SBI Foundation to partner with Valgro to launch ‘Innovate for India’ initiative to scale up agricultural startups in a sustainable manner.


'Innovators for Bharat' is a flagship program of SBI Foundation that supports high-impact incubators that provide incubation to startups (Image courtesy: Freepik)
‘Innovators for Bharat’ is a flagship program of SBI Foundation that supports high-impact incubators that provide incubation to startups (Image courtesy: Freepik)

SBI Foundation has partnered with India’s leading social enterprise incubator, Valgro. ‘Innovative for India: Climate Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods’ programme.

This initiative comes under SBI Foundation’s flagship programme, SBI LEAP (Economics and Entrepreneurship Accelerator Programme) to support high impact incubators providing incubation/acceleration to start-ups working to address developmental challenges in the country. can go. It will further support 15 high-potential start-ups, which will impact agricultural livelihoods, reduce the climate impact of agriculture, and increase the resilience of smallholder farmers to climate change.

Innovators for India: Climate Resilient Agricultural Livelihoods

The program is open to early Minimum Viable Product (MVP) stage or more mature businesses in the growth stage. The program also encourages female entrepreneurs to apply.

Agritech startups, agri-fintech startups, and climate tech startups are invited to submit their applications for the program, including climate resilient agriculture, reducing post-harvest losses, waste-to-value and carbon footprint. and topics such as measurement are given primary attention.

The initiative is committed to the following activities:

  • The program will accelerate agriculture startups to sustainable scale by providing equity seed funding, grant capital and incubation support.

  • Custom incubation support includes:

    • Strategic guidance for business scale

    • Opportunities for Field Pilots

    • Access to rural distribution networks

    • A guide to scientific quantities

    • Assessment of climate impacts

    • Technical support for the construction of carbon projects

  • The initiative will also focus on guiding startups to build financially sustainable business models and access debt financing to help them grow. In addition, the program will serve as a platform to create awareness about startup innovations through various channels.

  • Through this high-engagement programme, Willgro and SBI Foundation will provide financial support of Rs 3.25 crore through a combination of grant and equity.

  • SBI Foundation will provide financial support to selected startups as well as access to its network of banking experts for mentoring, civil society organizations and other key stakeholders.

“SBI Foundation is fully dedicated to empowering start-ups and fostering an innovation culture within the agriculture sector. Our dedication extends to driving substantial environmental changes, particularly waste recycling/upcycling, on the reduction and removal of CO2 emissions, and sustainable management of land resources. With this program, we aim to improve the lives of 10,000 people over two years, including creating jobs for many of them. included.” Sanjay Prakash, Managing Director, SBI Foundation.

“The Innovation Program is a great opportunity for India to harness innovation to make agriculture more environmentally sustainable as well as improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.” Maithili Regge, Associate Lead, Agriculture, Willgrove.

“The program stands out by offering strong go-to-market support for enterprises, enhancing startups’ readiness for debt financing, and providing dedicated advocacy for startup success,” he added.

Startups will be selected for the program based on their innovative solutions, current stage of the enterprise, its business viability, team, and ability to create impact at scale. The application window will remain open until 11 October 2023.

The startup selection process is scheduled to begin in October 2023, with the announcement of selected startups scheduled for November 2023. The incubation period is planned to run from February 2024 to July 2025.

First Published: 09 Oct 2023, 10:53 IST


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