Spread over three 4-5 day workshops, CIIE and Village Capital’s “Last Mile 2014” is a premier accelerator programme that aims to help scale innovative enterprises that are increasing access to under-served populations.
With support from The Rockefeller Foundation, the programme places heavy emphasis on peer mentoring and peer-selection. From an application pool of nearly 200, the final 12 participating companies assess one another with two top-ranked start-ups receiving Rs. 30 lakh each in investment funding.
The first workshop, held in Goa (in partnership with CIBA) was centred around getting to know the members of the cohort, identifying gaps, strengths, weaknesses, and next steps for their businesses. Teams worked on value proposition, fine-tuning their business models, building financial models and collaboratively discussed the strengths and concerns of each of their businesses. The session also featured a variety of speaker presentations including one by Mr. BM. Vyas, former Managing Director of GCMMF (Amul).
Workshop 2 (which is being held at CIIE) places focus on customer connects and building a sales pipeline. Leading up to the session, CIIE team members broke down into smaller sub-groups, each liaising with three select cohort companies; diving deeper to understand these businesses, and further, leveraging their own networks to connect these companies with the right customer/ stakeholder.
As a part of Workshop 2, there will also be a Stakeholder Forum where stakeholders for all twelve companies will be present. Individuals from the Shell Foundation, Unitus Seed Fund and Grey Ghost Ventures amongst others will also be present.
The programme’s third workshop will be held between the 20th and 24th of August with a Demo Day on the 22nd at CIIE. This session will be focusing on refining entrepreneur pitches and investor presentations.
The 12 companies participating in the Accelerator programme are:
- Blackmelon Advance Technology Company Pvt. Ltd. (eDustbin) works to channel e-waste using an innovative and economically viable collection model, followed by environmentally friendly recycling.
- Bodhi Health Education leverages low cost mobile technology coupled with eLearning to create scalable, high quality training solutions for BoP health workers.
- Karabi Software Pvt. Ltd. simplifies critical processes for data capture in real time, enabling organisations to make informed decisions.
- Krishi Star works to lift small farmers out of poverty by creating a food brand that represents them; setting up a farmer-owned food manufacturing capacity to supply this brand.
- MicroX Labs develop lab-on-a-chip based miniaturised point-of-care medical diagnostic devices, currently focusing on Complete Blood Count (CBC) chips in order to provide affordable, accessible and quality diagnostic solutions.
- Parvata Foods Pvt. Ltd. aim to ameliorate the living conditions of local farmers by building a value chain of organic produce in Sikkim.
- Pulse Savings is a mobile-based commitment savings tool that enables the poor to save money when and where they shop.
- Rural Spark Energy India Pvt. Ltd. is growing the next energy network. Rural Spark’s service is smartly distributed, viable and sustainable; facilitating and empowering people and local systems to emerge.
- Sickle Innovations Private Limited develop and design farm mechanisation solutions for small farmers.
- Suma Agro works toward revitalising the physical, chemical, and biological processes that are essential for sustainable agriculture production.
- Uber Diagnostics provides affordable healthcare diagnostics through mobile application and data analytics.
- Urjas Energy Solutions Pvt. Ltd. is a clean-tech company focused on biomass to energy and solar applications.