Industry Updates

Avaana Capital and Startup India Conclude Grand Challenge for ClimateTech Innovation

Published: February 28, 2024

Avaana Capital, in partnership with Startup India, successfully concluded the Avaana Capital – Startup India Grand Challenge for ClimateTech Innovation at the grand finale event held at Vanijya Bhawan. This initiative marks a significant milestone in fostering innovative solutions that propel India towards a sustainable and green future.

Grand Challenge for ClimateTech Innovation

The initiative collaborated closely with partners such as Startup India, NITI Aayogs Atal Innovation Mission (AIM), Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), among others. Its primary goal was to recognize and assist innovative startups dedicated to addressing climate change challenges, including mitigation, adaptation, and resilience, thereby contributing to Indias journey towards achieving net-zero emissions. Key corporate supporters, including industry leaders like Tata Power, Nestle, Tata Steel, Lodha, HSBC, SBI, and others, played a pivotal role in providing vital support to startups involved in the initiative. The event received green seedings from SIDBI, along with the presentation of the keynote address by the CMD, SIDBI, Shri Sivasubramanian Ramann.

Swapna Gupta, Partner, Avaana Capital and Anjali Bansal , Founding Partner, Avaana Capital

From over 400 applications received spanning across six key themes: Energy Transition, Mobility and Supply Chains, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, Circular Economy and Resource Management, Water and Industrial Decarbonisation, and Built Environment and Carbon Capture; the 12 finalists are: Zerocircle, Cancrie, Sangti, CarbonTrail, Banofi, MiniMines, Baud Resources, Recyclers and AquaNurch including top 3 winners which are Greenpod labs, Ambiator and Nexus Power.

The distinguished Grand Jury was chaired by Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, along with Sally Taylor from the UK Government, Chintan Vaishnav (Mission Director, AIM), S Ramann (CMD, SIDBI), Anjali Bansal (Founding Partner, Avaana Climate and Sustainability Fund), Jon Creyts (CEO, RMI), Ravi Chhabria (MD, NetApp India), and Caroline Flammer (A. Barton Hepburn Professor of Economics, Columbia University). Esteemed knowledge partners like GEAPP, RMI, Social Alpha, CEEW and CCAMP were instrumental in the rigorous evaluation process. The event saw strong support from SUI, with the keynote and awards given by Secretary Sh. Rajesh Singh.

The event underscored Low Carbon Pathways and Financing for the Green Transition, featuring industry insights. Shri Rajesh Kumar Singh, Secretary, DPIIT and Anjali Bansal, Avaana’s Founding Partner presented the Grand Challenge Awards, recognizing startups innovation. Winners received awards up to 1 crore rupees, with additional grants totaling up to 2 crores from ACT, and credits from AWS and Google and mentorship from industry leaders. The breakdown of awards included 20 lakh rupees for the winner, 15 lakh rupees for the runner-up, and 10 lakh rupees for the second runner-up, with access to cumulative grants from ACT. Participating startups are eligible to join MIF’s Scale-Up Program after meeting criteria and diligence. Additionally, the top 9 finalists received 3 lakh rupees each under the green seeding pool from SIDBI. Moreover, all applicants received mentorship from industry leaders through masterclasses. For instance, Tata Power, RMI, and GEAPP etc. hosted sessions on topics like fundraising for climate tech startups and the role of startups in energy transition.

Were thrilled with the success of the Avaana Capital – Startup India Grand Challenge for ClimateTech Innovation, which showcased innovative startup solutions and highlighted the importance of collaboration in driving impactful change. Thanks to all stakeholders for their insights and commitment. This event demonstrated Indias progress towards net-zero and green financing. At Avaana, were dedicated to fostering sustainable innovations, as seen in this event and others like it. Looking ahead, Im optimistic that such initiatives will lead to transformative climate solutions, shaping a resilient future for India and the world,” said Anjali Bansal, Founding Partner at Avaana Climate and Sustainability Fund.

At the Avaana Capital – Startup India Grand Challenge, we witnessed the prowess of Indias startup ecosystem in spearheading ClimateTech innovation. The event illuminated the path to a sustainable, green future. Its imperative for diverse stakeholders to unite, fostering a collaborative approach for a successful green transition. These startups, with their transformative solutions, not only echo technological brilliance but also address profound societal impacts. Lets champion green solutions and eagerly anticipate the diverse pitches that shape our sustainable tomorrow“, expressed Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa.

The Grand Finale served as a testament to the potential of startups in driving climate solutions and fostering a sustainable future. With continued support from policymakers, investors, and industry leaders, initiatives like these are poised to accelerate Indias journey towards a net-zero economy.

About Avaana Capital
Avaana Climate and Sustainability Fund, India’s first and largest climate-tech venture capital fund invests in future market leaders at the early-stage, leveraging technology-led innovation to build and scale solutions for climate and sustainability while delivering exponential returns. Avaana invests in thematic areas of Energy and Resource Management, Mobility and Supply Chains, and Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. Since 2018, Avaanas investments feature over 20 startups, including portfolio companies such as FarMart, Ninety One cycles, Kazam, Eeki Foods, Aerem, Sentra, Eggoz, TurnO, etc. Avaana’s Team has previously made investments in category leaders like Delhivery, Nykaa, Urban Company, Shadowfax, Ninjacart, Moveinsync, Stellapps etc.

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