Startup Weekend Bangalore @ NUMA was off to the rocking start yesterday!
We were very happy to see an amazing bunch of people register for the event.
- We had people from ages 14 to 45!
- International participants!
- People who drove overnight from Hyderabad to be in Bangalore for this event!
- Lots of women entrepreneurs!
- Ideas ranging from changing India’s democratic system to General AI Bots for image processing!
Anurag Maloo was very gracious to step in to facilitate the event. All his experience in facilitation came to the fore during the Half Baked Game and encouraging the pitches.
Hatim Baheranwala, the founder of Truss, inspired the attendees with stories from his life journey, the pivots, the ups and the downs, which only a self-made entrepreneur can do.
We had a 95+% pitch conversion ratio i.e. 95+% the participants pitched their ideas. It was awesome to hear the ideas. The areas included were computer science, artificial intelligence, weddings, travel, services, psychology, art, behavioral science, virtual reality, food-tech, geospatial mapping, med-tech, etc.
A night to remember!
I completed my Master of Social Work at Madras University, after which I got the opportunity to work for three different nonprofit organizations. My work gave me vast experience on children at risk, women’s empowerment, and other community development programs.
In 2007, I was relaxing at the Pondicherry beach when I met one young gypsy community boy begging on the beach road. I asked him about his schooling, his livelihood and his day-to-day life. He told me he used to erry beach when I met one young gypsy community boy begging on the beach road. I asked him about his schooling, his livelihood and his day-to-day life. He told me he used t sell toys, balloons and jewelry at the beach in the evening. When he couldn’t sell the goods, he started to beg to feed himself, which is normal for boys like him.
In 2008, I had the opportunity to work with street-living children on their rehabilitation; these children included mainstream Gypsy community children. The rehabilitation program provided shelter facilities and helped them to continue school and pursue informal education; we also offered a care & support program. However, it was difficult to continue the program due to a lack of funds allocated for Gypsy community development programs.
In 2013, I was selected to participate in Kanthari, a leadership training program that is also known as the International Institute for Social Entrepreneurship (IISE). IISE is located in Trivandrum, Kerala. The course helped me to develop the different social entrepreneurial skills I needed to start a project for the Gypsy community in Pondicherry. After completing the course, I started Yurt on Wheels. In the initial phase, Kanthari supported me with startup funding and mentoring support.
On 3rd March 2014, Yurt on Wheels was legally registered and started to work with Gypsy community children. In india, there are 60 million people who belong to nomadic,semi-nomadic and de-notified tribes. They’re known as Narikuravar in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry (Nari- Fox, Kuravar-People). The communities belong to the Hindu religion and the government categorizes them as “Other Backward Classes” (OBC). In some other parts of India they come under “Scheduled Tribes” (ST) and “Scheduled Castes” (SC).
These groups have mainly engaged in hunting animals. This is prohibited, so their livelihoods have been challenged; as a result, they move to different places to sell jewelry, toys and balloons during the weekend in public places and during festival periods. Due to a lack of awareness, Gypsy children don’t have access to school at all or dropout early. Girls marry early and there’s no access to government facilities.
To help Gypsy community children, Yurt on Wheels started informal education classes for the children who have dropped out of, never been to, and couldn’t access school due to moving to different places for their livelihood. Currently, there are 15 children accessing informal education. The basic education we offer teaches children to read, write in Tamil and English, learn the alphabet, and gain life skills. Once children complete basic education, we prepare them for the 8th Standard exam in The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS). If the children are interested in continuing school after completing 8th Standard, we will mainstream them into formal schools or help them to continue the livelihood training program which strengthens and improves their lives.
While implementing the project, I found difficulties and challenges in the community. There were two major issues which I was faced with: one, it was difficult to change Gypsy cultural mindsets around sending children to informal school. Even if the child is coming to classes regularly, especially girls, they’re not allowed to continue education once they attain puberty. Two, the Gypsy community’s main source of income is selling jewelry, nickels and toys. Parents were only trying to engage their children to earn money by moving to different places, so it was hard to teach all children for one period of time.
