognized by DPIIT, incorporated not more than 2 years ago at the time of application.
  • The startup must have a business idea to develop a product or a service with a market fit, viable commercialization, and scope of scaling.
  • The startup should be using technology in its core product or service, or business model, or distribution model, or methodology to solve the problem being targeted.
  • Startup should not have received more than Rs 10 lakh of monetary support under any other Central or State Government scheme. This does not include prize money from competitions and grand challenges, subsidized working space, founder monthly allowance, access to labs, or access to prototyping facility.
  • Shareholding by Indian promoters in the startup should be at least 51% at the time of application to the incubator for the scheme, as per Companies Act, 2013 and SEBI (ICDR) Regulations, 2018.
  • A startup applicant can avail seed support in the form of grant and debt/convertible debentures each once as per the guidelines of the scheme.

In case you have any queries, write to Mohammad Azhar, Lead – Government Initiatives at mohammad@villgro.org

Applications are OPEN!

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 info@villgro.org

Applications to the program are open!

ShelterTech & Housing Accelerator Program

Sectors: ShelterTech & Housing, Climate Action

About

The ShelterTech program aims to support the incubation and launch of high-impact, highly-scalable, innovation based sustainable & affordable housing startups registered in India. The program is run by Villgro Innovation Foundations and funded by Habitat for Humanity International, Inc - Terwilliger Center for Innovation in ShelterTech. If you are a startup working in the sustainable & affordable housing sector - solving problems through either sustainable building materials, access to housing, improving efficiency of the construction industry, etc apply to the program. Applications for the program are on a rolling basis.

Selected startups will gain access to: 
– Financial support to implement strategic pilots/interventions to demonstrate technical and commercial feasibility of the solution for future growth.
– Mentorship, Networking and Technical Assistance support.
In case you have queries – please write to Krati Airan, Consultant, Climate Action – krati@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

  1. Water management solutions – groundwater and surface water; sustainable irrigation solutions for water intensive agriculture
  2. Farmer support technologies – land preparation, small farm applications, digital farm advisory
  3. Creating demand for water efficient use produce – market linkages for water responsible agriculture

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