IIT Madras Incubation Cell (IITMIC) has collaborated Samunnati Foundation, a non-profit subsidiary of Samunnati Financial Intermediation and Services Private Ltd, to encourage innovative technologies in agriculture and allied areas in India.
The two organizations have signed a MoU to promote agritech startups to improve farmer incomes, reduce waste and encourage sustainable agriculture. Through this partnership, the organizations will provide incubation support/facilities to entrepreneurial ventures, prepare position papers and propose policy recommendations.
This collaboration ties into Samunnati Foundation’s goal of creating a tangible difference in the lives of entrepreneurs among unserved/ underserved agricultural communities. By partnering with IITMIC, Samunnati aims to provide strategic and operational guidance, training, mentoring, networking, and other necessary resources to help India’s visionary agritech startups establish themselves and scale their presence.
Sharing his views on the partnership, Mr. Anilkumar SG, Founder and CEO, Samunnati said, “We as a country are witnessing a buoyancy in the entrepreneurial energy especially in agriculture. It is heartening to see several youngsters from IIT/IIMs taking up entrepreneurship in agriculture. We also see a lot of private capital flowing into these young start-ups.”
Further, Mr. Anilkumar SG said, “Being an eco-system player, Samunnati aims to nurture this entrepreneurial energy by collaborating with premier institutions to incubate, nurture and scale these ideas which can transform the agri space in this country with focus on the small holder farmer. We are excited about this partnership with IIT Madras Incubation Cell, which has been the cradle for many deep tech and social startups that have scaled successfully. With IITMIC focusing on agriculture, we are confident that the eco-system will see a huge fillip to start ups in agriculture.”
Speaking on the outcome of this collaboration Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, President, IIT Madras Incubation Cell (IITMIC) and IIT Madras Research Park (IITMRP), said, “This partnership focusses on encouraging innovative technologies in agriculture and allied areas. We will work together in developing the ecosystem necessary to support entrepreneurs, and jointly incubate startups in this space. This partnership will offer mentoring support for product development, advisory services, networking for business development, training, funding assistance and technological support and will focus on strengthening the agriculture entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Key areas and Technologies which will also be jointly explored, specifically under Sustainable Agriculture are:
1. Promotion of Alternative crops – Research on the types of Millets and promotion of millet-based menus through commercialization of millet food items.
2. Adopting a green agricultural ecosystem- green agricultural machinery, solar pumps, finance related technology products, electric vehicles for Agri transport
3. Food processing technologies- To look at indigenously developed medium scale technology to pre-process packaged food locally while retaining nutritional quality.
4. Support services for agricultural community- To look at supporting farmers through enabling purchase and sale of produce, finance, insurance against price & weather fluctuations, agricultural advisories, transport & agricultural machinery hire and labour hire.