HDFC Bank is inviting applications from start-ups and solo entrepreneurs for its SmartUp grants. SmartUp grants by HDFC Bank under #Parivartan – the bank’s umbrella CSR brand – is aimed at finding and deploying long-term, sustainable solutions at scale, to address social issues and contribute to the economic and social development of the country.
This year, the bank will focus on start-ups creating social impact at scale in sectors such as education – technology (ed-tech) and skill development, among others.
To screen, mentor, and monitor start-ups, HDFC Bank has partnered with nine start-up incubators registered with the Govt of India’s MeitY platform. The nine incubators are from premier institutes and include IIT – Delhi, IIT – BHU, AIC BIMTECH Noida, IIM Kashipur, GUSEC Gujarat, C-CAMP Bangalore, Banasthali University – Jaipur, Villgro Incubation – Chennai, and T – HUB Hyderabad.
How to apply and process:
- Start-ups making a social impact can send in their applications by clicking here. The application window opens today and closes on Feb 16, 2021.
- Further, the bank’s incubator partners and the SmartUp team will jointly scout for start-ups.
- Bank and incubators will jointly reach out and engage with start-ups through the SmartUp portal hosted on the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY’s) platform
- Incubator partners will screen and shortlist applications and the SmartUp team will select finalists.
- Finalists will pitch their start-ups to a jury comprising senior Management of the Bank.
- Evaluation criteria:
- Market reach, penetration, and scalability of the product
- Degree of social impact in beneficiaries’ lives
- The economic viability of product at scale
“We begin the new decade with a renewed focus to enable and nurture social sector start-ups,” said Ms. Smita Bhagat, Country Head – Government, E-commerce and Start-ups, HDFC Bank. “Our partnership with incubators will mentor the winners to scale up their ideas. Enterprises working in the social sector are doing commendable work in changing the lives of millions of Indians. SmartUp grants are one way of offering our support and encouragement in this journey. We want to be a pillar of support for social entrepreneurs who want to bring a positive change to the society.”