The Tata Trusts and Social Alpha announced the starting up of the Social Alpha Entrepreneurs for Impact (E4i) programme, a 12-month fellowship programme, on Tuesday.
E4i is designed to bring together entrepreneurs and innovators, and foster collaboration among the top educational, technical and philanthropic institutions. The programme looks to accomplish the lab-to-market journey by enabling entrepreneurs to commercialize deep science-based innovations in labs.
The first cohort of eight entrepreneurs chosen for the E4i programme that is scheduled to begin on May 6, 2019, will be encouraged to adopt a problem statement in one of the six high priority focus sectors, comprising water, sanitation, health, agriculture, energy, environment, and identify, or develop a solution that has the potential to create impact at scale while remaining financially sustainable. The entrepreneurs will get a monthly stipend of ₹60,000 to cover essential expenses over the 12-month period.
“E4i is our attempt to give an opportunity for passionate entrepreneurs to scout for potential technologies amongst our network of innovators in academic institutions and research labs, create co-founding teams along with the innovators, construct and test their solutions and convert them into social impact ventures. We will support them with our network of experts, mentors and investors from the public/private sector, non-profits, foundations and our 50 portfolio companies who work in the social sector,” said Manoj Kumar, co-founder, and CEO at Social Alpha.
The programme is structured to comprise experiential and instructional components that mimic the life cycle of an enterprise – from observing problems on the ground, converting prototypes into viable solutions to developing preliminary business plans. On accomplishment of the programme, entrepreneurs can either opt to be ‘Entrepreneurs-in-Residence’ at Social Alpha or commence their own ventures with guaranteed seed funding from Social Alpha, which can range from ₹10 lakh to ₹1 crore.
Applications are open for the E4i programme on www.socialalphachallenge.org and the deadline for the application is January 6, 2019.
Since its commencement in April 2016, Social Alpha, a not-for-profit organization that is helped by Tata Trusts and the Department of Science and Technology, has incubated 50 social impact start-ups, of which 25 have received seed investments in exchange for minority equity stakes.