ACT as a platform
for collective
action

Incubating Innovations

We design challenge grants and pilot incubation/acceleration programs to draw attention to social problem statements as well as inspire aspiring entrepreneurs to transform innovative ideas into scalable solutions.

India Clean Air Challenge

The India Clean Air Challenge (ICAC), a partnership between the government and the startup communities, is a $1 million competition designed to identify and scale clean air innovations that are most capable of solving India’s air pollution challenges.

Led by ACT For Environment, ICAC’s mission is to create pathways for and demonstrate the value proposition of clean air technologies for government and industry alike and mobilise a global ecosystem of support to scale clean air innovations that can positively shape the future of India. The challenge statements cover a wide variety of spaces like mobility & transport, sustainable buildings & construction, waste management, agricultural emissions, carbon capture, air quality monitoring and industrial decarbonisation.

Winners are offered business advisory and mentorship by the ACT network and are invited to showcase their innovations to investors, corporates and government bodies to enable wide-scale adoption.

ICAC 2022 Winners
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ICAC 2022 Partners
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Building Capacity

We believe that we can deepen the impact of our portfolio if we build collective action within the larger ecosystem through personalised support as well as collaborative programs that can enable stakeholders to contribute meaningfully.

Portfolio Support

We build strong relationships with our portfolio founders and understand their most pressing needs in order to provide customised strategic as well as operational guidance across product, business roadmap, go-to-market approach and more.

Our ability to facilitate 1:1 advisory relationships and provide access to the best-in-class industry mentorship has proven to be a high leverage value addition for our social entrepreneurs and is one of ACT’s USPs as an early stage funder.

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ACT Fellowship Program

The ACT Fellowship is an opportunity for young professionals to learn what it takes to create social impact at scale, straight from the driver’s seat.

A 9-month, full-time program, it enables aspiring changemakers to apply venture capital principles to philanthropy by working closely within one of our 4 focus areas i.e. ed-tech, health-tech, climate-tech or gender inclusivity.

Fellows work on a wide array of projects including sector research, dealflow sourcing, due diligence, investment pitches, portfolio management, impact assessment, collaborative programs, industry events & partnerships etc. – thus not only gaining knowledge but a platform to apply what they’ve learnt in a live environment.

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Tech Advisors For Social Change

The Tech Advisors program aims to help social enterprises leverage senior industry experts to bolster their tech capabilities while giving such volunteers a meaningful way to contribute towards social impact.

The 12 week program invites social impact organisations, in and outside ACT’s portfolio, to raise specific tech challenges that are realistically solvable within that time period. ACT then solicits interest from seasoned tech experts from the for-profit/startup world who attend demo sessions by participating social enterprises to understand the challenge statements and gain insight into its complexity. The final matches are made based on the skill requirements for the project and the preferences indicated by the advisors.

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Our Cohort

Green Startup Pledge

The Green Startup Pledge is the world’s 1st climate pledge for startups and an example of India’s leadership in building the green economy.

Launched at COP27 in 2022 and led by ACT For Environment in collaboration with BCG, GSP is a global public commitment by a startup to build and grow both economically and ecologically by integrating or transitioning to sustainable business operations, with a goal of attaining net-zero emissions by 2050.

Startups committing to GSP will benefit from frameworks that are flexible, streamlined and aligned with their business operations. A resource platform of tools, resources and reputable vendors will be made available to support implementation with the aim of building better from the beginning or transitioning economically.

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ACT Implementers Network

The ACT Implementers Network aims to strengthen the healthcare ecosystem by matching the tech needs of social enterprises working among underserved communities with ACT For Health supported innovations and launching pilot projects that can address identified need gaps.

The idea for this network came from a healthcare needs assessment study that we conducted in 2022 which helped identify various challenges faced by healthcare providers, in areas ranging from screening and diagnosis to treatment and recovery, and evaluated how technology-based innovation could potentially enhance healthcare delivery systems.

Our goal is to demonstrate evidence-based deployment models which can be further
contextualised by other stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem.

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Generate Knowledge

We collaborate with ecosystem partners to run programs as well as generate knowledge, resources and playbooks that can help accelerate the pace of overall change for the sector at large.

ACT Summit

ACT Summit is an annual event that brings a diverse set of stakeholders together to deliberate on how technology, innovation and collaboration can help India address some of its most complex social issues across public healthcare, gender, education and environment.

Our first edition of the Summit in 2023 saw nearly 200 participants – including social entrepreneurs, impact investors, CSR professionals and sector experts – who agreed that technology, data and platforms, when led by mission-aligned social entrepreneurs and backed by patient and purpose-driven capital, can create sustainable social impact that can reach billions.

The big insight that emerged was that challenging conventional wisdom with regards to funding and forming strategic Public Private Partnerships are critical steps required to accelerate the deployment of homegrown innovations and give rise to India’s next generation of social unicorns.

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Mission Brighter Bharat

Mission Brighter Bharat was envisioned as a collaborative program by ACT For Education that aims to democratise education by providing tablets preloaded with free educational content to underprivileged children.

We kickstarted the initiative in 2022 by distributing over 600 tablets to children from low-income families between grades 4th to 8th in rural Uttarakhand. Going forward, we’ll be working on generating knowledge on creating a successful device distribution model for rural India and hope to share our insights on its impact on learning outcomes with state governments.

Women in India’s Startup Ecosystem Report (WISER)

A Pact For Gender Parity initiative led by ACT For Women, WISER is the largest of its kind research study that is designed exclusively for Indian startups and aims to help them advance gender diversity and inclusivity at the workplace.

It focuses on understanding the drivers for gender diversity within the startup ecosystem by collaboratively assessing demand-side barriers to women’s representation across employment levels and spotlighting best practices that have helped improve women’s participation.

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ACT Capital Foundation For Social Impact is a not-for-profit company incorporated and registered under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. All donations made to ACT Capital Foundation are eligible for income tax deduction under Section 80G of the Income Tax Act.

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