Let us be a part of your growth story

Meta Pragati

1. Program Description:
The/Nudge Accelerator

The/Nudge Accelerator is a program  to accelerate early-stage nonprofits  that have the potential to achieve outsized sustainable impact. Over a period of 12-24 months, The/Nudge CSI Partners work closely with the founders and their core teams to get their ideas in the best possible shape – ready to fundraise, hire and scale. Alongside, we offer an a grant of INR 50 lakhs in the first year and upto INR 150 lacs in the second year, a network of world-class mentors, and connects to potential partners who can accelerate their path to scale readiness.

2. Who can apply ?
  • Early-stage startup (1-5 years) with a well defined program.
  • Registered as a section 8 company, a trust or a society.
  • Your solution provides resilient livelihoods for the poorest of the poor or acts as a change transmitter providing financial, marketing or technology agency to the underserved for resilient livelihoods.
  • Core team across functions in place.
  • You have raised money from other sources.
3. What do we offer?
  • Receive funding up to INR 15 Lakhs for the incubator and upto Rs. 50 Lakhs for the accelerator (based on the stage of the organisation & completion of set milestones).
  • Receive dedicated mentoring and strategic advice from a Collective of experts and CSI Partners.
  • Join a community of exceptional leaders and get access to an ecosystem of support.
4. FAQs:

Can ‘founder only’ organizations apply?

No. For The/Nudge Accelerator, we prefer an early stage organisation, but one where a good part of the core team is in place.

I have been part of another Incubator/Accelerator and/or have received grant from other sources. Can I apply?

Yes you can.

I applied for The/Nudge Incubator/Accelerator a few months back, can I re-apply?

You may re-apply for The/Nudge Accelerator if you meet the eligibility criteria. Please highlight your progress since your last application, to improve your chances of selection.

Should I apply to the Incubator, Accelerator, or Pragati?

We’d prefer that you apply to the appropriate program given the maturity of your org (link to who can apply section on home page). During the selection process if we feel you are more suitable for another program, we will suggest moving your application to that program.

What is the selection process?

Our selection process begins with online applications. Shortlisted applicants will be required to submit a detailed business deck (PPT), followed by interviews with The/Nudge SocEnt team and CSI Partners. The/Nudge SocEnt team will do a site visit to assess the viability and model impact of the most promising applicants.

Do I need to submit a startup plan? What will it include?

The shortlisted applicants from online applications will be requested to submit their startup plan in a presentation format. the startup plans should include answers to the following questions:

What problem are you trying to solve?

Why this problem?

What is your solution approach?

Why do you think this will work?

Who are your customers/beneficiaries?

How do you reach them or intend to reach them?

Are there any other nonprofits doing similar work?

List names and list 1 primary reason you are different from them.

How would you describe your organization's key achievements till now?

How much money have you raised till now, and how much in the last year?

What are your impact metrics and what is your strategy for the next 1,3,5 years?

What is your operational plan for the next 12 months?

How would you measure your progress?

How many full time employees do you have?

Describe your core team members and what each brings to the table. If you had Rs 2 crore funding available over the next 2 years, how would you use it?

Can you redefine your strategy (in Q6) based on the availability of this funding?

If your organisation was incorporated over 3 years ago, but has a new idea that you are pitching, one extra thing to include - a map of the earlier journey and why the new idea has come about and how it is different from the earlier work you have been doing.

What do you offer to selected candidates?

We offer
- a scale/growth grant of upto 200 lakhs
- hands on 1:1 mentoring by a CSI partner and a focussed support on organization building
- support from portfolio manager
- connects to potential donors and partners
- access to like minded alumni network

What do you offer to selected candidates?

The deep hands-on support for 9 - 12 months includes
- 1-on-1 mentoring by a CSI partner through virtual interactions every two weeks. This helps entrepreneurs achieve strategic clarity and refine their business model.
- focussed support on organisational structure through horizontal mentoring with subject matter experts: 1-on-1 weekly support by the SocEnt portfolio manager, as a thought partner, and skin-in-the-game collaborator in the success of their incubatees.
- face-to-face as well as virtual immersion events, usually held in Bangalore during the various bootcamps. These are designed to help entrepreneurs to meet fellow cohort members, immerse in The/Nudge CSI DNA through interactions with some of India’s most admired leaders, forge a bond with the The/Nudge SocEnt portfolio manager, and the The/Nudge CSI Partner assigned to be their mentor and most importantly, to get ready to scale their product.

Is the program delivered remotely or in-person?

While mentoring will happen remotely over telephone / video chat, founders and leadership teams will be required to attend bootcamps in person. These will be opportunities for face-to-face interactions with mentors, and will be held in Bangalore.

What does 1-on-1 mentoring involve?

During the period of support, you will be paired with one of the CSI Partners as your strategic mentor, while members of your core team will be introduced to mentors in their own functional areas. The objective of this engagement is to help you achieve key milestones like attaining product market fit, getting the first rounds of funding, building a brand, hiring your team etc. in an accelerated manner. Your Partner and mentors will coach you, as well as open doors for you by connecting you to individuals and organizations that can help you in your mission. As field visits are a great way to get the right context, we also encourage you to engage your Partner / mentors to visit your customers with you.

The Accelerator portfolio manager will establish (through face to face meetings for pitching your organisation’s work) connects with CSR leaders and representatives of global and domestic philanthropic foundations. In parallel, we will help you with your fundraising strategy and in refining your pitch.

What can I use the grant for?

While the grants will be mainly of an unrestricted nature, they will be subject to the following restrictions.
- no more than Rs 12 lacs a year out of the Seed / Scale grant can be used for founder’s salary / stipend: in Seed grants, the organisation will need to have reached a MVP stage in the first 6 months with Accelerator.
- after accounting for the founder’s stipend, at least 50% of the remaining Seed grant and at least 70% of the remaining Scale grant should be spent on direct program costs.
- 50% of the grant is unrestricted, and the remaining 50% should be spent on the program.

Do you have a focus on technology solutions?

We believe technology has the power to accelerate social development, as tech-enabled products and services can help scale ideas much faster and at an affordable rate. We welcome nonprofits that leverage technology in their product, service or outreach, to bring about social change.

The Basics

About The Organization

About the  Founder 1

About the  Founder 2

Problem Statement

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Step 1/3

Founder Info

Step 2/3

Organization Info

STEP 3/3


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Register interest for 2022 accelerator cohort

The/Nudge Accelerator applications are now closed, in case you have any queries please reach out at csi@thenudge.org.