Since the Gypsy community’s lifestyle depends on its livelihood, it is very important for children to learn different skills which improve their lifestyle in order to earn money and continue their education. UnLtd Tamil Nadu supports us so we can conduct livelihood training programs for community children. In order to start the livelihood project, we are undertaking a market study to understand traditional skills and marketing trends. This will help us develop the project in a successful way.
Yurt on Wheels has reached some of our milestones of the past one year: we’ve successfully registered the organization, received a Permanent Account number (PAN), conducted surveys in the Gypsy communities, selected children for the informal education program, successfully organized a skills training workshop for the Gypsy communities in collaboration with Blind Rock in Nepal. We’ve also organized a summer camp for the Gypsy community children in collaboration with TYCL (Trust for Youth & Child Leadership), successfully attended a fundraising training at KKID (Karl Kubel Institute) in Coimbatore; and received interns from the Pondicherry Social Work Department, Kasturaibai Women’s College, and Kanthari. We were organizing classes for children under the tree but community members have provided space inside the community where we can teach and keep all the educational materials.
We’re still facing challenges in terms of building a sustainable model, finding team members, getting human resources support, and finding a financial support to continue our project. You can learn more about us at: https://www.facebook.com/yurtonfoundation or www.yurtonwheels.org.
Age: 35 years
Education: 10th after I did not continue my study because family situation,
Father name: Raj,(late)
Mother name: lingammal (late)
Only one young brother: venkatesh
My father died I was 5 years old, my mother only take care us, I am from tribal community woman, our community still some place happening child marriage and they do not give important to girl children, my village our community first time I am only learned tailoring class, that time I feel role model to other girl children at my village,
Tailoring learned pried:
1996 to 97, but up to 98 I went tailoring class because I did not have machine after my mother brought one small tailoring machine, then after 2 years one leader gave one machine (my father died he is petrol bunk) I know all kinds ladies teaching except men dress.
I married 2005, my husband is a drank man, he did not take care about family and children, and my mother in law sold house also now I do not have house, only small hut only even though does not has electricity also, so my life is very dark period, (each side no peaceful because without parents and husband and mother in law problem) any one does not want this kinds of life.
I have two boy children, name visual (8 years old) and siranjeeve (6 years old)
Tailoring Last 15 years working and manage family at my village,
My aim is widow and poor young girls and women want to help at the same time they want to stand own life because I know very well this women life.
Wanted help from Unltd Tamilnadu:
I want at least 6 big tailoring machines because small machine cannot tech all kinds of cloths and 1 oarlock machine because then only girls and women learn clearly and particular time or pried,
From Unltd Tamilnadu to my life become bright and my dream becomes real.
Thank you so much,
(See this Facebook Post on UnLtd Tamil Nadu’s page, when Kanchana visited their office)
There are approximately 1.6 million people with intellectual disabilities living in India. Almost 75 percent of them live in rural areas where the predominant and biggest sector is agriculture. So approximately 1.2 million intellectually disabled people who live in the rural areas of India could easily take part in agricultural processes. There are more than enough easy, repetitive work options that even unskilled people who suffer from any kind of intellectual disability can realise. Of course, agriculture is not the only sector where the employment of intellectually disabled individuals is possible. But still their potential is largely untapped. According to Disability Information Resources India (DIRI), an Indian association that collects statistics regarding disabled persons in India, only 0.66% of persons with intellectual disabilities are given employment.
A lot of children and adults with intellectual disabilities are abandoned. This is due to lack of governmental support and lack of awareness. Barriers are primarily rooted in wrong beliefs and misinformation. People believe that bad deeds in the previous life of parents cause intellectual disabilities among their children. Barriers in society such as wrong attitudes and physical obstructions hinder people with disabilities from being a part of their own community, receive the education they need and live up to their full potential.
The education of people with intellectual disabilities in India is an issue that a lot of NGOs are trying to address. There are limited governmental options. But still, it is not enough; tt is a question of availability of services. But, at least, there is a certain degree of education for intellectually disabled children available.
