ShelterTech Accelerator was initiated in September 2018 as a partnership between Habitat for Humanity's Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter and the Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE). The aim of the programme is to identify, nurture and accelerate startups and early-stage companies that are addressing challenges in the affordable housing sphere, in collaboration with organisations from the sector, namely BRICK Eagle, Brigade Reap, Mahila Housing Trust, among others who are helping participating startups by providing them with mentoring and access to the right networks at the right time.
Innovative startups in the housing domain
In its first phase, which ran from September until December 2018, out of a pool of 77 startups, the programme identified four companies to join its first cohort. They received intensive advisory and consulting support, which helped them redefine their business models and outline roadmaps for the upcoming months. Through workshops, multiple one-on-one expert sessions and other mentoring activities, the Accelerator is providing ongoing support to these four startups. They are:
Saltech Design Labs, a recycler with the objective of reducing environmental hazard by creating building materials from plastic waste; Qwikspec, an end-to-end onsite construction project management technology platform that provides real-time data analysis for quick decision-making, leveraging quality and time metrics; OCEO, an IoT-enabled smart water purifier that provides healthy water at home without having to purchase a device or pay maintenance fees; and Tvasta, creator of the first concrete 3D printer for construction in India, enhancing construction speed and the possibility of customisation in every module. Read more about them here.
More sectors for startups to approach
After a successful first phase, ShelterTech has launched the second phase of the accelerator. Applications for the programme are open from February 4 to March 6, 2019.
What’s in it for the startups who apply? Selected organisations will have access to CIIE’s network of over 300 startup founders, personalised support for problem solving, access to equity-free grants and seed funds worth Rs 75 lakh, one-to-one sessions with over 15 domain experts, and opportunity for potential investments and global exposure.
ShelterTech Accelerator is looking for startups or strong teams working on solutions that can solve challenges in the following areas:
- Land, titling and construction permissions - Recording land transactions or improving transparency in land management to address costly and informal land titling
- Access to finance for housing - Enabling lenders to identify, screen and select applicants, and methods to increase efficiencies in the disbursement of loans and subsidies
- Construction technology and new materials - Promoting alternative and new construction technologies to reduce the time and cost of construction for both permanent and temporary shelters
- Labour productivity and quality - Enhancing labour productivity and addressing high absenteeism through innovative approaches and solutions
- Material supply and procurement - Helping builders manage inventory and ideate new models of procurement that can effectively track supplier fleet and material pilferage
- Professional services - Providing solutions like designing, engineering and structuring for the general public to help them take informed decisions on their creative spaces
- Project management and collaboration - Creating user-friendly, inexpensive and simple solutions for developers and contractors to better track scheduling, procurement, inventory management and other construction management aspects
- Sales and marketing support for housing - Supporting sales and marketing strategies to increase access to new market segments, while making housing inventory discoverable
- Home improvement, maintenance and livability - Finding solutions for community and space livability through tangible and intangible interventions
- Residential energy solutions - Positively disrupting the availability and consumption of household energy and its environmental impacts
- Water and sanitation for housing - Fulfilling the basic needs for potable/drinking water and access to proper sanitation facilities and management systems
- Rental and special housing solutions - Providing viable and scalable alternatives to traditional construction and exploring new home-ownership business models
Eligibility and application procedure
To apply, startups must have a for-profit business model registered in India, and a full-time founding team based in India. Preference is given to startups with existing pilots, but those still working on their proof of concept are also encouraged to apply by providing evidence of their business model and details around their proposed housing solution.
Applications will be evaluated through parameters including strength, feasibility and viability of the proposed solution, skillset and experience of the founding team and other criteria. Global startups interested in solving problems in the Indian market can also participate. The Accelerator’s second cohort will kick off in April 2019 and take place over a period of four months, culminating with an investor demo day in July 2019.
If you would like to know more about the ShelterTech Accelerator, and why it is a unique opportunity for start-ups in the housing domain, meet the Accelerator team when they visit your city on the following dates:
The applications have been rolling in for ShelterTech Accelerator's Phase 2. By popular demand, the last date to apply has been extended to March 14, 2019. So what are you waiting for? Head to ShelterTech’s website now and apply. Applications will be open until 11:59 PM (IST) on March 14, 2019.