Citi India, formerly Citibank, has launched a new social lab in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur and technology incubator T-Hub to identify and nurture startups offering unique tech solutions that can solve some of the grass-root level problems in agriculture, health and finance sectors, the bank said in a statement.
The new lab will be called Social Innovation Lab by Citi and will provide a grant to 25 early-stage startups and five growth-stage startups to incubate and help them scale their business. Citi India said only startups that have demonstrated a proof of concept, have a customer base and show potential to scale will be considered for the grant. The lab will accept applications from startups until the end of December.
Startups that apply for the grant will also be judged on the relevance of their solutions. For instance, a health-tech startup that can improve access to healthcare service, has women-centric solutions, can provide tech-driven diagnostics and solve Covid-19 related challenges will be given priority. Similarly, in agri-tech, startups that can increase transparency, have solutions for farm mechanisation and can help farmers offer farming-as-a-service will be preferred. In fintech, financial inclusion, credit for rural India, identity and security will be core focus areas.
Qualifying startups will receive guidance from IIT Kanpur, while T-Hub’s vast ecosystem will provide networking and collaboration opportunities to them.
“We have a strong outreach approach as we are committed to attracting applications from interested entrepreneurs across opportunity statements, which have been co-created with Citi. This guarantees the development of solutions that are extremely relevant to the marketplace,” Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, Prof-In-Charge, Incubation & Innovation, IIT Kanpur said in a statement.