HDFC Bank awards Rs 14.5 cr to 85 startups in 5th Parivartan grants

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, March 25, 2022, 03:24 PM IST
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HDFC Bank's annual SmartUp Parivartan Grants 2022 are aimed to nurture startups offering unique solutions to bring about sustainable change in society and the environment./ Representational image |

HDFC Bank today announced the winners of its 5th annual SmartUp Parivartan Grants 2022. HDFC Bank awarded grants to 85 innovative start-ups focused on addressing problems facing environment, healthcare sectors and gender diversity.

These grants are aimed to nurture startups offering unique solutions to bring about sustainable change in society and the environment. These grants have been offered under the aegis of #Parivartan, the flagship CSR program for the bank’s social initiatives.

To shortlist and mentor the winners, the bank partnered with 28 incubators, including IIM-B, ISB, AIC Ncore Developmental Impact Foundation , KIIT-Technology Business, Amrita Technology Business Incubator, International Institute of Information Technology, and Social Entrepreneurs Foundation India, among others. These incubators, along with the bank, selected 85 startups from a pool of over 150 applicants from across the country working in varied sectors through a rigorous screening process.

Some of the winning pitches were made by Vidcare Technologies, Zini the healthcare AI, Eco Deco, Ayang Trust, Navoday Foundation, and Felis Leo Ventures. The winners are solving diverse problems, from women empowerment, to creating bio-degradable batteries, to upskilling, to recycling and much more.

The bank instituted SmartUp Grants in 2017 and since then supported 90 number of start-ups from various cities across India. Cumulatively, over the past five years, the bank has disbursed grants worth approx. Rs 35 crore.

This year too, following the pandemic protocols, screening was done online. Start-ups made their pitch on a virtual platform. The foremost criteria for evaluating start-ups were the potential impact they could deliver on the following parameters: Sustainability of the idea;Potential to scale up

  • How does it benefit the society and environment

  • Uniqueness of the Project.

Smita Bhagat, Group Head, Government and Institutional Business, BC & Partnership Banking, Ecosystem Banking, Inclusive Banking Group, and Start-ups, HDFC Bank, said, “Through the SmartUp programme, we are nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit of the startup community to create jobs, opportunities and impact for the society and environment. We equip entrepreneurs with smart financial tools, advisory services and technology to help them realise their vision and create value for the society. We are aware of startups working on innovative solutions to bring a sustainable change in the society. These grants are our admiration and support for start-ups working to make our society resilient.”

"This is our fifth year of continuously supporting startups. We are happy to be part of this incredible journey in helping entrepreneurs looking to bring about positive social change. #Parivartan, our flagship CSR programme, also stands for being a catalyst for the good of the society. StartDups working to enhance livelihoods, skilling and working with the challenged sections of the society; bringing inclusive change are in sync with our objective to give back to the society we live in,” said Ms Ashima Bhat, Group Head – Business Finance and Strategy, CSR and ESG, Administration and Infrastructure, HDFC Bank.

In the past, Smart-Up grants have been given to some unique ideas by start-ups working on innovative solutions to address climate change, waste management, skills training and enhancing livelihood. Previously, these grants have been given to start-ups based not just in the metro cities, but mainly from the tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India.

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