Startups selected by 9 incubators for the fourth edition of SmartUp Grant
87 start-ups supported with ₹19.4-crore grants in past 4 years
With an aim to nurture startups offering unique solutions to harbinger sustainable change in society and the environment, HDFC Bank on Thursday announced the winners of its fourth edition of SmartUp Grants 2021.
As many as 21 startups working in the social sector were selected through a rigorous screening process from 300 applications received across the country.
Startups such as Uneako, which strives to curb the environmental threats of climate change and plastic solution; Swayambhu, a for-profit organisation focused on wet and dry waste management; and Giftolexia, which helps children with Dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities, were selected by HDFC Bank for the SmartUp Grants 2021.
These grants have been offered under the aegis of #Parivartan, the umbrella program for the bank’s social initiatives.
The bank instituted SmartUp grants in 2017 and over the past 4 years, it has supported 87 startups from various cities across India.
Startups working in the fields of education technology and skill development were given priority. To shortlist and mentor the winners, the bank partnered with nine incubators such as IIT Delhi, AIC-Bimtech, IIM Kashipur, IIT BHU, Banasthali University, C-CAMP, GUSEC, T –Hub and Villgro. In the past four years, the bank has disbursed grants worth Rs 19.4 crore.
“The SmartUp grants are part of the Bank’s commitment to strengthen our relationship with the startup ecosystem in India,” said HDFC Bank Country Head, Government & Institutional Business, e-commerce and startups, Smita Bhagat.
“Through the SmartUp programme, we are nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit of the startup community to create jobs, opportunities and impact for the society and environment. We equip them with smart financial tools, advisory services and technology to help them realise their vision,” she added.
Startups pitched their case on a virtual platform. In the past, Smart-Up grants have been given to some unique ideas by startups working on innovative solutions in tackling climate change, waste management, skills training and enhancing livelihood.
Next Skills 360————Hyderabad
SchoolConnect. ——— Raipur
Previously, these grants have been given to startups based not just in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru and Delhi, but also from Jamshedpur, Kalahandi in Odisha, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad to name a few.
For instance, in the past a grant was offered to Bleetech, a startup that works on need – based technological solutions in the social sector for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
“There are startups working in enhancing livelihood, skilling and working with the challenged sections of the society; bringing inclusive change which is in sync with our objective to give back to the society we live in,” said HDFC Bank group head – CSR, Infrastructure and Finance, Ashima Bhat.
By accessing the bank’s SmartUp portal, startups are able to tap into the knowledge and experience of a complete network of startups while simultaneously offering their services. The bank now has dedicated SmartUp zones in over 70 branches in 30 cities across India, including tier 2 and 3 cities that are emerging as startup hubs.
SmartUp Grants are part of a larger effort by HDFC Bank to create an ecosystem to nurture the spirit of innovation and enterprise in the start-up space. It is an extension of HDFC Bank’s SmartUp Solution through which the bank offers tailor-made banking and advisory solutions to entrepreneurs.
The journey began with the launch of SmartUp solution, a first-of-its-kind banking solution for start-ups, tailored to meet all the requirements of a start-up by offering banking and payment solutions, along with advisory and forex services.
Furthermore, by accessing the bank’s SmartUp portal, start-ups are able to tap into the knowledge and experience of a complete network of start-ups while simultaneously offering their services to this universe.
The bank now has dedicated SmartUp zones in over 70 branches in 30 cities across India, including tier 2 and 3 cities that are emerging as start-up hubs.
To know more about Smart-Up grants, click here to watch the video.