Zinnov, GIZ, Citrix, Ericsson, HARMAN, and IKP Knowledge Park together announced the launch of a one-of-its-kind social accelerator program. The main purpose of the startup accelerator program is to boost for-profit social enterprises that have created affordable solutions for the underserved population in India, in turn enabling large scale impact. The five main verticals that the accelerator will support include Healthcare, Clean Tech, Smart-Agri, Sanitation, and Education.
Coined ‘SIGMA’ Sustain. Innovate. Grow. Multiply. Accelerate., the social startup accelerator program was launched on 18th July 2017, at My Fortune, Bengaluru.
India, today, has a burgeoning population struggling with core issues and basic necessities of food, clothing, healthcare, and sanitation. Citrix, Ericsson, HARMAN, and Zinnov have come together to form a consortium of corporates, to fund initiatives that have the potential to alleviate these problems at scale. In addition to funding, SIGMA will also have its founding corporates bring members of their leadership team to the program, who are experts in their respective domains, to mentor and guide these startups.
The initial cohort will have a group of 15 curated social startups, who will undergo an intense Bootcamp, followed by a 4-month-long accelerator program with a rigorous curriculum. Mentors from across India with expertise in Business, Technology, and Domain-specific areas will advise the startups throughout the program.
IKP-Eden, the technology business incubator partner, will provide its Maker-CoWorker space to startups for the duration of 4 months. What makes the facility noteworthy is that IKP-Eden boasts of a facility which consists of a metal-working shop, a woodworking shop, plastics and composites shop, electronics, fluidics and medical devices, 3D printer and laser cutting technology.
At the end of the 4-month period, a Demo Day will be held for the startups in the cohort to pitch to Impact investors, Industry leaders, NGOs, and Government officials. Startups that believe that they can drive large scale change and have a product or a solution in any of the following verticals – Healthcare, Clean Tech, Smart-Agri, Sanitation, and Education – would be perfect for a platform like SIGMA.
Speaking about the SIGMA accelerator program, Eileen Trenkmann, Program Manager, GIZ, said, “The SIGMA accelerator program is another step in fostering more corporate engagement in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem which plays a pivotal role in tackling some of India’s most pressing challenges in areas such as energy, sanitation, and education. The learning of the accelerator program will be documented and shared among corporates and incubators to encourage more such partnerships in the future.”