Select entrepreneurs to get equity free seed funding from the Program
Continuing its efforts in supporting women entrepreneurs in the energy domain, POWERED Accelerator has selected nine women to be a part of its Second Cohort and will offer them financial and business support to help them develop their businesses and deliver access to energy solutions across India.
The accelerator programme, spread over three months will include mentorship in various domains, one-on-one interactions with industry experts and investors, peer community building, showcase opportunity and access to a range of services and support.
Selected companies from the 2nd cohort will be supported with an equity-free seed fund of up to $10,000
In April last year, the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), Shell Foundation (a UK-based charity), Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology, and Zone Startups India announced the POWERED Accelerator – a first of its kind entrepreneurship programme focused on twin Sustainable Development Goals of Energy and Diversity. The programme has since hosted its first cohort comprising 10 startups, extended equity- free seed fund of $10,000 to 6 startups and hosted a bootcamp for 5 very early-stage startups.
The objective of the POWERED Accelerator is to support women-led ventures by helping them expand their innovative and consumer-responsive products and services; the ultimate goal is to empower women-owned and managed businesses in the energy space. The accelerator is focused on core themes of access to energy, sustainable mobility, waste to value, energy efficiency, and smart energy solutions.
The top nine women selected for the Second Cohort were selected from a cumulative application pool of 150+ applications. The entrepreneurs were evaluated based on the applicant’s background, innovativeness, the scale of impact, problem solution fit, clarity of thought, and programme fit. The selected entrepreneurs will now receive support for one year to scale their business including a 4 week residential mentoring programme and access to an equity-free seed fund upto $10,000 each.
“ With the success of the first cohort, DFID is keen to continue its support for this transformative platform helping businesses scale up and increase their social impact. The 2nd cohort has a range of businesses from diverse geographies working on energy access, waste to energy, energy efficiency, and clean energy livelihoods. Opportunities for greater inclusion and sustainability are unlocked by working with these women led businesses moving us closer to the twin sustainable development goals of energy access and diversity,” says Adritha Subbiah, Energy and Green Growth Analyst, DFID India
“At Shell Foundation, we are proud to support the continued progress of the POWERED Accelerator, helping female entrepreneurs working on innovative off-grid energy access technologies. We believe this 2nd cohort can be transformative in building long-term business solutions to meet India’s off-grid energy needs, delivering employment and new technologies that will positively improve the lives and livelihoods of people in low-income rural and urban areas,” says Sam Parker, Director, Shell Foundation
The Second Cohort, comprising of startups in areas ranging across manufacturing solar products, smart energy solutions, waste to energy solutions, and livelihood creating models is as follows:
1. Dr. Vanita Prasad, Founder and Director – Product and Technology R&D – REVY Environmental Solutions
Dr. Vanita Prasad is an Environmental Biotechnologist with more than 20 years of experience. She holds patents for specific innovation in the field of waste management and renewable energy. She has started REVY Environmental Solutions which has developed a cost-effective and indigenous process of treating wastewater releasing biogas in the process.
2. Monika Jha, Founder and CEO – Cydee Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Monika is an Electrical and Electronics Graduate from Bangalore, passionate about developing relevant technologies to solve the energy and waste crisis. She is the Founder and CEO of Cydee Technologies, developing unique patented streetlights to help public and private sectors reduce cost by reducing the number of light poles by 60%, saving 60% material, manufacturing, deployment and maintenance cost along with 30% Extra Energy Saving compared to conventional LED Streetlights.
3. Debashree Padhi, CEO – DD Biosolution Technology Pvt. Ltd.
Debashree has a B.Tech in Mechanical engineering and M.Tech in Polymer Nanotechnology. She has completed three innovative projects for MSME, Govt of India and is the CEO of DD Bio Solution Technology producing green energy from agro waste providing an end-to-end clean cooking solution for rural women and creating an optimized lifecycle for agro waste utilization into energy.
