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                          Presented by

Manush Labs

Sustainability Accelerator 

2020

Food and Agriculture Challenge

In association with

This program is currently accelerating 25 scalable impact startups and empowering 50+ social entrepreneurs from across India 

COMBATTING THE PROBLEMS OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE SECTOR

What is Manush Labs Sustainability Accelerator? 

Manush Labs presents its first impact program - Sustainability Accelerator 2020. Innovative startups and SMEs will get a chance to scale their innovations to help address India's critical socio-economic challenges faced by the food and agriculture sector.   

The program provides a platform for innovative early-stage social startups, SMEs, and creative innovators with guidance, knowledge access, tools, partnerships, and due diligence information needed to build their venture ideas. After the program, selected teams will get to work with our supporting organizations (incubation centers and investors) to launch or scale their ideas.

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SECTOR

OUTLINE

Food and Agriculture sector is one of the prime sectors contributing to the Indian economy. The agriculture sector alone contributes about 15% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). India has been an agrarian society for time immemorial, with almost half of its population directly or indirectly involved with agriculture. With the growing agriculture sector, India’s food ecosystem is another area that is on the rise. The food sector in India offers huge growth opportunities in areas like food processing, storage, retail, marketing, and others. Innovative advancements in food and agriculture sector would empower the lives of millions of people engaged directly or indirectly with the sector.

We look forward to working with innovators to overcome challenges across India's food and agriculture value chain in ways that promote affordability,  accessibility to markets and inputs, resource efficiency, preservation of natural systems &  favorable user experience for stakeholders.

PROBLEM STATEMENTS

CALL FOR INNOVATIONS

TRACK #1 

How we produce

Sustainable food production is critical to  India’s rising population given that agriculture is mainly carried out in small farms. Small farm size, lack of technological advancements in farming techniques, conventional farming practices, etc have led to decrease in agriculture productivity. Conventional farming techniques exhibit challenges in economies of scale, wastage, nutrient leakage, and a high tax bill on fertilizers that damage produce, farmers' and consumers' health. 

 

Suggested solution areas: 

  • Urban farming: Improving current methods and exploring possible alternatives 

  • Improving ergonomics in agriculture through Agritech innovations   

  • Bolstering local and organic food production and distribution

  • Sustainable manufacturing of raw materials (fertilizers, pesticides, etc.)  

OFFERINGS 

PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS

Problem diagnosis sessions with field experts

PITCHING

Opportunity to pitch to program partners, global and local investors, critical business leaders, and local role models   

TECHNOLOGY

Technology and domain

expertise from local and global mentors

PEER TO PEER

ASSESMENT 

Feedback sessions with peers, investors, and successful startups and SMEs in the food and agri sector of India 

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY

Startups: Opportunity to receive seed funding of upto Rs. 1 crore from our investment partners. 

SMEs: becoming eligible to win a share of Rs 100 crore funding from Wadhwani Foundation.

MARKET AND NETWORK

ACCESS

Startups: Access to Social Alpha's incubation programs.

 

SMEs: Access to Wadhwani Foundation's Advantage Program. 

HUMAN-CENTERED APPROACH

Inculcating Manush-Centered thinking and developing interpersonal skills 

CONSULTING

Opportunity to refine business-plan through intensive user-research activities 

WHO CAN APPLY

We are looking for Start-ups and SMEs (Social Enterprises) that have developed or are developing technology-based innovations that have the potential to create an impact in the Food and Agriculture Sector and demonstrate business model sustainability. 

 

The SME sector has gained recognition from the United Nations. According to the United Nations, SMEs act as first responders to the needs of society, provide a safety net for inclusiveness, and are a primary driver of poverty alleviation and development

THE MANUSH WAY

WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT

Cultivating Systems Thinking

Manush Labs focuses on inculcating systems approach in problem-solving. We will help startups and SMEs build an ecosystem around their ideas. Teams will get to learn from the experienced experts of relevant impact organizations.  

Working with tier 2 cities of India. 

Manus Labs recognizes that the huge socio-economic challenges of post covid India can’t be solved by a handful of people from a handful of urban areas. To utilize the full potential of India's entrepreneurship ecosystem, our aim is to find solutions from the nooks and corners of the country. 

