Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], May 17 (ANI/PR Newswire): Manush Labs, an MIT-Harvard-born startup accelerator program focused on India, today launched the 'Cleantech Startup Challenge 2022' in partnership with Hindalco Ind Ltd, the metals flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group. The applications are open for startups and innovators across the globe working in the circular economy space till June 15, 2022.
With an objective to re-imagine thousands of tons of waste, the program would run for 6 months and would support entrepreneurs in prototyping, piloting, and scaling solutions through a network of technology and knowledge experts.
The challenge covers thousands of tons of waste across two problem statements:- Plastic: Replace up to 5,000 tons of plastic packaging annually- FGD Process Waste: Utilize up to 700 thousand tons of waste annuallyStartups selected in the program will get deep-technical and scaling support from Manush Labs and will get a chance to run paid pilot with Hindalco Ind. Ltd. These startups will benefit from the technology and domain support from global experts and a chance to explore joint development wherever possible, with other Aditya Birla Group business units.
"Our strategy is to create value sustainably and operate responsibly by aligning our multi-dimensional approach with the elements of people, planet, and prosperity. Our partnership with Manush Labs is a collaborative solution to reduce the environmental load and move closer to our 'Net Zero carbon' goal of 2050," said Satish Pai, Managing Director, Hindalco Ind. Ltd., Director, Board of Aditya Birla Management Corporation Pvt. Ltd.
Piyush Verma, Founder and CEO, Manush Labs, said, "Our partnership with Hindalco Ind. Ltd. fulfills our larger goal to bring the much-needed momentum to the circular economy space globally. We are confident that this collaboration will start an industry-wide conversation to reimagine the usage of plastic and utilization of industrial waste such as FGD process waste. Through our initiatives, we intend to contribute to a startup's growth by providing them with large-scale revenue and scaling opportunities."People who wish to apply for the program can go to Manush Labs' website and fill out the application form. The program aims to provide environment-friendly innovative solutions to Hindalco Ind. Ltd. and help facilitate industry connections to the budding startups, thus helping them potentially achieve direct revenue streams.
Selected startups will be evaluated by a panel of judges comprising experts from their field- Vaishali Surawar (Chief Sustainability Officer, Hindalco), Shrenik Khasgiwala ( President and Head of Innovation, Aditya Birla Group), Dr D N Singh (D.L. Shah Chair Professor for Innovation, IIT Bombay) among other industry leaders from Hindalco Ind. Ltd. like Vilas Tathawadkar, Shirin Sancheti, Bibhu Mishra, Kailash Pandey, K Venkatesh, and Senthil Nath.
Startups that participate in the program will have a chance to jointly develop products in addition to the potential funding opportunity from the Aditya Birla Group Innovation Fund. Alongside Clean Technology Startup Challenge 2022, Manush Labs supports budding entrepreneurs in their journey right from the beginning through its Venture Studio. The challenge will help Hindalco Ind. Ltd.'s vision, to achieve the 'Net Zero Carbon' goal of 2050.
Vaishali Surawar, Chief Sustainability Officer, Hindalco, Aditya Birla Group, said, "We are confidently progressing on our journey towards zero waste to landfill with transformational changes through our 'Value from Waste' initiative. This program with Manush Labs is another such initiative as a part of our commitment to putting significant emphasis on the environmental, social, and governance aspects of our business."With the launch of this program, Manush Labs aims to initiate a conversation with the big corporates to harness the power of innovations happening in leaps and bounds across India.
Founded in 2020, Manush Labs is a catalyst in the start-up ecosystem working to democratize entrepreneurship to solve big ESG problems. They have supported 25 start-ups so far that have collectively raised more than USD 6.1 M after joining the Manush Labs program. Manush Labs has built a network of 100 experts from 11 countries working with global organizations ranging from Google, Facebook, IBM, among others, and has supported 40 founders through its previous programs.
Manush Labs is supporting Bharat entrepreneurs with four initiatives. With the first one, Corporate Innovation Programs, leading industry leaders benefit by discovering new solutions to their everyday business problems. The second one, Venture Studio, is for founders who are early on in their journey and are looking for intensive co-founder support. The third one, Accelerator Programs, partners with and supports local Indian incubators. Lastly, with its Venture Fund, from the support of large corporates and HNIs, they focus on bridging the financial needs of entrepreneurs from underserved regions.
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