Nexus is elated to announce the graduation of the 17th Cohort with 12 startups spread across 7 states of India. Out of the total 12 graduating startups, almost 60% are led by women founders. The ceremony was chaired by Anthony Miranda who is the Cultural and Educational Affairs Counselor, leading the U.S. Mission’s public engagement strategies and programming.
At the ceremony, Anthony spoke about the impact of the Nexus program. He said “Nexus has become one of the largest startup ecosystems in India. And we are so pleased to be a part of the success stories of entrepreneurs”. He also added that Nexus is an effective incubator that can lead to sustained trade and foreign investment. The most awaited announcement of the winner of the prestigious Nexus Startup Development Grant was also revealed by Anthony. The $10,000 grant was given to VertoX Labs, a company working on water body restoration projects through robotic devices. It’s real time reporting dashboard helps in accurately measuring, remotely monitoring and reporting on changes in environment parameters in water bodies. The announcement was followed by a pitching session by all the entrepreneurs.
The event was also graced by a few Nexus alumni like- Akriti Gupta of Canfem, Jasmeet Kaur of Xaper, Saurabh Mehta of Bioq and Sanjay Maurya of Ubreathe. The freshly graduated startups got an opportunity to network with them and learnt how Nexus helped the alumni in strengthening their startups.
Nexus is super proud to see the startups grow over the 9 weeks of training and wishes them well in achieving their milestones soon!
We are extremely glad to share that Renkube, Nexus incubatee from the tenth cohort, recently raised five hundred and eighty thousand dollars through private investments, government grants and acceleration programs.
Renkube is a Bengaluru-based start-up that increases the efficiency of solar panels by 20 percent by redirection of sunlight.
Renkube has been selected by Halliburton Labs (USA) to receive $100,000 investment and for their acceleration program. It also received a grant of $60,000 from the U.S. Government through USISTEF (United States–India Science & Technology Endowment Fund) in a joint collaboration with U.S. company Arka Energy. This is being matched with another $60,000 grant from the Indian government.
It further secured a grant of approximately $61,000 (INR 50 Lakhs) from the government of India via BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) Biotechnology Ignition Grant for their Telangana Agri PV pilot. It also secured $300,000 in a seed round led by CIIE.CO (a startup incubator established by IIM Ahmedabad).
To know more about Renkube, you can visit their website www.renkube.com
Molly Stephenson visited the Nexus Startup Hub at the American Center on the 10th of February. Director Stephenson is a member of the Senior Foreign Service, serving as Director of the Press and Public Diplomacy Office in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs (SCA) since October 2021. She also serves as SCA’s lead champion of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) issues. The event was attended by eleven startups from Cohort 17.
Molly was welcomed by Erik Azulay, Executive Director, who briefed her about the program. She then addressed the startups while mentioning that she had been reading about Nexus for quite some time and was excited to be here. She was keen on meeting the founders in person and having a conversation about their startups and the work they do. The founders got a chance to discuss their ideas and talk about the opportunities for the future with her.
The small meet and greet was rounded off with high tea and a group picture.
With an intense competition of over 100 applications received from all over the country, 14 startups were selected to join the 17th Cohort of Nexus. The Cohort began with a welcoming session by Darryl (Butch) Woolfolk, Public Diplomacy Officer, US Embassy New Delhi.
The 9 weeks of the Nexus pre-incubation program offers lectures and mentoring by renowned industry experts who hold workshops on various topics like legal compliances, funding, branding, and intellectual property. This week is an introductory week with a workshop on value proposition, a session by ‘Startup India’ and ‘Starters CFO’ along with one-on-one mentoring sessions with the Nexus team. We are extremely glad to welcome all the innovators on board!
Saptkrishi Scientific, a Nexus graduate, has been awarded second prize in the Ericsson Innovation Awards 2022 for their work in promoting sustainable development. The awards, presented annually, recognize individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions towards reducing environmental impacts and emissions. Saptkrishi Scientific was chosen for their innovative microclimatic storage model called SABJIKOTHI, which helps to reduce food waste and inequality by extending the shelf life of horticultural produce. The team was awarded EUR 15,000 for their efforts.
Saptkrishi Scientific is an agri-tech start-up that focuses on developing affordable and accessible storage and transportation solutions for horticultural products, as well as providing advisory services and market linkages to farmers and traders. The company aims to solve the problem of produce perishability in the horticultural industry.
BBC, the world's largest public service broadcaster has reported on Fleather, a vegan leather alternative developed by Nexus Startup - Phool. Fleather is made from flowers that are discarded in the Ganges river and is being developed as a sustainable alternative to animal leather. The process begins in a laboratory in Kanpur, where the flowers are mixed with water and fermented in a bioreactor. The result is a material that is delicate and smooth to the touch, similar to soft lambskin leather. Phool was originally founded in 2017 with the goal of upcycling temple flower waste into incense sticks, but the potential for using the flowers to create Fleather was discovered in 2018.
Phool was founded with the goal of finding a use for temple flower waste and initially turned the flowers into incense sticks. However, during experimentation with the flowers, the company discovered that they could be used to create a leather-like material. The resulting Fleather is being developed as a sustainable alternative to animal leather, requiring fewer resources and generating less pollution. Phool hopes to reduce the amount of flowers that end up in the Ganges and contribute to its pollution. To date Phool has recovered over 11,060 tons of flower waste, employed 73 women and offsetted 11 tons of pesticide.
Fleather was recently a finalist in the 2022 Earthshot Prize, which honours groundbreaking environmental solutions. Phool is now working with PVH, the parent company of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger, on a Fleather pilot. PVH says it is currently at the material development and testing phase of this project. A British luxury car maker and another American fashion retailer have also shown interest in Fleather.
