8 startups graduate from N/Core, Cisco first cohort

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and hosted a graduation and demo day for the eight non-profits of tech’s inaugural cohort. This cohort, supported by Cisco CSR, was selected from over 700 applicants. tech is a six-month incubation program aimed at helping non-profit start-ups leverage technology to solve critical needs like water, healthcare, financial inclusion, and education. The eight non-profit startups will demonstrate the solutions at Soiree, the graduation demo day to a diverse audience comprising business and CSR leaders, philanthropists, impact investors, and Cisco’s leadership in India.

In the inaugural cohort of 8 startups – Involve Education, Alohomora Education, Pi Jam Foundation, Samagra Foundation, Lakeer Foundation, Intelehealth, Aquasafi Rural Development Foundation and Change with One Foundation worked on building creative, scalable solutions to address problems around critical human needs, education, and economic empowerment.

Among the graduating non-profits is Lakeer, a civic intelligence platform to make cities more equitable. Lakeer is also one among the 10 non-profit start-ups selected by the government of Telangana, to be mentored and partner with the government. Another incubate, Samagra has entered into partnerships with eGovernment Foundation and the city of Lonavala, among others, to deliver their SmartLoo Platform to monitor hygiene in over 1500 toilets by 2019. Aquasafi Rural Foundation has touched 15,000 lives by enabling access to clean drinking water. Alohomora, a platform for youth to make right career choices has grown operations by over 250% during the 6-month incubation period.

One of the uniqueness of the inaugural cohort is its diversity and the varied experiences of each of the non-profits and its founders. 3 of the 8 organizations have been founded by women. One of the youngest founders of the cohort is an engineering student at IIT Madras who founded Involve Learning Solutions Foundation last year, an innovative learning platform for over 1000 students.

Following the success of N/Core tech’s first cohort, N/Core is now accepting applications for the second tech cohort. Applications are invited from nonprofits startups that use technology to solve social problems.

“Innovation, Scale and Speed are core values of N/Core. The distance covered by our entrepreneurs over the past few months is evidence of their commitment to solving problems at scale, with a sense of urgency” – said Priya Ajmera, Director of N/Core tech.

Harish Krishnan, Managing Director, Public Affairs and Strategic Engagements, Cisco India said, “Our collaboration with N/Core is focused on building a generation of problem solvers who harness the power of technology to tackle social problems at scale. Each entrepreneur of this cohort has creatively used technology to transform promising ideas into reality. We are excited at the possibilities that these solutions can address.”

Cisco has committed to positively impact 50 million people in India by 2025 through social initiatives and partnerships. This goal is aligned with Cisco’s global vision of impacting 1 billion lives worldwide by 2025 through digital solutions. The partnership with N/Core is part of their greater commitment to building a robust ecosystem including government and community organizations in India to effect real change in the areas of critical human needs, education, economic empowerment, and environmental sustainability.

N/Core tech is committed to incubating 100 tech startups over the next 5 years. Incubation includes an innovation grant of INR 10 Lakhs to each selected nonprofit. Selected founders were also mentored by renowned leaders namely, Sanjay Purohit, ex-Chairman of Infosys Consulting; Maneesh Dhir, former MD of Apple India; K R Lakshminaraya, Chief Endowment Officer of Azim Premji Foundation; Ujwal Thakar, ex CEO of Pratham and GiveIndia; S K Jain, co-founder of WestBridge Capital; Madhav Chavan, founder of Pratham, and Kamakshi Rao, formerly Senior VP at Capital. The start-ups were also mapped to technology leaders at Cisco for technology-specific mentoring to scale their solutions.

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