What started as an alliance of investors, founders and leaders of India's startup ecosystem to combat COVID-19, 'ACT Grants' will now be raising a Rs 500 crore fund to back solutions addressing societal problems at scale- across four key areas - education, healthcare, environment and women's participation in the workforce.
The hope is that this grant or seed funding for companies that are creating an impact will push more investments into these sectors.
ACT 1 - The 100 crore grant was launched in March 2020 with three core objectives:
1) To award grants to tech-driven companies that can scale against COVID-19.
2) To connect companies with relevant products and solutions to local, state and national governments, and NGOs fighting the pandemic.
3) To help grantees scale by bringing together networks, startups and additional grants as a force multiplier.
ACT in phase one was able to fund 54 startups and over 100 projects, impacting 49 million lives across 27 states.
In 2021, this collective of more than 100 volunteers from startups and VCs will use its COVID playbook and apply it to other areas of the economy.
With a clear eye on impact as it leverages the startup ecosystem's power of collaboration, bias for action, and entrepreneurial energy, ACT is now truly a movement for social change.
On CNBC-TV18's special show Young Turks, Shereen Bhan spoke to Mekin Maheshwari, founder & CEO of Udhyam.org, investment committee member of ACT; Mohit Bhatnagar, MD of Sequoia India, investment committee member of ACT and Shekhar Kirani, partner at Accel, investment committee member of ACT.Watch video for more.