The issue gets way more serious once the children reach adulthood. There are limited to no opportunities for intellectually disabled people to continue their education when they finished special school. Vocational trainings specialised for the intellectually disabled or, even better, inclusive vocational training centres, are a rare thing. Sometimes, individuals get lucky. We’ve heard of a case where an intellectually disabled boy was able to get into training to become a mechanic. He was good and enthusiastic and once he finished he was eager to start working, earn his own income and become a contributor to society. But it was the same society that he so readily wanted to help that put an end to his dreams of living a free, self-sustaining and independent life. No one was ready to hire him. They saw his disability, not his abilities, skills and potential.
The main objective for addressing this issue should probably be to change people’s attitudes, to make them realise that intellectual disability is not a form of punishment for the parents but that it is a disease with a genetic cause. Excluding people because they are suffering from an intellectual disability would be the same as excluding somebody who has a cold or an allergy. But we can only change people’s attitudes by proving that their assumptions are wrong, by showing them that disabled people can be valuable stakeholders in many ways, including in the workforce. They may be slower in their way of thinking and they may need more instructions than non-disabled people, but they are ready to learn and to contribute to their society.
We at the Sristi Foundation have the mission to change the role that intellectually disabled individuals play in Indian society. We want to enable them to reach their full potential and teach them the skills they need to become independent contributors to society who generate their own income and live in dignity and self-sufficiency. We want to make people realise that the intellectually disabled are people just like everyone else – with their own feelings, dreams and aims in life.
Through various projects we try to empower intellectually disabled people in Indian society, to give them the education, self-confidence and skills they need to be able to access their potential and lead the dignified and happy lives they deserve. We have a Special School for young children with intellectual disabilities and developmental disorders where they learn livelihood skills in a playful, adequate way. Our second project is a vocational training centre for disabled adults where they can learn how to produce handicrafts for sale as a way of generating income. The training is supposed to show the disabled their abilities and skills and strengthen their self-confidence.
Our most important project is the Sristi Village, an inclusive, eco-friendly and self-sustaining farm and village where our community members learn agricultural skills and help with all the different steps of the cultivation of crops and vegetables. Through this, they learn skills and get the feeling of being a needed and contributing member of a society that cherishes them and gives them the room to realize their potential and personalities.
It is our aim to establish an inclusive society where intellectually disabled and marginalised people can live up to their potential, learn, work and generate income together; where everyone is treated with the same respect, where everyone has his or her responsibilities and where one member is as valuable as the next. We want a society without barriers, without prejudices and without exclusion. We want a place where everybody can be him- or herself without being judged. We want to make a small step towards making the world a better place and hope to inspire many other individuals, institutions and companies to take part in this process. You can learn more about our work at http://www.sristivillage.org/.
The term “social innovation” is relatively new, but the concept itself is not. There are many examples of social innovation throughout history, from kindergartens to hospices, and from the cooperative movement to microfinance.
Social innovation is the act of framing new ideas, products, services or business models that simultaneously meet social needs and create new relationships or collaborations. There is a common myth that social innovations are essentially non-profits, but they are not. Social innovation can take place in for-profit, non-profit, or government spaces or in the spaces between them. Social innovations come from individuals, groups or organizations. Increasingly, they are happening in the spaces between these three sectors as perspectives collide to spark new ways of thinking. In simple words, a social innovation is an idea that works for the public good. These solutions are both social in their ends and in their means. They can take the form of genuine innovations or of improved solutions.
Social innovation as a new framework for entrepreneurship has been a fad for the last couple of decades in parts of Europe and other parts of the first world, and it is now catching up in other parts of the world, especially in Asian countries.
In order to understand social innovation, we first have to understand the theory of change.
Theory of Change:
A single or simple answer can’t tell us how a social innovation occurs. Social change is the result of a tremendously complex mix of ingredients: environmental conditions, social conditions and individual actors colliding to spark world-changing ideas. There is an underlying magic to social innovation that precludes any simple recipe for success.
A social start-up fosters itself based on the following three criteria:
Social innovation occurs best in diverse environments. Innovation rarely occurs within homogenous or staid structures. It happens at the peripheries, where differing approaches bump up against each other and stimulate new ways of thinking. This diversity leads to new opportunities and robust and flexible responses to common challenges. We can’t create change by doing the same things we’ve always done. By introducing diversity we provoke discovery.
