IIM-A innovation centre launches $25 Mn initiative to mentor and invest in startups

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To incubate and support startups in areas such as livelihood, education, financial education and health, IIM-Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) has started the Bharat Inclusion Initiative (BII).

The initiative has got commitment of $25 million from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Omidyar Network and Michael and Susan Dell Foundation.

It has allocated $22.5 million to invest in pre-Series A technology start-ups. The fund announced its initial close at $7.5 million and is expected to make a final close at $15 million by July.

Around $5 million is allocated to provide support to startups through acceleration programs, research, training workshops and piloting partnerships, reported ET.

It aims to channelize the commited capital over the next 3-4 years in backing startups using digital technology to offer services to the unserved. It partners with industry experts, mentors, corporates, IIMA community and investors to help incubate early-stage start-ups.

CIIE initiative, Chairperson, Neharika Vohra said that the initaitive will aim 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. It is heartening to see the support for this initiative from all the partners.

CIIE was set-up by IIM Ahmedabad in association with the Government of India and the Gujarat Government to provide seeding and incubation support with a focus on technology and mass impact areas.

Since 2007, CIIE claims to have accelerated over 500 startups across various sectors. Razorpay, Hashcube, Rolocule, and Thrillophilia are startups incubated by CIIE.

Besides tech start-ups, CIIE also works with early-stage companies in the agri-tech segment.

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