Innovative startups in the Agritech and Cleantech sectors showcased their impactful solutions at the YES SCALE Demo Day event held on 18th April 2019 in Mumbai. Till date, 1000+ startups with products/solutions spanning technologies such as IOT, Blockchain, UAV, AI & Big Data Analytics have got engaged with the highly-competitive YES SCALE accelerator program.
YES SCALE – a multi-sector innovation program of YES BANK addressed the biggest challenges in Agritech, Cleantech & Urban Tech segments in its inaugural year. Let’s take a closer look at the Indian startup industry, the journey of the YES SCALE cohort and the transformational ideas presented by the final cohort startups at the Demo Day 2019 event.
Innovative startups can solve sector-specific problems in India
More than 20,000 startups have emerged in India in the last few years. As the 2nd largest startup ecosystem in the world, India has attracted numerous investors and collaboration opportunities for startups. Along with government policies, startup accelerators and incubators are also supporting innovative startups. While there are opportunities, there are several challenges that entrepreneurs face when it comes to scaling up their solutions. Consider the opportunities for startups in the Agritech sector. Disruptive technologies are needed to assist farmers in increasing their output while maintaining the quality of the foodgrains. In this scenario, Agritech startups can solve problems in the agricultural sector with solutions involving farm data analytics, infrastructure development, finance, supply chain and information support platforms.
As per a NASSCOM report, mushrooming startups are finding solutions to India-specific social challenges in the areas of Cleantech, healthcare, financial inclusion, education, etc. YES Bank, the fourth largest private sector bank in India, began its journey of supporting startups with the successful YES FINTECH program. However, as per the results of the IFOR 2018 survey conducted by the bank, the startups working in areas beyond fintech needed attention for the holistic growth of the country. Thus, YES SCALE was launched in June 2018. YES SCALE is an innovative solutioning and GTM support platform for startups who need relevant support to scale up across sectors including Supply Chain & Logistics, Clean Energy, Urbantech, Agritech, Lifesciences tech, and Edutech.
YES SCALE supports disruptive startups focussing on high-impact sectors
The challenges faced by startups include funding, regulatory issues, infrastructure and many others. To provide relevant support, the YES SCALE platform brought together mentors, government bodies, investors and thought leaders. Now, YES SCALE has created a robust ecosystem of 20+ VC partners, 5+ Technology Leaders, 50+ Mentors and 20+ Accelerators/Incubators to support the startups in addressing the various challenges.
Some of the notable YES SCALE ecosystem partners are IIC, 100 Open Startups, GHV Accelerator, a-iDEA, NASSCOM, IIM Calcutta Innovation Park, Kerala Startup Mission, Startup Odisha, Gastrotope, and others. Government Partners include Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MOFPI), Food Innovators Network, and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. These ecosystem partners together have been offering assistance in scaling disruptive ideas by select startups that showed immense potential.
The startups who make it through the rigorous shortlisting process receive an opportunity to scale up their innovations through mentorship, technology, commercial support and funding. Through strategic collaborations with global startup ecosystems, YES SCALE also provides the chosen startups a platform that allows them to expand their solutions in the global markets. Additionally, startups also receive direct support for go to market opportunities along with banking assistance. Furthermore, YES SCALE has partnered with industry leaders like ITC, Schneider Electric, Mahindra & Mahindra, Grasim, First Solar and 15+ Smart Cities. Through these partnerships, YES SCALE has addressed pressing challenges in areas like Energy Management, Waste & Water Management, Farm Monitoring, Soil testing among others.
The 2019 YES SCALE Cohort journey
To become a part of the YES SCALE program, startups have to send in their applications during the application period. Top 30 applications are shortlisted and invited for a pitch. These startups pitch their solution to a jury on the Pitch Day by presenting the core value proposition, target segments, business model and implementation of the solution in the chosen focus areas. For the startups, winning the pitch round gives them the opportunity to fine tune their solution/product and test it in the target market. The selected startups are absorbed as cohort who get 15 weeks to scale up their solution along with an Industry Partner. On the Demo Day, the startups showcase their refined solutions to other industry leaders, investors, technology leaders and government representatives. The selection of startups for the YES SCALE program is based on evaluation across parameters to gauge the impact they can create to build a sustainable future.
