HDFC Bank invites start-ups to apply for SmartUp grants


Mumbai: HDFC Bank is inviting applications from start-ups and solo entrepreneurs for its SmartUp grants. SmartUp grants by HDFC Bank under #Parivartan – the bank’s umbrella CSR brand – is aimed at finding and deploying long-term, sustainable solutions at scale, to address social issues and contribute to the economic and social development of the country.

This year, the bank will focus on start-ups creating social impact at scale in sectors such as Education – technology (ed-tech) and skill development, among others.

To screen, mentor, and monitor start-ups, HDFC Bank has partnered with nine start-up incubators registered with Govt of India’s MeitY platfrom. The nine incubators are from premier institutes and include: IIT – Delhi, IIT – BHU, AIC BIMTECH Noida, IIM Kashipur, GUSEC Gujarat, C-CAMP Bangalore, Banasthali University – Jaipur, Villgro Incubation – Chennai, and T – HUB Hyderabad.

How to apply and process:

  1. Start-ups making social impact can send in their applications by clicking here. The application window opens today and closes on Feb 16, 2021.
  2. Further, the bank’s incubator partners and the SmartUp team will jointly scout for start-ups.
  3. Bank and incubators will jointly reach out and engage with start-ups through the SmartUp portal hosted on Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY’s) platform
  4. Incubator partners will screen and shortlist applications and the SmartUp team will select finalists.
  5. Finalists will pitch their start-ups to a jury comprising senior Management of the Bank.

Evaluation criteria:

  1. Market reach, penetration and scalability of product
  2. Degree of social impact in beneficiaries’ lives
  3. Economic viability of product at scale

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