Nudge Foundation launches incubator for non-profit start-ups

Nudge Foundation has launched an incubator called N Core for non-profit start-ups working to solve poverty-related problems. The Bangalore-based foundation will spend over Rs50 crore to support more than 100 non-profit start-ups through the incubator over the next five years.

The incubator will select non-profit start-ups that are up to three years old and working in areas including education, healthcare, finance, agriculture, water, sanitation, energy, gender equality, human rights and disaster management.

The first 15-day incubation programme called N Core alpha, for which the foundation will start accepting applications on 25 January, will be held in April. “It will be an intense programme in which incubatees (start-ups) will have a 16-18 hours a day programme,” said Nudge founder Atul Satija in a telephonic interview.

“Each start-up will be assigned mentors and a personal coach... who will be working with the start-ups to sharpen their operating plans, marketing plans and fund raising plans,” Satija said.

The foundation has set up a group of more than 100 mentors for the incubation programme, including Anantha Padmanabhan, chief executive of Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives; Mekin Maheshwari, former chief people officer of Flipkart and Alok Goel, partner at venture capital firm Saif Partners.

N Core is also working with organizations that have offered to provide support in the form of grants for start-ups selected for the first incubation batch. These organizations include Social Alpha, an initiative of Tata Trusts, Deshpande Foundation and Dr.Reddy’s Foundation among others.

Supported by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and Tata Trusts, The Nudge Foundation was launched in 2015. It works with over 50 partners including non-government organizations, government, foundations and companies on skill development to pull people out of poverty.

The foundation’s advisory board includes a number of start-up chief executives including Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, InMobi founder Naveen Tewari and Whatsapp messenger vice-president Neeraj Arora.

In the next six months, the foundation will launch a second edition of the incubation programme. “In July, we will launch a longer incubation programme... that will be operational in a co-working space, and will last from six months to two years. The plan is to incubate 10 start-ups this year and move on to (incubating) 20 start-ups per year over (the) next five years,” Satija said.

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