We are thrilled to announce that Nexus has completed its first in person cohort after six virtual cohorts over the last two years. Over 150 applications from across the nation were received, and 12 entrepreneurs were chosen to join the 16th Cohort. These 12 startups went through an intensive nine weeks of training in areas including value propositions, marketing, intellectual property, funding, finances, and pitching to successfully graduate from Nexus. Startups from the sectors of clean energy, education, medicine, finance, and agriculture were part of the group. The graduation ceremony involved a pitching session by all the entrepreneurs to demonstrate their learning and was attended by representatives from 8x Ventures, Starter CFO, Aumirah and Startup News FYI.
The event was chaired by the Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Patricia A. Lacina. At the ceremony, DCM Lacina spoke about the impact of the Nexus program and how effective business incubators are key components for startups. At the graduation event, the winner of the sixth cycle of the prestigious Nexus Startup Development Grant was also revealed. The $10,000 grant was given to Yotuh Energy, a company working on the cost saving electric AC systems for refrigerated vehicles.
The Nexus team congratulates all of the graduating startups and wishes each of them success in their journey and growth.
Nexus Director Erik Azulay spoke at iDEX's DefConnect 2.0 summit on April 22nd alongside leaders such as Steve Blank, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Amitabh Kant from Niti Aayog and CEO Bill Blair of Lockheed Martin.
The event was held at the prestigious Vigyan Bhawan and the theme was transforming India's Defense Innovation. Erik spoke to the more than 500 in attendance on "The art and science of fundraising for defense startups" followed by a lively Q+A period with the startups in attendance.
Congratulations to all the startups that were selected for funding as winners by iDEX!
Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, Chargé d'Affaires Patricia A. Lacina, and Assistant Secretary Donald Lu met at Roosevelt House (U.S. Embassy) with eight Nexus graduate startups who are working with U.S. companies on high-tech, green solutions to today’s challenges—from health and hygiene to space, waste management, and energy. The startups discussed their progress with Nexus and the U.S. partners with which they are engaging. Digantara, Aakar, AloeEcell, WEcP, Pacify, Origin Biopack, Chakr, and Xaper were each able to demonstrate their unique solutions and talk about opportunities for the future. Undersecretary Nuland was impressed by the passion and talent of the Nexus entrepreneurs in India. It was clear that the Nexus program pays dividends for Americans and Indians alike.
We are proud to share that @Phool.co, a Nexus incubate (Cohort of 2018) has raised US$8 Million in a Series A round led by Sixth Sense Ventures, India's foremost consumer fund, and investors Alia Bhatt and the @indianangelnetwork Fund. Phool.co was a part of the Nexus program which helps early-stage startups scale their solutions with training, mentoring and networking. Based in Uttar Pradesh, India, Phool.co aims to offer a sustainable solution to the monumental temple waste problem in India by upcycling waste into consumer products like incense. We congratulate Ankit and his team on continuing to be an inspiration for entrepreneurs from Tier-2 cities in India to pursue their innovations for a better tomorrow.
See media coverage Click here
Expo 2020 Dubai is a global event where different parts of the world can share new ideas in innovation, technology, art, and culture to offer a great experience. Initially scheduled for 2020-2021, it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and hosted in the United Arab Emirates from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022. At the Expo, some of India's top innovators and startups got the opportunity to network with investors and key stakeholders from around the world.
Nexus is pleased to announce that two of our incubated startups, Aakar and Infinity, were chosen to present their business ideas and innovations to global investors at Dubai Expo 2020. Aakar also participated as a steering committee member of the Sustainable Menstruation Coalition (SMC). Aakar's revolutionary product "Anandi", India's 1st certified & patented 100% compostable pads, was showcased.
Aakar is a hybrid social enterprise, comprised of Aakar Innovations and Aakar Social Ventures. Through Aakar Innovations, the startup enables women to produce and distribute affordable, high-quality, 100% compostable sanitary napkins within their communities. To facilitate this, Aakar Social raises awareness regarding menstrual health management (MHM) and promotes the importance of feminine hygiene through education programs.
The second startup, InfinityBox, is working towards reducing single-use plastics in the food delivery industry. The startup has partnered with two of India’s most prominent food delivery companies, Swiggy in the B2C domain and HungerBox in the B2B domain, to support them towards their goals of sustainable operations.
Shashwat Gangwal, the founder of InfinityBox, speaks with extremely talented impact- oriented entrepreneurs at the Expo 2020 Dubai at the Food For Future Summit & Expo. They have discussed the progress that they had made with InfinityBox and about their mission to reduce the use of single-use plastic.
Nexus adds yet another valuable benefits partnership for its startups! Nexus has partnered with the California-based Notion, a productivity software that can be used by startups to run a wiki, manage projects, share documents, and more, all in one highly customizable workspace. With this partnership, all Nexus graduates will be eligible to receive $1,000 Notion credits each.
Previously, Nexus offers benefits from Google, Amazon, Hubspot, Paytm, TiE Delhi, and many others, totalling worth more than $10,000 to its startups.
View all partner benefits for Nexus startups here.
In Nexus’ mission to bring the best American business practices to Indian startups, Nexus invited Dr. Cliff Zintgraff, an international expert in research, commercialization, and inquiry learning to help startups grow and commercialize in the second week of the pre-incubation program.
He conducted workshops on ‘evidence-based entrepreneurship’ for an entire week where the startups learnt how to segment, target and position their products, techniques of data collection through primary research, how to understand their customers better, and in return, scale and grow.
Dr. Zintgraff also conducted one on one speed dating sessions with the startups and provided valuable feedback on their technology descriptions. The workshops were insightful and introduced many best practices to the participants.
To stay up to date about Nexus and our activities join us on Twitter & Facebook.
Nexus welcomed its 13th cohort on June 14, 2021. With intense competition, it received over 120 applications from all over India, out of which 15 innovative startups were selected and 65% of the selected startups are women-led. The cohort comprises of startups from varied fields like CleanTech, AgriTech, FoodTech, MedTech, EdTech and others.
