IIMA Ventures Supports 14 Indore Startups in Smart City Accelerator Program

Preeti Bali / 2:28 pm / April 22, 2024

IIMA Ventures, formerly known as IIMA-CIIE, has announced its support for 14 promising startups hailing from Indore. This initiative marks the inaugural cohort of the Indore Smart City Accelerator program.

The program’s core objective lies in equipping participating startups with the necessary skills to develop robust business models and proposals. These elements are critical for successful engagement with public sector clients. Additionally, IIMA Ventures aims to assist early-stage companies developing solutions targeted towards urban local bodies (ULBs) in securing pilot projects that can validate their solutions.

A Rigorous Selection Process and Training Focus

During the initial stages, IIMA received applications exceeding 100, showcasing the diverse pool of startups seeking to contribute innovative solutions to the Indore Smart City initiative. Sectors of focus included urban mobility, cleanliness, citizen safety and security, and air quality.

The rigorous selection process culminated in a three-day bootcamp held in Indore itself. Here, the chosen startups received intensive training in various areas. This included business modeling, unit economics, navigating B2G sales, applying for government tenders, and investment readiness strategies guided by angel investors. Furthermore, the startups benefited from one-on-one mentorship sessions with subject matter experts.

Pilot Projects and Startup Success Stories

The Indore Smart City initiative shortlisted three startups for pilot projects: Aumsat Technologies, Arc Robotics, and Pod Pitara.

  • Aumsat Technologies, founded by Riddhish Soni, a former ISRO employee, has developed an innovative solution utilizing IoT and satellite imagery to detect water leakages in pipelines. This technology boasts the ability to pinpoint leak locations even ten feet underground. Their solution aims to significantly reduce non-revenue water losses from an estimated 40% to 15%.
  • Arc Robotics, a team of young engineers, has designed a vehicle-mounted robot with six degrees of freedom. This robot automates the detection and cleaning of sewage pipelines, thereby eliminating the need for manual scavenging, a hazardous and outdated practice.
  • Pod Pitara partnered with the Indore administration in an experimental initiative. They installed IoT-enabled radios across public buses within the city. This allows ULBs to disseminate crucial city-related updates and awareness messages directly to Indore’s citizens.

Funding and Grant Opportunities

Beyond pilot projects, Electia, another participating startup, secured an undisclosed amount of funding through one of IIMA Ventures’ regional ecosystem programs. Electia specializes in automated battery-swapping solutions designed to create a robust battery-swapping infrastructure in tier II and III cities.

Furthermore, two additional startups from the cohort will be eligible to compete for grants of up to INR 5 lakh. However, IIMA did not disclose the identities of these specific startups selected for the grant program.

IIMA Ventures: Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Established in 2002 as an entrepreneurship center at IIM Ahmedabad, IIMA Ventures (formerly IIMA-CIIE) serves as a comprehensive innovation hub. Their activities encompass research, education, incubation, acceleration, and investment in early-stage startups, aspiring entrepreneurs, and investors.

Since its inception, IIMA Ventures boasts a commendable track record, having mentored over 7,000 founders, accelerated more than 1,500 startups, and supported over 700 startups through investments. The Indore Smart City Accelerator program exemplifies their ongoing commitment to fostering innovation and empowering entrepreneurs across India.


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