Calling startups working on smart city solutions to apply to the AIM Smart City Accelerator programmeTeam YS
If you have a world class idea that needs technical support and funding, register for the AIM Smart City Accelerator, backed by Microsoft Ventures, the Indian School of Business, and Ashoka University. (Last date: 15 March 2016)
India is looking for smart solutions for its urban chaos – an infrastructure solution where street and home lighting is universal, costs less than it does now and uses less energy. With seven billion people on the planet, we’re running out of space and time for traditional solutions to work. Connected solutions and systems are the only way forward. It’s why cities need to smarten up. It’s why technology in this space urgently needs fast-tracking – to productize ideas and bring these solutions to the market for rapid and mass adoption.
It’s also why Ashoka University, DLabs at the Indian School of Business, and Microsoft Ventures have joined hands to create the AIM Smart City accelerator programme that will not only provide startups with funding and technological assistance, but also crucial skills, as well as direct access to investors and most importantly, to customers.
Why AIM as an accelerator?Together, the group has accelerated a number of startups across industries, providing them with in-house mentors and sponsors to help develop technical and managerial skills.
Individually, too, their track records speak volumes: Microsoft Ventures was rated as the #1 accelerator/ incubator programme in the region in 2015 and will provide access to all its technical expertise and networks to the chosen startups. Ashoka University is India’s leading liberal arts varsity focused on providing a well-rounded education that nurtures the leaders of tomorrow, while ISB is Asia’s leading B-School. The faculty at both universities comprise well-known experts with deep links in industry, venture capital, and government.
The Accelerator’s collective extensive industry and academic network, design thinking expertise, mentorship and resource base is therefore unparalleled in the industry.
“It’s a combination like no other,” says Priyank Narayan Director – Entrepreneurship Programmes at Ashoka University, adding,
“We’re going beyond the usual accelerator composition to give our chosen startups the edge they need to not only develop and market their products but also to build that into a large-scale business afterwards through a combination of access to mentors, industry, academia, campus infrastructure and even the government.”
From acceleration to momentum
“It’s never enough to simply get an idea to market, just as it’s finding its feet,” says Ankit Gupta of the Holostik Group. “At this stage, entrepreneurs not only need to keep refining their products, they also need to start focus on growing the business, so chasing investors becomes a massive challenge. That’s where our Demo Day will help.”
At the Demo Day, the chosen startups will showcase their products to the best VCs, angel investors and government stakeholders from India and abroad. “In the Smart Cities space, the government is likely the biggest customer for any startup with a viable, scalable product. AIM will provide these startups the access they need to get in front of decision makers and demonstrate the potential of their product,” adds Ankit.
The government has committed to developing 100 smart cities and has approved a budget of $14 billion for this. The market for disruptive smart city solutions, therefore, is massive to say the least, and chosen startups will be able to get on the fast lane with AIM’s backing. “Beyond that, we also want to take away their burden of getting the required visibility and publicity in the media and within the industry,” adds Dheeraj Batra, CEO D-Labs at ISB.
Now that’s what we call a smart solution.
If you think your idea will change the face of a city, apply for the Dalmia Bharat AIM Smart Cities initiative, powered by Holostik now. See details below.