We seed and scale ventures that create lasting impact in excluded communities.
As INCUBATE, We work with early-stage social entrepreneurs to launch ventures that create deep impact. We also incubate incubators!
As ACCELERATE, We facilitate growth-stage social entrepreneurs to scale their models and drive large-scale systemic change.
Privilege the entrepreneur
Entrepreneurs excite us more than ideas. Our partners and clients bring strong domain expertise and business lessons from previous entrepreneurial/ intrapreneurial journeys. We learn continuously from them, even as we co-create their business models.
Match passion with process
We match the entrepreneur's energy and passion with process, plans and the discipline for executing ideas. For us, execution, not ideas, is game changing.
Stay frugal, stay in the field
We work with our investees in their fields. We immerse in the markets of the models we shape. By being in the field, we get a 360 degree view of the eco-system of the ventures we create. This enables us to predict volatilities. We therefore launch ventures that are true to the DNA of our partners and the needs of the markets they serve.
Iterate to succeed
We coach our investees to listen to customers, re-iterate assumptions and stay focused on metrics. We constantly adapt business plans to keep them real and sharp. Our questioning of assumptions and reality checks at every turn minimizes trial and error. This ensures that ventures launch with a higher degree of success.
Get the chemistry right
We succeed more with entrepreneurs who are listeners, learners and collaborators. We work with social entrepreneurs who actively seek feedback and are open to applying them in their ventures.
We pollinate learnings and connections between early-stage ventures (that we launch) and mature-stage models (that we accelerate). This opens up rich collaborations between the two. Our investees and clients constantly feed new information, networks and linkages into our own eco-system. This growing viral enables us to become better linkers and connectors for social entrepreneurs.
Image source: Leah Grossman
Social ventures incubated and scaled
Immersive projects delivered
Emerging leaders trained
States of operation
Insights reports published
Years of the India Social Entrepreneur of the Year award
Years of the CII Foundation Woman Exemplar Program
Awards & Fellowships Managed over multiple years
An alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, Taveesh has more than 20 years of experience in the Indian financial and business sector. He has played a leading role in institutions such as IFC, CRISIL and the SUN GROUP. Taveesh is the Founder-Director of Black Diamond PE Advisors; a New Delhi based corporate venture and financial advisory firm that advises early-stage, small and mid-size companies. He offers hands-on CXO services to entrepreneurs and provides an array of services to HNIs.
Taveesh is now playing an increasing role in mentoring social entrepreneurs and shaping institutions of the future within the field of social entrepreneurship.
Manisha was a journalists before she joined the social entrepreneurship sector. For 24 years, she has studied, chronicled and shaped the eco-system for social entrepreneurship in India. She worked with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public for ten years as the India Country Representative and International Director for Ashoka’s youth programs. At Ashoka, she built a collaborative community of social entrepreneurs across the country. She also launched the first media and communication campaigns to promote social entrepreneurship in India.
Manisha has co-authored two books, 1098- Childline Calling and Opening Doors – Ten Years of Ford Foundation’s International Fellowships in India. She is a passionate believer of creating deep impact through lean teams.
Manisha launched Start Up! as an idea in 2007. After a two-year test run, she formally launched it as a social venture in 2009.
Payal was a film maker before she forayed into the development sector. With leadership experience of over 20 years in the social entrepreneurship domain, she has trained social purpose organizations (SPOs) to scale their impact, run effective resource mobilization programs and become strategic communicators.
Payal has led organizations and programs that are building the eco-system for social entrepreneurship. These include Resource Alliance India, the National Association of Social Enterprises and the social entrepreneurship program at the Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation. She also steered the launch of Changelooms- India’s earliest incubator of young social entrepreneurs.
Passionate about telling stories of human endeavour, Payal is the Founder of BWorks, a communication and advisory services that engages with social entrepreneurs. She serves on the board of Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP). At Start Up, Payal leads our leadership springboard initiatives and the due diligence for Fellowships and Award programs for social entrepreneurs.
Payal has a master’s degree in communications from AJK MCRC, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi.
For over 18 years, Zenobia has consulted extensively with MNCs, large Indian corporates, mid-size firms as well as reputed not-for-profit organizations. Her areas of expertise have included growth strategy, go-to-market strategy, branding and communication. Her work spans across diverse industries such as FMCG, Education, Health & Wellness, Apparel, Services, Chemicals, Transportation and Rural Entrepreneurship.
After working with The Monitor Group and Momentum Strategy, Zenobia founded Escape Velocity, a boutique market strategy and marketing consulting firm in 2009. Zenobia is also one of the founder members of TREES (Training Resources for Enabling Enterprises Society). She has volunteered with TREES for over a decade to equip micro-entrepreneurs with sales and marketing skills to accelerate their ventures.
At Start Up, Zenobia leads our Impact Accelerator offering as well as our strategic planning vertical for livelihoods and micro-entrepreneurship.
Zenobia has an MBA from IIM Bangalore and an M.Sc. from IIT Bombay.
A sociologist by training, Debarati is passionate about instruction design, facilitation, teaching, and research. Before joining Start Up, she worked for over 5 years with academic institutions such as CEPT, Ahmedabad and IIM, Ahmedabad where she delivered urban planning and business communication courses.
Debarati’s interest in women’s empowerment has led her to pursue PhD with CEPT university on the shelter rights of urban poor women and their subsequent empowerment through property titles. At Start Up! she brings her ace project management and research skills to ensure that all our partner commitments are met with timeliness and quality.
Satish worked in the health care sector and with Delhi Police before he joined Start Up! Today, he is our go-to person for accounts and office administration. He maintains our office premise, runs an efficient travel desk and ensures smooth daily accounts and finance management.
With eight years of experience, Satish is a self-learner to the core. He has learnt the details of finance and office management through online courses and every resource that he can avail of on the job. Satish is currently pursuing a college degree in liberal arts.
Our Fellows, quickly become part of projects that take them to the field,
and enable them to problem solve actively with our clients. Fellows also build out new initiatives and processes for Start Up!
Start Up! has hosted Fellows from leading academic institutions of Europe and the US. These include Booth School of Business (University of Chicago); Stephen M. Ross School of Business (University of Michigan); Fletcher School (Tufts University); Princeton University; School of International & Public Affairs (Columbia University); University of California, Berkley; HEC School of Management, Paris; and ESSEC, Paris. We recruit Fellows through the year, on a rolling basis.