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The Sustainability Mafia Unveils Susventures, Aims To Create 100 Climate Startups In Three Years

SusVentures has pledged to offer a non-dilutive grant of over Rs 31 lakhs to eligible startups emerging from the program

The Sustainability Mafia Unveils Susventures, Aims To Create 100 Climate Startups In Three Years

Outlook Start-Up Desk

POSTED ON February 22, 2024 10:13 PM

The Sustainability Mafia, a community of over 60 climate entrepreneurs, has launched ‘Sustainability Ventures’ aka ‘SusVentures’ startup creation program to create 100 climate action companies by the end of 2026. 

The inaugural cohort of SusVentures was kickstarted recently in collaboration with the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (BITS Pilani), the first official university partner of the program. In the first cohort, 50 student entrepreneurs from multiple engineering disciplines across the Hyderabad, Goa, and Pilani campuses of BITS Pilani enrolled into the program to build 14 startups in sectors like circular economy, energy efficiency, EV and solar. 

Founded in 2017 as a not-for-profit (Section 8 company), The Sustainability Mafia, is a community of over 60 climate entrepreneurs. SusVentures is a venture creation engine that enables upcoming entrepreneurs to identify and build their climate-tech startups around critical problem statements spanning across various industries that need attention on a priority basis.

SusVentures program has already pledged to offer a non-dilutive grant of over Rs 31 lakhs to a few eligible startups emerging from the program to fuel their growth. Moreover, Theia Ventures, an official investment partner, intends to invest $100,000 in equity funding for promising startups emerging from the program. 

Speaking about the program launch, Arjun P Gupta, director of The Sustainability Mafia said, “At SusMafia, we are all in on climate action and have a shared purpose of ‘give more than get’. We are excited to launch SusVentures as our flagship program—designed and driven by industry veterans from the vibrant SusMafia community to provide activated mentorship to new climate startups.”

SusVentures has received philanthropic support from Rohit Rajput of Intersection Ventures, Pradip Burman, chairman of Dabur Nepal, Mirik Gogri of Spectrum Impact and CSR funding from companies including Parksons Packaging and Sanghvi Movers. 

Aditya Bhat, co-founder of Sustainability Ventures added, “Entrepreneurship is the biggest lever while solving for the climate and the need for SusVentures to bridge market gaps and limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius is crystal clear. We believe that as we achieve our mission of creating 100 climate startups in three years, we shall bring innovative technologies to market, create thousands of green jobs, foster the socio-economic well-being of communities and make progress in achieving SDGs.” 

The SusVentures program’s lineup of instructors and mentors include Ameya A, a senior people leader, and founders of climate startups including Krishnan Kasturirangan of Wastelink, Ankit Mittal of Sheru, Raju Namburi of Bridge Things, Anirudh Gupta of Climes, Anirudh Ramesh of Irasus Technologies, Varun Karasia of Satma CE, Rishika Reddy of The Mend Packaging, Kishan Karunakaran of Buyofuel and Himanshu Sharma of Theia Ventures. 

Additionally, industry leaders like Saurabh Kumar of GEAPP, Shyamal Kumar of Lavelle Networks and Jason Jay of MIT School of Sustainability have taken guest lectures so far along with professors from BITS Pilani.

Sachin Arya, CEO of Incubation and Entrepreneurship at BITS Pilani said, “The partnership is an extension of our commitment to further strengthen the already thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus. Together with SusMafia, we will work towards extending this program to the larger community of innovators and entrepreneurs.”

The SusVentures program will match each startup with a ‘Dedicated Mentor’ who is a known entrepreneur in the domain and will support the team with expertise, market access, deep customer connections for pilots, and more. ‘Hand holding’ vis-à-vis dedicated office hours and in-class workshops are also provided so that teams are prepared to pitch to investors during ‘Pitch Day’, win grant funding, access investors’ networks, and gain further activated acceleration support.  

The program will be offered via two formats—in collaboration with top-tier Indian universities and in-person Immersion Programs for a wider pool of applicants; including working professionals, corporate leaders, serial entrepreneurs and researchers. 

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