Several issues throughout India—the deteriorating air quality in Delhi, the crumbling infrastructure in Mumbai, the many gaps in service delivery and localised government—all point to significant challenges in governance across the country. From the largest metro areas to the smallest villages, the interests of citizens often do not translate into relevant public action due to opaque government processes, poor infrastructure around public services, and inadequate opportunities for citizen engagement.
To address these challenges, Village Capital and Omidyar Network are looking to support startup ventures driving citizen engagement in government systems and in their communities. The program will support entrepreneurs with an award-winning program curriculum, 1:1 mentorship with sector leaders, and tailored engagements with strategic partners and investors.
Areas of focus within the program will include product development, investment readiness, and customer/partner discovery. Participating ventures will evaluate each other using Village Capital’s unique peer due diligence methodology, and Village Capital will potentially explore the option of investing into peer-selected ventures from the cohort. Omidyar Network will take the top ventures from the program to an advanced stage of due diligence for further support and potential investment.
Village Capital and Omidyar Network are excited to support the growing ecosystem of civic tech startups in India.
Civic tech is technology that enables citizens to engage with government and/or each other in order to drive participation in public decision-making processes. Govtech, which often also overlaps with civic tech, describes all tech products and services sold to the government with the goal of improving governance or public service delivery. Together, civic tech and govtech are a $400 billion+ opportunity globally, and Village Capital and Omidyar Network are working to support India’s growing potential in the space.
For this program, we are interested in supporting a wide variety of ventures leveraging technology and/or physical community-building to connect citizens with government and/or one another in order to advance civic outcomes. This includes, but is not limited to, innovations that fall under the following categories:
- Data access & utility: Startups that make government data more accessible and actionable
- Citizen-Government: Startups that enable citizens and government to communicate with one another about civic issues and participate in collaborative problem-solving
- Govtech and Smart City applications: Startups that increase the quality, efficiency, and accessibility of public services (i.e. public healthcare, education, sanitation, energy, government schemes, etc.)
- Transparency: Startups that improve efficiency and inclusivity of democratic processes, along with monitoring and reporting on civic issues using citizen-driven initiatives
- Citizen Participation: Startups that connect citizens with each other in order to discuss, organize, and fund civic projects
The program includes a series of workshops – these are typically four-day engagements with companies, investors, potential strategic partners, and customers. Selected startups are required to have at least one C-level team member attend all three workshops, and Village Capital will bear flight and lodging costs for up to two team members to attend.
Workshop dates and locations are as follows:
Workshop 1: August 7 – 10, Bangalore
Workshop 2: Sept 17 – 20, New Delhi
Workshop 3: Oct 29 – Nov 1, Bangalore
For more information about the program, please email [email protected].
Applications are now closed.