The Right Environment:
Social innovation needs a conducive physical environment. Social innovators need actual spaces to spark, develop and apply their ideas. Without access to resources and support structures, even the best ideas have trouble taking flight. Balancing these characteristics, we can create a dynamic that stimulates new ideas to germinate and blossom.
Animation and Growth:
Finally, we have learned that some gentle animation can do wonders. In addition to the physical space and a diverse mix of people, it is the interventions and learning opportunities that help make connections and stimulate new thoughts and ways of doing. These inputs foster individual and collective growth and creates an environment that produces original action, which is key. And when a new idea begins to surface, a gentle touch helps it to grow.
Social Innovation – The Past Decade:
The following are some recent and contemporary trends taking place all over the globe in the past ten years:
Innovation in public services was pioneered particularly in some Scandinavian and Asian countries. Governments are increasingly recognizing that innovation requires healthcare, schooling and democracy.
Increase in social entrepreneurship, which is the practice of creating new organizations focusing on non- market activities.
Open source innovation, in which the intellectual property involved in a product or service is made freely available.
Complex adaptive systems, which have built-in mechanisms to help them adapt to changing circumstances.
Collaborative approaches which involve stakeholders who are not directly responsible for some activity, such as stockholders and unions collaborating on business issues and business collaborating with government on regulatory issues.
Localized influences that make some localities particularly innovative.
Institutional or system entrepreneurship which focuses on agents who work at a broad system level in order to create the conditions which will allow innovations to have a lasting impact.
Yes, social entrepreneurship and social innovation is becoming a fad in today’s society. More social innovations are taking place. All the developing countries are transforming. Society today is becoming collaborative by finding common and adoptable solutions to problems that exist. More and more platforms, support groups, incubators, accelerators, funders and events exist and more are flourishing in every part of the globe in order give the world collaborative solutions to address their problems.
You don’t need any specific background or qualifications to become a social entrepreneur. Anyone who has an idea to change a social problem or an idea which serves a social good for everyone and takes a step forward in implementing the idea is a social entrepreneur. You too can be a social entrepreneur one day. Let’s build a problem-free and collaborative world together.
I started learning about social innovation about three years ago. At the time, I was advising the co-founders of a US-based nonprofit empowering youth in Southern Africa. How exactly they empowered youth was a challenging question to ask.
When I first joined the team, the organization had fulfilled its original goal of supporting the youth by giving them cell phones and what I’d call “seed minutes”. They were supposed to work for more minutes and could trade minutes for goods and services. By the time I was communicating with them, they all had email addresses and some were even on Facebook. Now we had to decide what to do next; the youth wanted to meet each other more often, get educational support, and generate income, and this organization had no way of doing that besides loaning money to the youth with no expectation of repayment.
There were a lot of conference calls, phone calls, and strategic planning sessions. I offered many ideas and action steps for a model that would “graduate” the youth, who had been with the organization for over four years; recruit and admit a new cohort; and create a pool of employment, entrepreneurship, and enrichment opportunities for participants and alumni. What followed was a photography business that lasted one event.
The country the group is from is very small, so my aim was to create a leadership incubator that would prepare participants for their next steps in life. With a dozen “fellows” coming in every year or two, people in the country would notice if we were producing ambitious, engaged, and socially conscious leaders fairly quickly. I imagined our alums being given the robust foundational support that would propel them for success in business, civil society, or government. Maybe one of them could become prime minister. We’ll never know.
I wasn’t familiar with social enterprises at the time, so I didn’t know that a whole constellation of ideas, resources, and networks was emerging (or had already emerged) into a sector. I took it for granted that the businesses our youth set up would promote social good, but I didn’t have the language to explain that model or concrete examples of how that had worked.
