Frequently Asked Questions

ShelterTech Accelerator is a year-long initiative focused on identifying, nurturing, and accelerating start-ups and early-stage companies that are addressing the challenges in the affordable housing sectors. The program is aimed at identifying and supporting innovative solutions that can significantly disrupt or catalyse the gaps in the affordable housing value chain with a strong focus on core housing. The program is being organized in a partnership between Habitat for Humanity's Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter and the Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship.

We have on-boarded several partners working in the sector of affordable housing sector such as BRICK Eagle, Brigade Reap, International Financial Corporation and others. These partners have wide networks, and expertise to guide and provide you with access to right connects at the right time.

While the program is focused on affordable housing, we are hoping to receive applications under other themes that relate to housing and can be applied to low-income markets. These can be housing design and livability, advanced building materials, construction equipment and tools, labor productivity and quality and many others. For the list of the themes and to understand what these themes connote to, please click here.

ShelterTech Accelerator is designed as a two-batch program. In each batch, 5 to 6 startups will be accelerated over a period of 4 months. The first batch is scheduled to kick-off in December 2018 and the second batch will kick-off in April 2019. Investor demo day will be common for both batches in July 2019. For more details, visit ouraboutpage.

Yes, the selected startup will be required to sign a simple contract with CIIE.

If you are a startup or a strong team working on solutions that can solve the challenges in the affordable housing segment or in the core segments adjacent to affordable housing, please apply to the program. What we are looking for are

  • A solution addressing one or more of the serious gaps in the sector
  • AStrong team that can execute the solution and has a profit oriented business

If you are going to start off a company soon, and have a solution with potential to disrupt the market, please feel to apply. However, startups with working prototypes or ready to be commercialised products or solutions will naturally have advantages over others. We would like to help startups build their capacities and scale up by the end of the accelerator

We encourage you to think through and submit only one application, preferrable with a very strong solution in place and awell-articulated business case. Any duplication in application and candidature will be subjected to scrutiny. In case you still want to apply with multiple ideas, only the application with more content and context will be taken forward in the accelerator.

If your startup is registered in India and if you have one of the co-founders based in India, please apply. We will not be able to support startups based outside India through this program.

This program wants to bring out solutions that can cater to the gaps of the Indian market. Hence, we advise you to apply for the accelerator only if you are going to apply your solutions to the Indian markets.

If you think that your product has potential, we encourage you to go ahead and apply during the current call for applications. If you do not get selected, you will have more time to work on your solution and can subsequently apply in the next call for applications.

No, it is not necessary to have a registered company to apply. However, the accelerator will not be able to provide grants to individuals or other associated institutions under this program. We recommend you to register a company to be able to have access to grants, if applicable.

Received grants, awards or funds only validate the potential of your solution, so we will be happy to review your application. Yes, even if you are a funded startup, you can apply to the accelerator, which might be able to help you startup to accelerate faster through intensive support.

The current invitation for application will be open till 11:59:59 PM (IST) of 30th October, 2018. Please apply at the earliest.

We may not be able to extend the last date of applications and hence, request you to submit your application way ahead of the last date.

Out of the entire cohort, one or two startups will be selected for the seed support of INR 75 Lakhs. The amount will not be given upfront at the beginning of the accelerator. The progress of the selected cohorts of 10 - 12 startups will be monitored and the startup that can show furthest improvement and the best potential product to achieve the accelerator’s objective will have access to the grant.

The fund of INR 75 Lakhs is a combination of equity free grants & investments that will be given to 1 2 startups. However, startups in the program will also have the opportunity to raise investments through pitching to investors and program partners.

Do not be disappointed if you do not receive the grant. While participating in the accelerator does not guarantee automatic access to funds, there are several other opportunities to get funding. Our program partners will be following up on the progress of the startups, and if there is the possibility that your solution can disrupt the market in the short term, you may receive investment offers. Furthermore, startups will be able to present their solutions at the Investor Demo Day, exposing themselves to even more potential opportunities.

There are several benefits that can be derived from this initiative. They include access to CIIE's network of over 300 startup founders, customised support in problem solving, access to equity free grants, opportunity for potential investments as well as global exposure. You can find out more here

The extended team listed on the website refers to experts who will guide you through your organization's business growth during the accelerator. Mentoring, coaching and advisory support are some of the value added insights provided by our team of experts.

A coach is a go to person for you or the startup. The startup selected by the startup will have a detailed discussion on the risks that it faces and the potential roadmap. The coach will be able to suggest different approaches, facilitate connections and will follow through to help you achieve your milestones

Terms and conditions of the investor would be discussed between the investor and the applicant. The applicant would have the freedom to negotiate the terms and conditions and to even decline the investment offer.

Business Clinics are one a key support that selected startups will receive in this accelerator. These are 6 - 8 hours long intensive, one-on-one consulting focused on a pre-identified issue area of the startup. The Clinic enables the startup to identify the best approach to mitigate their immediate risks and solve the issues, along with drawing up plans to transpire the startup approach into actionable items. Startups will undertake the Business Clinics under the guidance of their coach and the relevant domain expert.

Once submitted, the application can no longer be edited. If you have not submitted the application as of October 30, the details provided will be considered as final. While filling out the application, we strongly suggest that you save the information provided.

If you don't see the specific theme that fits your solution, choose the option 'Others'. On choosing the option 'Others', you will also be able to fill your theme in a text box.

Yes. Pleas share any information that you believe might be helpful for evaluators to know more about your startup. However, please do not share any confidential information about your startup.

All applications will be evaluated based on a set of pre-determined parameters, in line with CIIE’s extensive expertise in analyzing and supporting startup organizations. Criteria include: how strong, feasible and viable is the proposed solution, the presence of a strong and committed team with the relevant skillset and experience will be an advantage.

The information contained in the application’s business summary will remain property of the applicants. The application should provide the evaluating panel with clarity on the value proposition, customer segment and the marketing plan, along with the experience and preparedness of the startup team to execute the business idea.

Applications should not contain technical details or product specifications that might affect the applicant's ability to protect and prevent exploitation of the intellectual property. This confidentiality agreement is not valid for information which resides in public domain or which can be obtained easily without similar agreements from alternative channels.

While it is nice to have a website to understand the offering of the startup better, not having one does not negatively affect your candidature. If you have relevant presentations or videos, feel free to upload those as links, to support us in getting a perspective of your proposed ideas.

There is no need to submit your startup’s detailed business plan at this point. Please fill out the application form properly and, if selected, you will be requested to make an in-person pitch towards the next stage of selection.

Please do not share any confidential information in the application form. Answers to the questions asked shall suffice.

We are not in business of creating or managing businesses, hence, have no need for IPs. We help in identifying and nurturing the startup through the program.

For all your queries, whether general or technical, please write to us at