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  • Villgro Announces 4th Edition of iPitch – A Social Start-up Discovery Platform, Urges Social Entrepreneurs From Hyderabad to Apply

    Published on September 18, 2020

    Hyderabad: Hyderabad, historically famous as the heritage city of ‘pearls’ and ‘Nizams’, has in the last few years witnessed a phenomenal rise in the number of startups and enterprises. The city being the state capital of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, contributes immensely to bolster the economy and GDP of both the states. The city is home to a number of reputed education and research institutes and has reasonably priced real estate industry-friendly and innovation focused policies. The rise of incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces in recent times has significantly aided to the projection of Hyderabad as “the next emerging start-up capital of the country”. Notably, the city has also witnessed the growth of a sizable number of social impact startups and social enterprises that offer promise for a brighter and inclusive future for our country and society. 

    In a bid to further boost the growing culture of social entrepreneurship in Hyderabad and other cities of India, Villgro, one of our country’s leading incubators, has announced the 4th edition of its annual social start-up discovery platformiPitch. iPitch 2020 brings together the country’s top incubators and impact investors to gain access to India’s most innovative and impactful startups. Social entrepreneurs will benefit from a unified platform for funding, incubation, and mentorship through a single application form. 

    The Funding Partners of iPitch will invest in start-ups from  prototype to revenue stage in various sectors such as agriculture, livelihood & job creation, healthcare, sheltertech and clean energy. iPitch this year is keen to  discover and fund women entrepreneurs. Each of the selected enterprises will receive funding upto 2 crores, in the form of various types of financial instruments such as grants, equity funding, and debt funding.  

    The Funding Partners for iPitch this year are Upaya Social Ventures, Beyond Capital Fund, Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter: Habitat for Humanity, Shell Foundation and Caspian Debt.

    Speaking about the initiative, Mr. Srinivas Ramanujam, CEO, Villgro Innovations Foundation says, “In the aftermath of Covid-19 and the economic downturn in our country, we are going through difficult times at the moment. Now more than ever, our country needs social entrepreneurs who are developing resilient and sustainable solutions to build our economy back. At the same time, these startups need guidance and capital to grow rapidly. At Villgro, we have always been committed to supporting startups that are creating innovative, impactful and scalable solutions to pressing social problems, and we will continue to support them through platforms such as iPitch. “

    Over the last three years, iPitch received over 3400 applications, funded 23 start-ups and deployed around ₹7.44 crores  in funding.

    The call for applications for this year’s iPitch opened on 1st September 2020, and shortlisted applicants will be informed by the end of October 2020.  The final list of start-ups being funded will be announced in March 2021. 

    This year, Villgro will  be hosting an exclusive webinar for all iPitch applicants titled ‘Pitching to Perfection’. Conducted by industry experts, this webinar will help startups understand how to deliver a pitch that will attract the right enablers from the ecosystem.The webinar will be conducted in both English and Hindi, to coach the shortlisted entrepreneurs prior to the final virtual pitches

    Before the virtual pitches, Villgro will also organize a training session for the shortlisted applicants to coach them before their final pitch to ensure that their elevator pitch is nothing short of perfect!

    Why should entrepreneurs from Hyderabad apply to iPitch 2020?

    One Application Form that provides entrepreneurs access to:

    Investors: Access to investors with different thesis and different ticket sizes, which increases the chance of finding the most relevant funder for the startup. 

    Capital: Grant, equity or debt funding ranging from INR 15 Lakhs to INR 2 Crores.

    Support for Growth: Incubation, technical assistance and mentoring support via partner groups and organizations.

    Last Date to Apply is 30th September 2020.

    To apply, visit: www.villgro.org/ipitch


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