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Key Learnings and Conclusion


8. Post Program

8.2 Key Learnings and Conclusion

SIGMA Social Startup Accelerator Program was a pilot to validate if corporate–startup collaborations can transpire in partnership with an incubator through an accelerator program.

Corporate-startup collaborations through CSR initiatives was an unsubstantiated space. With many corporates having already decided the channels for their annual CSR budget spend, it was a tall task to source relevant partners whose goals aligned with that of the program. The anonymity to social startup engagements and lack of prior case studies made it tougher to convince the corporates to take a shot at such an engagement. SIGMA would like to thank its partners for showing faith and taking the first step towards creating a better India.

SIGMA received 110 applications from various social startups across country. It was clear from the applicant pool that a majority of social enterprises operated out of tier-2 and tier-3 cities in India. 8 startups spread across the 5 focus areas of agriculture, sanitation, clean technology, healthcare, and education were selected into the 4-month program. 5 startups were based in Bangalore while the remaining 3 were based in New Delhi, Haryana, and Berlin respectively. This helped the SIGMA team test out various models of content delivery and startup engagement.

On premise content delivery proved to be more fruitful than its virtual counterpart as startups were able to engage and learn more through personal interaction with mentors. The startups were put through a variety of hands-on workshops to analyse their business alongside their peers and create sustainable strategies and quantifiable metrics to measure growth. Key industry connects also assisted the startups in structuring a clear roadmap while taking their products and solutions to market. A notable facet of most social startups was their

impediment to scale while parallelly creating sustainable impact.

SIGMA also proved to be an interesting engagement for the corporates and its employees.

They actively took time out from their daily schedule to engage with startups and assist them with their technical expertise.


SIGMA Social Startup Accelerator Playbook

Through SIGMA Social Startup Accelerator, 3 potential areas were identified where the ecosystem needs to develop to support social enterprises:

1) Corporate Involvement - With the Companies Act 2013 which mandates all companies having net worth of rupees five hundred crore or more, or turnover of rupees one thousand crore or more or a net profit of rupees five crore or more to contribute 2 percent of its profits towards social activities, there is a large potential for corporates to collaborate with startups

2) Financing Bodies and Instruments - Social startups struggle to raise capital in the traditional debt or equity-based models. The onset of new models such as the convertible note, venture loans and quasi-equity, are promising for social startups and could prove to be the required push for them to remain sustainable

3) Potential Strategic Partnerships - Creating partnerships with governmental and non- governmental bodies is essential for social startups to improve the last mile delivery of their products and services. With multiple initiatives and bodies coming up to cater to the needs of social startups, this is another potential area of growth for the


Having built the capacity of incubators to run an accelerator program, SIGMA has aided significantly to contribute to this playbook and enable similar future engagements. SIGMA now stands as proof that corporates can provide the necessary support to social startups through their CSR initiatives.




SIGMA Social Startup Accelerator Playbook

9. Appendix

9.1 Chart on procedure for CSR expenditure

Before making a CSR Expenditure (including in a Technology Business Incubator(TBI)), a company may follow the below key steps:

Schedule VII

• Identify the item falling under Schedule VII of Companies Act, 2013.

• Activities in CSR Policy in CSR policy must be relatable to Schedule VII but entries in the Schedule may be liberally construed, "as the items enlisted are broad-based and are intended to cover a wide range of activities."

CSR Policy

• CSR Policy must state the specific activities to be carried out by company, which must be in line with the items in Schedule VII.

CSR Spend

• Ensure quantum of CSR spend is based on profits of company.

• Ensure that in each financial year (FY), at least 2% of the average net profits during the 3 preceding FYs is spent


• Ensure that CSR activities are undertaken in India

• Ensure that CSR activities are not in the normal course

of business of company.

Alignment with Business

• If company aligns its CSR activities with its own business interests, ensure compliance with Rule 4(1) - the CSR activities are not undertaken in pursuance of the ordinary course of business.


• May invest in TBI if located in an academic institution approved by the Central

Government (item ix of Schedule VII).

