Sustainable Health Initiative Logo

Innovating for social, health, and environmental impact

Call for Entrepreneurs

The mission of SHI is to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of India and around the globe by leveraging technology and local ingenuity to launch innovative start-ups for dramatic social, health, and environmental impact. Each year, the program will select and develop up to 10 innovative start-ups focused on areas of need including: infectious and vector-borne diseases; non-communicable diseases; maternal, child, and newborn health; water and sanitation; and urban health and the environment.
People in urban India

The Challenge

India has seen tremendous economic development over the last decade. This growth has been accompanied by both new challenges and growing health and economic disparities. In addition to the burden of infectious diseases, India and other countries in the developing world must now address a dramatic increase in non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mental illness. These conditions are heavily influenced by the social and economic determinants of health and by broader issues such as globalization, urbanization, changing lifestyles, and environmental pressures. Through the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, targets have been established to improve sustainable development, clean energy and water, economic growth and innovation, education, gender equality, and improvements to health and health access. Effective solutions will require innovative and entrepreneurial solutions.
CoWrks

The Solution

Selected start-ups will receive $70,000 in seed funding, with an expectation that they will provide the RMZ Foundation with an up to 15% equity position in the start-ups as a term of participation. Start-ups participate in a 6-month accelerator curriculum at The CoWrks Foundry during which they will be mentored by Yale faculty and have access to a network of Indian industry experts that will serve as coaches to support the development of their idea. Young professionals and entrepreneurs from all disciplines, particularly public health, medicine, nursing, design, engineering, technology, environmental sciences, architecture, and public policy, are encouraged to apply.
People - mentoring

Mentorship

Networking

Networking

Financial Support

Financial Support

The Application

The program will solicit proposals for start-up ideas in India and at Yale, where teams of faculty, students, and alumni will be eligible to apply. Yale-based applications will be due April 5, 2019, with final selection of the start-ups later that month. Key criteria for selected proposals will include:

Blue pointerImpact: How much difference will the start-up make in improving health? 

Blue pointerBurden: Will it address a pressing health challenge? 

Blue pointerFeasibility: Can it realistically be developed and deployed? 

Blue pointerKnowledge Gap: Does the technology advance health by creating new knowledge? 

Blue pointerAppropriateness: Will it be affordable, robust, and adjustable to the health care settings in India and other developing countries, and will it be socially, culturally, and politically acceptable? 

Timeline

Accelerator Curriculum

Starting in June, start-ups will be expected to commit 6 months to participation in The CoWrks Foundry accelerator curriculum. Start-ups based in India will relocate to Bangaluru for the full Curriculum and Yale-based start-ups will be in Bangaluru for the first 2.5 months of the Curriculum (June – mid-August). Yale-based start-ups will complete the curriculum through weekly online recorded and/or livestreamed modules. All startups will provide weekly updates and access an online, opt-in channel for discussions, peer mentoring, and ongoing support.

Apply

Link for US Applicants           Button - Non-US Applicants




Sponsored by:

The CoWrks Foundry, the RMZ Foundation and the Yale Institute for Global Health

YIGH Wordmark           Cowrks logo           RMZ Foundation Logo

Frequently Asked Questions

Entrepreneurs from all disciplines, particularly public health, medicine, nursing, design, engineering, technology, environmental sciences, architecture, and public policy, are encouraged to apply.
Yale faculty, students, and alumni from any discipline are encouraged to apply.
Participants will be required to commit a six-month period from June 2019. During this time period, India-based start-ups will be expected to work out of CoWrks in Bengaluru as participation in all the training sessions, workshops, public programs and networking sessions are critical. Yale-based start-ups will participate in the first 2.5 months of the training in Bengaluru and will complete the curriculum through weekly online recorded and/or livestreamed modules.
Yes, you can apply as long as you are willing to relocate to Bengaluru for the given time period.
Yes, you can apply as an individual or a team of up to three people.
The list of broad areas mentioned in the guidelines are only an indicative list. We welcome out-of-the-box ideas and solutions that advance the mandate of sustainable health.
Yes, the problem being addressed can be in other countries other than India.
Applications will need to be submitted by April 5, 2019.
Each team will receive $70,000 (U.S. or rupee equivalent) and additional funding to cover travel, lodging, and other expenses to participate in the Accelerator Curriculum in Bengaluru.
In addition to the seed grant, each Yale-based team will receive additional funding to cover travel, lodging, and other expenses to participate in the accelerator curriculum in Bengaluru.
The seed grant investment will be made in exchange for an up to 15% equity stake in the start-up.
Participants will benefit from hands-on guidance from industry leaders and experts from India as well as faculty and alumni from Yale University.
Each start-up will be assigned a faculty mentor to help them with their solution. Additionally, they will have access to the larger Yale community, including its alumni network.
Each team will own all rights to its solution.
All questions from applicants in the US should be emailed to Michael Skonieczny. International applicants' questions can be directed to shi@cowrks.com.