I didn’t come to social innovation so much as run to it. When I left the organization, I was fed up with old-school nonprofits, these well-intentioned, resource-poor entities that were either too naive or too inert (sometimes both) to compete for a shrinking pool of funding from the same donors. I needed an option where the principles of social good could prevail, this time guided by operational/fiscal discipline and a wider array of funding options. I was looking for the bridge between the grassroots organization and the multinational corporation.
There still isn’t that one bridge. There are somanyconferences and workshops that try to address issues around fundraising and collaboration for social enterprises and the organizations that support them. There are a feworganizations that have emerged as a bridge between the boardroom and the field, but the sector as a whole hasn’t reached that point. How can it, when so many people have never heard the terms “social innovation” or “social impact” and even people in the sector disagree on the difference, if any exists, between a “social business” and a “social enterprise”?
When your goal is to reach the base of the pyramid, to design products and services that empower the poor and then catalyze those same people as producers of more good products and services, the day-to-day work can be draining. From funding gaps to cultural barriers to ignorance of what to ask, social entrepreneurs, social “intrapreneurs”, and the people who try to support them are doing hard work in the face of higher stakes. But what else can we do? Let the problems persist?
Startup Weekend can’t dictate the answers to questions around how to recruit and retain a team, whether to raise grants or seek impact investment, or how to engage large institutional partners like the UN or the government. While we can’t give you the answers, we can build small bridges for you to use: a room full of people who will hear your pitch without judgement, connections with mentors who have struggled and even failed at times, and concrete feedback that you can use to continue pursuing your vision on Monday morning.
What I’ve realized is that there can’t be one bridge for a social innovator. Social innovation is one field that can’t discriminate based on region or sector. A healthcare innovation in the Middle East is just as valid as an education innovation in Latin America and both demand a different set of ethical, financial, and operational considerations. And that’s what you will get with Startup Weekend: consideration. We will take you and your idea seriously and foster a space where all 54 program hours will be used to help you grow. If that matters to you, join us. All are welcome.
Business plays a major part in social evolution and this allows a person to possess his or her own idea in any field. These people are those who have bravely selected a critical, low-profit and unpopular (when they started) idea and start that evolution among those villages where they live.
Two of these people are Mr. M. Shivalingam and Mrs. A. Kumari, changemakers who had the strong will to follow their purpose. Initially they were members of an NGO from 1996-2004 where they learned organic farming, after which they started teaching organic farming to villages in the Villupuram District. They taught in 10 villages altogether, including Marakkanam, Vaanur, and Mugayiur.
Later, based on their experiences and challenges gained in training, they started CARE Society by gathering many organic farmers. They started with raising awareness among school children by conducting essay and drawing competitions on environmental issues and ways to address them. They also started educating inorganic farmers about the importance, necessity and techniques of organic farming.
Eventually, they decided to find a solution for the major problems faced by farmers. These include a lack of seeds during particular sowing seasons and increased fertilizer usage, which increases the yield but makes the land infertile and increases the cost of pesticide purchases. These problems not only affect farmers but also pollute the air, water, and land. The effects extend beyond the environment to include people consuming products which make them vulnerable to new diseases; for example, infections in a mother’s milk affects her child. This usage not only affects human health; it also affects the farmers’ economic burden as their debts on chemical purchases increase.
To teach the farmers about losses and profits, an experiment was carried out in which among 10 farmers 10 percent of their land was taken as trail plot and another 10 percent was taken as comparison plot for organic and inorganic farming to be carried out respectively. A farmer school was set up and accounts were recorded for both farming and harvesting activities. After harvesting, Mr. Shivalingam and Mrs. Kumari compared the profit margins and found that organic farming was more profitable.
The actual innovative work started after this and they planned two projects: a seed bank and a farmer producer company.
The seed bank evolved in response to a lack of traditional seeds available to farmers during the sowing season. Mr. Shivalingam and Mrs. Kumari pitched this idea to UnLtd Tamil Nadu in 2014 for incubation when they needed seed funding and mentorship. The main idea behind the seed bank is that various Indian traditional seeds – namely Sengalpattu Sirumani (Chengalpattu Sirumani) and Kichali Samba – have been collected and stored in seed banks as they are highly nutritional and can be produced in high quantities compared to hybrid varieties of seeds available in markets. These traditional seeds are more suitable for Indian soil, so members of the seed bank are provided with seed during the sowing season on the condition that after harvesting they repay double the amount of seeds they used. No payment is required, but help is offered to struggling farmers at the right time so that they don’t miss the seasonal growth and sale of a particular product.
