Six women-led start-ups in the energy space, graduating from POWERED Accelerator’s first cohort of 10 start-ups, will receive seed funding of $10,000 each, from the programme.

The selected start-ups include Cellerite Systems, Loans4SME, HoneyComb Inventions, Kumudini Enterprises, Upcycler’s Lab and Taru Naturals.

Set up as a joint initiative of UK-based Shell Foundation, the UK government’s Department for International Development, Government of India’s Department for Science and Technology and managed by Zone Startups India, POWERED Accelerator focuses on women-led businesses in the energy value chain.

The 10 start-ups chosen for the first cohort from 130 applications showcased their innovative technology solutions to an audience of investors, corporates, government representatives and CSR heads in September.

Their solutions address issues across mobility, energy access, energy finance, sustainability awareness, healthcare and food security.

“POWERED Accelerator is a first-of-its-kind women entrepreneurship programme focused on energy-linked businesses. The number of women entrepreneurs is not very high and there are fewer in the energy business. We received 130 applications to the programme, which exceeded our expectations by far. We are super impressed with the cohort’s overall participation in the 6-week programme and will continue to engage with them for a year during which we will see that they utilise the seed money effectively, help them get customers and the next round of institutional funding,” Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director, Zone Startups India, told BusinessLine.

The objective of the programme is to support selected ventures, expand their innovative and consumer-responsive services, products and financing by taking them through an accelerator programme that includes validation, peer network, mentorship, industry connects and access to investors.

HDFC Bank, Microsoft Corporation and L&T Public Charitable Trust are partners for the programme and support the cohort by providing infrastructure and mentoring.

Cellerite Systems is developing an Electric Vehicle charger that focuses on reducing the charging time of the vehicle; Loans4SME is an alternative lending platform that connects energy businesses with debt providers. While HoneyComb Inventions aims at enhancing the duration of power backup supplies of healthcare facilities, Kumudini Enterprises provides energy services and devices in rural communities with special focus on tribal groups. Upcycler’s Lab makes sustainability-based learning tools for children and Taru Naturals is a network that connects farmer communities with clean technology and renewable energy.