Acara Summer Institute - IIHS Social Venture Design June 2013 Programme Pitching Teams

By Vallabh Rao|23rd Jun 2013
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The 2013 Summer Institute-Social Venture Design (SI-SVD) course is a joint programme of Acara at the University of Minnesota and the Indian Institute of Human Settlements (IIHS). It is an intense workshop from June 16-22, 2013 in Bangalore, India for emerging social entrepreneurs. Venture teams will come with early stage venture models and leave ready to attract seed funding and pilot. The objective of the programme is to provide early stage social entrepreneurs with facilitation and resources to successfully pilot and launch their ventures.Teams that presented at the pitch day today:

1. Ashtavakr

Ashtavakr aims to make public transport accessible to the physically handicapped and injured individuals. The proposal revolves around the idea of universal design, thusopening up platforms for communication for the different categories of society.

2. Ashwidia

Ashwidia’s aim is to bring about easy to implement sustainability measures at home, especially with sustainable water use. The team has built and is currently using a simplegrey water recycling method and would like to deploy it in households. Ashwidia is also working on a prototype to reduce use of fresh water for flushing, and would like to provide this as a cost effective, minimum plumbing solution for households.

3. BOCO India – University of Minnesota and TERI University

Buy One Create Opportunities (BOCO) India aims to ensure a higher remuneration to the Indian Artisan for their products. Presently most of the market value for artisanal products is appropriated by middlemen between artisans and customers. BOCO will connect artisans to numerous markets, generating greater revenue for the artisan via profit sharing. Additionally BOCO will ensure info on market demand and design is disseminated to artisans. A part of BOCO’s profit will be utilized for skill building, value addition and community development so artisans can tap into a higher value chain.

4. Cincivell – University of Cincinnati and Vellore Institute of Technology

Cincivell is offering a low tech, effective model for tanneries in Tamil Nadu to remove hexavalent chromium from their run-off. Bagasse fly ash is a waste product of the sugar industry. Farmers in the area have an abundance of the material. The Cincivell design encases the bagasse and uses it as a filter to capture the hexavalent chromium to remove it from the wastewater.

5. Community Shops – University of Minnesota and XIMB

Community Shops will bring goods to consumers in underserved rural areas, many of whom can only afford basic necessities, for a lower price. Lower prices will be achieved through a bulk buying and distribution strategy. Community Shops is a simple idea that will generate a tremendous impact in communities. On top of providing lower prices, Community Shops will transition stores over to local Community Based Organizations (CBOs) after one year in operation.

6. Humble Commode – University of Cincinnati and IIT-Roorkee

Humble Commode is a closed loop waste management business specializing in sustainable sanitation solutions that harness resources and address contemporary concerns of the Gram Panchayats in rural India. By investing in sanitation infrastructure that efficiently harnesses the potential of human waste, Humble Commode will improve access to agricultural resources, such as organic fertilizer and compost that increase agricultural yields and decrease dependence of rural farmers on outside institutions.

7. IRMA Innovation – Institute of Rural Management Anand

IRMA Innovation primarily seeks to manage solid waste, segregating waste at the source and recycling dry waste for the benefit of society and the environment. This comes along with focus on social welfare by improving the livelihood, health and education of rag-pickers and their families at the foundation of the waste management sector. To make the model viable, recyclable waste will be sold to fund education and healthcare for rag-pickers and their families.

8. Kumej – Balwant Seth School of Architecture

Kumej is a light, collapsible floor-seat aimed at allowing underprivileged students (ages 6 to 10 years) of street schools and rural schools to carry and create their own comfortable work-surface irrespective of the ground surface they are obliged to sit on.

9. Mool-a-Roop – Balwant Seth School of Architecture

Mool-a-Roop seeks to ease the transport systems for short distance travel from railway stations to various nearby destinations. The concept is to create an alternate system of public transport in the city that will reduce the pressure on the auto rickshaw.

10. Nutricycle – University of Minnesota and XIMB

NutriCycle will seize the opportunity presented by India’s growing composting and urban agriculture movements, bringing these efforts and their associated benefits to urban residents. Partnering with apartments during their pilot phase, Nutricycle will demonstrate the ability of community composting to improve the existing waste management system, while empowering their clients to become more self-reliant, helping them grow their own fresh, healthy vegetables in house.

11. PurePots – University of Minnesota and XIMB

PurePots will offer a clean drinking water treatment method that will enable the residents of slums in India to pull themselves out of poverty and enjoy a previously unattainable quality of life. PurePots will manufacture a reliable source of clean drinking water utilizing a silver-impregnated ceramic pot. A water storage vessel and ceramic filter pot will combine to form an easy-to-use, low-cost water filtration system to meet the drinking water treatment needs of residents in slums.

12. Sarthak – TERI University

Sarthak Solutions is a social enterprise with the vision to solve the sanitation problem faced by India’s urban slums by both providing clean toilet facilities and building community capacity to purchase toilets in a self-sustaining model. Initially, Sarthak aims to start with a pilot project in New Delhi to provide toilets and involve the community in income-generating activities, like making products from locally available recyclable materials. In the subsequent phases of the project, the team aims to encompass a wide range of activities including hygiene improvement, small-scale enterprise building, sanitation marketing, and R&D for improved toilet design.

13. Urbana – IIT-Kharagpur

Team Urbana plans to build a comprehensive waste collection-cum-recycling system with a modular, scalable business model. The main components of the system will be garbage collection networks, recycling plants and marketing organisations, knowledge dissemination, training and coordination.

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