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  • Writer's pictureInsights Wix Admin

Innovation, Incubation, and Impact

CIIE Initiatives, the not-for-profit entity completes 10 years since its incorporation this year. CIIE has transformed from being an academic centre located in the basement of Dorm 18 in the IIMA campus to a Technology Business Incubator (TBI, as recognised by DST) working out of a 20000-square-foot center.

Over its journey, CIIE has continually aimed at identifying and plugging gaps in the Indian innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Discarding conventions, it dared to be different and dared to experiment.

It has been the first incubator in the country to start accelerator programmes, the first to offer them for sectors with sparse support systems, the first to set up cleantech VC fund in India called INFUSE ventures, and the first to create a fund platform in India through Bharat Innovation Fund and Bharat Inclusion Initiative. With 25,000 ideas crystallised and 500 ventures trained, incubated or accelerated, CIIE has been behind the wheel, driving startups towards success.

Employing catalytic investing, CIIE brought about early-stage risk capital to the startups in need of funding. Over the years it seeded more than 110 startups across various sectors such as energy access, clean technology, food and agriculture, healthcare, enterprise tech, education, and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for development. Most of the start-ups in these sectors set off with CIIE as their first institutional investor. Balancing the seeding, CIIE continues to allocate about 58 per cent capital to MVP stage start-ups. About 70 per cent funding is focused towards underserved sectors.

Over the years, CIIE has carefully chosen partners who share the vision of supporting growth-stage startups commercially. Among various partners, CIIE works with corporates, investors and donors such as Tata Trust, Castrol India, Mahindra Finance, TAKE solutions, Bajaj Electricals, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, J.P.Morgan, Omidyar Network. Over the last decade, we have witnessed follow-on investment for startups from numerous marquee investors like Accel Partners, Matrix Partners, Omnivore Partners, IL&FS Private Equity, Omidyar Network, Blume Ventures Unitus Seed Fund, Dell Foundations, Qualcomm Ventures, IDG Ventures, Jungle Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners and so on.

CIIE has been successful in generating a portfolio leverage of 26X. The 26 profitable exits that it has received furthers the logic that catalytic seed-finance can be profitable. CIIE flaunts a portfolio with India’s largest producer of biomass cook-stove Greenway Grameen, as well as Forus Health, a medical device startup that has touched over two million lives in 26 countries by preventing blindness.

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