Dropping the social in social entrepreneur

About 9 months into my TechSangam blogging journey (that would be circa 2012), I was one of the guest bloggers at the Villgro Unconvention 2011. I recall a discussion where panelists were asked to predict where the social enterprise ecosystem would be in 10 years. You are probably yawning and rolling your eyes. I did too when …

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Why doing good with tech is hard

The blog comes alive.. or should I say “starting to flicker” after years. Thanks to my morning Twitter timeline, I read this beautiful piece by Jonathan Stray (computer scientist and investigative journalist) that I’m taking the liberty to selectively excerpt. You (long-form reader) are directed to entire the entire article here. The rest of you …

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World Bank India Development Marketplace: Finalist Review Part 1

[Editor’s Note: The World Bank’s Development Marketplace (DM) is a competitive grants program that surfaces and funds innovative projects with high potential for development impact that are scalable and/or replicable. Through a combination of grant funds and strategic technical advisory support, the grant aims to catalyze innovative social enterprise solutions delivering a range of social and public …

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Why you should attend Sankalp Forum 2013

By now they should have changed the venue of Sankalp Forum from Mumbai to Bangalore. I attended the third edition of Sankalp in 2011. The only reason I missed it last year (and will sadly be missing this year’s edition too) is because it’s in Mumbai, and not  Bangalore. Is there any other metro that …

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Poor leap-frogging the rich?

Just read an intriguing Mother Jones article on the adoption of solar power in India’s slums. The two solar startups profiled in the article? Bangalore-based Simpa Networks and Bangalore-based Pollinate Energy. Here’s another interesting nugget – the co-founders of Simpa are two Americans and one Canadian while the co-founders of Pollinate are Australian. Australia vs. …

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Mentor or advisor? What do you need for your enterprise?

[Editor’s Note: Ennovent, an early stage social investor fund which morphed into an accelerator of innovations for sustainability in low-income markets, recently hosted a gathering of entrepreneurs and mentors. The insights from the gathering were gleaned into an article which their Communications Manager (Perzen Patel) has shared with me. How mentors are different from advisors and …

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Indian Social Enterprises Getting a Silicon Valley Makeover

TechCrunch reports that Bangalore/Seattle-based Unitus Seed Fund got a fresh infusion of $8 million from a bevy of A-list investors – from Silicon Valley and Bangalore. I believe the entry of the Silicon Valley investors represents a major inflection point for the Indian social enterprise ecosystem. A major inflection point — not because there’s an …

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Announcing Tata Social Enterprise Challenge

  2012 has been the year of social enterprise challenges and social enterprise incubators in India. The exciting addition to the former is  Tata Group’s announcement of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge, a joint initiative with IIM Calcutta. Details below. TATA Social Enterprise Challenge – A Joint Initiative with IIM Calcutta aims to be India’s …

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