First of its kind INR 40 Crore Startup Fund for accelerating Nonprofits in India

Deadline: 9 April 2019

N/Core Foundation has announced a first of its kind ₹40 crore startup fund designed to accelerate nonprofits that are ready to grow and scale.

N/Core is a catalyst for the nonprofit sector, nudging capable and committed problem solvers to work on some of the toughest problems faced by India’s poor. Their goal is to jumpstart 150+ nonprofits and 1000 nonprofit leaders in 5 years.

India’s development sector needs innovation and vitality through a vibrant startup pool with potential to leapfrog problem solving. A nonprofit entrepreneur is a problem solver, much like her / his peer in any other sector, seeking to disrupt their chosen area of work through innovation and sustainable impact. Unfortunately, a support system for such startups is sparse. Access to funding and the right kind of strategic inputs at the early stage are the biggest bottlenecks for highly committed and capable founders to startup in a nonprofit model. N/Core’s mission is to resolve this stalemate.

At N/Core, the purpose is to “nudge top talent to solve for India’s biggest challenges”, with a core DNA of innovation, collaboration, speed, scale and sustainability. The offerings to early stage startups are designed to provide hands on support to exceptionally driven entrepreneurs with a bold vision for change. It strongly believes that with a supportive ecosystem, the trickle of entrepreneurs choosing the development sector to be the arena for their work will turn into a stream and script India’s path out of extreme poverty.

N/Core offers incubation as well as acceleration programs for early stage nonprofit startups.

The incubator is designed for nonprofit startups that are less than 3 years old, have piloted their idea for change and are close to achieving, or have recently achieved a minimum viable product. We invest deeply such startups for a period of 6 months and offer an innovation grant of Rs. 10 lacs, a network of world-class mentors, and connects to potential partners.

Every year, it runs two distinct incubation cohorts of upto 15 startups each:

  • An open cohort for all nonprofit startups
  • An N/Core tech cohort: for nonprofit startups that use technology in a significant way in their solution

Their accelerator Series/N is a Rs. 40 Cr philanthropic fund to support startups that have evidence of product viability, have evolved into stable organizations with a core team in place, and are ready to scale.

Every year, upto 6 organizations are chosen to be funded by Series/N with grants ranging from Rs. 25 lacs to Rs 2 Cr, with strategic support for upto 2 additional years.

Besides the structured incubation and acceleration programs, N/Core also invests in early stage ideators, to create a viable talent pool for its flagship programs. This includes support for entrepreneurs looking to startup as nonprofits, via the launchpad program, and specific interventions like idea challenges and hackathons to draw attention to underserved thematic areas (such as land and property inclusivity).

The deep hands-on support for 6 months includes:

  • 1-on-1 Mentoring by an N/Core Partner through virtual interactions every two weeks. This helps entrepreneurs to achieve strategic clarity and refine their business model.
  • 1-on-1 support by an N/Core Portfolio manager, as a thought partner, and skin-in-the-game collaborator in the success of their incubatees.
  • Face-to-face immersion events, usually held in Bangalore during kickoff, midpoint and endpoint. These are designed to help entrepreneurs to meet fellow cohort members, immerse in N/Core DNA through interactions with some of India’s most admired leaders, forge a bond with the N/Core Portfolio manager, and the N/Core Partner assigned to be their mentor and most importantly, to get ready to pitch and fundraise.

Program Details

  • Growth / Scale Grant: They offer a grant of INR 25-200 Lakhs, based on the stage of organisation. All applicants need to do is strongly grow their impact, moving towards scale.
  • Organizational Mentoring: During the 12-24 months, N/Core Partners & Mentors will work with founders and CXOs to share their expertise and give applicants hands-on support.
  • Ecosystem Connect: They connect applicants to people (across funders, sector, and government) who can help them grow at a much faster pace and get to impact at scale.

Eligibility Criteria

  • If applicants have been through their incubation program, applicant can write in to the N/Core team directly to apply.
  • For all others, please check their five basic eligibility criteria before applicant apply through the application form below:
    • Applicants are an early-stage startup between 1-3 years old, with a well defined program.
    • Applicants have registered their organisation as a section 8 company, a trust or a society and have applied for/acquired the appropriate certification.
    • Their core team across various functions is in place.
    • Applicants have raised money from other sources
    • Applicants work on solving a problem faced by India’s economically disadvantaged communities or a problem faced by the nonprofit ecosystem.

How to Apply

Interested applicants can apply via given website.

For more information, please visit http://ncore.foundation/apply/?utmf=Accelerator

  • Avatar shouri says:

    i am a social worker for 30 years and found extreemely difficult to understand 40crore start up programme for non-profit sector.
    please simplify the explanation and avoid high words, and basically nothing is clear.
    sorry to say this.

    • Avatar Priyanka says:

      Hi shouri,

      Accelerator Series/N is a Rs. 40 Cr philanthropic fund to support startups that have evidence of product viability, have evolved into stable organizations with a core team in place, and are ready to scale.

      Every year, upto 6 organizations are chosen to be funded by Series/N with grants ranging from Rs. 25 lacs to Rs 2 Cr, with strategic support for upto 2 additional years.

      To get detailed information on eligibility criteria and application requirements, please visit the link provided at the end of the post.

      Good Luck!

  • Avatar Nishant Biswal says:

    Good Evening
    I want to know a bit brief about this program and I m representing SCIVC from Odisha India. And we are registered NGO since 1978

    • Avatar Reena says:

      Hi Nishant Biswal,

      Thank you for your interest in the opportunity.

      To get detailed information on eligibility criteria and application requirements, please visit the link provided at the end of the post.

      Good Luck!

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