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PowerStart Is India's First Ceantech/Cleanweb Startups Accelerator

PowerStart is a start-up accelerator for cleanweb start-ups.  It is a two-month programme launched by Infuse Ventures, a leading Indian cleantech VC fund managed by IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) and Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Based in Bangalore, PowerStart will be the first-of-its-kind in India that will be focused exclusively on entrepreneurs at the INTERSECTION OF INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY (ICT) and cleantech – often referred to as “Cleanweb”. PowerStart will partner with the US-based Cleanweb Initiative and leading players in the IT industry such as Google India. Other partners on board include Langoor, EMBARQ and IoT Bangalore, among others; these partners will be providing various kinds of in-kind support to the program.

The program is now open for applications, until 21 December 2014.

Link to application form:  www.f6s.com/powerstart

PowerStart, which will start with a boot camp at the end of January 2015 and be hosted at the TechHub in Bangalore, will work with 12-15 teams of entrepreneurs. During a two-month period, leading industry and IT experts will help existing entrepreneurs validate and pilot their solutions as well as help aspiring entrepreneurs co-create new solutions closely with potential customers. Following the program, Infuse Ventures will offer seed-funding of at least Rs. 25 lacs (~$US 40k) to the two most promising ventures. Selected teams can also access a potential follow-on investment of up to Rs. 10 Cr (~$US 1.6m) at a later date.

Kunal Upadyhay, CEO of Infuse Ventures and CIIE, says, “We believe that the Cleanweb is a massive global business opportunity. India, with its strong ICT sector, is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this. Unlike traditional cleantech solutions, which can be very capital intensive, these types of IT-driven cleantech solutions can be very capital-light and can scale up exponentially.”

Dr. Aiming Zhou, who is the Senior Energy Specialist at the Asian Development Bank, gives an insight about the programme and says “As part of responses to tackle climate change, we need to nurture start-up and cleantech entrepreneurship to develop innovative and transformative solutions for clean technology applications in developing countries. A programme like this, which provides intense hands-on support to promising cleantech entrepreneurs in India, plays a critical part in making this happen.”

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PowerStart is looking for Cleanweb solutions in five different areas: Smart Renewables, Smart Buildings, Smart Agriculture, Smart Transportation and Smart Manufacturing, with invitations open for both existing start-ups as well as teams of aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to build ventures in these areas. For more descriptive information about the these focussed themes, visit their website.

Who can apply?

  • Cleanweb teams already working in any of the five relevant areas (renewables, agriculture, buildings, transportation or manufacturing)
  • Aspiring teams or individuals having experience in any of the above areas or ICT & related fields.

Program outline & timelines: 

  • Launch of online applications (www.f6s.com/powerstart) – 25/26 Nov 2014
  • Info session – 06 Dec 2014 (venue and time TBD)
  • Close of applications – 21 Dec 2014
  • Intimation to finalists – 26 Dec 2014
  • Ideation Bootcamp (30 Jan-01 Feb 2015) – teams will ideate over exciting cleanweb opportunities, understand the needs of their customers, and plan for the next two months, with specific targets. Teams will also be paired with mentors who will work with them for the next 2 months.
  • Fortnightly Meetups (14/15 Feb, 28 Feb/1 Mar, 14/15 Mar) – talks/workshops by experts; teams will discuss the progress that they’ve made on their stated targets; one-on-one mentoring sessions
  • Demo Day (28 Mar 2015) – each of the teams will present at least a ‘minimum viable product’ along with a business plan. Infuse Ventures will announce two teams in which it will make a seed investment commitment of Rs. 25 lac each.
  • Following Demo Day (April onwards) – on successful due diligence, Infuse will make the committed seed investment, and the investee will be supported by the Infuse team to accelerate and reach a stage where it can receive further follow-on investment.
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Media Contact for PowerStart 2015:

Mohsin Bin Latheef
Manager – Cleantech Ecosystem Development
Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship, IIM Ahmedabad
Tel.: +91-79-6632-4233 | Mob.: +91-7383559820
mohsin@iimahd.ernet.in

For any more information about CIIE and Infuse, visit ciieindia.org and www.infuseventures.in

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