Social Alpha Launches Techtonic – Development Programme for Clean Energy Startups in India

Winning solutions will receive access to innovation labs for prototyping, seed capital, techno-commercial pilot opportunity & accelerated market access support for scale-up

Social Alpha kicks off the third edition of the Energy Challenge as “Techtonic – Innovations in Clean Energy”, inviting innovators and entrepreneurs with transformative technologies that have the potential to create deep and irreversible social, economic and climate impact. Techtonic – Innovations in Clean Energy is seeking solutions across the entire energy lifecycle, value chain and multiple use cases, with a special focus this year on Energy for Livelihoods; Smart Energy Systems; Energy Storage; and Thermal Comfort.

The challenge is aligned with Sustainable Development Goals – SDG 13 (Climate Action), 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 1 (No Poverty), amongst others. Techtonic is looking for disruptive, innovative, and impactful clean technology solutions that should focus on affordability, accessibility and user experience with scope for deployment in households, industry, farm, utility, infrastructure, buildings and any other use case.

The winning solutions will be nurtured through the various stages of their lab-to-market journey. Innovators and entrepreneurs can apply in pre-pilot and post-pilot categories. Winners in the pre-pilot category will receive physical incubation at Social Alpha-Atal Incubation Centre, set up under Atal Innovation Mission, the flagship initiative of NITI Aayog, Government of India. The customized incubation includes prototype and MVP design and development support; business model development support; mentorship from technical and business experts; and access to legal, IP, communication and branding services.

Post-pilot category winners will be incubated at the Clean Energy International Incubation Centre, a joint initiative of Tata Trusts and the GoI, and supported by Department of Biotechnology, BIRAC, Tata Power, and Tata Power-Delhi Distribution Limited. They will receive support in product design, testing and development, GTM and market access, and get international collaboration opportunities through Mission Innovation, a global initiative working to accelerate clean energy innovations.

Selected startups from both the labs will also receive full spectrum venture development and scale-up support from Social Alpha, which may include techno-commercial pilot support by Tata Power’s Pilot Accelerator of upto 25L per startup, scale-up support of upto 1 crore per startups by Social Alpha’s SDG-7 accelerator and Sustain Plus Foundation and seed funding of up to Rs 1 crore per startup by Social Alpha. Besides this, a number of corporations and investors are expected to join the support ecosystem as the programme progresses. Various incubators, accelerators and investors participating in the programme are expected to deploy collectively more than Rs 20 Crores over a period of 24 months.

The last two energy challenges saw some notable achievements in the portfolio – Vidyut Mohan of Takachar, winner of the Energy Challenge in 2018-19 was named ‘Young Champions of Earth’ by the UNEP. Solshare winner of the Energy Challenge in 2018-19 was featured in 2020 CleanTech 100 list by World Economic Forum. Grassroots Energy, winner of Energy Challenge 2019-20 was selected and awarded as one of the energy efficient solution in the world by the European foundation “Solar Impulse”​. Start-ups like Tan 90, Himalayan Rocket Stove and Urja were able to raise seed and follow-on capital from Social Alpha and its investment partners.

Speaking about Techtonic – Innovations in Clean Energy, Manoj Kumar, Founder and CEO of Social Alpha said, The winners of the previous editions of Social Alpha Energy Challenge as well as many of our portfolio companies have been the recipients of several awards and follow-on funding, both at home and abroad. Our energy portfolio has demonstrated the potential to avoid more than 200 million tonnes of Co2 emissions collectively by 2030, as assessed by the globally accepted Net-Zero Compatible Innovation Assessment Framework. Climate Change is the biggest threat confronting humanity today. Through this Techtonic, we are offering multistage venture development support to Clean Energy Innovators as they combat climate crisis”

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