The solutions submitted by the recent startups cohort resolve various challenges across the value chain including Farm Yield Prediction, Drones for Crop Monitoring to Food Quality Testing in Agritech. In Cleantech, the solutions were able to cover a spectrum of valauable solutions for monitoring, cleaning and other automation for Solar Energy as well as Effective Effluent Waste Management, Water Treatment amongst others. The program consolidated 20+ key problem areas/use cases across 3 sectors and shortlisted startups basis Use Case Fitment, Product Readiness, Business Models and Funding Stage. Over the course of 15 weeks, the chosen startups in Agritech and Cleantech segment partnered with anchor clients in controlled environments along with live tests in dedicated areas. They were further supported by YES Bank through focused mentorship, POC Funding and technology support. 10+ Urban tech startups were able to directly showcase their solutions to the Smart City/Municipality officials and other ministries through YES Bank for direct implementations.
At the Demo Day event held on 18th April 2019, 10 out of 14 startups in Agritech and Cleantech were awarded ‘Letter of Intent to Commercialize’ from the respective industry partners. Also, more than 30 startups were connected with respective VC investors for further funding support.
Final Cohort Startups that presented on Demo Day 2019
Co-created Agritech solutions were created for established Market players such as Big Basket, MTR Foods, Mahindra & Mahindra and FSSAI around UAV-based land surveying, Cold-chain, Weather analytics, Farmer decision support system & Quality Testing.
Block-chain powered technology platform to produce aggregation, food traceability and market access.
- RAAV Tech Labs
AI & Near Infrared Spectroscopy based solution for FnV – Quality analysis of everyday consumables.
AI & Image processing-based sorting of fruits & vegetables using process automation & cognitive learning.
- Lean Agri
Personalised Nutrient Management Solution for improved yields, income and end-to-end solutions.
- Foundation for Environmental Monitoring (FFEM)
Mobile-based on-ground soil testing solution for accurate, in-situ soil & pesticide testing platform.
- Krimanshi Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
Manufacturing low-cost, nutritious cattle feeds fortified by up-cycled fruit and food wastes.
- Bharat Rohan Airborne Innovations Pvt. Ltd.
Drone & Hyperspectral Imaging-based advisory solution for farmers that uses data analytics and machine learning.
- Farms2Fork Technologies (Cultyvate)
IoT-based smart irrigation solution leading to better crop quality, productivity and higher profitability.
Top Cleantech partners like Schneider Electric, Freyr, Grasim, Fourth Energy Partner and First Solar were able to co-create innovative solutions around solar power automation, energy efficiency and management, water treatment and waste management.
- The Solar Labs
A mobile app-based solution for conducting site survey and designing solar power plant.
A robotics company that's currently developing a fully automated solar panel cleaning solution.
IoT & AI-based asset management solutions to rapidly build, integrate and deploy energy applications
Energy efficiency AI solutions for commercial spaces by controlling HVAC and Lighting.
- REVY Environmental Solutions
Effluent treatment solution using Bio-Cultures, through Anaerobic processing units.
Transforms an existing electrical grid into one that is predictive, intuitive, and responsive.-- Moving ahead to handhold Startups in other sectors.
YES SCALE has evolved into a collaborative scale up and acceleration platform for more than 1200+ startups and 50+ organisations. Moving ahead, the program will provide an opportunity for startups to take their solutions to top MSME segments like APMC Markets, Mandis, and Associations among others. These steps will help startups to understand the requirements of every segment and grow their solutions. YES SCALE will also be further expanding into sectors like Supply Chain & Logistics, Clean energy, Lifesciences & Healthtech and Ed-tech segments. Startups in these segments will receive support to develop, fine tune and go to market with their solutions.
To know more about the YES SCALE platform, visit https://yesscale.com