The 9 week pre-incubation program started with the Startup Launch Program (SLP), a series of video lectures specially designed by ACIR by bringing together international experts. During the incubation program, the startups will be trained on topics like compliances, marketing, intellectual property, finances, funding, and more by national and international experts. The Nexus pre-incubation program also offers rounds of one-on-one mentoring for all startups with international and Indian experts. All this is aimed to provide founders with a comprehensive market based understanding of their business, and support from partners in the entrepreneurial world, thus helping them grow and succeed
In addition, the graduating startups receive a host of benefits worth more than $10,000 from our benefit partners like Amazon, Google, Paytm, Zoho, TiE, and others. We are excited to accelerate the entrepreneurial journey of these innovative startups.
For the Funding Week with the 13th Cohort of the Nexus pre-incubation program, ACIR invited Sudhir Kadam, an investor from California. Having an experienced investor like Sudhir brought to the startups a record of the first-hand expectations of investors from Silicon Valley. Sudhir is a Venture Partner at FYDA Growth Startups, where he focuses on growth acceleration and preparing startups to scale into thriving businesses with rewarding exits.
With the participants of Cohort 13, he presented and discussed the topic "What VC's Look for in Startups and How to Stand Out in Your Pitch to Investors". The workshop was very engaging with multiple follow-up questions from the startup founders, which were all answered by Sudhir. The responses from Sudhir were very practical and busted many investment myths of the startup founders. The workshop received 100% positive feedback from the participants. Nexus is grateful to Sudhir for bringing his extensive experience to our startups and we look forward to having him again.
Bidaal Technology, a Nexus alum with multiple solutions for the mining industry, recently signed a contract with Tata Steel, one of the largest steel producers in the world, to implement their technology at their manganese mine.
We are pleased to announce that Bidaal has successfully implemented its first product, Smart Management In-land Vehicle Equipment aka SMILE, at Tata Steel's Bamerbari Manganese mine. Approximately 42 percent of all fatal accidents in Indian mines are caused by transportation equipment. Not only do these accidents cause deaths, but they also damage the reputation of the industry and increase regulatory costs. SMILE is an intelligent traffic management system that makes mining campuses safer and more efficient by preventing traffic accidents and preventing workers from getting injured.
Tata Steel will be testing Bidaal systems over the next few months with the prospect of deploying multiple solutions across its 13 mines in India. Tata Steel will continue to partner with Bidaal to improve the safety of its mines and reduce its losses caused by accidents.
Bidaal's founders are IIT Kharagpur alumni, one of India's premier engineering institutes. The company's mission is to digitize mining through Industrial Internet-of-Things solutions and process analytics software.
About Bidaal Bidaal Technology Pvt. Ltd. provides cutting-edge tech solutions to the mining industry. Their current products which are tested in some of the biggest mining sites in India include semi-autonomous surveying equipment, smart traffic management systems for heavy machinery and mine workers, radar-based proximity warning systems, and post-mining geo- tagging services. By increasing safety in mining operations, they reduce mining companies' losses resulting from hazards and accidents.
About Tata Steel Tata Steel is the flagship company of the Tata group, one of the biggest conglomerates of India. It is the first integrated steel plant in Asia and is the world's second-most geographically diversified steel producer and a Fortune 500 Company. Having an annual crude steel capacity of 33 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), it runs captive mines to fulfill the demand of raw material required for manufacturing steel. Tata Steel Mining Limited (TSML) being a 100% owned subsidiary of Tata Steel is working to develop commercial mining opportunities.
We are proud to share that Morphedo, a Nexus incubatee from the first cohort, was covered by The Story Watch, a startup media publication in India. The Nexus program helps early stage startups scale their solutions with training, mentoring, and networking. Nexus has supported more than 140 startups during the last 12 cohorts who have raised more than $15 million.
Based in Delhi, India, Morphedo is an online 3D Printing services platform for rapid prototyping and customized part manufacturing for businesses. They were covered on their sixth anniversary as the leaders for revolutionizing the way product engineering industry in India approaches manufacturing by making 3D printing technology easily available and accessible.
Congratulations to Manya and Sushil on continuing to be an inspiration for entrepreneurs from the manufacturing sector in India to pursue their innovations for a better tomorrow. Well done! #Nexus Proud.
Nexus graduate Robro Systems, with its developed camera-based inspection and monitoring solutions, has entered into a contract with the India Tobacco Company (ITC), one of India's largest and foremost private companies, to set up camera-based inspection and monitoring solution for inspecting headless matchsticks.
Matchsticks are created through a chemical dipping process and an error occurs around 1-2% of the time, leading to faulty headless matchsticks, which further result in customer complaints and rejections. To solve this problem, Robro Systems installed a machine vision, AI inspection system that alerts the operator every time an error occurs. In addition, this system provides full error reports for intelligent analytics and root cause analysis. The setup is expected to pay back the cost within just 6 months.
"Nexus program is run by wonderful people and it presents an opportunity to take a step back from the everyday hustle of running a business and think about - What's the plan? How to make it solid? and what is the best way to go out and execute it?" says Harshit Sureka, founder of Robro Systems. Nexus is proud to support Indian startups in their entrepreneurial journey and be successful!
Know more about Robro Systems - http://robrosystems.com
Nexus welcomed the 12th cohort of startups on January 25, 2021. Over 115 applications were reviewed out of which 15 innovative startups have been selected and 40% of the selected startups are women-led. Startups represent various sectors spanning from agriculture to edtech, sustainability, AI, among others. The selected startups will undergo a 9 week intensive pre-incubation program, starting the first week with a self-paced online program - The Startup Launch Program (SLP). SLP is a series of video lectures from international experts on topics to be covered in greater detail during the remaining 8 weeks. Further the startups will go through workshops on various topics including finance, intellectual property, compliances, marketing, etc. along with one-on-one mentorship sessions with the industry experts. All this will give them a comprehensive understanding of the functioning and various nuances of the startup world, and thus help them improvise and grow. We are excited to support them in their entrepreneurial pursuit.
