Financial inclusion is one of the most important indicators of a country’s economic development. While it may mean using financial services at a macro level, on a more fundamental note, it is access to capital and financial capabilities such as borrowing, lending, transactions and insurance to meet individual and business needs.
Given the challenges faced by small entrepreneurs and marginal farmers in accessing traditional sources of capital, financial inclusion is still a dream for the country. With a similar story in the healthcare sector, ensuring access to quality healthcare remains one of the most pressing challenges.
Augmented by the increasing reach of digital economy, individuals and organizations have come together to create and support alternate banking systems, harnessing the power of technology. ISB DLabs in partnership with US Consulate and Department of Science and Technology seek to support and mentor 10 early stage startups through Envision 2018.
Who can apply
Calling for early stage startups that have been in operation for more than 2 years, with proven traction in the following domains:
● Fintech startup with an existing solution that can address issues of financial inclusion preferably for agriculture and healthcare sector.
● Agriculture/Healthcare startup willing to expand/pivot their offerings based on existing solutions or data availability to address particular challenges of financial inclusion.
Envision 2018, a 4-month accelerator program will provide guidance and customised offerings to the selected start-ups:
● Mentorship and advisory - Upto 30 hrs of access to technical and business advisory from accomplished veterans including academics, bureaucrats and CXOs
● Access to strategic partners - Collaborate with established startups, global organizations and other strategic partners that are key stakeholders and are channelling resources in the domain
● Access to research and insightful data at ISB
● Access to ISB and partner network- Extensive visibility to showcase your product through our networks and events
● Investors outreach – Access to investors for mentoring and scale up capital
● Capacity building - Learn to implement various innovation and management methodologies, including Human Centred Design, that help you ask the right questions and design solutions for your target segments
● Curated sessions - On business skills by faculty and experts at ISB
● Customised services - Access to marketing, accounting, legal, and other professional services
With a vision of defining the challenges and opportunities in Agriculture and Healthcare sector; ISB DLabs hosted a roundtable giving a unique platform to solution seekers as well as experts in financial inclusion to discuss lending, payments and insurance solutions.
Experts from government, banks, corporates, foundations, academia and startups discussed financial inclusion trends, challenges and opportunities with a focus on fintech, agriculture and healthcare. ISB, Basix Sub-K and Dvara Trust lead the discussion and identified the focus areas and support needed for startups to scale up.
Envision Programme 2018 will identify enterprises on the basis of the following criteria:
● Team and Organisational Structure with focus on prior experience and domain expertise, commitment towards the problem and immediate future plans of the founder/ entrepreneurs.
● Innovation potential of idea and differentiation from other startups working in the same sector and operational strategies to be adopted as part of the program
● Impact being created through the venture's solutions for the targeted communities.
● Scalability and potential for growth and scale-up beyond current scope of the venture
● Traction received so far (start-ups more than 2 years in existence, having a minimum viable product and an existing base of paying customers)