Fellowship Program

Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EiR)


The Social Alpha Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EiR) Fellowship Programme is a year-long immersive programme that equips passionate ‘entrepreneurs-in-the-making’ with end-to-end capacity building and resources to leverage India’s deep science, innovation, and entrepreneurship environment.

It is anchored in solving chronic and emerging problems, providing technology development support, business planning and venture building assistance, and an in-depth understanding of the social sector. The programme is designed to bring together entrepreneurs and innovators, and foster collaboration amongst some of the top educational, technical, and philanthropic institutions in the world.

Social Alpha promotes innovations and entrepreneurship with a mission to create large scale sustainable social, economic, and environmental impact.

We recognise the need for a programme aimed at budding entrepreneurs and innovators that:
  • is rooted in a practical, hands-on approach to solving societal problems
  • is tailored to attract talented and passionate individuals looking to venture into entrepreneurship
  • lowers the opportunity cost & entry barrier of starting a social business
  • allows latent entrepreneurs to experiment without ‘fear of failure’
  • provides innovators and innovations within the Social Alpha ecosystem an opportunity & outlet to market
  • is anchored in social enterprise building and immersive development sector experiences

Programme Offerings

The EiR Fellowship supports innovators and inventors to develop solutions through their entrepreneurial ventures.
Financial Support
  • A monthly stipend of INR 60,000
  • Opportunity to pitch for seed funding up to INR 50 lakh
Strategic & Business Support
  • Master classes and need-based mentoring on entrepreneurial know-how
  • Access to domain experts, mentors, entrepreneurs, and functional specialists
  • Checkpoint/ milestone-based progression
Innovation Support
  • Free access to Social Alpha lab facilities for prototyping and product development
  • Easy access to our partner organisations for labs and scientific support
  • Mentoring on Design for Manufacturing by Design Alpha
Customised Support
  • Access to Social Alpha network for bespoke assistance from domain experts including investors, mentors, and industry leaders

Programme Eligibility

The EiR Fellowship is designed for scientific and engineering entrepreneurs in the early stages of technology development, who are dedicated to building a start-up that will solve India’s development challenges. Women innovators are encouraged to apply.
  • Student innovators from engineering, medicine, sciences, and design disciplines, who are resilient and highly driven.
  • Researchers who have completed their PhDs or post-docs in India or abroad, looking forward to commercialising a technology through their own start-up. Prospective fellows should be deeply focused on creating a business that targets the underserved population
  • Mid-career professionals, scientists on sabbatical, or serial entrepreneurs who are empathetic, passionate and have an ability to work with, as well as lead others
  • Anyone who considers themselves a misfit, has inter-disciplinary background but committed to the dream of building their own successful company and will leverage every opportunity that comes their way

Programme Structure

The EiR Fellowship is a full-time programme designed to accelerate the idea-to-seed investment journey:
  • Exposure to Social Alpha and the ecosystem
  • Prototype Development and Lab Testing
  • Pilot Planning and Design for Manufacturing
  • Field Trials and Certifications
  • Business Planning and Pitch
  • Developing the entrepreneur’s understanding for turning the technology into a solution to address the identified need
  • Helping the entrepreneur overcome critical challenges of lab-to-pilot in the social impact space
  • Offering tailor-made support for technology development and team building to accelerate the prototype to MVP journey
  • Creating minimum viable product through an iterative process that factors-in feedback from the user community
  • Continuous support for developing Go-to-Market strategy, team formation, and basic legal requirements related to IP, finance and statutory requirements
  • Cashflow exercises and other financial knowledge support to improve unit economics which attracts future investors
Huddle I:

Problem Statements,
Need and Interventions

Huddle II:

Product – Market Fit

Huddle III:

Prototype to Solution

Huddle IV:

Market Readiness


Applications are open round the year
Prospective fellows are evaluated quarterly
1 to 3 months for evaluation after applying