4. Bhavana Chittawar, Head of Business Development and Product Development – FinEffi Energy Solutions
Bhavana Chittawar has 20 years’ experience in Energy Efficiency. She is the Head of Business Development and Product Development at FinEffi Energy Solutions which aims to save energy in the residential and commercial sector, reduce cost of electricity by at least 25% for the end user and make the end user aware of his/her energy usage by using their IoT devices and data analytics.
5. Manvi Dhawan, CEO & CFO – GTarang Energy Solutions
Manvi has 2 years of experience in project management and systems engineering, she also holds a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from IIT Bombay. She is the CEO and CFO of GTarang Energy Solutions, developing devices to convert waste thermal energy from day to day activities at individual and industrial setups into useful energy.
6. Susmita Bhattacharjee, MD & Founder – Pushan Renewable Energy Pvt. Ltd.
Susmita is a solar enthusiast who aims to bring power to millions of people with limited or no access to electricity. She is the Managing Director and Founder of Pushan Renewable Energy Private Limited, a social enterprise that provides innovative solar powered systems and products for income generation of rural Indian women.
7. Vidya Amarnath, Director – Paterson Energy Pvt. Ltd.
Vidya is the Director of Paterson Energy Pvt. Ltd., a Plastic Waste to Fuel Company manufacturing plants for recycling plastic waste into quality Plastic Oil using a continuous type Thermochemical Depolymerization Technology.
8. Disha Ahuja, Founder – Prakriti Biosystems Engineering
Disha has a Ph.D. in Chemical & Biological Engineering and has worked for 10+ years as a Senior Scientist at Amgen, USA. She is the Founder of Prakriti Biosystems Engineering, which converts organic waste into energy by using membrane-based modular solutions. She is developing a turn-key solution to purify Biogas to Bio-CNG (vehicular fuel and PNG) and industrial carbon dioxide.
9. Rukmani Katara, CEO – Durga Energy
Durga Energy is a cleantech enterprise based in Rajasthan. It has set up a solar panel manufacturing unit providing alternative livelihood opportunities to women working as labourers in farms by providing them training and employment in manufacturing, installation and maintenance of solar products. Their approach is holistic in terms of women empowerment and energy efficiency.
Set up as a joint initiative of Shell Foundation and Zone Startups, and supported by DFID India (UK Government) and DST Government of India, the objective of the POWERED Accelerator is to support selected ventures, by helping them expand their innovative and consumer-responsive services, products, and financing; with an ultimate goal to empower women-owned and managed businesses in the energy space.
ABOUT THE PROGRAMME PARTNERS
The Department for International Development (DFID) India is a United Kingdom government department responsible for fostering development partnership between the UK and India. The goal of the department is to eliminate world poverty and promote sustainable development.
Department of Science & Technology (DST) was established in May 1971, with the objective of promoting new areas of Science & Technology and to play the role of a nodal department for organizing, coordinating, and promoting S&T activities in the country.
Shell Foundation is an independent UK-registered charity established by the Shell Group in 2000 to create and scale new solutions to global development challenges. Shell Foundation works with a small number of entrepreneurial partners to identify the market failures that underpin many of the world’s problems and co-creates new social enterprises to solve them. In 2016, SF identified key factors preventing enterprises and social investors from embracing gender inclusion. This is a unique opportunity to address these barriers and increase the foundation’s impact on women.
Zone Startups is a leading global technology accelerator, and early stage investment fund, with multiple accelerator programmes and entrepreneurship initiatives across Canada, India, and Vietnam. In India, the flagship programme is Zone Startups India, established in 2014 as a partnership between Ryerson Futures Inc. and BSE Institute; partly funded by Department of Science & Technology, GOI. Since then, in India, Zone Startups has also lent its programme set-up and management expertise to leading corporates such as Lodha Group, EY, Visa, Viacom18, Thomson Reuters, Barclays, KSUM, Publicis, CapGemini, Axis Bank and ICICI Lombard to name a few. Zone Startups India also operates empoWer, India’s only tech accelerator for women entrepreneurs.