AFI, IIITH, IITH, and T-Hub Collaborate to Build a Social Impact Ecosystem in Hyderabad for Tech-Enabled Startups10 months ago Saritha Keshamoni
● The four organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today in the presence of Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, Government of Telangana (I&C, ITE&C)
● The collaboration aims at solving the business and growth challenges faced by India’s social impact startups
● At least 5000 social impact startups nationwide are expected to be positively enabled by this partnership in 5 years, providing each with opportunities to scale-up
Action For India (AFI), International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIITH), Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IITH), and T-Hub have announced a collaboration for developing an inclusive social entrepreneurship ecosystem in the state of Telangana.
The collaboration, formalized with an MoU earlier today during the annual Action For India Forum 2019 at ISB Hyderabad, focuses on pooling the four organizations’ experiences and resources to create an ecosystem to support tech-enabled, social impact startups, countrywide. The not-for-profit collaboration aims at delivering strategic scaling support to 5000 social impact startups over five years. The alliance is designed to address the critical challenges faced by social entrepreneurs with a special focus on the business model, market discovery, go-to-market strategy, scale-up strategy, right technology application and securing funds. This partnership also aims to put Telangana as the top state in the country supporting the startups. This platform will make efforts to ensure that the state demonstrates a unique model for nurturing social enterprises for fostering inclusive and equitable growth.
The AIC-IIITH FOUNDATION, an Atal Incubation Centre set up by IIIT Hyderabad to incubate and support tech-based social enterprises, will enhance the impact of the partnership with its entrepreneurial outlook and technological innovativeness for social impact. In addition, IITH in collaboration with AFI will open its doors to an upcoming accelerator program uniquely designed to catalyze social impact ventures. AFI, a social impact-driven platform for entrepreneurs, will further leverage its network and scaling mechanisms and engage the social enterprise ecosystem through the nascent AFI Impact Investment Fund, its Silicon Valley Leadership Circle, Influencer & Sector Champion networks, and deep government & policy linkages. In parallel, T-Hub, which leads India’s pioneering innovation ecosystem will bring its expertise in capacity-building, a network of mentors, investors, corporate connect and legal advisory team to social impact startups to help scale business. IITH and IIITH will also enable social impact startups with technology up-gradation and support with government connections.
Ravi Narayan, CEO of T-Hub said, “India requires both venture model startups and social model startups to become a five trillion-dollar economy. The venture model startups have almost reached maturity. But social enterprises that improve human life by deploying technology need solid support and a robust growth ecosystem. T-Hub is collaborating with like-minded ecosystem enablers like IITH, IIITH, and AFI to utilize our existing assets and experiences to build a social impact ecosystem that will provide scaling support to social entrepreneurs.”
Sanjay Kadaveru, CEO of AFI said, “As next-generation technologies surge forward, and social inequalities leave millions of Indians behind, we must be intentional to invest in social entrepreneurs who are committed to driving large-scale impact, as well as the proper infrastructure to create sustainable change. This partnership will help us in achieving our vision of creating a stronger ecosystem to enable social entrepreneurs to thrive and reach new heights. We are extremely fortunate to have partnered with such a dynamic and mission-driven group of ecosystem leaders, and look forward to collaborating to change the trajectories of these high-potential social enterprises.”
P. J. Narayanan, Director of IIIT Hyderabad, said, “AIC, housed in CIE@IIIT-Hyderabad campus, leverages the institute’s research depth, innovation center and entrepreneurial vibes to help incubatees. We are happy to partner with AFI, T-Hub and, IITH to build a much-needed social impact ecosystem. With this, we hope to reach out to more social enterprises who need such ecosystem support to sustain and grow. AIC-IIITH is particularly designed for social entrepreneurs who aspire to solve social or environmental challenges in India and are helping the country move towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
B. S. Murty, Director of IIT Hyderabad, “As an organization that is keen to support entrepreneurship in every form, we are happy to announce this partnership. This partnership will aim at combining the strengths of all the ecosystem enablers to create an ecosystem for social impact startups – it will provide all the necessary capabilities that will help them scale rapidly. It was important for like-minded enablers to join hands and co-create research-based solutions for challenges that are vital for social impact startups.”
This social impact ecosystem will enable social entrepreneurs with the tools, networks, and resources to scale business ventures. Significantly, it will formalise growth strategies to create social impact in India and across the globe. It will also fuel innovation in the social enterprise sector to create successful and sustainable businesses that make a lasting impact on the world.
Eventually, the ecosystem will add more like-minded enablers as partners who aspire to nurture social impact entrepreneurs.