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Citizen Innovation Lab will catalyse innovation and entrepreneurial intervention across areas of CivicTech, PropTech and LegalTech

Mumbai, NFAPost: CIIE.CO, the innovation continuum for the change-makers, and Omidyar Network India, an investment firm focused on social impact, have joined hands to launch the Citizen Innovation Lab – a platform that will redefine how innovation and entrepreneurship come together in areas of CivicTech, PropTech and LegalTech.

● CivicTech: Technologies that enable governments to be more efficient and effective in public service delivery and empower citizens to engage and participate better in governance.

● PropTech: Technologies which impart and improve exclusivity, transferability and enforcement of land and property rights holistically for all citizens groups.

● LegalTech: Technologies that enable easier access to justice and faster service delivery while increasing process efficiencies in the judicial system.

The platform will focus on bringing together stakeholders across the three sectors to identify gaps that need to be addressed and ways to leverage technology while channeling entrepreneurship.

The current entrepreneurship ecosystem in these sectors is plagued by multiple bottlenecks and addressing these, the partnership will help enable entrepreneurial ecosystems in these areas through interventions on three fronts:

Competencies: ​Strengthening skills and capabilities of various stakeholders in the ecosystem i.e. city clusters, academic institutions, entrepreneurs, mentors and potential investors

Collaboration​: Bringing in practitioners to share their sector and industry knowledge through workshops
Capital​: Evangelizing and providing builder capital and attracting more and different forms of funding and capital providers

The Lab will focus on in-depth research on gaps and opportunities in these sectors by engaging with diverse stakeholders across startups, industry, government and policy. Through multiple sprints for upcoming entrepreneurs from across cities, the Lab will give a platform to startups to create robust solutions.

CIIE.CO CEO Kunal Upadhyay said ever since its inception, CIIE.CO has endeavored to identify and fill critical gaps in India’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem.

“The need for startups building solutions for citizens has become critical in the recent past. As a country pushing hard to emerge from the clutches of a ruthless virus, it is imperative to apply tech and entrepreneurial thinking to solve some of the biggest challenges facing citizens,” said Kunal Upadhyay.

He also said the Citizen Innovation Lab by CIIE.CO and Omidyar Network India, will catalyse this goal. “Through sharp and robust research, determined startup support and powerful incubation, the Lab will aim to infuse more entrepreneurial problem solving for hard problems in the three key sectors – CivicTech, Property Rights Tech and Legal Tech,” said Kunal Upadhyay.

Omidyar Network India Partner Shilpa Kumar said Covid-19 has upended the status quo globally especially in services that depend on state-citizen interaction.

“Courts, governments, municipalities are digitising with a new zeal and at an unparalleled pace. This means that an inflection point is developing as new digital infrastructure (e.g. RERA stack) and open data ecosystems combine with the urgency for delivering digital solutions,” said Shilpa Kumar.

Shilpa Kumar said a confluence of innovation and entrepreneurship in fields such as civic engagement, property rights and access to justice can transform citizen access to services in a substantive way.

CIIE.CO is The Innovation Continuum. This continuum spreads across incubation, acceleration, seed and growth funding, and research. Founded at IIM Ahmedabad in 2002, as an academic centre, CIIE.CO has grown and pivoted to include acceleration, incubation, investment, research and publication.

Overall, CIIE.CO has aimed at filling the multiple, ever-evolving gaps in the Indian innovation-driven entrepreneurship space in many ways. Among various initiatives, CIIE.CO has conceptualised and hosted India’s first accelerator, created India’s first and so far the only cleantech-focused fund, accelerated over 1000 entrepreneurs, invested in over 160 startups, inspired over a million with their publications, including Stay Hungry Stay Foolish.

All the initiatives on the innovation continuum are aimed at supporting fearless, innovation-driven entrepreneurs. Working with like-minded partners like corporates, government agencies, investors and academia, helps us push harder towards co-creating exponential change.

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