Proud to share that S4S Technologies, a Nexus incubatee from the first cohort, has raised US $1.75 Million from Acumen, a global non-profit that aims to fight poverty by investing in sustainable businesses, leaders, and ideas.
Co-founded by a team of five entrepreneurs S4S Technologies created and patented a Solar Conduction Dryer (SCD): a portable, solar-powered machine that dries vegetables and spices while retaining their nutrients.
TS4S’ energy-efficient process cuts logistical costs of the farmers by 80 percent and diverts thousands of tons of CO2 emissions. With this investment, S4S Technologies is looking expand their product portfolio, tap into new markets and build efficiency to reduce the capital investment.
Acumen India Director Mahesh Yagnaraman said “S4S has great potential across crops and value chains to create additional stable income for farmers and women—all while providing phenomenally convenient and flexible ingredients to packaged food players and restaurants. The business has huge potential to grow across different agricultural value chains while being environmentally positive.”
Read more about the investment here:
To stay up to date about Nexus and our activities join us on Facebook and Twitter.
To bring the best American business practices to Indian startups, Nexus invited Dr. Cliff Zintgraff, an international expert in research, program design, and inquiry learning to help startups grow and commercialize.
He conduct workshops for an entire week where the startups learnt how to segment, target and position their products, techniques of data collection through primary research, how to understand their customers better, and in return, scale and grow.
Dr. Zintgraff also conducted one on one speed dating sessions with the startups and provided his valuable feedback on their technology descriptions. The workshops were insightful and introduced many best practices to the participants.
To stay up to date about Nexus and our activities join us on Facebook and Twitter.
On October 5, Nexus added yet another group of innovative startups from the 11th cohort to its portfolio.
After a rigorous selection process, 15 startups were selected from over 200 applications who will undergo an intensive 9-week pre-incubation program. In the first week the selected startups will be completing the modules from the exclusively created Startup Launch Program followed by practical topics of entrepreneurship such as finances, market validation, intellectual property, funding and more, covered in the later weeks.
As Nexus is sector agnostic, the startups have a wide variety of products/services ranging from medtech, agritech, sustainability, fintech, health and wellness, amongst others. Over 25% are women-led!
To stay up to date about Nexus and our activities join us on Facebook and Twitter.
D2, a platform creating opportunities for unemployed Bangladeshi youth by providing access to meaningful work online, is a winner of the MIT Solve Challenge 2020. MIT Solve, an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, announced the winning Solver teams from 20 countries at the Virtual Solve Challenge Finals, Solve’s annual social impact pitch event. The 2020 Solver class was selected by expert judges from a pool of over 2,600 applicants from 135 countries. D2 (“Dignity and Data”) connects unemployed young people from low-income backgrounds to meaningful work that can be completed using inexpensive smartphones and an internet connection. Users register by creating a profile on their mobile application and complete listed tasks related to data collection in exchange of payment. A typical D2 agent makes $12 per hour, 70% more than the national average of Bangladesh. D2 has won under the category ‘Innovation for Women Prize’ sponsored by the Vodafone Americas Foundation and awarded $25,000. In addition, they have also been awarded $10,000 by MIT, along with opportunities to build partnerships with cross-sector organizations. Read more here : https://solve.mit.edu/articles/press-release-mit-solve-announces-new- solver-class-of-35-social-entrepreneurs
In order to solve the problem of finding healthy skin to close a wound or burn, Nexus incubated Pacify Medical has innovated a skin spray gun which offers large wound coverage by spraying stamp-size skin. This patent pending gun results in faster healing at a reduced cost. Pacify has recently won at the CAHOTECH 2020, a virtual pitch event organized by the Consortium of Healthcare Organizations (CAHO). CAHOTECH is a platform for healthcare organizations and technology industry to share and utilize combined experience, to guide themselves continuously towards more efficient practices utilizing technological development. The theme for the year 2020 is “The Future of Healthcare– Making it Happen”. As the winner of the pitching competition, Pacify won a cash award of 1 lakh rupees, in addition to industry connects and support. Pacify Medical Technologies is also supported by reputed organizations such as the Biomedical Engineering and Technology Innovation Centre (BETiC Lab), the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE IIT- Bombay), BIRAC and the Ministry of Defense. To know more about the startup, you can visit their website https://pacifymedical.com/.
Nexus has tied up with Digit, a 2-decade old and India's most popular technology media brand for the #IndiaProject, an initiative to provide free promotional support to Indian startups. The tie-up will result in all of the Nexus graduates receiving free promotions on Digit’s platforms worth INR 1.5 million. This collaboration was announced in the cover story of Digit magazine’s September Issue, as well as on their website at digit.in/indiaproject. Vikas Gupta, Publisher and Editorial Director of Digit and Founder of 9.9 Group, said, “As a truly Indian success story itself, Digit is thrilled that we have found a way to give back to Indian startups and Indian entrepreneurs. We are extremely excited to be partnering with the brilliant Nexus initiative by ACIR, as they also are working hard to support Indian innovation, for completely free. We want to contribute to this with the #IndiaProject initiative, which will level the playing field for Indian innovators in the country.” The first batch of promotion in the September issue of the Digit Magazine covered 5 Nexus startups in the print as well as the e-version reaching over 13 million readers.
