Times of India : Oct 30, 2019, 01:50 PM
Under the first phase of Innovative Ventures and Technologies for Development (INVENT) programme that ended this year, Startup Oasis has seed funded 36 social enterprises with equity support of Rs 8.13 crore.INVENT is a joint initiative by the UK government’s Department for International Development and the Centre’s Technology Development Board to fund, incubate and accelerate highly impactful social enterprises in the eight low-income states of the country. Startup Oasis, which was the implementing incubator for Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, was not only instrumental in identifying the startups for funding, but also provided mentoring. Out of the Rs 8.12 crore, 19 startups in Rajasthan received Rs 5.30 crore.“We don’t know about the next phase of the initiative as yet but INVENT has directly or indirectly impacted over 23 lakh lives in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, creating over 18,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities, with a special focus on women empowerment and employment over the last three years,” said Chintan Bakshi, CEO of Startup Oasis.Bakshi said while the social enterprises received Rs 8.13 crore under the INVENT programme, they have raised Rs 22 crore from outside.Some of the social entreprises funded include Book My Bai, a startup that helps create livelihood opportunities through training and skill development for under-privileged women as domestic help while MR Pvt Ltd (under Khanak brand) up-cycles chicken feather waste to make high quality fabric and shawls or stolls creating livelihood opportunities for tribal people as weavers and spinners. These startups have applied for eight patents including three by Khanak.INVENT was implemented by KIIT Technology Business Incubator (KIIT-TBI), IIMC Kolkata and IIT Kanpur in Odisha, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh under the guidance of lead incubator Villgro Innovations Foundation.