Today, technology has become the ubiquitous answer to a number of problems that a developing country like India faces – from economic and social inequities, lack of access to necessities like health and education, and the need for greater focus on agriculture, a primary source of livelihood for more than half of India’s teeming population.
Empowered by new and innovative technologies, and other factors such as improved digital connectivity and government support – a number of startups that are working hard to bridge these gaps have emerged. So, we have Agritech startups using IoT and other related technologies to ensure that farmers get a fair price for their produce without the intervention of middlemen, while the end consumer gets access to quality produce at reasonable prices. There are Healthtech startups trying to ensure that patients in remote areas have access to doctors and accurate diagnoses. Edutech startups are putting the fun back into learning and making it available to a greater section of youngsters in remoter regions of India. Smart city startups are working on streamlining facilities and making it easier for citizens to get around and access basic facilities.
While these do add up to the overall promise of a brighter tomorrow, sometimes these solutions, however brilliant, don’t come to the fore due to a number of reasons -- lack of direction or guidance about how to build a minimum viable product, wrong business model, not getting noticed by the right people at the right time, not having access to funds or prospective customers.
Focussed programmes for greater impact
After experiencing significant success with two cohorts of YES FINTECH, its accelerator programme in the fintech space, which it launched in January 2017, YES BANK is now looking at working with startups that can help build a better future through disruptive solutions in key impact sectors of the economy.
YES SCALE is a platform accelerator which aims to bring about significant change by helping technology startups scale up their innovations through five distinct and focused accelerator programmes across these sectors – Agri Tech, Smart City, Clean Tech, Life Sciences Tech and Edutech.
The platform will bring together industry leaders, experts, corporates, government bodies, investors and global ecosystems, and give startups a bridge to take their solution from the idea stage to implementation and scaling up stages.
The YES SCALE Smart City Accelerator broadly focuses on three areas that are driving the future of smart urbanization -- smart mobility, smart utility and data governance. A team of dedicated experts who have been actively partnering with various Smart Cities initiatives and providing advisory services on urban-infra knowledge to stakeholders are driving this programme.
YES SCALE Cleantech Accelerator focuses on startups working on energy efficiency, waste management and water management. This is part of YES BANK’s proactive initiatives in this space, such as launching India’s first ever Green Infrastructure Bonds to committing to financing 5 GW of Renewable Energy Projects by 2019.
The YES SCALE Agritech accelerator aims to create opportunities for catalysing innovations in the fields of food tech, farm tech and supply chain tech and connect startups working in these areas with other significant stakeholders and partners from the ecosystem.
The future of medicine and healthcare is rapidly evolving and a number of breakthrough innovations are helping shape this space. The YES SCALE Life Sciences Tech accelerator aims to catalyse the development and commercialisation of such innovations.
The YES SCALE Edutech accelerator programme will work with startups to bring about fundamental qualitative and quantitative changes in the educational landscape with technology-driven solutions.
Why you should apply
If chosen for these programmes, startups will get a number of benefits, including:
- A chance to test and validate their solutions in a sandbox environment
- Technology support worth over $1 million
- Access to grants of up to $30,000 for each startup
- Access to industry partners to commercialize their solutions
- Funding support of up to $1 million
- Focused mentorship from mentors in each sector
- Access to over 20 geographical markets
- Guidance on government policies and regulations
Who can apply
YES SCALE is looking for technology-focused startups (both from India and abroad) with an MVP along with a growing customer base currently, innovating in any of the above sectors.
After an initial but thorough screening process, shortlisted applicants will be invited to pitch to an expert panel about their startup’s value proposition, business plan, and how their solution can be applied to the identified focus areas. Following this, the selected startups will get an opportunity to refine their product / solution and validate it in the market. Through it all, they will have ample access to mentorship, technology support and grants and funding. After 15 weeks of participating in the programme, the startups will showcase their scaled-up solutions to investors and industry experts on Demo Day.
The YES SCALE ecosystem has renowned names on board as Government Partners, Industry Partners, Funding Partners, Technology Partners, Ecosystem Partners and Program Partners. These include the likes of Ministry of Renewable Energy, MoFPI, Bosch, Amul, NASSCOM, First Solar, Anthill, Unitus Ventures and Villgro among others.
Don’t miss this opportunity to do your bit to build a better future. Learn more about the programme and how you can apply here.