We are proud to share that Phool.co, a Nexus incubatee, has raised US $1.4 Million in a pre-Series A round led by IAN and the San Francisco based Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation. The Nexus program helps early stage startups scale their solutions with training, mentoring and networking. Based in Uttar Pradesh, India, Phool.co offers a sustainable solution to the monumental temple waste problem in India by upcycling waste into consumer products. Congratulations Ankit on continuing to be an inspiration for entrepreneurs from Tier-2 cities in India to pursue their innovations for a better tomorrow. Well done! #Nexus Proud. Read more about Phool here: https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/info-tech/social-media/iit-kanpur-backed-start-up-phoolco-raises-14-million-in-pre-series-a-funding/article32455013.ece
Nexus concluded its 10th cohort of 15 impressive start-ups on the 18th of August. The 15 start-ups were chosen from over 240 applications received from across India and represent diverse industry sectors such as Agritech, Healthtech, Logistics, Cleantech, Legal and others. All the start-ups completed the intense virtual eight-week pre-incubation training program that featured personalized mentoring and workshops led by expert speakers and industry leaders from India and the United States. Considering the current circumstances, Nexus had to change its usual classroom format to an online program with our instructors conducting classes virtually. The Nexus graduation ceremony was held on the 20th of August, and was also held virtually. The chief guests of the event were the Charge d'Affairs of the U.S. Embassy, Edgard Kagan, and the Director of PHD Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Jatinder Singh. The graduating start-ups delivered two-minute lightning pitches in front of the virtual audience, which included industry experts and government officials.
Did you know that India generates 25,960 tons of plastic waste every day? Did you also know that this weight is close to the weight of 9,000 Asian elephants and 88 Boeing 747 jets? According to Central Pollution Collection Board (CPCB), 10,000 tons a day of plastic waste remains uncollected, and uncollected plastic often ends up in the natural environment- in our seas and oceans or piling up on our lands. Nexus startup Bio Craft Innovations has a solution to this problem.
Bio Craft Innovation is a Cleantech startup that has come up with an innovative technology called Biomize, which makes bamboo-based injection molding granules that not only are an alternative to plastic but also are a cheaper alternative to the compostable products currently present in the market. The granules can also be drawn in to make textile fibers and fabrics that find their use both in fashion and medical industries.
Recently, Bio Craft was selected as a finalist of the Startup India Fashion for Good challenge. The startup also tasted international recognition when it got selected for the K-Startup Grand Challenge of Korea held in July this year.
In addition to all the above, the startup also supports plantation and commercial farming on a large scale, reducing land erosion to sustain rural livelihood.
We are proud to have Pacify Medical Technologies as a part of the Nexus family!
Nexus is proud to see its startups create a large scale impact in the society!
To know more about the Startup India Fashion for Good challenge, visit https://fashionforgood.com/our_news/9-new-innovators-selected-virtually-for-second-batch-of-fashion-for-goods-south-asia-innovation-programme/
To know more about Bio Craft Innovation, visit https://www.biomize.in/
Plastic surgeons who perform skin transfer surgery to close large wounds often face difficulty in finding healthy skin to close those wounds. Nexus startup Pacify Medical Technologies has a solution to this.
Pacify Medical Technologies has a patented product, a skin spray gun, which offers large wound coverage by spraying stamp-size skin. This results in faster healing at a reduced cost of treatment. This technology is particularly useful for patients undergoing surgery for treating burn wounds.
Recently, the startup was awarded a grant of USD 9K under the TIDE 2.0 program of the MeitY. Through this program, Pacify Medical Technologies will be provided support through mentorship, capacity building, investing, and post-investment advisory by CIIE.CO, the startup incubator established by IIM Ahmedabad.
Pacify Medical Technologies is also supported by reputed organizations such as the Biomedical Engineering and Technology Innovation Centre (BETiC Lab), the Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE IIT- Bombay), BIRAC and the Ministry of Defense.
We are proud to have Pacify Medical Technologies as a part of the Nexus family!
To know more about the startup, you can visit their website https://pacifymedical.com/
According to surveys published on Menstrual Hygiene Day, of nearly 36 crore menstruating women in India, only 6 to 7 crore women have access to sanitary napkins. Therefore, roughly 82% of women use unsanitary and dangerous alternatives such as rags, hay, sand, or ash.
To address this acute problem among women, Nexus startup Aakar Innovations, a hybrid social enterprise, works closely with women from the lower strata of the community to produce and distribute affordable, high quality, fully compostable sanitary napkins, to be distributed amongst the community. Last year, the startup launched Anandi Eco+, India’s first certified compostable menstrual hygiene product.
As an extension to this work, Aakar Innovations has won a contract with GIZ-India for GIZ- Nepal, to set up 3 units of its novel sanitary pad-making machines in the villages of Nepal. Through this initiative, Aakar Innovations will be providing livelihood to around 32 women of these villages. Furthermore, the startup will also be supplying over one million Anandi compostable pads for school-going girls in these villages of Nepal.
COVID may be having a devastating impact on our industries and social lives, but it has also prompted many start-ups to invent or reinvent themselves to adhere to the current circumstances, and Nexus start-up Saral Designs is just such an example.
Saral Designs, a Mumbai-based startup, provides access to high-quality and affordable menstrual hygiene products through its SWACHH range of pad-making machines and innovative distribution model. The team has also teamed up with the Maharashtra State Innovation Society to help with the distribution of more than 100,000 sanitary napkins in Mumbai’s slum areas affected by the pandemic.
However, in late March this year, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the startup modified its pad-making machine to make surgical masks, to address the country-wide need of personal protective equipment. The startup collaborated with the Mahindra Group to produce three-ply masks.
Nexus is very proud of Saral Designs and its contribution to the fight against the Coronavirus!
To know more, visit https://span.state.gov/business/designing-better-hygiene/20200400?fbclid=IwAR0-p6-cVz3Mp0wPEIhu3p3bZjeVpk-rgHY23XalWgBtFWjOof_nbxQZ9gM
Sadikshya Aryal, the founder of Nexus startup Himalayan Innovations, was selected as an esteemed member of South Asia Women in Energy, an initiative of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S.- India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF) to promote women’s empowerment and gender sensitization in the energy sector in South Asia.
Announced last year in September by Edgard Kagan as Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy in India, the platform brings together women leaders across the energy sector to design interventions focused around women’s participation in networking and professional development that can help bridge the gender gaps. https://sawie.org
USAID supports this initiative as part of its “Greening the Grid - Renewable Integration and Sustainable Energy (GTG-RISE)” initiative, a project with the Indian Ministry of Power.
