How Supply Chain Labs is enabling supply chain startups scale-up via the unique Fellowship Fund model
While previously supply chain was a business enabler, the pandemic has made the supply chain a competitive differentiator for companies. Corporations across the globe are now focused on building resilience in their businesses via technology innovations to optimize their supply chain.
In India, several startups are creating innovative solutions that bring unprecedented efficiency to the supply chain, and help companies synchronize their supply chain with better coordination between internal and external stakeholders.
In order to encourage startups disrupting the supply chain, Supply Chain Labs (SCL) - is launching applications for its 3rd cohort.
Every year SCL selects an extremely distinguished group of 8-10 disruptive supply chain focused startups, and provides them with capital (upto USD 3.5mn) and expertise to help startups build a stronger foundation for scale.
Supply Chain Labs was conceived to identify, collaborate, and invest in 50 of the best supply chain startups over a period of five years, with 10 startups being hand picked every year for the fellowship fund.
According to Prajakt Raut, the Managing Partner of Supply Chain Labs, “Supply-chain is one of the most core areas for any segment of the economy and even more pertinent in a large and growing country like India which needs deep innovation to help bridge the gaps in the physical supply chain - amplified even more so with COVID.”
Apart from providing capital to startups, SCL also arranges extensive guidance from industry experts to help them build a stronger foundation. The intervention for these startups is custom-designed based on whether these startups are in their early growth stage or in the growth stage.
The SCL Fellowship is a six-month structured program, including sessions designed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Zaragoza Logistics Centre COE, to help startups become ready for growth capital.
The SCL Fund is a multi-stage investment vehicle that invests up to Rs 25 crores in three different stages.
Inviting challenge seekers
Companies that have been a part of SCL over a period of 2 years since inception have seen more than 5x value expansion with 80 percent of them raising follow-on capital.
The structure of the programme is fairly simple, SCL prepares a roadmap for foundation building followed by accelerated growth through mentoring sessions with experts in the first two months. The third month involves sharpening the tools via inputs from marketing and sales experts. The next month connects startups with customers one-on-one via customer showcase events, and the final two months involve fundraising assisted by the SCL team that helps startups refine their pitch decks.
The fellowship program focuses on various industries such as food, pharmaceuticals, rural, industrial, and SMEs, and has a rigorous selection process that involves multiple stakeholders including VCs, corporates, and domain experts. The selection process goes on to select just one per cent of the startups out of thousands that apply.
Apart from funding and fellowship, the program also consists of indicative knowledge workshops like Practical use of a lean canvas for fundraising, Fundamentals of marketing - positioning, brand equity, communication, media, etc., PR as a marketing tool, Culture and Human Resources Management, Building a robust tech product - best practices, and more. In addition to these workshops, entrepreneurs can also attend periodic experience sharing sessions and avail AMA sessions with investors, marquee entrepreneurs, and large enterprise customers.
Supply chain startups can visit this link to understand more about the fund and fellowship program. SCL has also started receiving applications for the program since November 10, and all candidates can apply for it on SCL’s official website.