N/Core, an incubator for non-profit startups on Wednesday unveiled Series/N, a first of its kind accelerator fund that will support about 30 nonprofit startups over 5 years with grants of up to Rs 2 crore for each firm.
N/Core has already incubated 35 nonprofits since it started in September 2017. Series/N will provide growth capital exclusively as grants to high potential nonprofit firms and accelerate their impact. The initiative has a total corpus of Rs 40 crore.
Beyond grants, selected entrepreneurs will also be mentored by N/Core Partners such as K R Lakshminarayana (Lan), chief endowment officer of Azim Premji Foundation, Sanjay Purohit, chief curator of Societal Platform, and S K Jain, co-founder of WestBridge Capital. Series/N will also invest deeply to build the capacity of the founders and organisations to solve critical problems at scale.
The initiative also deepens N/Core’s multi-year partnership with tech giant Cisco which has participated in the fund along with Ford Foundation and IRB Infrastructure.
“The N/Core tech cohorts have amazed us with their vision and ability to use technology to solve some of our biggest social challenges. Their work takes us closer to our vision to positively impact 50 million lives by 2025,” said VC Gopalratnam, SVP, IT at Cisco Systems.
Series/N signals a growing recognition of the importance of nonprofit entrepreneurship at a time when India’s development sector has a deficit of startup capital. “With our support, we hope Series/N will be able to bridge some of this gap and increase mindshare for nonprofit entrepreneurs”, said Pradeep Nair, regional director, Ford Foundation.