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Asian Development Bank, Infuse, IIM Ahmedabad Seek IoTs in Cleantech

Team YS
1st Dec 2014
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Asian Development Bank and Infuse Ventures have once more tied up to find start-ups that use technology and analytics to develop solutions in the clean technology space.

They have launched PowerStart, a two month accelerator programme for such entrepreneurs as part of their CleanWeb initiative. Cleanweb is a worldwide initiative to deepen the use of technology in social and green initiatives.

Infuse is an Indian clean technology venture fund, managed by IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE). Along with CleanWeb, PowerStart has also partnered with IT companies such as Google India, which will provide mentorship and other means of support.

powerstart

PowerStart, which will start with a bootcamp at the end of January 2015, will work with 12-15 teams of entrepreneurs. During the 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 lakh, of $40,000 to two of the most promising ventures. There may also be a follow-on investment of Rs 10 crore or $1.6 million at a later date. The programme is open for applications until December 21.

“By combining innovative business models with recent advances in areas like big data analytics, cloud computing, mobile communication, and internet of things, a new breed of successful Cleanweb startups are enabling smarter and more efficient use of energy and other resources from our homes and cars, to our factories and farms,” Infuse said in a statement.

Elsewhere, companies are combining smart ICT solutions with financial innovations to significantly reduce the cost and risk of generating and consuming renewable energy. The impact can be significant. By some estimates, ICT-driven solutions alone have the potential to reduce installed solar PV costs by 75%, it added.

“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”, said Kunal Upadyhay, CEO of Infuse Ventures and CIIE.

“Unlike traditional cleantech solutions, which can be very capital intensive, these type of IT-driven cleantech solutions can be very capital-light and can scale up exponentially,” added Kunal

PowerStart is looking for Cleanweb solutions in five different areas: smart renewables, smart buildings, smart agriculture, smart transportation and smart manufacturing.

“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”, said Dr. Aiming Zhou, Senior Energy Specialist at the Asian Development Bank.

Application and timeline details

–        Cleanweb startups/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

  • 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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