• TBI need not be located in an academic institution if approved by the Department of Science & Technology (will fall under item (ii) of Schedule VII).

Excess Expenditure

• Any excess amount spent cannot be carried forward to the subsequent years and adjusted against that year's CSR expenditure.

• Any expenditure over 2% could be

considered as voluntary higher CSR spend for that year.


SIGMA Social Startup Accelerator Playbook

9.2 SIGMA Stakeholders and Sponsors

SIGMA Technical Advisory Board:

• Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Internationale Zusammenarbeit

• Zinnov Management Consulting Pvt Ltd

SIGMA Governance Council:

Governance Board:

o VP & GM, Citrix India

o VP & Head of R&D, Ericsson India o Country Manager & MD, HARMAN India o CEO, Zinnov

SIGMA Panel:

o Director, Technical Operations. Citrix R&D India o Director, R&D Operations, Ericsson India o VP & GM, Harman India

o Head of Program, Zinnov o Project Advisor, GIZ o VP, IKP Knowledge Park


o Consultant, Zinnov

Key Stakeholders

Functional Leads

o Senior Director- HR, Zinnov

o Partner, CounsePro- Advocates and Legal Consultants o Head of CSR, Citrix

o Head of CSR, Ericsson o Head of CSR, HARMAN

o Founder & CEO, Innocentrik Consultancy LLP o Founder & CEO, Venture Toolkit

o The Demo Coach

o Community Engineering Consultant, IKP EDEN o Head - Administration & Facility, IKP EDEN


o Country Head – India, F6s

o Vice President-Asia, Deeper Blue Asia Pacific Pvt. Ltd


SIGMA Social Startup Accelerator Playbook

9.3 Startups of SIGMA

Startup Sector Description

AgroNxt Agriculture

An m-commerce platform which provides farmers access to various informative content relating to agriculture to educate and advise farmers on how to improve yield and efficiency. It also hosts a platform where farmers can shop for agri-inputs and pay digitally. During the program, AgroNxt, achieved 300% increase in revenues in Oct 17.

Tech for

Impact Sanitation

Tech for Impact revolutionizes sanitation by targeting operational inefficiencies, lack of engagement, and dearth of revenue channels in the space of sanitation. Its innovation mart toilet unit is an internet of things system comprising of auto flushing technology, choke up detection, user counting, and smart feedback mechanism.

Through a tie-up with Pune Municipal Corporation, they have deployed their solution in over 200+ Public toilets.

Chikitsak Healthcare

Chikitsak offers preventive and promotional healthcare with affordable diagnostic devices with the help of micro- entrepreneurs. Chikitsak uses a portable Bluetooth- enabled kit to screen for vitals in 5 minutes for INR 50/- and uses tele-links to connect to a Doctor for

consultation. Its screening data is transferred directly via Bluetooth to an Android tab, which in turn syncs with the cloud for future retrieval. This eliminates data errors and allows for analytics. Chikitsak has screened over 20,000+

people in rural India and are actively scaling up by tying up with multiple Indian companies.

Niramai Healthcare

A novel cancer screening software that uses machine intelligence over thermography images that enables a low cost, easy to use, portable solution that requires minimal human supervision and invasion of privacy. The solution can detect cancer at a much earlier stage than traditional methods, and hence, can improve survival rates. As of January 2018, Niramai has started clinical trials with Narayana and HCG and has also raised PreSeries-A funding.


SIGMA Social Startup Accelerator Playbook

Startup Sector Description

Sascan Healthcare

Sascan has developed an affordable point-of-care screening device for detection of oral and cervical cancer-based non-invasive multi-spectral imaging technology combining tissue fluorescence, diffuse reflectance, and absorption. The device has cloud connectivity for uploading of test results and follow-up by clinicians in city hospitals. As of January 2018, Sascan has partnered with HCG, Trivandrum Dental College and ICMR for clinical trials and have been shortlisted for Villgro iPitch.

