About Social Alpha Agritech Innovations Challenge 2.0
The agriculture and allied sector is the largest source of livelihoods in India. Yet, the situation for small holder category of farmers is extremely dire. The state of Uttar Pradesh alone accounts for 26% of India’s low-income farmers, magnifying the need for impactful development interventions.
The core objective of the Social Alpha Agritech Innovations Challenge 2.0 is to curate innovative technologies that positively impact the lives of smallholder farmers. Winners will receive support in their lab to last-mile journey, including sponsored pilots in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
The IAIN is an initiative supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Tata Trusts, in partnership with the Collectives for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives (CInI) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT Kanpur). It envisions to create an enabling ecosystem for innovators and entrepreneurs developing solutions for smallholder farmers in order to help them become more productive, profitable and empowered. In the first edition of the Social Alpha Agritech Innovations Challenge which was launched in 2019, 13 start-ups received incubation support, investments and piloting opportunities under IAIN.
Winners of the Agritech Innovation challenge will form a part of one of the following programs:
- Incubation Program for early stage start-ups – managed by SIIC, IIT Kanpur
- Venture Acceleration Program for mature stage start-ups – managed by Social Alpha
Calling for Innovations
01. Improving Productivity and Yield Intensification:
02. Better post-harvest loss management and value-added activities:
03. Enhancing the Rural livelihoods through Agri-allied activities
Who Should Apply
Innovators & Start-ups with science and technology based innovative solution that have the potential to create an impact in the lives of smallholder farmers and demonstrate business model sustainability.
We are inviting applications for the following two programme streams :
Incubation Program for early stage start-ups – managed by SIIC, IIT-Kanpur
The program aims to support entrepreneurs in primarily in the areas of product development and testing. This would target the following in terms of Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
- TRL 3 – Proof of Concept stage / Active R&D has been initiated. This includes analytical studies and laboratory studies to physically validate the analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology.
- TRL 4 – Basic technological components have been integrated to establish that they work together.
- TRL 5 – Technology has been put together and can be tested in a simulated environment.
- TRL 6 – Prototype is being tested in simulated operational environment or in a high-fidelity laboratory
Venture Acceleration Program for mature stage start-ups – managed by Social Alpha
Start-ups will receive support with pilots, product validation, product management and Go-To-Market Strategy. This would target the following start-ups in terms of Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
- TRL 7 – Actual system prototype is near completion or ready and has been demonstrated in an operational environment or is at pilot level
- TRL 8 – Technology is proven and developed but not yet operational or applied anywhere.
- TRL 9 – Technology has been applied in its final form and is operational
- The product is already in the market and can be scaled or replicated
Launch of Social Alpha Agritech Innovations Challenge
November 30th, 2020
Deadline for applications
January 17th, 2021
Virtual interviews for top 60 applications
Jury round for top 25; Grand finale; Announcement of winners
Orientation launchpad and start of pre-incubation
Frequently Asked Questions
Terms and Conditions
Please read the following terms and conditions before submitting your entry:
- Participating or proposed ventures should be independent entities, meaning that they should not be a subsidiary of an existing corporation or have legal ties to a government body.
- Existing non-profits can participate; however, they should propose a venturing idea or a plan to transform their existing solutions into a more sustainable solution.
- As the Challenge is looking for start-ups to work on product development and / or establishing marketing channels for existing products, and not research, only those with developed ideas and/or prototypes should apply.
- The applicant should be a registered company /willing to be registered in India. The shareholding by Indian promoters in the company should be at least 51%.
Submissions and Participation
- Submissions which are incomplete will be deemed void and disqualified from the Challenge evaluations.
- Submissions should be the original work of the participant/participating entity and should demonstrate positive social or environmental impact, have a disruptive technology innovation with potential to be sustainable and scalable in India (though not exclusively in the region).
- Participants who are determined to be ‘Finalists’, ranked in the final evaluation stage might be required to send at least one core member for the final round of evaluations (conditional to the current pandemic situation).
- Winners agree to the use of their names, photographs, disclosure of their country of residence; and are required to cooperate with any other reasonable requests by the organiser relating to any publicity-related activities.
- Winners are required to submit a declaration of good standing and solvency at the final stage of evaluation. If there is any change in circumstance that invalidates their good standing and solvency, the team is to immediately inform the organisers.
- All participants own the rights to their ideas. Participants must properly acknowledge any trademarks, patented or copyrighted materials of others that are incorporated into the submission materials. Participants are responsible for obtaining any necessary permission before utilizing such materials into their submissions.
- Submitted ideas are protected in the spirit of non-disclosure, and all submitted materials will be treated as company confidential. The only people with access to the entry materials will be evaluators/judges, partners and select members of the organising committee. Materials will not be distributed to any other party unless requested by a participant. No other provisions are made to protect intellectual property.
- Participants are advised not to disclose critical information which would affect a successful filing of patent(s). All presentations are open to the general public, and some presentations may be videotaped. Attendance by media personnel is expected in the final stages of the program. Any data or information discussed or divulged in public sessions by participants should be considered information that will likely enter the public realm, and entrants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged or presented in these sessions.
Decisions regarding the winners
- The selection of the ‘Winners’ is at the sole discretion of the judges and the organisers from Social Alpha and partnering organisations. Best efforts will be made to make decisions in accordance with this document.
- Throughout any and all phases of the Challenge, all decisions of the judges are final.
Disqualification and Organiser’s Right to Amend Competition Rules
- The organisers of the Challenge reserve the right to disqualify any participant who is found to have violated the spirit of the Challenge guidelines and terms and conditions stated herein. Disqualified participants shall forfeit any and all prizes awarded to them.
- The organisers reserve the right to amend these rules at any point before the Closing Date of the Challenge in line with the overall goal of the Challenge.
- The indicated dates for the Challenge may be revised at any point of time by the organisers. Any change in schedule will be suitably intimated on the Challenge webpage and on other relevant platforms.
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