New Ventures India - Investor Forum 2013

Investor Forum is the annual flagship event of New Ventures India, the premier platform for enterprise development and investor engagement in support of green enterprises across India. The 2013 edition is the eighth year of the Investor Forum. New Ventures India organized the Forum with financial support from the DOEN Foundation and in partnership with the World Resources Institute.

The main aim of the forum is to help build partnerships between clean energy and water entrepreneurs with investors and large companies. 

Showcasing companies

Clean energy and water access companies who presented at the Investor Forum 2013 and what they are looking for:

  • Avani Bio Energy: Avani Bio Energy has installed a 120kW biomass gasifier that generates electricity and cooking charcoal from pine needles. They have planned 9 units in 2014 following the commissioning of the 120kW unit. Avani Bio Energy is looking for funds to help fund expand its expansion.
  • Emergence Bioenergy has developed technology that allows micro-scale generation of power at low cost, low maintenance and using multiple feeds. Their first prototype is operating in Bangladesh. They have already received EOI for two orders which will help EBI validate their business model. They are looking for technology development funds and prospective customers for their product.
  • Gham Power has a micro grid development business in Nepal. They also have a retail business of back up systems and street lights. Gham Power is bundling these microgrids into Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV) and project financing the SPV.  Gham Power is seeking a combination of debt and equity to fund this SPV model. They will start with a SPV of 2MW in phase 1.  
  • Innokriti Cleantech Solutions has developed a green bio-chemicals for treatment of waste water. They have run successful pilot and market validation studies, which prove the potential of their product – Innoclean. They are looking for funds for further customer validation pilots, product development, certification and patenting. Innokriti is also looking for corporate partners in the agri business space and in the industrial sector.
  • Microenergy International has developed the Swarm electrification concept for households and small businesses in off-grid villages in India and Bangladesh. They have developed a charge controller for Solar Home Systems that manages interconnection between multiple users and facilitates electricity trade and provides interface for connection to the national grid. MEI is looking for capital funding in order to prototype, run a pilot in the field and prove the concept.
  • Minda NexGen Tech has a 240W DC micro grid model that serves 35-40 rural households. Minda is expanding this business through the local VLE (Village Level Entrepreneurs) model where the VLEs invest in the microgrid, supported by financial institutions/donors. Minda is looking for corporate relationships who can use their CSR funds to fund VLEs.    
  • Nishant Bioenergy has developed pellet fuelled cook stoves for commercial kitchens and pellet manufacturing technology for these stoves. Nishant is seeking investment to set up their own pellet production plant and expand infrastructure for their stove manufacturing facility and to meet their working capital requirements. 
  • ONergy provides energy access by installing solar solutions. The Renewable Energy Centers (REC) are at the core of their business model. ONergy has plans to set up 35 RECs over the next 3 years in West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. They have 12 RECs at present. They are seeking working capital and product development funds and investment and for setting up the 35 RECs.
  • Spring Health makes safe water available at affordable prices in Eastern Indian villages. Spring Health operates in 6 districts in Orissa. They will expand operations to 5 more states by 2018. Spring Health is raising funds to expand their decentralized delivery system that can impact over 800,000 households in 16 months.

Partnerships between entrepreneurs, investors and large corporations

New Ventures India invited investors, foundations, donor funds and corporations to partner with the entrepreneurs. The Investor Panel assessed the business model, expansion plans, funding requirements of these companies. Abhay Garg – Portfolio Manager from Acumen India, Karan Gupta – Investment Manager from Insitor Management, Kartik Desai – Senior Investment Manager for Aavishkaar Frontier Funds and Rupa Pandit – Founding member of Nereus Capital were part of this Investor Panel. Senior Journalist – Martin Wright who is also a member of the Ashden Awards team also addressed questions to the companies.

Coy Navarro from Energy For All Initiative, ADB explained the facilities of the Project Development Facility from Energy For Al for both entrepreneurs and investorsl. Under this facility, Energy For All has already supported 26 organizations and closed 3 deals. ADB has worked closely with New Ventures India to identify investment opportunities in India.

For the complete list of participants please click here.

Providing access to End User Finance

Nicola Armacost, Managing Director and Co-Founder, Arc Finance moderated the End User Finance panel. The panel featured Ravi Shankar, Head Rural Business, Fullerton India, Naresh Joshi, Aryavart Gramin Bank (Ex-Chairman), and Mohan Kumar Baliarsingh, Senior Advisor, Mahashakti  Foundation. There is a lack of adequate financing sources for clean energy and water projects for rural India. Non Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) and Micro Finance Institutions (MFI) have an important role to play under such circumstances. The Innovations in the end user financing space can come from organizations like:

  • Maanaveeya Development & Finance a Non Banking Finance Company in the business of financing development activities, is trying to develop a Clean Energy, Water and Health Finance business. MDFPL is seeking partners to identify the region, products, partners and demand for a line of credit in this sector.
  • SunFunder runs a crowd-funding platform. They connect investors to high impact solar projects in East Africa and Asia to deal with the financing problem for off-grid solar. SunFunder is launching the initial projects in India and aspire to establish India as a key market in the immediate future.

Providing access to Markets

New Ventures India launched “identifying micro markets” for distributed renewable energy products in 13 states in India. This analysis helps entrepreneurs identify micro markets that have sufficient demand for clean energy products and services, access to finance and that have exhibited strong economic growth.

Paul Needham, Founder - Simpa Networks and Damian Miller, CEO Orb Energy discussed the need for such rigorous market identification. In addition to the census driven analysis conducted by New Ventures India, these clean energy companies work relentlessly on the field to identify villages to launch operations. Data on power outage, per capita income and social dynamics are equally important in identifying target markets.

Incubation and Platform for Practitioners

Harish Hande (Founder-SELCO and Magsaysay Award Winner) talked about the work of SELCO Labs in “evaluating and solving the energy access problems of the poor at a grass-root level and address development challenges with renewable energy solutions”. The incubator gives an opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn from the operational processes of SELCO. Harish Hande also emphasized the need of platforms like New Ventures India to bring practitioners from across organizations on a common platform during the Forum.

Continuing the conversation

You can carry on the conversation by joining the Linked In group - New Ventures India Clean Energy and Water Access Professionals.