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The Sustainability Mafia introduces Susventures, aims to create 100 climate startups in three years

The Sustainability Mafia, a group of more than 60 climate entrepreneurs, has introduced the ‘Sustainability Ventures‘ or ‘SusVentures’ startup creation program. The goal is to establish 100 climate action companies by the end of 2026.

The inaugural group of SusVentures recently began its journey in collaboration with the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (BITS Pilani), the program’s first official university partner. In this initial cohort, 50 student entrepreneurs from various engineering disciplines at BITS Pilani’s Hyderabad, Goa, and Pilani campuses have joined the program. Their aim is to develop 14 startups focusing on areas such as circular economy, energy efficiency, EV, and solar.

Established in 2017 as a not-for-profit (Section 8 company), The Sustainability Mafia comprises more than 60 climate entrepreneurs. SusVentures, its venture creation engine, empowers emerging entrepreneurs to identify and develop their climate-tech startups, focusing on crucial problem statements in various industries that demand immediate attention.

The SusVentures program has committed to providing a non-dilutive grant of over Rs 31 lakhs to eligible startups that emerge from the program to support their growth. Additionally, Theia Ventures, an official investment partner, plans to invest $100,000 in equity funding for promising startups that evolve from the program.

Speaking about the program launch, Arjun P Gupta, director of The Sustainability Mafia said, “At SusMafia, we are all in on climate action and have a shared purpose of ‘give more than get’. We are excited to launch SusVentures as our flagship program—designed and driven by industry veterans from the vibrant SusMafia community to provide activated mentorship to new climate startups.”

SusVentures has garnered philanthropic backing from individuals such as Rohit Rajput of Intersection Ventures, Pradip Burman, the chairman of Dabur Nepal, and Mirik Gogri of Spectrum Impact. Additionally, it has received CSR funding from companies including Parksons Packaging and Sanghvi Movers.

Aditya Bhat, co-founder of Sustainability Ventures added, “Entrepreneurship is the biggest lever while solving for the climate and the need for SusVentures to bridge market gaps and limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius is crystal clear. We believe that as we achieve our mission of creating 100 climate startups in three years, we shall bring innovative technologies to market, create thousands of green jobs, foster the socio-economic well-being of communities and make progress in achieving SDGs.”

The SusVentures program benefits from a seasoned lineup of instructors and mentors, including Ameya A, a senior people leader, and founders of climate startups like Krishnan Kasturirangan of Wastelink, Ankit Mittal of Sheru, Raju Namburi of Bridge Things, Anirudh Gupta of Climes, Anirudh Ramesh of Irasus Technologies, Varun Karasia of Satma CE, Rishika Reddy of The Mend Packaging, Kishan Karunakaran of Buyofuel, and Himanshu Sharma of Theia Ventures.

Moreover, industry leaders such as Saurabh Kumar of GEAPP, Shyamal Kumar of Lavelle Networks, and Jason Jay of MIT School of Sustainability have delivered guest lectures, complemented by professors from BITS Pilani.

Sachin Arya, CEO of Incubation and Entrepreneurship at BITS Pilani said, “The partnership is an extension of our commitment to further strengthen the already thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus. Together with SusMafia, we will work towards extending this program to the larger community of innovators and entrepreneurs.”

The SusVentures program ensures that each startup is paired with a ‘Dedicated Mentor,’ a seasoned entrepreneur in the field who provides support in expertise, market access, deep customer connections for pilots, and more. The program offers ‘hand-holding’ through dedicated office hours and in-class workshops, preparing teams to pitch during ‘Pitch Day,’ secure grant funding, access investors’ networks, and receive ongoing acceleration support.

This program is delivered in two formats—through partnerships with leading Indian universities and in-person Immersion Programs, catering to a diverse applicant pool, including working professionals, corporate leaders, serial entrepreneurs, and researchers.

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