Founded by Paul Basil in 2001, Villgro is an Indian incubator that has shaped the future of more than 300 entrepreneurs that offered innovative and sustainable possible solutions for the social ecosystem. Recently, the incubator bestowed Padcare Labs and Stand we Speak, the winners of its Innovation Challenge, with prize money up to Rs 3.5 Lakh for their proposed technological solutions for sexual and reproductive health challenges.
Funds and business model
The Chennai-based incubator follows the standard business model of functioning through non-profit money received via government as well as private entities. Villgro is backed by premier international names such as Rockefeller Foundation, The Sir Dorabji Tata, Hivos People Unlimited, etc. The aim of the organization is to improve the understanding of functioning and problems across strata such as cheap medical technology, small scale farmers, energy utilization, etc, and consequently, encourage smart solutions driven by intricate understanding.
For every start-up it helps, Villgro reserves an annual return on investment in the form of gross margins, which equates to a 20% Internal Rate of Return (IRR). Villgro measures its success through the possible number of people affected through a startup, environment improvement in terms of reduced water wastage, pollution, effective deployment of resources, employment opportunities generated, etc.
iPitch is the flagship initiative by Villgro to serve as a common platform for impactful startups to secure mentorship, incubation, and/or funding from Indian investors. The 4th edition of iPitch organized in September 2020 focused on promoting startups working to disrupt sectors such as agriculture, energy, healthcare, and livelihood through grants, debt funding, and seed funding up to Rs 2 crores.
Villgro will announce the shortlisted names of iPitch 2020 in March 2021. Collectively, the initiative has deployed funding for 23 startups valued at approximately Rs 7.5 crores.
Currently, Villgro has its international presence across the US, Philippines, and Kenya with parallel operations in Indian states including Delhi, Bengaluru, Odisha, Lucknow, etc.
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