Powered By Inc42 Brandlabs


The brand solutions arm of Inc42 Media combining Inc42’s creative and editorial strengths to create compelling stories for brands partnering with it.

Villgro Launches iPitch 2020 Startup Discovery Platform With An Inclusive Lens


iPitch brings together innovative social-impact startups to pitch their business models to incubators and investors

The applications for the fourth edition of iPitch are now open and the last date to apply is September 30

iPitch 2020’s funding partners are offering entrepreneurs benefits such as incubation as well as seed funding between INR 15 Lakhs to INR 2 Cr each

“iPitch is Villgro’s annual discovery platform which brings together the country’s top incubators and investors to gain access to India’s most innovative and impactful social startups. iPitch helps social entrepreneurs gain access to funding, incubation, and mentorship through a single application form,” – Srinivas Ramanujam, CEO, Villgro.

Villgro, the social impact incubator announced the launch of the fourth edition of its flagship event, iPitch. Through this platform, entrepreneurs working towards developing innovative and scalable solutions for the Bottom of the pyramid (BoP), will have a chance to receive seed funding and debt solutions upto INR 2 Cr each. 

Across sectors, the platform seeks to discover social enterprises in the prototype stage and in early revenue stage with patient seed capital. Ramanujam told Inc42, “iPitch aims to ensure that innovative enterprises working towards rebuilding the economy have the necessary assistance they require.”

The applications for the programme are now open and the last date to apply is September 30.

Apply Now

iPitch: What To Expect This Year?

Villgro along with the funding partners will be helping startups with grants as well as debt and equity funding. The funding partners include — Beyond Capital Fund, Upaya Social Ventures, Shell Foundation, Caspian Debt and Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter: Habitat for Humanity.

All startups that apply to iPitch will go through a screening process by the funding partners as well as the Villgro team and based on multiple parameters, startups will be shortlisted for the virtual pitch. These virtual pitches are based on the mandate given by each of the funding partners — basis what kind of entrepreneurs and solutions they are looking for and more.

The broad focus areas include agriculture, healthcare, energy and clean-tech, livelihoods and job creation, and sheltertech, amongst others.

This year, Villgro has redesigned iPitch to make the platform more inclusive and beneficial for a wider audience. For one, 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, “this is an effort from our end to put all entrepreneurs, regardless of their background or exposure, on a levelled playing field,” added Ramanujam.

Speaking of the efforts to make iPitch more inclusive this year, Jenaan Lilani Bhargava, head of diversity and inclusion at Villgro told Inc42, “Not only have we made concerted efforts to partner with women entrepreneur networks but also made simple design changes such as having our application form available in Hindi. We hope that being able to apply in one’s mother tongue will encourage more participation from smaller towns and cities.” 

The winning startups will get access to:

  • Capital: In the form of grant or equity funding between INR 15 Lakhs and INR 75 lakhs. Revenue stage applicants will be considered for grant, equity and debt funding between INR 35 Lakhs to INR 2 Cr
  • Along with incubation, mentoring and access to a technical assistance programme
Apply Now

Covid And The Efforts Towards Startups In 2020

Since the advent of Covid-19, enablers and corporate giants alike have come together to help the country fight the resultant challenges and economic slowdown. Especially as the world struggles to find its feet in the current scenarios, social startups are gaining more prominence.

In the state of Indian startup ecosystem report 2020, Inc42 Plus has revealed that in H2 2019, the funding amount of the growth stage startups was $2.1 Bn, but come H1 2020, the number fell to almost half to $1.02 Bn. Plus seed funding has also slowed down as per the latest Indian Startup Ecosystem Report, 2020

It is in this regard that initiatives such as iPitch — that are providing startups with a platform to showcase their innovative solutions and in turn, gain support and help for their capital requirements — are playing a major role.

In the past three editions of the programme, Villgro told Inc42 that it has deployed over INR 7 Cr to 23 social enterprises. Furthermore, it has partnered with more than 15 incubators and impact investors and received applications from over 64 cities from the country.

The last date to register for the programme is September 30, so apply now!

Apply Now
Note: We at Inc42 take our ethics very seriously. More information about it can be found here.

You have reached your limit of free stories
Become An Inc42 Plus Member

Become a Startup Insider in 2024 with Inc42 Plus. Join our exclusive community of 10,000+ founders, investors & operators and stay ahead in India’s startup & business economy.

Unlock 60% OFF
Cancel Anytime
Unlock 50% OFF
Cancel Anytime
Already A Member?
Discover Startups & Business Models

Unleash your potential by exploring unlimited articles, trackers, and playbooks. Identify the hottest startup deals, supercharge your innovation projects, and stay updated with expert curation.

Villgro Launches iPitch 2020 Startup Discovery Platform With An Inclusive Lens-Inc42 Media
How-To’s on Starting & Scaling Up

Empower yourself with comprehensive playbooks, expert analysis, and invaluable insights. Learn to validate ideas, acquire customers, secure funding, and navigate the journey to startup success.

Villgro Launches iPitch 2020 Startup Discovery Platform With An Inclusive Lens-Inc42 Media
Identify Trends & New Markets

Access 75+ in-depth reports on frontier industries. Gain exclusive market intelligence, understand market landscapes, and decode emerging trends to make informed decisions.

Villgro Launches iPitch 2020 Startup Discovery Platform With An Inclusive Lens-Inc42 Media
Track & Decode the Investment Landscape

Stay ahead with startup and funding trackers. Analyse investment strategies, profile successful investors, and keep track of upcoming funds, accelerators, and more.

Villgro Launches iPitch 2020 Startup Discovery Platform With An Inclusive Lens-Inc42 Media
Villgro Launches iPitch 2020 Startup Discovery Platform With An Inclusive Lens-Inc42 Media
You’re in Good company