POWERED Accelerator hosted a grand demo day for its second cohort at The LaLit Ashok, Bangalore on the occasion of International Women's Day, 2019. As part of the programme’s second cohort, 8 startups are set to receive a seed fund of up-to $10,000 each.

POWERED Accelerator is a first-of-its-kind entrepreneurship programme, globally, focusing on women-led businesses in the energy value chain, set up as a joint initiative of Shell Foundation (a UK based charity) the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), Government of India’s Department for Science and Technology (DST), operated by Zone Startups.

The Demo Day witnessed key stakeholders of the industry including corporates, investors, and industry experts exploring synergies with the cohort.

Keynote speakers at the event comprised of Starlene Sharma, Cleantech Women Innovation Network; Huda Jaffer, Selco Foundation; Dr. T.V. Ramachandra, Centre for Ecological Sciences, IISc Bangalore who emphasized on the role of women entrepreneurs in the sector and the impact it has on overall development goals in the long run.

The startups were selected through a competitive process and evaluated on multiple criteria with the final course of evaluations being conducted as part of the Demo Day by a jury comprising of the following:

  • Navin Honagudi, Partner, Kae Capital

  • Ananth Aravamudan, Energy Expert, Villgro

  • Sajju Jain, Founder Impact + Efficacy Global CXO Network

  • Leena Thomas, Founder, Global Business Inroad

  • Emmanuel Murray, Senior Advisor, Caspian Impact Investments

  • Nagaraja Rao, Head of Investment Facilitation, PFAN Investments

  • Ashwin Raguraman, Ffounding Partner, Bharat Innovation Fund

  • Anuradha Bhavnani, Ex-Director, Shell Foundation

  • Nikhil John, Portfolio Manager, Social Alpha

The startups selected for the seed fund are as follows:

REVY Environmental Solutions which has developed a cost effective and indigenous process of making Anaerobic Granulated Sludge optimized to enable quick start-up and easy operation of UASB in wastewater treatment. The system generates biogas which can be commercialized.

Cydee Technologies Pvt. Ltd., which is developing unique streetlights to help public and private sectors reduce the number of light poles by 60%, saving 60% material, manufacturing, deployment and maintenance cost along with 30% eExtra eEnergy sSaving compared to conventional LED sStreetlights.

Pushan Renewable Energy Pvt. Ltd.  which is a social enterprise that brings solar power to people’s homes and raises awareness on benefits of energy availability and how solar power can meet people’s energy demands. They develop local entrepreneurs and put special emphasis on the energy needs of women at home. They also provide innovative solar powered systems for income generation of rural Indian women.

Durga Energy which is a private limited solar module manufacturing company established through investments from four Cluster Level Federations. It is a first-of-its-kind solar module manufacturing company that is managed and operated by local tribal women who underwent rigorous training in technology and operations.

FinEffi Energy Solutions which aims to save energy in the residential and commercial sector and make the end user aware of their energy consumption, using Internet of OThings (IOT) devices and data analytics.

GTarang Energy Solutions which is developing devices to convert waste energy from day to day activities at individual and industrial setups into useful energy. Their current product is a belt to convert waste thermal energy in various processing industries into electricity.

DD Bio Solution Technology Pvt Ltd which produces green energy from agro waste providing livelihood for rural women & an optimized supply chain of agro waste utilization. It has developed prototypes for eight products in line for commercialization. The three mMain products of the company are smokeless combustion chamber, pellet machine, and bio pellets with stoves catering to rural households.

Prakriti Biotechnologies which covert organic waste into energy by using membrane based modular solutions. They provide a turnkey solution to purify bBiogas to Bio-CNG (vehicular fuel and PNG) and industrial carbon dioxide.

“The POWERED Accelerator is a critical part of the POWERED programme, a joint partnership between DFID India and Shell Foundation. Through the POWERED Accelerator we aim to support women entrepreneurs working on solutions in the energy sector. We have been delighted to see how many women are building new energy businesses and breaking barriers. Zone Startups has been instrumental in providing early-stage funding, business support and mentoring. We believe all the businesses have a huge potential to create impact and become role models for future leaders in the energy sector,” said Heidi Hafes, Market Development Manager, Shell Foundation.

“This pioneering entrepreneurship programme is strengthening the ecosystem for women’s active and substantive participation across the energy value chain.  We look forward to seeing these businesses and, with them, the POWERED network grows to continue to support innovation in the sector.” said, Adritha Subbiah, Energy and Green Growth Analyst, DFID India, British High Commission.

The objective of the programme is to support selected ventures to expand their innovative and consumer-responsive services, products and financing by taking them through an accelerator programme that includes validation, peer network, mentorship, industry connects, and access to investors.  Blackforest Solutions GmBH, HDFC Bank, Microsoft Corporation, and L&T Public Charitable Trust are partners for the programme and supporting the cohort by providing infrastructure and mentoring support and exploring suitable synergies with them. We have engaged 20 women energy entrepreneurs and leaders till now and will continue to support them for the next one to two years to scale up their startups.

"POWERED Accelerator program has helped me immensely and changed the way I used to look at myself. It has created a great passion in me to get more and more out of my business. My team can feel this difference. It has helped in understanding the expectations of investors and opened up avenues to approach them.", said Bhavana Chittawar, FinEffi Solutions.

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