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Apply Now | Land Accelerator South Asia, 2021

The Land Accelerator is a first-of-its-kind four month program, anchored by a six-day workshop; fostering entrepreneurship and supporting leaders who are restoring farms and forests across South Asia.

Apply now!

World Resources Institute India (WRI India) and Sangam Ventures are jointly hosting The Land Accelerator for South Asia in New Delhi this July-Oct, 2021. A four-month program, anchored by a six-day workshop, the Land Accelerator trains and supports entrepreneurs working towards restoring land (farms and forests) by planting trees, boosting crop yields and introducing innovative technologies.

Click here to know more.

Benefits of applying to the program

  • No registration costs, free program participation
  • Receive a grant of € 3,000 at successful completion of the program
  • Free travel and accommodation in New Delhi during 6 days in-person workshop
  • Focussed handholding for women entrepreneurs
  • Customized curriculum related to land restoration
  • Peer learning with other entrepreneurs
  • Connect with mentors who can help you scale
  • Pitch your business to investors at Demo Day

Program highlights

  • Top 60 companies join us for an all-virtual business creation and growth acceleration process
  • Top 30 companies will receive customized feedback on their progress for 3 months
  • Top 15 companies (at the end of 3 months) will present live before an eminent panel of Investors and will be awarded 3,000 Euro Innovation Grants at successful completion.

Apply to the program if you are

  • Working to improve an agrarian or farm or forest landscape through a business approach. This includes climate-smart agriculture, sustainable forestry, reforestation, non-timber forest products and similar activities.
  • A female restoration entrepreneur
  • Interested in raising money for your venture.
  • Keen to learn fast – both in the classroom and by connecting with mentors and other entrepreneurs globally.
  • Based in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

“I am not sure if my company qualifies.”

If that is the thought that crossed your mind, the FAQs below might prove helpful. Even if you are NOT sure if your company qualifies,we encourage you to apply – it’s free!

Q: My project is not structured as a company. Actually, it is part of a non-profit initiative. Does it qualify?

A: The important thing to consider is: Does the “project” rely on market forces; are customers or clients purchasing your products or services? Many successful companies or financially self-sustainable operations have sprung out of community-led or non-profit organizations.

Q: For what stage company is the Land Accelerator created? Am I in the ‘too late’ stage?

A: The Land Accelerator was created to help scale companies who restore land. Therefore, we are seeking companies who are past the idea stage, yet still see something to be gained from the activities and networking that our program will bring together. For instance, the Land Accelerator team has visited companies who have their goods in over 400 retail locations around India and are seeking to be in every relevant store worldwide. We encourage entrepreneurs with innovative workable prototypes, business models, products, solutions and services at or post validation stage to apply positively.

We aim to bring powerful entrepreneurs together, with great mentors and strategists, for a one-of-a-kind retreat-like atmosphere where you’ll be guided in partnership with experts to think big and translate the dreams into actions.

Q: Am I too small or too early stage to be considered?

A: Even as The Land Accelerator is seeing many larger companies; new and small companies can also be a great fit. Especially if there is some uniqueness to the offering. Again, the Accelerator is designed for companies that are at least in the testing phase of taking their product to market. Do not be shy to apply, as applying is free, and it will allow our team to get to know your company.

Q: What are the criteria on which a company will be judged? A: There are five main criteria that the judging committee is taking into account: profitability, scalability, replicability, environmental impact and social impact of the company. In addition to these five criteria, the committee will also consider a company’s uniqueness, quality of the team and current traction of the company.

Q: How can I tell if my company restores land in such a way that would make it eligible for the Land Accelerator? A: The Land Accelerator is considering applications from a very broad array of companies that are supporting land restoration in various ways. We have included a partial list of sectors below, but this does not include all possibilities. If you are not sure, then we would encourage you to apply. For example, we have already seen many businesses apply that are in unique categories of their own. One thing is true: there are innumerable ways that entrepreneurs are improving land. The partial list of some business models that are recognized as restoring land:

  • IOT smart agriculture soil monitoring
  • Smart irrigation
  • Water conservation
  • Agroforestry, silvopasture
  • Organic land amendments
  • Non-timber forest products
  • Sustainably produced forest products
  • Tree planting – native species or interspersing commercial trees and native trees
  • Fruit trees, productive trees, interplanting with other crops or native tree species
  • Specific plantings that restore land or fight desertification (i.e. bamboo brings moisture to soil and builds humus; cashew plantations protect against soil erosion, contribute to increasing soil fertility and create a cooler microclimate.)
  • Urban forestry
  • Bee keeping
  • Livelihoods through forest conservation or products
  • Conservation agriculture techniques and consulting
  • Rejuvenating forests, agrarian landscapes, waterways, coastal and marine ecosystems, soils, wetlands (including peatlands and mangroves) as well as marine systems through new and smart green methods.
  • Sustainable Energy-Water solution for medium to large scale irrigation
  • Preserving agroecology: Promoting crop biodiversity (different kind of plantation), controlling soil erosion, reducing nutrient runoff and supporting pollinators (bees/wasps etc.) and other beneficial insects and other biodiversity.
  • Integrated pest management (IPM)
  • Organic Farming, minimising chemicals
  • Adopting agroforestry practices
  • Commercialising value-added forest to encourage communities to grow such produce on larger forest tracks (Custard Apple, Tamarind, Indian Blackberry etc.)
  • Startups offering some financial solutions to those practicing sustainable farming systems, landscape restoration etc.
  • Biofertilisers/organic polymers to restore barren and dry lands by preserving nutrients and water for practicing profitable cultivation.
  • Building and maintaining healthy soil: Conserving soil health that aids to boost productivity naturally (mineral particles, organic matter, air, water, and living organisms, recycling of nutrients, mixed crop-livestock systems particularly in developing countries

Apply now!

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