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The/Nudge Foundation incubator ropes in former Infosys, Apple executives

LiveMint logoLiveMint 17-07-2017 Sayan Chakraborty

Bengaluru: N/Core, an incubator for non-profit start-ups launched by The/Nudge Foundation in January, has roped in former executives from Infosys Ltd and Apple Inc., among others, to mentor the latest batch of inductees into the incubator programme, said a senior The/Nudge Foundation executive.

Sanjay Purohit, former executive vice-president at Infosys; Maneesh Dhir, former managing director at Apple India and currently a partner at Social Venture Partners; K.R. Lakshminarayan, chief endowment officer at Azim Premji Foundation; and Ujwal Thakar, former chief executive at Pratham, an education-focused organisation, will act as partners to start-ups incubated at N/Core.

N/Core’s first batch of 20 start-ups called N Core alpha, shortlisted from 583 applications, were inducted in April for a two-week programme. The batch included start-ups across sectors such as health care, agriculture technology, education and skilling and disaster management, among others.

The company on Monday opened up for applications for its second batch, N/1, this time a six-month, partner-led programme, that will entail a grant of Rs10 lakh for every inductee.

N/1 will incubate 10 start-ups from across the globe, said Atul Satija, founder of The/Nudge Foundation.

“Non-profits in India haven’t scaled beyond a certain point. Talent is the factor. All the good people end up gravitating towards the for-profit sector. India’s problems are so big that if you don’t have the best minds solving for these problems, the country will not have a thriving non-profit ecosystem. We want to make working for India’s problems cool and aspirational for the next generation,” said Satija.

“The idea of N/Core was to bring top talent, especially in the mid career phase, and give them the right guidance and foundation to help them create highly scalable non-profits,” he said.

N/Core has formed a nine-member corporate social entrepreneurship council comprising senior industry executives to promote “innovation-led problem solving with the start-up philosophy in the non-profit sector”. Members of the council include Anil Kumar, chief executive at Axis Bank Foundation; Namita Vikas, group president and managing director at Yes Bank; Biren Bhuta, chief of corporate social responsibility (CSR) at Tata Steel; and Aloka Majumdar, head, CSR at HSBC India, among others.

Supported by Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and Tata Trusts, The/Nudge Foundation was launched in 2015. It works with over 50 partners, including non-government organizations, government, foundations and companies on skill development to pull people out of poverty.

The foundation’s advisory board includes a number of start-up chief executives including Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, InMobi founder Naveen Tewari and WhatsApp messenger vice-president Neeraj Arora.

The Bengaluru-based foundation aims to support more than 100 non-profit start-ups through the incubator over the next five years.

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