CRAFTS COHORT

At Catalyst AIC, we believe that access to an array of tech-enabled solutions can create opportunities vital for enhancing livelihoods of underserved communities in India.

Not only is arts and crafts deeply linked to India’s cultural heritage, this sector is also crucial to creating sustainable livelihood opportunities with a nearly 200 million strong artisan community dependent on this sector. The Catalyst AIC incubation program has been designed to support digital products for rural artisan communities in India.

Catalyst AIC runs 6-month incubation cohorts. In each cohort, we will select seven high quality entrepreneurs to work with.

Mission

Catalyst AIC’s mission is to create a support ecosystem for tech entrepreneurs, to help them build and scale tailored inclusive tech innovations for underserved communities.

Our Program Strategy

Startups, and technology entrepreneurs in particular, have been usually found to begin their entrepreneurial journey with the ‘product’ in focus. As a result, entrepreneurs seldom come out with products that are technically brilliant but not relevant to the current problems of their target consumers. And this is where a research-driven product development approach comes in.

At Catalyst AIC, our aim is to provide incoming startups with a dedicated research hub, in partnership with an extensive team from LEAD at Krea University, which provides ready access to real-time, on-ground consumer insights. These insights will be derived via field studies that our team does, along with existing datasets that our partners provide. Startups can then use both qualitative and quantitative insights from the field, to improvise their products and come up with a finished product that is ready to scale.

  • CATALYST Phase 2
    • Key role
      On-ground research with relevant stakeholders.
      Deriving key behavioural insights on rural entrepreneurs and employees, their income sources, gaps and opportunities in business models, spending habits, fintech exposure etc.
    • Catalyst Research
      A periodic feed of critical insights derived from on-ground research and partner consultations
      • Implementation Partners and Stakeholders
        Partners provide insights/feedba ck on product. Feedback on business improvements achieved through the product
        • On-ground pilots with target customers (eg. Artisans)
          On-ground data (usage, behavioural patterns, impact on livelihoods etc.) collected by on-ground team
    • Catalyst – AIC Incubator
      A periodic feed of critical insights derived from on-ground research and partner consultations
      • Product
        Entrepreneurs use Catalyst Research insights to develop ad further improvise product
        • Implementation Partners and Stakeholders
          Partners provide insights/feedba ck on product. Feedback on business improvements achieved through the product
          • On-ground pilots with target customers (eg. Artisans)
            Partners help in taking product on-ground
    • Key role
      Induction of innovative entrepreneurs looking to develop fintech solutions (mandate can be expanded later)
      Develop and provide an innovation ecosystem to participating entrepreneurs, including access to infra, capital, research, mentorship etc.

Theory of Change

Access to an array of tech enabled services can create opportunities vital for enhancing livelihoods of India’s underserved communities.

The first two Catalyst AIC cohorts will focus on incubating technology startups, which are building products to create business opportunities for India’s artisanal communities.

  • Pathway to impact
    Access to an array of tech enabled services can create opportunities vital for enhancing livelihoods of artisanal communities.
    • Conduct initial scoping within artisanal clusters
      Finalise metrics for baseline data and inform the pathway of enhancing livelihood opportunities for artisanal communities
    • Create and organize baseline digital data trails of artisanal communities
      Assist in expanding access to tailored tech-enabled services. Provide this data to entrepreneurs for creating tailored tech products/services
    • Creating tailored and inclusive tech products for artisans
      The uptake of tech-enabled services will deepen economic stability and additionally lead to social transformation for artisans