First of its kind Entrepreneurship Programme Focused
on Twin Sustainable Development Goals of Energy + Diversity

About The Program

In the recent years, the energy sector has seen rapid changes with the rise of renewables, decentralization of the energy system, policy modifications and emerging disruptive new technologies. The year 2012 was announced as the International Year for Sustainable Energy for all and although women continue to play a major role in the energy value chain, the number of women-led businesses in the energy sector remains alarmingly low.

Addressing this issue, POWERED Accelerator is a first-of-its-kind accelerator, globally, focusing on women-led businesses in the energy value chain. Set up as a joint initiative of Shell Foundation and Zone Startups, and funded by DFID UK and DST Government of India, the objective of the POWERED Accelerator is to support selected ventures, by helping them expand their innovative and consumer-responsive services, products, and financing; with an ultimate goal to increase economic empowerment of women-owned businesses in the energy space.

Some of the themes that will be pursued include Access to Energy, Sustainable Mobility, and Waste to Value. The program will operate with a tiered approach including multiple stakeholders - Policy Think Tanks, Government, Educational/Research Institutions, Networks & Enablers, Investors, Industry and Regional Partners - with an aim to scale innovative businesses in the energy domain.

The program is launched jointly in partnership with Shell Foundation, DFID India (Govt of UK), DST (Govt of India) and Zone Startups India.

Focus Areas

Access to Energy

Sustainable Mobility

Waste to Value

Our Approach

Ecosystem Development
  • Ecosystem activities to discuss challenges and advocate the program objective capturing interest and mindshare of myriad of organizations.
Grant Challenges
  • Challenges/hackathon to foster new innovative solutions on particular problem areas/industry specific use cases.
  • A one-week intensive bootcamp for idea stage businesses to take their MVPs from a ideation phase to beta launch stage. The bootcamp will touch the basic building blocks of running a business including tech, marketing, hiring, legal, finance etc.
  • Implementation of select businesses in a local economy to validate the model, measure effectiveness and impact.
Accelerator Program
  • A six-week power packed accelerator program for early stage scalable businesses complete with mentoring, workshops, case studies, industry connect, peer network and investor connect.
Seed Fund
  • USD $10,000 equity-free seed grant to suitable scalable businesses from the program to scale them further.


  • 25th April
    Programme Launch
    Applications open
  • 27th April - 18th May
    Events across India - Ahmedabad, Delhi, Dehradun, Shillong, Chennai, Bangalore
  • 18th June
    Applications close for first cohort
  • 30th July
    Programme Commencement
    First cohort begins

Program Participants get Access to

USD $10,000 grant funding for select participants
Pilot opportunities
Support from multiple partners
Mentorship from domain experts
Industry and investor connect
Peer community
We’re looking for you if you are
a business in the energy value chain with a woman in the core team


We wish is to collaborate with, and acquire mindshare among myriad of organizations, including Policy Think Tanks, Government, Educational/Research Institutions, Networks & Enablers, Investors, Industry and Regional Partners.


Village Industrial Power

Village Industrial Power's (VIP) CHP power plant enables rural farmers to increase the value of their crops by up to 10x. Using agricultural waste as fuel, the VIP 10-40 creates thermal, electrical, and mechanical energy to transform crops into higher value products.

“In 2016 VIP received Shell Foundation funding and business support that has taken the company from piloting to business model refinement and early commercial sales. Shell Foundation has supported VIP with partners and market linkages that have expedited the process of business model and product refinement.”
- Felicity Lodge, MA, CEO and Co-founder

Bleetech Innovations

Blee is a platform for deaf and hard of hearing individuals which helps them use wearable tech for making their lives simpler. In many scenarios, the deaf people miss out on many things, sometimes even emergency notifications just because they cannot react to sound.

“Operating from a startup hub has given us the best exposure possible. After coming to Zone, we expanded our team from 2 to 7 and are still growing. All the support has helped us grow.”
- Nupura Kirloskar | Co founder, Bleetech

Light a Home, Brighten Lives #EnergyForAll

240 million Indians have no access to power. Access to modern, cleaner energy is essential to human development. In a bid to accelerate energy reaching all POWERED is lightening 40 homes and brightening several lives.


How do I apply? Do I need to submit a business plan?

You can apply through the Apply button. You don’t need to submit a formal business plan at this moment, just fill in the fields in the application form.

Why should I join POWERED Program?

POWERED is one of its kind Entrepreneurship Program focussed on twin Sustainable
Development Goals’ of Energy + Diversity. The program offers world class mentorship,
networking opportunities, industry connects, investor faceoff , peer community and a seed grant of $10,000 to select businesses. If selected, the program will be a launchpad for you to scale your business further and faster.

We are an early stage startup. Can we apply?

Yes!We’re on the lookout for early stage, scalable and value-driven companies that have direct solutions for the broader energy space.

What’s the eligibility criteria of the program?

If you have women in your core team and you are creating solution in the broader energy domain, you are eligible for the program.

Please elaborate on the given focus areas of the program?

Below are the 4 defined focus areas, along with multiple sub-areas.

Access to Energy
- Energy Efficiency
- Productive use of energy
- Energy in Agriculture
- Access to Finance for Energy products/consumers/entrepreneurs
- Clean Energy
- Energy for access to health, education, water, etc
- Energy related payments
- Micro-insurance
- Tech solutions to manage/increase use of clean energy production (for example – load management system for off-grids)
- Services related to Energy sector (for example – servicing of Solar Panels)
- Last mile distribution of energy related impact products
- Blockchain/other technology solutions enabling use of (energy) impact products

Sustainable Mobility
- Electric Vehicles using Clean Energy
- Integration of EV + Mini-grids/off-grids
- Optimization of Transport systems (reducing overall energy consumption)

Waste to Value
- Collection
- Segregation
- Value generation

I wish to associate/partner with the program. What is the process for it?

Please send us an email with your queries to We will be more than happy to take up your questions there.

I still have more questions. What do I do?

Please send us an email with your queries to We will be more than happy to take up your questions there.

Our first cohort is in progress. Please apply for the next cohort and we will get in touch with you.
Contact Details:
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