Krishworks Education Krishworks simplifies learning by teaching lesser privileged kids English and Math by means of tablet- based games. It involves the youths of rural areas by setting up affordable home-based tuition for them to earn money in the process. They have setup 2 English tuition centres in West Bengal catering to 80 students

vChalk Education

vChalk provides activity-based classes for children in government schools. It sets up mini-servers to host a local digital library which carries resources in the form of videos, audios, and notes for teachers and parents. The resources can be downloaded and stored offline on a device and the content helps enable teachers and parents be better facilitators of learning for the children.

They have Launched in 10 schools impacting 2300 students and 62 teachers.

Coolar Clean Technologies

Coolar has developed a cooling system that enables running refrigerators with lower grade heat (around 60°C) instead of electricity. The product is targeted towards the transportation of vaccines which lose their potency, if the right temperature is not maintained. They have partnered with a European refrigerator company and are exploring the supply chain for vaccines in India to run PoCs.


SIGMA Social Startup Accelerator Playbook

9.4 Sample Application Form for Startups



No. Question

Basic Information

1 Brief Description

2 What do you do in detail?

3 Question 1: Which sector(s) are you focusing on?

4 Question 2: What is the employee strength of your company?

5 Question 3: What is the size of the founding team?

Team Profile

6 Question 4: Please provide us the LinkedIn Profile links of Active Founders/Founding Team.

7 Question 5: Please list the names of all your advisors along with their LinkedIn profile links.

8 Question 6: Why is your team the right one to address the problem?

9 Question 7: What is your team's vision/mission for societal impact? How will your team avoid mission drift?

Product Offering, Business model and Social Impact


Question 8: Describe the problem being solved by your company. How do you know people need what you are making? What is new about your


11 Question 9: Describe your business model.

12 Question 10: How does your solution impact population at the bottom of the pyramid? What are the customer segments you are currently catering to?

13 Question 11: What are people resorting to in the absence of your solution?

Please also provide names of your competitors.

14 Question 12: How ready is your offering to serve the unmet needs of the customer?


15 Question 13: Mention your annual revenue in USD

16 Question 14: Mention your projected revenue for next year in USD.

17 Question 15: Have you received any funding till date?

18 Question 16: What is your last funded amount?

Program Relevance

19 Question 17: Have you received any awards/recognitions?

20 Question 18: Have you been part of any other incubation/accelerator program?

21 Question 19: Why are you interested in joining the Support Programme? What are your expectations from this program?

22 Question 20: Please upload your pitch deck here


SIGMA Social Startup Accelerator Playbook

9.5 Event Agendas

SIGMA Launch Agenda

SIGMA Demo Day Agenda


SIGMA Social Startup Accelerator Playbook

9.6 Feedback from Startups and Partners

The templates provided to prepare us to answer the questions targeted at high growth startups were very relevant. Hands-on workshops worked the bestNiramai

The workshop on Business and product development were very helpful. The workshop on how to pitch before investors and the interactions during and post the workshop were helpful in formulating and presenting a good pitch during the Demo daySascan

The workshops during the bootcamp really helped us to understand our business with respect to customer segmentation and the importance of week on week growth. Deeper interactions with technical mentors would have helped us more in getting valuable inputs from them AgroNxt

The landscape of Social Startups - across areas (healthcare, smart agriculture, education, etc.) was an important learning. It would have been better to help startups reach some of their technical goals through Ericsson rather than just consulting to them on their technology.

Ramana Murthy M V, Director & Head, R&D Operations- Ericsson

9.7 Sources

[1] https://inc42.com/startup-101/top-startup-incubators-india/

[2] http://www.livemint.com/Companies/hpzVSw5PKGMobbFB0IBDLI/The-first-year-of-CSR- decoded.html

[3]The state of social enterprise in India – Survey conducted by British Council [4] http://www.nstedb.com/institutional/tbi-2016.htm


SIGMA Social Startup Accelerator Playbook

9.8 Snapshots from the Demo Day


SIGMA Social Startup Accelerator Playbook