Mumbai-based POWERED accelerator has announced nine women entrepreneurs participating in its second cohort to develop their businesses and deliver access to energy solutions across India.
As a joint initiative of Shell Foundation and Zone Startups, and supported by DFID India (UK Government) and DST Government of India, POWERED Accelerator works to support selected ventures, by helping them expand their innovative and consumer-responsive services, products, and financing. It looks to empower women-owned and managed businesses in the energy space.
POWERED Accelerator: Energising Women Entrepreneurship
In April 2018, during the first cohort of 10 startups, six of them received equity-free seed fund of $10,000 with a bootcamp for 5 very early-stage startups.
“The second cohort has a range of businesses from diverse geographies working on energy access, waste to energy, energy efficiency, and clean energy livelihoods. Opportunities for greater inclusion and sustainability are unlocked by working with these women-led businesses moving us closer to the twin sustainable development goals of energy access and diversity,” said Adritha Subbiah, Energy and Green Growth analyst, DFID India.
The accelerator is focused on core themes of access to energy, sustainable mobility, waste to value, energy efficiency, and smart energy solutions.
The three-month accelerator programme will include mentorship in various domains, one-on-one interactions with industry experts and investors, peer community building, showcase opportunity and access to a range of services and support.
The selected entrepreneurs will now receive support for one year to scale their business including a 4-week residential mentoring programme and access to an equity-free seed fund upto $10,000 each.
The top nine women were selected from around more than 150 applications. The entrepreneurs were evaluated based on the applicant’s background, innovativeness, the scale of impact, problem solution fit, clarity of thought, and programme fit.
“We believe this second cohort can be transformative in building long-term business solutions to meet India’s off-grid energy needs, delivering employment and new technologies that will positively improve the lives and livelihoods of people in low-income rural and urban areas,” said Sam Parker, director, Shell Foundation.
The second cohort comprises of startups in areas ranging across manufacturing solar products, smart energy solutions, waste to energy solutions, and livelihood creating models.
Here Are The Nine Women Entrepreneurs Selected By POWERED:
Dr. Vanita Prasad, founder and director, REVY Environmental Solutions: As an environmental biotechnologist with more than 20 years of experience, Prasad holds patents for specific innovation in the field of waste management and renewable energy. Gujarat-based REVY Environmental Solutions was founded in 2018 and has developed a cost-effective and indigenous process of treating wastewater releasing biogas in the process.
Monika Jha, founder and CEO, Cydee Technologies Pvt. Ltd.: An electrical and electronics graduate from Bengaluru, Jha is interested in developing relevant technologies to solve the energy and waste crisis. She founded Cydee Technologies in 2017 to develop unique patented streetlights to help public and private sectors reduce cost by reducing the number of light poles by 60%, saving 60% material, manufacturing, deployment and maintenance cost along with 30% extra energy saving compared to conventional LED streetlights.
Debashree Padhi, CEO, DD Biosolution Technology Pvt. Ltd.: A mechanical engineer Padhi has completed three innovative projects for MSME, Govt of India. Bhubaneswar-based DD Biosolution Technology was founded in 2016 to produce green energy from agro waste providing an end-to-end clean cooking solution for rural women and creating an optimised lifecycle for agro waste utilisation into energy.
Bhavana Chittawar, head of Business Development and Product Development, FinEffi Energy Solutions: With two decades of experience in energy efficiency, Chittawar’s FinEffi Energy Solutions aims to save energy in the residential and commercial sector, reduce the cost of electricity by at least 25% for the end user and make the end user aware of his/her energy usage by using their IoT devices and data analytics.
Manvi Dhawan, CEO and CFO, GTarang Energy Solutions: An aerospace engineer, Dhawan is leading GTarang Energy Solutions since 2018 to develop devices to convert waste thermal energy from day to day activities at individual and industrial setups into useful energy.
Susmita Bhattacharjee, MD and founder, Pushan Renewable Energy Pvt. Ltd: Bhattacharjee is a solar enthusiast and aims to bring power to millions of people with limited or no access to electricity. She founded Indore-based Pushan Renewable Energy Private Limited, a social enterprise that provides innovative solar powered systems and products for income generation of rural Indian women.
Vidya Amarnath, director, Paterson Energy Pvt. Ltd.: Chennai-based Paterson Energy was founded in 2016 and is a plastic waste to fuel company manufacturing plants for recycling plastic waste into quality plastic oil using a continuous type thermochemical depolymerization technology.
Disha Ahuja, founder, Prakriti Biosystems Engineering: A chemical and biological engineer with a decade of experience, Ahuja founded Hyderabad-based Prakriti Biosystems Engineering, which converts organic waste into energy by using membrane-based modular solutions. She is developing a turn-key solution to purify Biogas to Bio-CNG (vehicular fuel and PNG) and industrial carbon dioxide.
Rukmani Katara, CEO, Durga Energy: Katara has founded Rajasthan-based cleantech enterprise Durga Energy as a solar panel manufacturing unit providing alternative livelihood opportunities to women working as labourers in farms by providing them with training and employment in manufacturing, installation and maintenance of solar products.