Interested in joining our no-equity accelerator?

Here's everything you need to know.

Frequently Asked Questions

Scale-Up is MIF’s no-equity accelerator program offering bespoke mentorship to innovative, for-profit start-ups addressing some of India’s most urgent challenges.

Plastic waste management, clean technology, and agri-technology.

Scale-Up provides equity-free and in-depth support to de-risk and scale disruptive early-stage start-ups with the potential for large-scale impact. With a handpicked pool of over 100 seasoned professionals, mentors are matched with founders to address specific challenges. Unlike generic advice, founders receive deep, multi-year mentorship and tailor-made frameworks across critical domains. Finally, Scale-Up supports startups on a multi-year basis to deliver truly impactful, holistic mentorship. 


Scale-Up provides equity-free and in-depth support, encompassing strategic and functional mentorship from both Marico members and external industry experts across domains like marketing, culture, startup accounting, product design, and more. This includes tailored frameworks to problem-solve, hands-on day-to-day implementation support, and access to a vast network of founders, mentors, experts—making it a holistic platform that goes beyond capital to de-risk and scale disruptive early-stage startups on their INR 1-100 crores growth journeys.

No, direct funding isn’t provided. However, access to impact-focused investors is facilitated, and mentors offer non-financial support in refining business plans and pitches during fundraising rounds. 

After we receive an application, the selection process typically takes 2-3 months, involving multiple rounds of discussions for evaluation. Selected startups are onboarded into the accelerator, a dedicated portfolio manager is allocated, and a 1:1 high-level mentorship session is facilitated with Harsh Mariwala, Founder of Marico & MIF to identify key business challenges. Founders are then matched with mentors who can help them solve these challenges, and together they scale-up for 3-5 years within the accelerator, or until they reach INR 100 crores in revenue.

MIF has curated a distinguished mentor pool segmented into two categories: strategic mentors and functional mentors. Strategic mentors are distinguished industry stalwarts within specific sectors. They offer expert guidance to startups, aiding in strategic decision-making. Functional mentors, representing diverse business functions like sales, HR, finance, R&D, provide sector-specific expertise to support startups comprehensively.

Mentors are initially asked to complete a form, followed by a conversation to ascertain their focus areas and expertise—before onboarding them as mentors in appropriate categories.

At Scale-Up, founders are matched with strategic industry experts and functional mentors from Marico and the external industry by mapping the expertise of the latter to the specific business challenge(s) that the startup has identified as a pain point. For instance, if the startup is facing a challenge with their input costs, they will be assigned a procurement expert from the same/similar sector as the startup who can help them with material cost optimisation. 

The best mentoring relationships are rooted in candour and value alignment, and go beyond technical fit. This is why startups in the Scale-Up may also choose their mentor(s) from our pool of mentors, or ask the program to enlist a mentor of their choice.

At Scale-Up, founders gain access to Marico’s vast network of mentors, experts, leaders, fellow-mentees, funders and other participants in India’s innovation & entrepreneurship community. The accelerator also facilitates access to a vast network of market participants including vendors, supply chain participants, and consumers.

At minimum, a founder should expect to have four one-hour mentor meetings in a month per business challenge. They will also be required to work on the mentor’s recommendations on their own time. Typically, a founder works on more than one business challenge at a time, and the total time commitment depends on their rigour, the urgency of the problem, and the value addition they derive from MIF’s mentor networks.

Innovations must be peerless, disruptive, and have the potential to create substantial social, environmental, or economic impact on the lives of billions across India. They should possess a robust, differentiated USP that makes replication challenging for others. Innovations should also demonstrate the potential to achieve an annual revenue of INR 100 crores and scale their impact by 10x within 3-5 years.

Startup teams should be diverse, strong, and most importantly, coachable. 


Startups are selected after a thorough due-diligence process including a review of innovations and patents by tech experts, validation of scalability by business experts, customer reviews, and competitor analysis. 

This selection process typically takes 2-3 months post-application.

No, startups with no revenue cannot be considered for the Scale-Up Program.

A startup or incorporated company has to exist for an innovator to apply to the Scale-Up Program. Plus, a small team is required for the innovator’s success in the program.

Yes. But founders must commit sufficient time and effort to leverage the support offered under Scale-Up. During the application process, they should showcase how their participation in other programs has positively influenced their startup journey and business outcomes.

Please fill out our rolling application form here.


Startups are selected into the program on a rolling basis; founders can apply at any time of the year.

Yes, MIF charges a nominal, one-time fee of INR 25,000 + taxes. This fee is applicable only after startups have derived value from their journey with MIF under the Scale-Up program. 

Yes, a startup can apply more than once – if it feels it has progressed/grown since its last application, and can now meet the Scale-Up Program criteria.

Typically, it takes between three to four weeks after the first meeting for the rejection to be intimated to the startup via email. While it is difficult to provide a specific reason, the MIF team aims to communicate which selection criterion the startup failed to meet.

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