TIMELINE

15 OCTOBER

Program Launch

10 NOVEMBER

Application Deadline

18 NOVEMBER

Results Announced

1 DECEMBER

Program begins

22 FEBRUARY

Demo Week

ABOUT THE PARTNERS

MANUSH LABS

Manush Labs is an impact accelerator that attempts to solve deep-rooted problems of Indian society by empowering entrepreneurs with capital, knowledge access, and networks. We catalyze the vision of government, social organizations, foundations, and corporations, who align with our objectives and are focussed on combating Indian problems, by making them essential partners in our value chain.

More info @ www.manushlabs.org

SOCIAL ALPHA

Social Alpha promotes innovations and entrepreneurship with a mission to create large scale sustainable social, economic and environmental impact. Social Alpha nurtures start-ups through their lab to market journey, helping them create high quality, commercially viable, accessible and affordable solutions. Social Alpha is focused on catalysing entrepreneurship for impact and provides critical technology and business incubation support to the mission driven startups.

More info @ www.socialalpha.org.

WADHWANI FOUNDATION

Wadhwani Foundation is a not-for-profit with the primary mission of accelerating economic development in emerging economies by driving large-scale job creation through entrepreneurship, innovation and skills development. Founded in 2000 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Dr. Romesh Wadhwani, today the Foundation is scaling impact in 25 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America

Image by Clay LeConey

FAQs

For more info about the program, 

Click here!

CONTACT US

Gururaj Deshpande

Founder, Deshpande Foundation

Let me congratulate you Piyush, You probably have one of the best startups. I mean it's amazing you started just a year ago and you've been able to curate such a great group of entrepreneurs and really help them get to this point. As entrepreneurs, It's thousands of bridges that we need to cross and we don't really know what all those bridges are. You've done a fantastic job of actually bringing these entrepreneurs together, connecting them to mentors, venture capitalists,  investors, and giving them the opportunity and the resources to actually pick the right bridges and cross them.

Geeta Goel

Country Director, Dell Foundation

Way to go Manush Labs! Congratulations, Piyush.
The role of incubators and accelerators cannot be undermined when we talk of a thriving start-up ecosystem. With US and China boasting 225+ unicorns, and India at 21, we have a long way to go. The need for structured support in initial phases is even more true for social startups, where the problems may be more complex and deep rooted and low margins is reality. But once you crack the code, the market size may be the largest possible, and of course, the impact may be most gratifying and sustainable.

An entrepreneur's journey

  Funded by  

  Our Ecosystem and Investment Partners  

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  Built at MIT and Harvard with the support of   

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FEATURED

SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

Newndra Innovations

Mission:

Newndra Innovations is building affordable and lightweight exoskeletons for farmers and workers to double their work efficiency while reducing their back and knee pain.

OUR

ENTREPRENEURS

LOVE US

The journey has been incredibly good. The concept of fundraising was very new to us, and the support from Manush Labs truly helped us in both, designing a better pitch, as well as in pitching better. The guidance we received from our personal mentor is impeccable. The program is well-organized and I am happy I had a chance to be a part of the same.

-   Kirtikumar Tolani

     Co-Founder, Landwirt India

My expectations from the program were to have a chance to interact with people who are very insightful and experienced in the area they work in, and I would say that the same has been a success. I have received valuable feedback from mentors as well as investors, which pushed me to constantly improve.

-   Alekhya Boora

     Co-Founder, Ripsey

Nothing compares to being a part of the Manush Labs cohort. The investor connections are amazing. The execution of the program is beyond expectations and the management of logistics surprises me.

-   Deependra Solanky

     Founder, AgriDost

Multiple Pecha Kuchas were very helpful in making us realize the key areas to focus on when preparing our pitch deck. Our mentor was incredibly helpful and conversations with him were very stimulating. This program gives individual attention to every participating startup, which is rare in the incubator/accelerator space!

-   Vinoj Raj

     Founder, St. Jude Herbals

I really liked the transparency of this program. The program was helpful throughout its entire course, and not just the initial few weeks, like it usually tends to happen. I like how everyone in this cohort saw value in each other and was supportive of mutual growth. That for me is a big differentiator.

-   Rahul Ganapathy

     Co-Founder, Atsuya Technologies

Manush Labs is an impact ecosystem for underserved entrepreneurs of India. We attempt to solve deep-rooted problems of Indian society by empowering impact entrepreneurs with capital, knowledge access, and networks.

Contact us at:

info@manushlabs.org
 

 

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