An incubator with a difference!

Incubators have come up in all the metros and also in tier 2 cities from quite some time now.

A unique incubator is being set up for start-ups providing solutions for underserved and unserved segments. The US based Michael and Susan Dell Foundation is in talks with CIIE, for this purpose. The CIIE founded in 2007 is IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship.

The Foundation set up in 1999 is working towards the transformation of children’s lives in urban poverty through better education, family economic stability, and health. Since 2006, they have invested more than $172 Mn in non-profit and social enterprises in India. As per the announcement from the foundation, a decision has been made to invest an additional $50 Mn towards investments in the country for the next three years.

The incubator is expected to be functional by the end of this year. The aim of the incubator is to promote the startups that are aiming towards the job creation in the informal sector and financial inclusion and other important areas.

Previously, the foundation has made an equity investment of $2.1 Mn in mobile –first multilingual test preparation app Online Tyari (OT) and also participated in the Series A funding round of online market place for last mile logistics Blowhorn.

The Foundation has backed two early stage funds Unitus Seed Fund and Menterra Venture Advisors, an impact fund set up by social business incubator Villgro as a limited partner.

Incubators and Venture Capitalists are not new to Indian Startup Ecosystem. What makes this Foundation stand apart from them is the cause or the need being addressed which is to bridge the gap in the society thereby providing an opportunity to one and all for education, health, and other facilities. It’s interesting to see the startups in varied fields. You name it and they are in it. From technology, biotechnology, biomedical, educational, agriculture and the list is endless.

Though the purpose behind the setting of the incubator is to be lauded, what needs to be seen is how this incubator will change the scene of start-ups in underserved and unserved segments.  Even if it succeeds in making a slight difference in the society it will be nothing less than a revolutionary change for the generation who get the opportunity to dream and to dream big who otherwise would have been caught up in the daily struggle to meet their needs.

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