Mphasis F1 Foundation, the CSR arm of IT firm Mphasis, has partnered with NSRCEL, the startup incubation centre at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B), as part of its Social Venture Incubation Program, to support ‘early-stage social ventures. The program aims to incubate and support 'for profit' social ventures and comprises start-ups that have been in operation for one to three years, announced the company in a press release.

The programs focus is on helping startups build financially sustainable and scalable models in the
area of education, livelihood and disability.

The program received 550 + applications from social ventures out of which 16 promising ventures were selected to
go through a 3 months pre-incubation program. Following the pre-incubation, shortlisted ventures was given an
opportunity to pitch before an advisory council for selection in the incubation program which will be for a period of 12-18 months.

Selected ventures include TAXSHE Services Private Limited, ECONUT Coconut Producer Company Limited, Blink Research and Services Private Limited, ThinkZone and Rural Caravan Private Limited.

These selected startups would receive an entrepreneurial grant and will be supported through a series of curated events and workshops aimed at addressing specific challenges and areas of assistance required. Additionally, these ventures will also be able to avail on-site infrastructure as well as expand their network through interactions with ecosystem partners, IIMB faculty, alumni and subject matter experts.

Speaking on the partnership, Srikanth Karra, Chief Human Resources Officer, Mphasis, said: “The talent present in
the startup ecosystem in India has been visibly increasing over the past few years. However, support to social
enterprises is still limited It is essential that social enterprises also get the right kind of support in mainstream incubators to ensure they can make telling contributions within the industry space. Our partnership with IIMB is aimed at addressing this issue and through the facilities and mentorship support, we hope to enable the selected social ventures to achieve their highest potential."

Professor Suresh Bhagavatula, Chair, NSRCEL at IIM Bangalore, explained: “NSRCEL has been helping early stage
ventures since 2002. Leveraging this experience and expertise, the Social Venture Incubation Program was
launched in 2017."

"NSRCEL Social Ventures is the first-of-its-kind incubator of the country with an ascertained focus is to create a playbook and template for social enterprises incubation. Such an approach can be replicated at other academic institutions and incubation hubs across the country. This initiative aims to identify, engage and support early-stage social ventures with high growth potential to build scalable models for sustained impact," said Bhagavatula.

The event was also marked by a panel discussion on ‘Social Entrepreneurship: Values, Objectives, and
Sustainability’. The panelists included Srivardhini K Jha, Young Faculty Research Chair and faculty in the
Entrepreneurship area, IIMB, Anuja Master Bose, Philanthropy Strategy Advisor, Villgro Innovations Fund, Srikanth
Karra, Chief Human Resources Officer, Mphasis, Sudha Srinivasan, CEO, N/Core, and Vandana Suri, Co-founder,
TAXSHE. The discussion will be moderated by Dalhia Mani, Young Faculty Research Chair and faculty in the
Entrepreneurship area, IIMB.

“Given the scale of social and economic services that are needed at the bottom of the pyramid, social ventures and
an ecosystem to support them are extremely important for India, and this panel aims to bring people together to
discuss and learn together,” said Dalhia Mani, Young Faculty Research Chair and faculty in the Entrepreneurship
area, IIMB.

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