A six months incubation program, UNLEASH Plus 2022, has wrapped up its Dragons’ Den at Infosys Mysuru, which saw 11 UNLEASH Plus teams make final start-up pitches on their solutions to a panel of judges.

The winners of the Dragons’ Den competed for $60,000 in awards to bring their social ventures to the next step of their scaling journey. Ramboll and Infosys offered a total grant of $10,000 to Bare Craft Consulting, Hope Behind Bars received a funding of $25,000 from HCL, and SOLVillion received a funding of $25,000 from Chemonics International.  

UNLEASH Plus program seeks to build the capacities of social entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and activists, by supporting them with the implementation of solutions for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Co-hosted by UNLEASH and Chemonics International, this program culminates in a final competitive event, the Dragons’ Den, where 11 teams pitch their solutions to a panel of judges,

This year, the teams that made it to the very end of the program focused on a wide range of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including solutions that solve SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG - 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, SDG 4 - Quality Education, SDG 13 - Climate Action, SDG 2 - Zero Hunger, and SDG  6 - Clean Water and Sanitation.

Related Stories
‘Revv Up’ accelerator picks 62 startups for AI cohort
The 12-month third cohort represents 15 sectors such as Enterprise SaaS, Smart Cities, Agriculture, Healthcare and Education among others

The event saw pitches from Airee Felt from Mongolia, Arena Recycling from East and South Africa, Hope Behind Bars from Nigeria, Alokito Teachers from Bangladesh, Eutechtics from the United Kingdom, BeFly from Colombia, Ecotutu from Nigeria, Assista Limited from Malawi, Bare Craft Consulting from India, and SOLVillion from Jordan.   

This year’s jury of funders included - Melissa Gasmi, Senior Vice President, Middle East & North Africa Chemonics International; Dr. Rajeshwari S. Raina, Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence, HCL; Shaji Mathew, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Delivery - BFSI, Healthcare & Lifesciences, Infosys; Vidya Basarkod, Managing Director, Ramboll India & Director, Ramboll Engineering Centre. 

The panel of judges at the Dragons’ Den event will also provide mentorship for a year to the 11 teams that participated in the Dragons’ Den event. 

Related Stories
Start-up funding drops 35% in 11 months of 2022
Decline in late-stage investments and muted seed stage rounds cited as reasons
About the winners
  • Bare Craft Consulting: This India-based company bridges the gap between rural craft communities and global craft businesses through supply chain innovation integrating UN Sustainable Development Goals. 
  • Hope Behind Bars: This Nigerian start-up promotes access to justice and criminal justice reforms by building a community of legally-empowered citizens using tech and data. 
  • SOLVillion: The Jordan-based company focuses on providing an alternative solution for septic tank problems through Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems called DWWS.

UNLEASH is a global initiative committed to bringing youth together to share ideas, build networks, and create innovative and scalable solutions to help reach Sustainable Development Goals. UNLEASH said it has till now engaged 5,000 young people from 167 countries and facilitated the development of 700 SDG solutions with almost 1,000 partners. Since 2017, UNLEASH has run three annual Innovation Labs in Denmark, Singapore, and China.

Related Stories
Centre approves ₹1,584-crore National Mission on Natural Farming
Lack of organic carbon in the soil is a serious concern, says Union Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Narendra Singh Tomar