In June 2023, Apple partnered with Acumen to support a new effort to support social enterprises in India to improve livelihoods through clean energy innovation. The initiative known as Energy for Livelihoods Accelerator will bring together Acumen experts to lead a 12-week program designed to help social entrepreneurs scale and refine their clean energy businesses.
Now, Acumen’s The Energy for Livelihoods Accelerator initiative has announced the selected cohort of 15 entrepreneurs. The applications for the same were open till July 24, 2023.
“This cohort represents a diverse mix of innovators working at the intersection of sustainable energy and poverty reduction. We are excited to support them in partnership with Apple to develop their business models with the ultimate aim of scaling their impact. We also view this accelerator as an opportunity to gather insights directly from entrepreneurs and further refine and shape our work in this area,” says Mahesh Yagnaraman, Acumen’s India Director.
Over the next four months, participants will develop and refine a scalable business model that has the potential to transform the lives of low-income people while conserving resources and protecting the environment. The cohort will participate in a blend of virtual Learning Labs, seminars, and self-directed customer experiments to support the development of their business models and impact. At the end of the program, they will be invited to pitch to a curated audience of sustainable energy ecosystem stakeholders at a Demo-Day.
Upon completing the program they’ll join The Foundry, Acumen Academy’s global community of over 1300 social innovators. Accelerator participants will also be considered for additional technical assistance and investment from Acumen’s Pioneer Energy Investment Initiative – Powering Livelihoods Using Solar (PEII+). This 5-year $25 million initiative invests in early-stage productive energy companies in India, East Africa, and West Africa.
Here are the 15 entrepreneurs who are part of Acumen’s The Energy for Livelihoods Accelerator initiative:
1. Nimisha Tiwari
LinkITBlueCollar is a mobile-first tech-enabled platform providing Electric Vehicle (EV) skills and guaranteed jobs for low-income communities of women and youth.
2. Harsh Tiwari
EMPBindi International empowers women in rural communities with solar training and entrepreneurship support for sustainable livelihoods and clean energy solutions.
3. Runjesh Bargal
Vanya Environmental Services
Vanya empowers India’s small farmers to become climate heroes. Using satellite data, remote sensing and blockchain, they provide farmers with tools to check carbon levels in their soil, helping them farm sustainably, trap carbon, and generate income from selling carbon credits.
4. Riddhish Soni
Aumsat offers a patented IoT solution for intelligent water management. Their solar-powered water conditioner removes excess minerals to transform hard water into soft water, which enhances irrigation water quality, decreases the requirement for water and fertilizers, boosts yields by 38%, and prevents limescale to extend the life of farming equipment.
5. Neelkanth Mishra
Jaljeevika infotech pvt ltd
Jaljeevika works with fish and agriculture farmers to enhance their livelihood through solar-enabled aquaculture systems, working towards end-to-end solutions to enhance their farm produce and income.
6. Dhananjay Abhang
Kisangas enables farmers to turn their organic waste into clean fuel and organic fertilizer with its patented digester technology — a pre-fabricated and decentralized biogas plant. Fed with organic waste and through anaerobic digestion, the plant generates two main products: biogas, which is used as a clean fuel, and liquid slurry, which is an excellent organic fertilizer.
7. Srinivas Marella
CoolCrop addresses the systemic issue of post-harvest losses by delivering solar-powered clean cooling solutions and processing systems near the farmgate. Their affordable cooling-as-a-service business model enables data informed remunerative market linkages that help smallholder farmers earn better incomes.
8. Rishabh Rawat
Arth’s innovative machines recycle cow dung into eco-friendly, wood alternative prayer/ritual essentials and cremation logs, which saves trees from deforestation. This waste-to-worth model reduces pollution in waterways and creates additional income for farmers.
9. Ashwini Vikas
Suryanirbhar Agritech LLP
Suryanirbhar Agritech design and develop low-power electric agri implements for post-sowing inter-row and inter-crop operations like weeding, inter-cultivation, ridging, spraying and secondary tillage activities. Run by DC motors and powered by batteries, these are chargeable through both grid or solar panels.
10. Nikky Kumar Jha
Saptkrishi Scientific Private Limited
Targeted at small-marginal farmers and street-hawkers, Saptkrishi’s Sabjikothi cart and e-cart models are microclimate-based storage solutions maintaining freshness and extending the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables up to 30 days without chemicals, preservatives, or refrigerants. This storage solution requires minimal wattage, has battery backup, and can be solar powered.
11. Upamanyu Ghosh
BluPower generates clean and renewable energy from existing water infrastructure through a modular hydro plant. BluPower’s modular generation unit provides 24×7 clean energy generation by channeling incoming water flow through nozzles.
12. Tushar Devidayal
Devidayal Solar Solutions
Devidayal Solar Solutions Pvt Ltd (DDSolar) provides access to energy and sustainable livelihoods through solar refrigeration solutions. The solar units displace diesel-powered refrigerators and freezers, reducing emissions and food spoilage.
13. Zunzar Patil
Eidikos Business Enterprises Pvt Ltd
Eidikos works across Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure, designing, engineering and manufacturing EV charging station products and solutions for the needs of today and the future.
14. Jai Bharathi Addepalli
Mowo Fleet trains women to drive electric two and three-wheelers, helping them access jobs by providing safe and zero-emission-rides for urban Indians and last-mile logistics solutions.
15. Dharmik Bapodara
Yotuh Energy is solving the problem of low cold chain penetration in India by eliminating the use of fossil fuel-based solutions, reducing the cap-ex and op-ex of cold chain solutions. They’ve developed electrifying refrigeration systems for cold chain transportation vehicles, saving up to 80% of refrigeration running costs and increasing customer profit margins by 2X.