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Upaya Social Ventures – Amit Alex

Our Speaker of the day Mr. Amit Alex delivered a very well-articulated and informative talk on the topic “What it takes for an initiative to be funding ready?” He started his talk by explaining various funding options available for For-Profit organizations and Non-Profit organizations. For-Profit organizations have options such as Bootstrapping, Crowdfunding, Angel Investment, Venture Capital, Incubators/Accelerators, Competitions/Challenges, and Debt Funding. On the other hand, Non-profit organizations can get funding from Bootstrapping, Crowdfunding and Grants such as CSR Funding, Foundations, and Fund Raising.

After exploring various options of funding sources, the next question is “Being Fund Ready”. Generally, there are four phases to check whether the organization is fund ready, and check in which phase the organization is in. In the First Phase, organization should identify the problem that needs to be addressed by certain solution that will be the Hypothesis and solution will be the organization. In the Second Phase organization tests the Problem and in the Third Phase it must test the solution. In the Fourth phase verify the outcome. Investors will generally check which phase the organization is in and how deeply you have performed in each phase.

Another key aspect any investor or funder look in the organization or foundation before funding is “Business Model Canvas”. The key building blocks of this business model canvas are Customer Segments, Value Proposition, Channels, Customer Relationships, Revenue Streams, Key Resources, Key Activities, Key Partners, and Cost Structure. Whether it is For-Profit or Non-Profit investors expect fund seekers to clearly articulate the above topics in the business model canvas or their respective organization.

Before concluding the talk, Mr. Amit explained what fund seekers should put forth in their investor pitch. For-Profit organizations should have Market Research, Completed Business Plan, Financial Model, and Exit Strategy. Non-Profit organizations should have Concept Note, Theory of Change/Logic Model, Financial Budget, and Impact Stories.


About – Amit

Amit is the India Country Director of Upaya Social Ventures and leads the efforts in identifying, coaching and investing in early-stage companies across India. Prior to joining Upaya, he led the enterprise development efforts at Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves for clean cooking entrepreneurs around the world by providing grant funding and capacity building support. Amit was instrumental in setting up the start-up vertical at Ennovent India and headed the operations of Pepal & Palma Interface that created shared value models by engaging NGOs and Corporates across India. He also headed the marketing, communication and business development at the Acumen invested social enterprise – Ziqitza Healthcare which provides medical emergency services across India. Amit continues to work on his passion by acting as a mentor to the number of early-stage social entrepreneurs and guiding teams/individuals who are interested in taking up social entrepreneurship. He holds a BE from R.V. College of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from Hult International Business School.

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