Search for ShelterTech Accelerator’s second cohort now open to housing innovation start-ups in India
Feb 08, 2019

Delhi, February 7, 2019 – Through the ShelterTech Accelerator, Habitat for Humanity’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter and the Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship, IIM Ahmedabad are seeking the next generation of affordable housing entrepreneurs in India. This initiative supports innovative and scalable for-profit housing start-ups that can solve challenges affecting low-income households, material suppliers, construction labor, developers and other key stakeholders in this sector.

Naeem Razwani, Director for Asia-Pacific of the Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter said, “By encouraging start-ups to develop solutions that can address market challenges in low-income housing segments, we can have an exponential impact on how families can access low-cost yet efficient products and services that better meet their shelter needs. Our first cohort finalists include both early stage and mature start-ups, representing the dynamism that exist in the industry and their potential in disrupting housing markets.”

From the successful run of its first cohort last year, slots for the Accelerator’s second cohort are now up for grabs. Organizations and start-ups building innovative and scalable solutions addressed to the housing ecosystem and adjacent markets are encouraged to apply. Areas of interest include, among others, housing finance, construction technology and new materials, resident energy solutions, and water and sanitation for low-income households.

The first cohort of the Accelerator was an astounding success, with over 77 start-ups answering to the call for applications launched in October 2018. Fourteen organizations were shortlisted to present their pitches in-person to an expert panel, and at the end of the selection, four start-ups were chosen to compose the initial group of entrepreneurs to receive advice and mentoring to improve their businesses’ value proposition. Program partners include Brick Eagle, Brigade REAP, Mahila Housing Trust and others.

Coming from areas ranging from recycling to water management, the start-ups selected for the first cohort benefitted from a three-day boot camp, where they came together for workshops, business exercises and laboratories. With mentoring from sectors experts, they were able to add value to their business models, explore new ways to market their products and, analyze challenges with using new perspectives. The selected start-ups are:

• OCEO Water: smart water purifiers with a unique pay per liter model, where recharge and credits can easily be purchase online or through their web application.
• QuickSpec: management software that uses real-time data analytics to lower cost, save time, and exponentially improve quality at the construction site.
• Saltech Design Labs: manufactures high strength, low cost paved blocks made out of plastic waste.
• Tvasta: 3D printing technology for construction, with a concrete printer capable of rapidly creating building blocks for construction.

Call for applications for the second cohort of the ShelterTech Accelerator is open until March 6, 2019. Selected start-ups will be invited for a shortlisting pitch. Afterwards, the top four to five start-ups will get the chance to participate and receive intensive support from the accelerator program in the form of customized problem solving, mentoring and boot camp activities.

Supported by Hilti and Ikea foundations, The ShelterTech Accelerator will culminate in July 2019, where start-ups from the program’s first and second cohorts will pitch their innovations to key industry players and companies for a chance to access seed funds of up to INR 75 Lakhs (est US$ 105,000). Interested for-profit start-ups can apply on

About CIIE
Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) is the technology business incubator at IIM Ahmedabad. Our primary objective is to help India's budding entrepreneurs set up innovative, disruptive and scalable ventures. We achieve this through numerous mentoring, incubation, advising and funding initiatives. In addition, we also engage in in-depth research of industry trends and the phenomena of entrepreneurship. All of this is facilitated through our extensive networks, connections and partnerships with the IIMA community, mentors, investors, and other crucial stakeholders in the Indian and global entrepreneurial ecosystem. (For more information, visit

About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 and has since grown to become a leading global housing nonprofit working in more than 70 countries. In the Asia-Pacific region since 1983, Habitat for Humanity has supported more than 3.5 million people to build or improve a place they can call home. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower.

About Habitat’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter
The Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, a unit of Habitat for Humanity International, works with housing market systems by supporting local firms and expanding innovative and client-responsive services, products and financing so that households can improve their shelter more effectively and efficiently. The ultimate goal of the Terwilliger Center’s market systems program is to make housing markets work more effectively for people in need of decent, affordable shelter, thereby improving the quality of life for low-income households. To learn more, visit our website.


Senior Specialist, Media Relations and Disaster Communications, Asia-Pacific, Habitat for Humanity International
3rd Floor, 111 Paseo Condo Building Tower 1, Paseo de Roxas cor. Legaspi St., Makati City 1229, Philippines
Office: +63 (2) 553 4455 ext. 4269 | Fax: +632 553 2233 | Mobile: +63 920 9569181 | Skype: aaron.aspi

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution