The incubation program by startup incubator N/Core focused on helping non-profit start-ups leverage technology to resolve critical needs like water, healthcare, sanitation, and education.

Eight non-profit startups chosen by incubator NCore graduate Representative image
Atom Start-ups Friday, November 30, 2018 - 12:14

N/Core, a non-profit startup incubator, partnered with Cisco Systems in April 2018 to launch a programme aimed at solving social and economic problems using technology. A graduation and demo was held on November 29 for the first eight non-profit start-ups of N/Core tech’s inaugural cohort.

The six-month incubation program by N/Core focused on helping non-profit start-ups leverage technology to resolve critical needs like water, healthcare, sanitation, and education. 

The inaugural cohort included eight start-ups - Involve Education, Alohomora Education, Pi Jam Foundation, Samagra Foundation, Lakeer Foundation, Intelehealth, Aquasafi Rural Development Foundation and Involve Foundation. All of which demonstrated the technology-based solutions that they had designed to attend to imperative civic issues.

Start-ups from south Indian states

Some of the cohorts that started their journey from south India are Lakeer, Aquasafi Rural Development Foundation and Involve Education.

Aquasafi Rural Development Foundation, founded by Pavin Pankajan is trying to resolve drinking water problems in unserved communities. On having partnered with Panchayats, automated water stores are set to provide drinking water, 24x7 to the civilians at a cost of Rs 2 per 20 litres.

The machinery extracts groundwater from the nearby areas and purifies it. Data recorded on the machine — regarding the quality of the water, money earned, malfunctions in the functioning, amount of water drawn and other information — is uploaded to a cloud. This information is regularly monitored and resolved through SMS alerts.

“At present, there are six plants in Anekal Taluk, two in Dharwad and two in Bengaluru, benefiting 15,000 people on a daily basis”, said Pavin.

Lakeer Foundation is a geospatial civic intelligence tool founded by Dipika Kumar and Varun Pawar. Government data on various domains such as water, public transport, electricity, infrastructure, housing, schools and others is derived and fed onto a map. The maps are given to city administrators to resolve issues and effectively plan their budget and resources. For example, the map will point out areas that are not connected through public transport and don’t have a bus stop.

Currently, Lakeer Foundation is working in partnership with the Government of Telangana. They have also set up demos in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.

Involve Learning Solutions Foundation was founded by Divanshu Kumar, an engineering student at IIT-Madras. It is a peer teaching method where senior school students (8th and above) teach junior students (4th to 8th grade). These classes take place thrice a week for 1 and a half hours, where the seniors teach mathematics, science and English to their juniors.

“We pick the seniors based on their performance in class. And each senior is assigned four juniors. This kind of teaching helps the senior students practice their skills and improve their communication. And the juniors find it easier to learn from their familiar seniors,”  Devanshu said. This programme is currently active eight low-income schools — six in Chennai and two in Bengaluru.

Worldwide initiative

Simply Blood founded by Kiran Verma is an application that instantly connects blood donors with blood recipients or seekers by using their location and choice of blood group. This android based app is functional across 182 countries.

“Our main objective is to avoid the black-marketing of blood and attain zero wastage. It usually takes 12 hours for the blood to reach the recipient from the donor. We have been able to bring this down to four hours,” Kiran said.

The founders of the eight non-profit startups were from varied backgrounds, including graduates from John Hopkins and the University of Michigan. Three of the organizations were founded by women.  “N/Core tech is committed to incubating 100 tech startups over the next 5 years. An innovation grant Rs 10 Lakhs is given to each of the selected start-up”, said Sudha Srinivasan, the chief executive officer of N/Core.