As a result of these efforts, about 72 farmers have been completely converted to organic farming and eight farm clubs have been created among different villages. These clubs were started in different villages with a maximum of 20 villagers as members. Farmers are coached on various farming strategies and receive help to implement ideas. The clubs also serve a social cause of addressing other problems faced by the particular village, including demands for proper roads and electricity.
FARMER PRODUCER COMPANY
Initially organic farmers harvested their lands to feed their own families, with the remaining harvest sent to market for sales. However, sales and profits of the products have been affected as the products aren’t separately marketed as organic. Another reason for low profit is the interference of middlemen in the market, who increase their profits at the expense of the farmers.
The farmer producer company evolved as a solution to provide marketing opportunities to organic farmers. There are even plans for e-commerce opportunities to be developed in the future. These opportunities can reduce actual product cost as it reduces the hands involved in production. This then reduces the cost of product in market and increases farmers’ profit margins.
- This is India’s first Startup Weekend with the theme as Social Innovation. It is being organized by professionals in the social enterprise sector to bring the Lean Startup philosophy to disrupt the Social Enterprise sector. We are proud to partner with Intuit, UnLtd Tamil Nadu and Unitus Seed Fund.
- In the global Editions Month contest, Startup Weekend Social Innovation has grabbed the second place from among entries from 11 different countries for having the right story, getting the right people to the event and starting community conversations! And yes, the organizers have won a free trip to the Blackstone Community Symposium in Madrid, Spain! Read the story that won the prize here (http://story.socialinnovation.org.in/).
- We have a diverse set of judges. Their specialties are across all of these domains: Entrepreneur turned Corporate Leader, Management Consultant turned Founder of India’s first truly Eco-labelled e-store, one of India’s most active Impact Angel Investors, a Social Auditor and Educator, a renowned Visual Artist and Designer and a true-blue Venture Capitalist!
- Our mentors and coaches span across Industries and have earned their mettle. We have a CTO–Venture Fund Partner – Creative Community founder all rolled into one, a founding organizer of Startup Weekend in India and Founder of an Analytics firm, an expert in Bioinformatics and Biotechnology, an accidental but successful entrepreneur healing broken hearts, a strategy consultant in gender inclusion and education, a team of investment consultant from a seed-stage Venture fund that invests in startups innovating for the masses of India.
- Thanks to the generosity of our Partner, Intuit India, our participants can stay overnight and work through the 54 hours, with food, shelter and entertainment taken care of!
- Thanks to UnLtd Tamil Nadu, our Resource Partner, we have a truly diverse set of participants. We have participants coming in from places as different as Auroville and a tribal community in Tamil Nadu!
- Thanks to Unitus Seed Fund, we have a fantastic representation from the Investing team to coach, identify and possibly incubate the most promising team at the event!
- There are gifts for all participants. Everyone gets a .CO domain courtesy .CO and $500 credits on Google Cloud!
- The winning teams are eligible for the “Who is On Board” test by edge, complimentary delegate passes to The August Fest and membership to BeaglesLoft, a playground for innovators and artists, to accelerate progress, make beautiful things and develop big ideas.
- On 30th May, Saturday, we will facilitate interactions between Social Enterprises and the participants, so that we make this event truly meaningful.
All participants get:
- .CO is proud to be a Global Sponsor of Startup Weekend and to provide every participant access to their own .CO domain for free.
- Google Cloud Platform is offering developers $500 of credit to build your web or mobile apps.
Winning teams are eligible for:
- The “Who Is On Board” test by edge, a prize sponsor for Startup Weekend Social Innovation Bengaluru!
- Complimentary delegate passes to “The August Fest”, India’s largest Startup Festival at Hyderabad
- Membership to BeaglesLoft, a playground for innovators and artists, to accelerate progress, make beautiful things and develop big ideas