Sadikshya has long been a leader in the energy sector in Nepal and in South Asia. Her startup, Himalayan Innovations, is a rural innovation enterprise based out of Nepal with a focus on renewable energy. The company focuses on designing, prototyping, and piloting products for the rural population in Nepal. During their time at Nexus, they worked on providing affordable, durable, upgradeable and portable solar home systems to the off-the-grid population in Nepal. They partner with the local municipal governments in those rural areas to identify small, women-owned businesses that could benefit from subsidized solar systems. They also conduct training sessions on electronic engineering for local women and offers employment to those who excel.
Sadikshya is also a Program Manager at the Renewable Energy Confederation of Nepal.Nexus is truly proud of Sadikshya and her team at Himalayan Innovations!
Read more about Sadikshya and SAWIE here https://sawie.org/esteemed-members/sadikshya-aryal/
Nexus start-up Himalayan Innovations, a rural innovation enterprise based out of Nepal with a focus on renewable energy, has been featured by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for its work on renewable energy and rural empowerment.
Founded by the brother-sister duo Sadikshya and Kuldeep Aryal, Himalayan Innovations focuses primarily on designing, prototyping, and piloting products for the rural population in Nepal. They have partnered with different organizations at the grass-root level for scaled implementation of their projects. The start-up works with rural community members to design customized solutions, and partners with the local municipal governments in those rural areas to identify small, women-owned businesses that could benefit from subsidized solar panels. It also conducts training sessions on electronic engineering for local women, challenging gender stereotypes, and offering employment to those who excel.
Nexus is proud to support innovative start-ups such as Himalayan Innovations that are working to make the world a better place!
To know more, please visit https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=177719813584847
There is no better way of solving challenges than the saying “two heads are better than one”. Collaborations and strategic partnerships are integral to improving business outcomes, and with every collaboration, Nexus provides a helping hand towards each of its startups to grow and scale.
Through our collaborations, our startups receive benefits worth more than a hundred thousand dollars. The most recent partnership between Nexus and Zoho is a great addition to that list.
The ZohoOne operating system was created to act as an ecosystem enabler for startups, and in the past two years, more than 20,000 customers have registered for their product. Through this partnership, each of our startups will be able to use the One suite of Zoho’s applications, which will help them to launch a website and market their businesses.
ACIR and Nexus will continue to add more partners and benefits to help its startups grow and commercialize!
COVID has had a devastating impact on our industries and social lives, but it has also prompted many start-ups to rise to the occasion to help the country fight the pandemic, and Nexus start-up BelBird Technologies is just such an example.
BelBird Technologies is a unique non-camera-based surveillance provider, whose solution is based on sensors and proprietary software applications. It has been awarded INR 300K by the National Innovation Foundation- India to develop an IoT-integrated sanitizer dispenser under the Challenge COVID-19 Competition (C3).
Nexus is very proud of BelBird Technologies and its contribution to the fight against the Coronavirus!
To know about BelBird Technologies, please visit their website: belbirdtechnologies.com
COVID maybe having a devastating impact on our industries and social lives, but it has also prompted many start-ups to invent or reinvent themselves to adhere to the current circumstances, and Nexus start-up DronaMaps is just such an example.
With the help of local governments, DronaMaps has used its expertise in geospatial intelligence to create a “command and control” center dashboard solution with reliable data on positive cases, locations of the home quarantined, and geofencing for compliance of lockdown to equip administrative bodies to fight the pandemic. So far, their solution has been implemented across five Indian states and has clocked more than 2 million views since the day of its launch.
The founders of DronaMaps, Utkarsh Singh, and Ayushi Mishra, have also been featured by Forbes in the "Asia 30 Under 30" under the Enterprise Technology category.
Nexus is very proud of DronaMaps and its contribution to the fight against the Coronavirus!
Nexus concluded its 9th cohort of 7 impressive start-ups on the 31st of March. The 7 start-ups were chosen from over 240 applications received from across India and represented diverse industry sectors such as the Medical, Educational, Financial, Aerospace and Sustainability sectors.
All the start-ups completed the intense nine-week pre-incubation training program that featured, in addition to the regular classwork, a structured online Innovation Readiness program from the University of Texas, personalized mentoring and workshops led by expert speakers and industry leaders from India and the United States.
Considering the current circumstances, Nexus had to change to an online model half way through the program. One could say, we ran a virtual cohort with our instructors conducting classes from the safety of their homes. On graduation day, unlike the graduation ceremony and reception that we usually have, we had a virtual session where the graduating start-ups made two-minute lightning pitches amongst a closed group of people. Please check out our latest graduates here: https://startupnexus.in/portfolio.html
Because of the nationwide lockdown, companies have to change the way they work, and Nexus is no exception. But as Bill Gates shared in one of his TED talks, “There is no need to panic… but we need to get going.”, and that is what we at Nexus believe as well!
Considering the current circumstances, Nexus has made all of its classes virtual. No lockdown can stop Nexus from its mission of helping its startups grow and commercialize, and so we are bringing the classes to you. One could say, we are running a virtual cohort! For the past week, our startups have been attending all the sessions from the safety of their own homes, and they shall continue to do so until things get better. Our instructors conduct classes from the safety of their homes. In short, Nexus is always there to help you!
Nexus start-up Distinct Horizon, an innovative agri-tech company working towards developing breakthrough technologies to help marginalized farmers by increasing food production, has won the Social Alpha Quest for Agri-tech Innovation award.
Through this, the start-up will be able to further scale up its innovation with the help of tech support from IIT Kanpur, advocacy support from Tata Trust, and financial assistance from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Nexus start-up SmartBike Mobility, a Hyderabad-based public bike-sharing start-up, has won an exclusive mandate from Chandigarh Smart City Limited to station 5,000 smart bicycles at 617 docking stations across the city.
The project will be executed over multiple phases for 18 months. SmartBike will also be required to build the docking stations in return for advertising rights at these docking stations. Both manual and e-cycles, which can be taken and returned through a smart app, will be available at the docking stations to promote an alternate mode of transport in the city. Each bicycle will be equipped with a GPS tracker to avoid theft. The docking stations will be placed in a way to address last-mile connectivity to public buses and major commercial marketplaces.
