Four Social Startups Awarded grant under Raftaar COVID Support Accelerator program launched by AIC-IIITH and EPAM


Startups and their plans have been completely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence to support them, AIC-IIITH has launched Raftaar – a COVID Support Acceleration program in collaboration with EPAM.

AIC-IIITH is an Atal Incubation Centre for tech-based social enterprises supported by AIM, NITI Aayog is the social incubator at CIE (the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship), IIIT Hyderabad. CIE is one of the oldest and now largest academic tech incubators in the country.

The Raftaar program is a part of EPAM’s CSR effort to make sustainable social impact and will support four for-profit social enterprises with a bridge grant of up to INR 3 lakhs and other non-financial support. The selected startups are:

  1. Jivoule Biofuels: A tech-enabled supply chain for collection of Used Cooking Oil and convert ingit into Biodiesel to be blended with regular Diesel to reduce carbon emissions and utilize Biodiesel without any alterations of current automobiles. This will solve environmental and health concerns.
  2. Tekra Solutions Pvt Ltd (myUDAAN): myUDAAN provides Mobility Assistance for persons with a disability and the elderly, including accessibility information and mobility assistant service on-demand to aid them venture out freely with freedom.
  3. Intech Harness Pvt Ltd: A patented, IoT-enabled farmer obedient pump controller for farmers facing erratic power & water conditions to automate farm irrigation with an ability to respond to power & water disruption without human intervention.
  4. ClimateX: An integrated decision support platform (SaaS) that provides urban climate intelligence to the property, construction, financial, insurance and government sectors.

These and other similar startups using technology to improve access and impact in areas like Healthcare, Agriculture, Environment and circular economy can help move the needle on India’s efforts towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This program helps them overcome the disruption caused by COVID-19 on their business operations and help amplify their impact and/or make them sustainable.

“We value knowledge sharing and education so much within EPAM and are proud to sponsor a variety of technology-related initiatives that act as a driving force for good, especially social impact-focused startups that have been greatly impacted by the pandemic,” said Shamilka Samarasinha, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at EPAM. “The recipients of the Raftaar COVID Support Accelerator program are making impressive strides towards sustainability. This program is just another way we continue to support our global and local communities.”

The key program highlights include:

  1. Milestone-based Bridge grant support up to INR 3 Lakh per startup
  2. Bootcamps/workshops on various topics
  3. Masterclasses and mentorship provided by expert
  4. Refining business model and support scaling for impact
  5. Access to CIE Startup services
  6. IIIT-H’s technology expertise, lab facilities, and talent pool

Expressing the significance and timely nature of the program, Prof. Ramesh Loganathan, Director of AIC-IIITH said, “COVID has disrupted the entire society and support for Social Startups is an essential tool to build back better. This is a timely program that has been designed in keeping with the institute’s credo of encouraging research and education that makes a difference.”

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