accelerator

growth >>> scale

the first of its kind ₹40 crore startup fund designed to accelerate nonprofits that are ready to grow and scale.


what we offer to high potential nonprofit startups

Growth / Scale Grant

We offer a grant of ₹25 -100 lakhs,
based on your potential to  grow your impact, and achieve meaningful scale

Organizational Mentoring

Founders as well as leadership team members will receive mentoring and hands-on support for 12-24 months

Ecosystem Connect

We connect you to a supportive network of funders, experts  and administrators who can accelerate your path to scale

The/Nudge CSI Partners

Dedicated mentoring by some of India’s most admired leaders.

Application Process

Round one

Open for All

Deadline: 31 July

Submit research concept note
Shortlisted applicants will be invited
to submit detailed proposals

Round TWO

Shortlisted Applicants

Deadline: 15 August

Submit detailed proposals
Up to 10 proposals will be reviewed
by the Expert Jury

Round three

Final Shortlist

Week of 24 Aug

Interviews with Expert Jury
Up to 4 proposals selected will receive the Research Innovation Grant

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partners

FAQs

For queries, please email us at
pioneer@thenudge.org

What is The/Nudge Accelerator?

The/Nudge Accelerator is a philanthropic fund to accelerate early-stage nonprofits. Across the year on a rolling basis, we select organizations that have potential to achieve outsized impact, sustainably and invest deeply in them for a period of 12-24 months. During this time, The Nudge CSI Partners work closely with the founders while the The Nudge CSI Mentors work closely with the organisations’ core teams to get their ideas in the best possible shape – ready to fundraise, hire and scale. Alongside, we offer an a grant of INR 25 lakhs - 2 crores, a network of world-class mentors, and connects to potential partners who can accelerate their path to scale readiness.

Who should apply to The/Nudge Accelerator?

Startups that have successfully completed our incubation program are eligible to apply. For all others, you need to meet our five basic eligibility criteria to apply:
1. You are an early-stage startup between 1-3 years old, with a well defined program.
2. You have registered your organisation as a section 8 company, a trust or a society and have applied for/acquired the appropriate certification.
3. Your core team across various functions is in place.
4. You have raised funding from other sources.
5. The startup works on solving a problem faced by India’s economically disadvantaged communities or a problem faced by the nonprofit ecosystem

Can ‘founder only’ organizations apply?

No. For The/Nudge Accelerator, we prefer an early stage organisation, but one where a good part of the core team is in place.

I have been part of another incubator and/or have received grant from other sources. Can I apply?

Yes you can.

I applied for The/Nudge Accelerator a few months back, can I re-apply?

You may re-apply for The/Nudge Accelerator if you meet the eligibility criteria. Please highlight your progress since your last application, to improve your chances of selection.

What is the selection process?

Our selection process begins with online applications that we review on a regular basis. Shortlisted applicants will be required to submit a detailed business plan, followed by a showcase of the viability and impact of their model through a site visit. The most promising applicants will meet with CSI Partners for the final round.

Do I need to submit a startup plan? What will it include?

The shortlisted applicants from online applications will be requested to submit their startup plan in a presentation format. The startup plans should include answers to the following questions:
What problem are you trying to solve? why this problem?
What is your solution approach? why do you think this will work?
Who are your customers/beneficiaries? how do you reach them or intend to reach them?
Are there any other nonprofits doing similar work? list names and list 1 primary reason you are different from them?
How would you describe your organization's key achievements till now?
How much money have you raised till now, and how much in the last year?
What are your impact metrics and what is your strategy for the next 1,3,5 years?
What is your operational plan for the next 12 months?
How would you measure your progress?How many full time employees do you have?
Describe your core team members and what each brings to the table.
If you had Rs2 crore funding available over the next 2 years, how would you use it? Can you redefine your strategy (in Q6) based on the availability of this funding?

If I get selected, what should I expect?

Accelerator is designed keeping in mind, the early stage needs of a nonprofit entrepreneur. It has 3 main tracks:
: 12-24 months of mentorship support accelerate your path to achieving key milestones like product-market fit for your idea, funding etc.
: Access to a network of influencers and funding sources who can support your growth, and
: A seed grant of INR 25 -50 Lakh in the first year. A subset of the portfolio will qualify for a scale-up grant of upto INR 1.5 Cr in the second year.

While mentoring will happen remotely over telephone / video chat, founders and leadership teams will be required to attend bootcamps in person, three times during the year. These will be opportunities for face-to-face interactions with mentors, and will be held in Bangalore, Mumbai or Delhi.

Seed / scale up grant: What are the prerequisites to receive the grant?

You must be registered as a nonprofit organization and have required certifications (eg: 12 AA for Section 8 companies) to receive the grant.

What does 1-on-1 mentoring involve?

During the period of support, you will be paired with one of the CSI Partners as your strategic mentor, while members of your core team will be introduced to mentors in their own functional areas. The objective of this engagement is to help you achieve key milestones like attaining product market fit, getting the first rounds of funding, building a brand, hiring your team etc. in an accelerated manner. Your Partner and mentors will coach you, as well as open doors for you by connecting you to individuals and organizations that can help you in your mission. As field visits are a great way to get the right context, we also encourage you to engage your Partner / mentors to visit your customers with you.

The Accelerator portfolio manager will establish (through face to face meetings for pitching your organisation’s work) connects with CSR leaders and representatives of global and domestic philanthropic foundations. In parallel, we will help you with your fundraising strategy and in refining your pitch.

What can I use the funds for?

While the grants will be mainly of an unrestricted nature, they will be subject to the following restrictions.
: No more than Rs12 lacs a year out of the seed / scale grant can be used for founder’s salary / stipend
: In Seed grants, the organisation will need to have reached a MVP stage in the first 6 months with Accelerator
: After accounting for the founder’s stipend, at least 50% of the remaining Seed grant and at least 70% of the remaining Scale grant should be spent on direct program costs.

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