Entrepreneurial ventures of Naropa Fellows selected under ‘Start-up Exploration Programme’ by Catalyst, IIT Mandi

New Delhi: Naropa Fellows and their entrepreneurial ventures Agrow and Ladakh Basket have been selected for Start-up Exploration Programme organized by Catalyst, IITMandi. Catalyst picked a handful of most feasible ideas to enable the willing innovators/entrepreneurs to prototype, test and implement their ideas so to create an impact in the Himalayan region. Catalyst will also provide financial support of up to Rs 1.5 Lakh over the next three months during which these teams will convert their ideas into prototypes/products.

The ventures are built based on the idea of conserving the Himalayan Region. Team Agrow intends to build low-cost and eco-friendly greenhouses all over Ladakh using eco-bricks made of discarded plastic bottles. Team Ladakh Basket on the other hand, plans to use e-commerce to sell high-quality yet under-appreciated local produce, such as apricots, walnuts and the Ladakhi green tea, to a wider market.

Congratulating the fellows on their selection, His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, Co-founder of Naropa Fellowship said “It is a proud moment for us to see the level of success our first batch of Naropa Fellows has achieved in such a short span. Both the start-ups aim for the betterment and growth of Himalayan region and are completely aligned with the aim of Naropa Fellowship.”

Based in the Indian Institute of Technology Mandi, Catalyst is the first technology business incubator of Himachal Pradesh. The Start-up Exploration Programme helps budding innovators and entrepreneurs to convert their ideas into viable business models. A total of twelve start-ups from different sectors such as Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Waste Management, Agrotech, Renewable Energy and Online services were shortlisted for the programme and five out of these 12 teams are from Himachal Pradesh. On completion of the programme, Catalyst will provide selected ventures a one-year Incubation programme which includes up to Rs. 15 Lakh seed funding.