1. WHAT IS THE DURATION OF THE PROGRAM?
The program is 12 months long; however, it will vary from case to case based on the needs of the start-up.
2. WHAT IS THE STRUCTURE OF THE PROGRAM?
Transform will extend bespoke business support and access to Unilever’s value chain and resource network to the selected start-ups for scaling up their operations during the acceleration period. The duration of the support will depend on the need of each start-up. A project lead from Unilever will be mapped to each of the start-ups throughout the acceleration period.
Also, interspersed through the program shall be opportunities to interact with external stakeholders, funders and mentors from within TRANSFORM and Social Alpha Networks. During or post the acceleration period, start-ups will be eligible for seed capital by Social Alpha and its network.
Program structure details will be shared in advance with the winners.
1. WHO CAN APPLY FOR THE PROGRAM?
The program is looking for start-ups with innovative solutions reducing plastic waste and consumption across the plastic packaging value chain. Organizations with the potential to create impact, scale across locations and demonstrate business model sustainability.
2. IS THE CHALLENGE OPEN FOR INTERNATIONAL START-UPS?
No, only start-ups registered in India with more than 50% shareholding by Indian promoters are eligible to apply for the program.
3. IS THERE ANY PREFERENCE FOR A PARTICULAR TYPE OF INNOVATION?
Applicants with technology-based solutions reducing plastic waste, and consumption across the packaging value chain are encouraged to apply. Innovations can be a product or a service but must be aligned to the focus areas outlined in the program. There is a preference for innovations that have a high social impact potential for waste pickers, low-income households, operations in tier 2/3 cities*, women led enterprise/women co-founder.
*According to the classification of cities under the recommendation of the Seventh Central Pay Commission, see comprehensive list below:
|X / Tier – 1||Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Pune|
|Y / Tier – 2||Agra, Ajmer, Aligarh, Amravati, Amritsar, Asansol, Aurangabad, Bareilly, Belgaum, Bhavnagar, Bhiwandi, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Bikaner, Bilaspur, Bokaro Steel City, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Cuttack, Dehradun, Dhanbad, Bhilai, Durgapur, Erode, Faridabad, Firozabad, Ghaziabad, Gorakhpur, Gulbarga, Guntur, Gwalior, Gurugram, Guwahati, Hamirpur, Hubli–Dharwad, Indore, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Jalandhar, Jalgaon, Jammu, Jamnagar, Jamshedpur, Jhansi, Jodhpur, Kakinada, Kannur, Kanpur, Karnal, Kochi, Kolhapur, Kollam, Kozhikode, Kurnool, Ludhiana, Lucknow, Madurai, Malappuram, Mathura, Mangalore, Meerut, Moradabad, Mysore, Nagpur, Nanded, Nashik, Nellore, Noida, Patna, Puducherry, Purulia, Prayagraj, Raipur, Rajkot, Rajamahendravaram, Ranchi, Rourkela, Ratlam, Salem, Sangli, Shimla, Siliguri, Solapur, Srinagar, Surat, Thanjavur, Thiruvananthapuram, Thrissur, Tiruchirappalli, Tirunelveli, Tiruvannamalai, Ujjain, Vijayapura, Vadodara, Varanasi, Vasai-Virar City, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Vellore, and Warangal|
|Z / Tier – 3||All other cities|
Classification of Indian Cities, Office Memorandum, Government of India,” (PDF). doe.gov.in.
4. WILL I BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE FUNDING BY SOCIAL ALPHA UPON SELECTION?
Selected applicants will be eligible to receive seed capital by Social Alpha, subject to due diligence, and upon mutual agreement on terms of engagement.
1. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS I CAN AVAIL FROM THE PROGRAM?
Up to 5 selected start-ups will receive:
- Financial support
A grant of INR 60L. Grant will be provided for operational expenses and bringing about behavioural change, etc.
Eligibility to seed capital (equity) up to INR 1Cr per start-up from Social Alpha.
- Market Access and Scale up support
Opportunities to work with various functions across the value chain of Unilever.
Workshops with experts, specialists, and sector leaders for developing the product market fit and go-to-market strategy.
Access to TRANSFORM and its partners’ wide network of public/private organizations and facilitation of introduction, where required.
- Fundraising support
Access to TRANSFORM and Social Alpha’s large and diverse investor and donor network.
- Networking Opportunity
Exposure to the wider network of stakeholders (corporates, government agencies, international development agencies etc) as well as high visibility opportunities offered by TRANSFORM through its partners like Unilever, FCDO and EY.
- Knowledge Services
Curated set of capacity building and knowledge sessions with qualified industry experts to augment understanding of product – market fit.
Monitoring and evaluation technical assistance to evidence socio-economic impact.
Note: Enterprises applying under the focus area “Material science innovations” will be eligible to receive all the above mentioned program offerings except the grant support of up to INR 60 lacs.
2. DO I HAVE TO BE PHYSICALLY PRESENT FOR ANY COHORT-BASED SESSIONS?
Given the current pandemic the program partners will organize the sessions keeping in mind the safety of the participants/ experts and the team. While certain events will need selected start-ups to be physically present, the participants will have the option of attending the webinars/ sessions online. Details of the events will be shared in advance.
3. IS MENTORING PAID OR FREE?
Mentoring, as part of the continuous engagement with the selected applicants, will be provided free of charge.
Some mentor support, particularly from the internal ecosystem, comes pro-bono, however, some mentors and their advisory support may have a notional or actual cost. Participation in specialized/additional events could be subject to a nominal fee.
4. HOW FREQUENTLY WILL TRANSFORM INTERFACE WITH THE SELECTED START-UPS DURING THE SCALE UP SUPPORT?
There will be regular interface between the selected start-ups and the Project Lead from Unilever at least on a fortnightly basis. Each start-up will be allocated a Project Lead to help with customized requests who will continually and regularly engage with the start-ups.
1. WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER DURING THE SELECTION PROCESS?
Applications open: August 30, 2022
Application deadline: September 30, 2022
First round of evaluations: Third week of October, 2022
Grand Jury round: First week of November, 2022
Announcement of selected start-ups: Second week of November, 2022