Atul Satija, founder and chief executive, The/Nudge Foundation

Nudge Foundation, which is backed by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani, Tata Trusts and other industry heavyweights, has launched N/Core, an incubator for non-profit startups working towards poverty alleviation. 

Through N/Core, Nudge will invest more than Rs 50 crore over the next five years to incubate and support over 100 non-profit startups, it said in a statement on Wednesday. It will host startups in the areas of education, healthcare, employability, access to finance, agriculture, water, sanitation, energy, gender equality, human rights and disaster management, the statement added.

"N/Core is an attempt to help create a new breed of high-impact and scalable nonprofits,” said Atul Satija, founder and chief executive, The/Nudge Foundation, in the statement.

Nudge Foundation, which will provide the startups with seed grants, co-working space, guidance and mentorship, said it is building a 'collective' of 100 leaders to guide the startups. These mentors will include veterans from companies like Twitter, Flipkart, Azim Premji Philanthropy Initiatives, Goonj, Nilekani Philanthropies, SAIF Partners, Practo and HelpAge, among others.

N/Core will launch its first 15-day programme, N/Core Alpha, in April, and has already started accepting applications for it. In July, it will launch its second programme, which will span six months to two years.  

“The foundation won’t take any equity or charge any fees for the programme. But we may have a board seat so that we can keep a control on how the non-profit is operating,” Khushboo Maheshwari, head, N/Core, told Techcircle.

Nudge Foundation was started in July 2015 by Satija, who was earlier chief revenue officer at InMobi. The foundation runs Gurukuls, a residential school for underprivileged men and women where they are taught livelihood and life skills, and also to read and write.

Several incubators and accelerators have been launched in the country to help fledgling startups find their feet. Most of them are, however, focussed on for-profit startups.

Last week, Yes Bank had launched Yes Fintech, a business accelerator programme, in collaboration with startup incubator T-Hub, speed scaling platform Anthill and fintech platform Let’s Talk Payments.

In December 2016, advantEdge VC launched a six-month-long incubation programme for startups at its 10,000-square-foot facility in Noida. The incubation programme will have rolling admissions and it will invest up to Rs 15 lakh upfront in every startup in exchange for 5-8% equity. advantEdge has also tied up with IBM, Amazon, Zendesk and Razorpay to provide various services to startups. 

In September, three professionals with experience in investment banking, market research and real estate floated an accelerator and incubator called Z Nation Lab that will back startups targeting both Indian and US markets. The accelerator will offer a collaborative workspace and mentoring programmes in Mumbai. It has shortlisted 20 enterprise and technology startups for the first batch, after evaluating more than 150 ventures in the Internet of Things (IoT), gaming, emoticon and sensor technology segments.

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