The WHO has estimated that over 1 billion people experience some form of disability across the globe. With an ageing global population and with a rise in non-communicable diseases, it has been estimated that more than 2 billion people will need at least 1 assistive product by 2030, with many older people needing 2 or more. Despite this huge market requirement, as of today only 5-15% of the assistive technologies needs have been met.

The current products are extremely costly and is limited to serve the requirements of high income setting, leaving the rest disadvantaged and impoverished,  forcing them to purchase poor quality devices that leads to secondary health complications and abandonment of the assistive device.

Thus, it is the need of the hour for interventions in the assistive market as it is brimming with huge potential for developing the right device. This can enable people with disability to live healthy, productive, independent and dignified lives, through equal participation in education, the labour market and active social life.

About the ProgramSectoral gap that the program is designed to solve

Today, many passionate innovators are trying to develop solutions for people with disabilities, however they must cross several valleys of death in their entrepreneurial journey. In this sector, the first valley of death appears at the idea/ prototype stage itself, because of the limited investment in research and development.

  • Poor access to the end users, which not only limits the understanding of the problem statement among innovators and but also restricts rapid user feedback.
  • Poorly Funded R&D infrastructure- This not only limits the funding needed for initial development but also limits the number of engineering and Design Centres that can provide expertise in designing, testing and certifying.
  • Limited understanding of the existing value chain and of functioning of Assistive Technology market, which is also characterized by a weak supply chain infrastructure.

One of the ways to address this problem is to plug in the sectoral knowledge from the experts in the field during the early stages of product development, by providing easy access to the end users, and promoting existing R&D infrastructure to develop assistive solutions.

“Techtonic – Innovations in Assistive Technology” is a joint initiative of SBI Foundation and Social Alpha, and is designed to solve these sectoral gaps.

Program Design

Techtonic Program is structured to support early-stage assistive (TRL 3+) technology innovators to include experiential, immersive, and instructional components that mimic the lifecycle of an enterprise. The program is designed to accelerate the start-up’s lab to market journey through series of support provided under Social Alpha incubation.

  • Access to series of fund, ranging from ideating to prototyping to growth.
  • Access to R&D labs for prototyping and infrastructure for scaled up manufacturing
  • Access to mentors, incubation facilities and end-users for testing the product and validating the business model
  • Network within the industry players such as NGO’s, rehabilitation centers and clinics

The program will select 10 startups that will be supported in accelerating their Lab to Market journey. Out of these ten startup- top 4 start-ups will receive a grant of INR 15 lakhs, along with incubation support for 1 year via Social Alpha.

Program Offerings

Top 4 startups will receive the following support from the program –
Grant Support

Each start-up will receive a grant of up to INR 15L. These grants will help entrepreneurs to build prototypes, test with end users, get clinical validation and apply for regulatory approvals.

Dedicated Portfolio Management

Social Alpha, a team of innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, and analysts with deep domain expertise in Assistive Technologies and sectoral problems, provides hands-on support to each start-up for a period of 1 year.

Product/Engineering Support

Facilitation of Design for manufacturing through a proprietary national network of identified vendors and validations by clinical centres.


Product certification and regulatory approval guidance via a proprietary network of expert consultants and service providers. 

Product Strategy
review and GTM

Deep hands-on support to establish product-market fit, product road map advisory, go-to- market planning, and customer value fulfilment.

Social Alpha
Knowledge Services

Access to renowned industry experts for mentoring and knowledge sessions.

Access to Assistive
technology Ecosystem

Access to end users (PwDs), NGO’s, Funders, Distributors in the space for user testing, fundraising and venture development. 

Top 10 startups (Including the top 4) will receive Accelerator support for 3 months, which will include the following –
Product Development
Accelerator Program

3-month facilitator led course specially designed for early-stage entrepreneurs to understand disability specific problem statements, interact with end users, get exposure to new technologies, and incorporate into your solutions.

Access to Social Alpha
Open Innovation Platform

This platform is an online ecosystem of innovators, funders, technical experts, and other stakeholders across the assistive technologies value chain. Start-ups will have the opportunity to share and validate their solutions on the platform and create connections and partnerships with key individuals or organizations

Follow-On Funding
Opportunity up to INR 30 Lakh

Each top start-up will also have an opportunity to pitch for long-term support through the Social Alpha’s ecosystem under its seed capital investment programs and ATMA fund, subject to further due diligence and upon mutual agreement on terms of engagement

Any other need-based support mentioned in the offerings above and beyond those mentioned will be decided on a case-to-case basis, based on the assessment of the start-ups needs and stage, subject to qualification criteria and discretion of organizers.


  • Program Launch &
    Call for Applications

    22nd Dec, 2021
  • Applications Close

    31st Jan, 2022
  • Evaluation & Due Diligence Rounds

    18th Feb, 2022
  • Jury Date

    28th Feb,  2022
  • Results Declaration

    3rd March,  2022
  • Cohort Starts

    10th March, 2022

Knowledge Partner


Flagship Partner


Frequently Asked Questions


Techtonic is a search for start-ups who have potential to create innovative products or systems that enhance the learning, working and daily living for persons-with-disabilities. To know more about the program, we request you to go through our frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) section:

Terms and Conditions

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