POWERED Accelerator, which has been focussing on women-led startups in the energy value chain, announced seed funding of $10K each in six startups shortlisted from its first cohort. The announcement was made during the Demo Day of the first cohort, which included a diverse set of 10 startups developing technology applications to solve problems across mobility, energy access, energy finance, sustainability awareness, healthcare, and food security.
POWERED Accelerator is a joint initiative of the Shell Foundation (a UK-based charity), the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID), and the Indian government’s Department for Science and Technology (DST). The accelerator is managed by Zone Startups India, an international startup accelerator.
Jan Thompson, the British Deputy High Commissioner, in her keynote at the Demo Day, highlighted that the DFID believes that the provision of affordable, reliable modern energy products and services to women provides a huge opportunity to unlock the potential to improve the lives of their families for generations.
Deepak Goel, a business development advisor at the Shell Foundation, said, “Shell Foundation is excited to see the first POWERED Accelerator cohort of 10 passionate and talented women entrepreneurs. These women are leading the way in access to energy in India with high impact businesses which have huge potential to scale.”
Meet The Six Women-Led Startups
The objective of the programme is to support selected ventures in expanding their innovative and consumer-responsive services, products and financing by taking them through an accelerator programme that includes validation, peer network, mentorship, industry connects, and access to investors. HDFC Bank, Microsoft Corporation, and L&T Public Charitable Trust are partners for the programme and are supporting the cohort by providing infrastructure and mentoring support and exploring suitable synergies with them.
Here’s an overview of the six women-led startups selected for the seed fund by POWERED accelerator.
Cellerite Systems: Founded in 2017 by Srujana Raghupatruni and Shad Hasan, Cellerite Systems is developing an innovative electric vehicle charger that focuses on reducing the charging time of the vehicle, thereby increasing the travel range of these vehicles.
Loans4SME: Founded in 2016 by Simmi Sareen, Loan4SME is an alternative lending platform that connects energy businesses with debt providers.
HoneyComb Inventions: Founded by Mousumi Medhi, the startup aims at enhancing the duration of power back-up supplies of healthcare facilities.
Kumudini Enterprises: Headed by Pushpalata Pani, Kumuduni Enterprises is operated by Odisha-based SG Foundation. The startup aims to provide energy services and devices in rural communities, with a special focus on Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs).
Upcycler’s Lab: Founded in 2018 by Amishi Shah, Upcycler’s Lab makes sustainability-based learning tools for children above the age of five. They aim to create awareness and educate children on the need for sustainability in accordance with UN SDG 12 – responsible consumption and production.
Taru Naturals: Founded in 2016, by Punam Jain and Ruchi Jain Taru Naturals is an agritech platform connects farmer communities with clean technology and renewable energy.
The programme is now accepting applications for its second accelerator cohort and for the one-week residential boot camp meant for idea stage solutions.