Powered Accelerator Announces 2nd Cohort of Women Entrepreneurs in Energy Domain

Powered Accelerator launched last year as joint initiative of Shell Foundation, DST India, DFID UK and Zone Startups

Continuing its efforts in supporting women entrepreneurs in the energy domain, Powered Accelerator has selected nine women to be a part of its Second Cohort and will offer them financial and business support to help them develop their businesses and deliver access to energy solutions across India.

The accelerator programme, spread over three months will include mentorship in various domains, one-on-one interactions with industry experts and investors, peer community building, showcase opportunity and access to a range of services and support.

Selected companies from the 2nd cohort will be supported with an equity-free seed fund of up to $10,000

In April last year, the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID), Shell Foundation (a UK-based charity), Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology, and Zone Startups India announced the POWERED Accelerator – a first of its kind entrepreneurship programme focused on twin Sustainable Development Goals of Energy and Diversity. The programme has since hosted its first cohort comprising 10 startups, extended equity- free seed fund of $10,000 to 6 startups and hosted a bootcamp for 5 very early-stage startups.

The objective of the Powered Accelerator is to support women-led ventures by helping them expand their innovative and consumer-responsive products and services; the ultimate goal is to empower women-owned and managed businesses in the energy space. The accelerator is focused on core themes of access to energy, sustainable mobility, waste to value, energy efficiency, and smart energy solutions.

The top nine women selected for the Second Cohort were selected from a cumulative application pool of 150+ applications. The entrepreneurs were evaluated based on the applicant’s background, innovativeness, the scale of impact, problem solution fit, clarity of thought, and programme fit. The selected entrepreneurs will now receive support for one year to scale their business including a 4 week residential mentoring programme and access to an equity-free seed fund upto $10,000 each.

“With the success of the first cohort, DFID is keen to continue its support for this transformative platform helping businesses scale up and increase their social impact. The 2nd cohort has a range of businesses from diverse geographies working on energy access, waste to energy, energy efficiency, and clean energy livelihoods. Opportunities for greater inclusion and sustainability are unlocked by working with these women led businesses moving us closer to the twin sustainable development goals of energy access and diversity,” says Adritha Subbiah, Energy and Green Growth Analyst, DFID India

“At Shell Foundation, we are proud to support the continued progress of the Powered Accelerator, helping female entrepreneurs working on innovative off-grid energy access technologies. We believe this 2nd cohort can be transformative in building long-term business solutions to meet India’s off-grid energy needs, delivering employment and new technologies that will positively improve the lives and livelihoods of people in low-income rural and urban areas,”says Sam Parker, Director, Shell Foundation.


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