Invest India’s i2i programme to help startups integrate with corporate leaders to fuel their innovationsLibza Mannan
Invest India’s Integrate to Innovate Challenge (i2i) aims to foster collaboration between startups and large corporations of the energy sector. The three-month programme provides an opportunity for startups to run pilot projects with the corporate companies and give wings to their innovations.
Invest India has partnered with energy sector companies like Exxon, Schneider Electric, and Mahindra Susten to offer a unique lab-to-market opportunity for Indian startups through Integrate to Innovate Programme.
A non-profit venture under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Invest India is on a mission to transform the nation’s investment climate since 2009. The agency launched the three-month corporate acceleration programme to boost government’s mission to promote and entrepreneurship in the country.
Invest India believes the programme is in sync with government’s mission to promote entrepreneurship in the country, as the collaboration between startups and large companies will create an open innovation ecosystem, addressing the growing need of innovation in commercial business models.
The collaboration is aimed to benefit both the startup and corporate world, helping companies enter and create new markets; and startups can develop their products, scale with shared goals of growing their companies, raising its competitive bar and generating revenue.
Who can apply?
Innovators across various stages of the energy life-cycle - generation, transmission and distribution, storage and consumption can apply for the programme. However, there are five broader themes – household, transport, farm, infrastructure, utility, building; and narrowed down categories that the participants need to opt.
Under the Household theme, the categories include home automation, ecommerce marketplaces for smart home products and installer/support services, and rooftop solar and home energy storage. For Transport, EV and EV infrastructure, and gas powered trucks are the categories. Under Farm, the only category is waste to value. For Infrastructure, the categories are renewables, grid and micro-grids, storage battery, sensors, drones, data analytics, workforce mobility, and cybersecurity. Under Utility, the categories include metering, billing & customer analytics, demand response & distributed energy resource management systems, and transactive energy, blockchain-based energy trading and energy marketplaces. Building is the last theme with categories like energy efficiency and cooling (inclusive of data centers), B2B e-markets, automation efficiency, and predictive asset management (IoT and AI).
The winners will be reportedly assessed on parameters such as the breakthrough nature of the innovation, business viability and potential to scale.
Benefits for winners
Startups who qualify the challenge win a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each, and a three-month incubation at the corporate office premises to pilot their product. The corporations will provide them access to technology, technical and commercial mentorship, and access to potential customers through the corporate network of partners.
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