Top management institute IIM-Ahmedabad launched the Bharat Inclusion Initiative, which aims to invest about USD 25 million in startups working in the areas of financial inclusion, livelihood, education, and health over the next three to four years.
Launched by the institute’s Centre for Innovation, Incubation, and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), the initiative aims to support game-changing startups leveraging the ongoing digital transformation in India.
With seed support from Tata Trusts, CIIE has received an initial commitment of USD 12.5 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, and Omidyar Network, as per reports.
This includes a USD 5 million commitment to providing support to startups through a series of acceleration programs, focused research, training workshops and piloting partnerships. In addition, CIIE will also invest in seed and pre-series-A startups through a dedicated Bharat Inclusion Seed Fund – which announced its initial closing at USD 7.5 million and is expected to make a final close at USD 15 million by July.
“The Bharat Inclusion Initiative aims to provide a continuum of solutions to inclusion focused tech entrepreneurs across the pre-incubation, seed and scale-up stage and help them jump to the next orbit,”
said Neharika Vohra, chairperson, CIIE Initiatives.
To enhance the learning of the entire startup ecosystem, all research, insights, knowledge, and publications created under the programme will be openly disseminated, according to the release.
Earlier this month, Japanese External Trade Organisation (Jetro) in association with IT trade body Nasscom and Indian Institute of Management, Bengaluru (IIMB) formally inaugurated Indo-Japan Startup Hub in Bengaluru.
Hiroshige Seko, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) has pointed out that the decision to set up startup centre was taken during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan last year and it was mentioned in the joint statement of Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
This would serve as a platform for the promotion of information exchange, business collaboration and investments between the vibrant and innovative startup ecosystems of the two nations.