HDFC Bank announced the winners of its fourth edition of SmartUp Grants 2021. The bank instituted SmartUp grants in 2017 and over the past 4 years it has supported 87 startups from various cities across India. In the past four years, the bank has disbursed grants worth ₹19.4 crore.
Twenty one startups working in the social sector were selected through a rigorous screening process from 300 applications received across the country. These grants are aimed to nurture start-ups offering unique solutions to harbinger sustainable change in society and the environment. These grants have been offered under the aegis of #Parivartan, the umbrella programme for the bank’s social initiatives.
Startups working in the fields of education technology and skill development were given priority. To shortlist and mentor the winners, the bank partnered with nine incubators such as IIT Delhi, AIC-Bimtech, IIM Kashipur, IIT BHU, Banasthali University, C-CAMP, GUSEC, T –Hub and Villgro.
In the past, Smart-Up grants have been given to some unique ideas by start-ups working on innovative solutions in tackling climate change, waste management, skills training and enhancing livelihood. Previously, these grants have been given to startups based not just in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Delhi, but also from Jamshedpur, Kalahandi in Odisha, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad to name a few.
For example, a grant was offered to Bleetech, a start-up that works on need – based technological solutions in the social sector for the deaf and hard of hearing community. Another example is Kriya Labs, that’s developing a processing technology to convert agro-waste like rice straw into pulp — which can then be used to make several biodegradable products like cups, plates and other tableware.
SmartUp Grants are part of a larger effort by HDFC Bank to create an ecosystem to nurture the spirit of innovation and enterprise in the start-up space. It is an extension of HDFC Bank’s SmartUp Solution through which the bank offers tailor-made banking and advisory solutions to entrepreneurs.
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