New-age Social Start-ups make big at .Inc Social – a three-day Social Entrepreneurship Boot camp

New Delhi: Rishihood University, in collaboration with TiE Ahmedabad, and GUSEC, participated in a three-day boot camp for social start-ups, named “.INC Social.”, organized by Brihati Foundation at the Gujarat University Start-up and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC). Fifteen inspiring social ideas were chosen, mentored and encouraged in this three-day-long camp by a host of experts from industry, investor community, and academia.

Three innovative, solution-driven and sustainable ideas were awarded by the eminent Jury. The three winning ideas were: Dbello, a start-up by Menka Gurnani, that aims to fight malnutrition by extracting vitamin D in a vegan way; Urban Kheti, by Priyam Sameer, that provides solutions for farming in unused urban spaces among others, and Cycling Cities, by Nikita Lalwani, which is a new-age mobile application that banks on behavioral economics to encourage cycling among urban people. The winners were felicitated at a concluding event at the Gujarat University campus. Apart from the cash prize, the winners were also provided with mentoring and funding opportunities for six months.

The boot camp was designed keeping in mind the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as decent work and economic growth, quality education, climate action, good health and well-being, zero hunger, etc. The three-day-long boot camp aimed to help social enterprises & entrepreneurs by enhancing their understanding and abilities to bring positive and impactful change through social entrepreneurship. 15 innovative ideas from Ahmedabad and other cities of Gujarat were shortlisted for the boot camp. Many of these budding enterprises are either at the prototype stage or at the ideation stage.

The event drew participation from aspiring student entrepreneurs, academia, and start-up enthusiasts, apart from the shortlisted entries. It also attracted a host of eminent speakers and industry experts, such as Prof (Dr) Patrick McNamara, Director, International Studies & Programs, University of Nebraska; Vipul Patel, Bharat Innovation Fund; Ameet Singh, Co-Founder, BrightFox Learning Sol LLP ( IIT, IIM); Kaushik Akiwatkar, Director, Development and Operations, Rishihood University; etc. to name a few.

Speaking about the philosophy behind .INC Social, Mrs. Krishna Handa, Founder, Brihati Foundation, said, “.Inc Social is an open platform to support aspiring social entrepreneurs. Through this initiative, we aimed to encourage “out-of-the-box” social ideas from the hinterland of Gujarat and help them turn into a viable business. This is a unique platform as it brings together various aspects of entrepreneurship creation together, such as Industry bodies, CSR Foundation, Academia, and Start-Up Incubators to nurture socially relevant sustainable ideas. Apart from providing a platform, .Inc Social is also committed to mentoring and giving practical experiences to these ideas.”