SmartBike is successfully operational in New Delhi and Chennai, having won exclusive mandates from the city governments. Its project is aimed at reducing vehicular pollution menace in Indian cities."
"Nexus start-up Escrowffrr won the prestigious Technoviti Innovation award for 2020 for its innovative solution in the payments ecosystem. Out of the thousands of applications that were received, only a handful received recognition for their pathbreaking innovative solutions in the financial sector. Escrowffrr was recognized by the jury for its unique proposition of democratizing the use and adoption of digital escrows.
Initiated in 2014, Technoviti Conference & Awards is India’s leading platform for Technovators to showcase their innovations. "
Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Marie Royce, visited the Nexus startup hub at the American Center to show her support for entrepreneurship in India. She appreciated the way the program and the alumni are playing a vital role in the Indian startup ecosystem by imparting the skills required to run a sustainable business. Being a businesswoman and an educator herself, AS Royce held a roundtable discussion with several of the Nexus startup graduates. The group discussed challenges in the Indian startup ecosystem, while she spoke on relevant lessons for startups earned from her extensive business experience. She laid emphasis on the importance of globalization and open innovation for creating maximum impact for the startup ecosystems in India and the United States.
Nexus start-up Aloe E-Cell won a cash prize of USD 700 at the Regional Global Student Entrepreneur Awards held in Gurgaon on the 25th of January. It was organized by the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), a premier global competition for students who own and operate a business while attending college or university. Dr. Velumani, Founder and CEO of Thyrocare, was the Chief Guest. More than 50 startups and 200 dignitaries were present at the event. Aloe E-Cell makes 100% eco-friendly and non-hazardous 1.5V batteries made from aloe vera. You can check them out on https://www.aloeecell.com/
"Nexus celebrated its graduation ceremony by honouring its 8th cohort of 8 impressive start-ups on 6th of Dec 2019." The 8 graduating start-ups were chosen from over 100 applications received from across India and represented such diverse industry sectors such as medical, blockchain, sustainability etc. The Chief Guest of the event was the Director of PhD Chambers of Commerce, Dr Jatinder Singh.
All the start-ups completed the intense nine-week pre-incubation training program that features, in addition to the regular classwork, a structured online Innovation Readiness program from the University of Texas, personalized mentoring and workshops led by expert speakers and industry leaders from India and the United States.
The graduating start-ups made two-minute lightning pitches in front of the audience, which included industry experts, mentors, investors and government officials. Nexus is accepting applications for its 9th cohort.
Nexus startup Morphedo Technologies Pvt. Ltd. which is a product design and manufacturing company, has been named one of the best global startups in “Class, Design, and Manufacturing of IoT Enclosures by the IoT Enclosures Market Research Report. Some of the noteworthy partners that Morphedo has partnered with are OYO IoT Mesh, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), HMEL, and the Indian Navy in collaboration with IIT Delhi.
Recently, Morphedo also collaborated with Hamilton Labs in Singapore to design and manufacture 3D printed toilets which will be deployed in the state of Bihar. Morphedo is in talks with Accenture Ventures and the Centre for Development of Telematics to design and produce another for IoT Enclosure. "
India ranks 3 rd globally with more than 4200 startups in the ecosystem, but only a few startups actually see the light of the day, one of the reasons being lack of funding in spite of the increase in the number of investors in the Indian startup ecosystem. To address this, Nexus partnered with Headstart Delhi to host “Startup Saturday” at the American Center on Jan 11, 2020. The theme of the event was “All about Funding and Pitching”, and it covered a wide range of topics from “How to seek early-stage funding” to “Pitch the idea to investors”. Investors and entrepreneurs such as Pallav Pandey, Founder and CEO of FastFox, Dr. Mansi Aggarwal, Partner at Alkemy Ventures, Ashu Agarwal, Investor and Mentor at the Founder Institute were all part of the different panel discussions held at the event. More than 120 entrepreneurs participated in the event.
Headstart is India’s largest grassroot level organization that was founded in 2008 to support entrepreneurships and startups in the country.
With the launch of its seventh cohort on June 10, Nexus added yet another group of innovative startups to its ever growing portfolio.
After a rigorous selection process, 11 startups were selected from over 125 applications. These startups will undergo an intensive 10-week “pre-incubation” program where they will be trained in practical topics of entrepreneurship such as finances, market validation, intellectual property, funding and more.
As Nexus is sector agnostic, the startups have a wide variety of products/services ranging from solar water ATMs, paperless receipts solution to a mushroom production company providing work to more than 2000 women.
Once the startups graduate the program in March, a select few will be offered the chance for long-term incubation of up to eight additional months at the Nexus Center.
To stay up to date about Nexus and our activities join us on Facebook and Twitter.
Nexus is excited to announce a new benefits partnership with Segment to provide its start-ups a free “Segment Team plan.”
“Segment helps companies make analytics and data collection easy. Instrument your analytics once, and integrate with 250+ tools (like Google Analytics, Amplitude, Customer.io, Redshift, ..) with the flip of a switch.”
With this new partnership, Nexus start-ups will get:
•Up to $50,000 in Segment credits (enough to track 200,000 users for free for up to two years!)
•$1,000,000+ in partner deal value to build your analytics & growth stack (think Segment-exclusive deals with Amplitude, Intercom, Customer.io, Google BigQuery, AWS Redshift, Mode Analytics, and many more..)
•Priority support and analytics advice.
Gustaff Alstromer, partner at Y Combinator, said that “Getting analytics right is critical for any early stage startup. Segment helps businesses set up analytics the way it was meant to be; quantifying product-market fit, understanding customers, and trying new tools—all without redundant or time consuming work.”
The new Segment partnership is the latest addition to a suite of benefits for Nexus Incubator companies. Other benefits include free and discounted services from Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, Hubspot, Knowlarity, TiE, and the American Center Library.
