This partnership will help social ventures to build financially stable and sustainable models in various sectors.
The Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore’s startup incubation centre NSRCEL on Wednesday announced that it has partnered with IT services company Mphasis to support early-stage social ventures.
This initiative comes as a part of IIM’s Social Venture Incubation Programme aimed at incubating and supporting for-profit social ventures in their early stages. Startups that have been in operation for one to three years will be incubated for a period of 12-18 months to build financially sustainable and scalable models in education, livelihood and disability sectors, the centre said.
Professor Suresh Bhagavatula, Chair of NSRCEL (who was not present at the event) said through the press release, “NSRCEL has been helping early stage ventures since 2002. The Social Venture Incubation Programme was launched in 2017. It aims to create a playbook and template for social enterprises incubation. Such an approach can be replicated at other academic institutions and incubation hubs across the country.”
More than 500 social ventures have applied to the programme, of which 16 were selected to go through a three-month pre-incubation programme. Shortlisted ventures were given an opportunity to pitch before an advisory council for selection in the incubation programme.
These five startups would receive an entrepreneurial grant and will be supported through a series of curated events and workshops to address specific challenges and assist wherever required. Additionally, these ventures will also be able to avail on-site infrastructure as well to expand their network through ecosystem partners, IIM-B faculty, alumni and subject matter experts.
On the partnership, Srikanth Karra, Chief Human Resources Officer of Mphasis, said: “The talent present in the startup ecosystem in India has been visibly increasing over the past few years. However, support to social enterprises is still limited. It is essential that social enterprises also get the right kind of support in mainstream incubators so that they can contribute within the industry space. Our partnership with IIMB is aimed at addressing this issue and through the facilities and mentorship support, we hope to enable the selected social ventures to achieve their highest potential.”
The NSRCEL at IIMB incubates start-ups and provides a range of educational and capacity building programmes and mentorship support, both for startups and early-stage ventures. NSRCEL Social is an initiative to nurture early-stage ventures and to incubate world-class not-for-profit and for-profit social ventures.
The event was also marked by a panel discussion on ‘Social Entrepreneurship: Values, Objectives, and Sustainability’. The panellists included Srivardhini K Jha, Young Faculty Research Chair and faculty in the Entrepreneurship area, IIMB; Anuja Master Bose, Philanthropy Strategy Advisor, Villgro Innovations Fund; Srikanth of Mphasis; Sudha Srinivasan, CEO, N/Core; and Vandana Suri, Co-founder, TAXSHE. The discussion was moderated by Dalhia Mani, Young Faculty Research Chair and faculty in the Entrepreneurship area, IIMB.
Sudha of N/Core said, “The sectoral boundaries are blurring and it’s a good thing. One can see more and more hybrids emerging.”
While all the panellists laid emphasis on tech-driven ventures for solving social problems, Anuja of Villgro Innovation Fund said, “It is important for investors to look at who is driving the largest social initiative alongside being able to scale quickly.” She gave an example of how Uber has created more job mobility.