Applications are now being accepted for the next Nexus Cohort, starting on June 1. Interested? Apply here
Nexus startup Lifaffa received a grant of $7,000 from Süd-Chemie, an innovative, speciality chemicals company with its headquarters in Munich, Germany.
The grant will by Lifaffa to procure new machinery to expand production of its technology to convert plastic bags into plastic fabric. Its founder, Kanika Ahuja, said that Lifaffa will work with a cluster of rag pickers and train them about the kinds of plastic to collect and how to treat and process them. Once the collected plastic is transformed into fabric, Lifaffa will work with a group of 25 Afghan refugee women called Akseer to turn the fabric into premium fashion bags and scarves.
Lifaffa was part of the 6th cohort at Nexus. For more information about them, please visit: www.lifaffa.com
For more information about Süd-Chemie, please visit: www.sud-chemie-india.com
Clensta International was awarded the Innovative Business of the Year award at the 8th national Small Business Awards 2019.
Small Business Awards is India’s most prestigious honor that recognizes and celebrates the best Small to Mid-Sized Businesses.
Clensta International has developed innovative waterless personal hygiene solutions. Clensta’s Waterless Shampoo and Body Bath help maintain optimum levels of head and body hygiene without the use of water.
For more information about Clensta, please visit www.clensta.com
Nexus startup CogniABle was recently awarded the highly prestigious BIRAC (Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council) Biotechnology Ignition Grant to develop an Artificial Intelligence based solution that can remotely perform screening of children on the autism spectrum disorder.
CogniABle provides internet based services developed on machine learning technologies for early screening and delivery of customized treatment for developmental disorders such as autism.
The start-up was also recently featured on national television as one of the most promising startups that are transforming India. The program can be viewed on youtube at Bharat-ek-bat.
CogniABle was part of the 6th cohort at Nexus. For more information on CogniABle, please visit: https://cogniable.tech/
On March 19, Nexus welcomed South and Central Asia Acting DAS Emilia Puma during her visit to the American Center.
Ms. Puma was briefed about Nexus and its activities by the incubator staff. She was pleasantly surprised by the extensive traction Nexus has already generated in the Indian startup ecosystem since its launch and was particularly interested in learning about the incubator manager training program. The fact that incubator managers from all over India paid for their own travel and lodging expenses to attend the program was clear evidence to her about the positive impact of Nexus in India. Nexus has trained over 150 incubator managers throughout India and will be holding an advance incubator management training week at Nexus from April 29th to May 3rd.
Since its inception, Nexus has graduated 6 cohorts of startups. Applications for the 7th cohort are open now. For more information about Nexus or to apply for incubation, please visit: https://startupnexus.in/
Nexus celebrated its graduation ceremony by honoring its sixth cohort of 15 impressive startups on Friday, March 1st. The 15 graduating startups were chosen from over 100 applications received from across India and represented such diverse industry sectors such as medical, material science, environmental, telecommunications and manufacturing. The graduates included startups from its South Asian Connect sister program with four innovators joining from Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
All the startups completed the intense nine-week pre-incubation training program that features, in addition to the regular classwork, a structured online Innovation Readiness program from the University of Texas, personalized mentoring and workshops led by expert speakers and industry leaders from India and the United States.
At the end of the gradation ceremony, four startups – Lifaffa, Leonite Labs, Adavor Labs, and TalkOye – were selected for long-term incubation at Nexus. During the 8-month additional incubation these companies will be further supported with training, mentoring and networking opportunities to scale up their businesses while residing at the Nexus facility.
The U.S. Embassy’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Mr. Robert Garverick, along with Mr. Conrad Turner, Cultural Affairs Officer, addressed the graduating startups. During his address, Mr. Turner laid a special emphasis on the importance of ethics in conducting business and advised the startups to be harbingers of honest business practices.
The graduating startups made two-minute lightning pitches in front of the audience, which included industry experts, mentors, investors and government officials. Several start-ups also exhibited their products to the audience during the reception that followed the graduation. Nexus will start accepting applications for its seventh cohort in mid March.
On March 6, DAS Caroline Casagrande visited Nexus and interacted with the staff.
During the interaction she had detailed discussions about the impact of Nexus on the startup ecosystem in India. Ms. Casagrande also wanted to know if the Nexus model could be replicated in other countries by the US government. She was very impressed by the funding raised by Nexus startups and their collaborations with U.S. companies.
Nexus is a sector agnostic innovation and entrepreneurship hub operating from the American Center at New Delhi. For more information about Nexus or to apply for incubation, please visit: startupnexus.in.
Incubatees of the 6th cohort at Nexus had an interactive session on term sheets by Ashwini Vittalacha, of Samvad Partners on February 27th. Sameer Malik, Program Manager for Nexus said: “Most start-ups focus exclusively on just perfecting their pitch and when successful, don’t have a clue on how to understand the term sheet that follows which defines the actual investment. Given that most startups do not have legal backgrounds and have not raised funding before its important that we bring in experts that can help them go through the basics.”
In the first part of the session, Ashwini explained the details of a typical term sheet and demystified some of the jargon associated with them. The second half of the session was an interactive Q&A session where the startups shared some of the difficulties they have faced with investors and legal matters. The session on term sheets was the third and final Nexus workshop during “Funding Week” for the 6th cohort.
For more information about Samvad, please visit: https://samvadpartners.com
Girish Shivani, Executive Director of the venture capital fund YourNest conducted a session on funding for Nexus startups on February 27. Nexus startups made full use of their time with
Girish to understand the nuances of venture capital and how it differs from other sources of funding for start-ups.
During the session Girish shared several experiences with the startups to drive home the various aspects that VCs take into account when they make funding decisions. The session was part of the “Funding week”, an integral part of the pre-incubation program that incubatees from the 6th cohort attended over a period of 9 weeks.
For more information about YourNest, please visit: www.yournest.in