How We Build Soonicorns At Our Startup Accelerator, Scale-Up

Scale-Up, MIF’s exclusive no-equity accelerator program for Indian startups, played a vital role in building two Soonicorns.

By Marico Innovation Foundation May 2, 2024 | 10:27 AM

Most startups face the risk of failure, but the few that succeed share a common secret: good mentorship. 33% of startup founders mentored by successful entrepreneurs and industry experts went on to achieve incredible success in their fields.

In-depth mentorship is a substantial priority at Scale-Up, Marico Innovation Foundation’s (MIF) exclusive no-equity accelerator program for Indian startups dedicated to solving critical issues in plastics, waste, clean technology, food, and agri-technology. From treasured access to experts and a vast peer network of like-minded disruptors, early-stage startups have no dearth of resources needed on their growth journeys at Scale-Up.

Case in point: S4S Technologies and Atomberg Technologies – two startups that earned the ‘Soonicorn’ tag after crossing Rs. 100 crore in annual revenue during their time at Scale-Up.

S4S Technologies

Can scientific solutions driven by social and environmental impact exist alongside a for-profit business model?

Founders: Nidhi Pant, Dr. Vaibhav Tidke, Swapnil Kokate, Ganesh Bhere, Dr. Shital Somani Kasat, Tushar Gaware, Ashwin Pawade

In 2019, S4S Technologies joined Scale-Up with a revenue of Rs. 60 lakh per annum. By 2023, they had scaled up to Rs 100 crore per annum. Here’s what changed.

Unique Selling Point

S4S was inducted into Scale-Up for its unique agri-tech product that reduced food wastage: a solar-powered dehydrator that could dehydrate foods while maintaining 85-99% nutrition levels. At the same time, the product lowered the cost of solar dehydration by around 45% in comparison to traditional dryers.

The S4S business model is equally unique and operates at the intersection of agriculture, gender energy access, and financial inclusion. The startup works with micro-women entrepreneurs, which helps decentralise the food produce dehydration market and has, so far, created a livelihood for over 1,200 women. Additionally, S4S works with 60,000 smallholder farmers in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Odisha.

Support and Interventions

At Scale-Up, S4S received support from MIF in various areas, including setting up a fulfilment centre, pivoting from a B2C to a B2B business, launching new product lines, improving packaging, brand positioning, and mentorship on fund-raise rounds.

Atomberg Technologies

How can energy-efficient products thrive in a high-competition market?

Founders: Manoj Meena , Sibabrata (Shibam) Das , Arindam Paul

In 2016, Atomberg Technologies joined the Scale Up cohort with an annual revenue of Rs. 4 crores. By 2020, they had scaled up to Rs. 160 crore per annum. Here’s what changed.

Unique Selling Point

Atomberg Technologies was inducted into Scale-Up for being one of the first movers in Brushless Direct Current Motor (BLDC) fans. It also provides a range of other energy-efficient and cost-effective products that utilise its brushless DC contact motor, and consume 70% less electricity than appliances with traditional motors.

Support and Interventions

At Scale-Up, Atomberg Technologies received support from MIF in various areas of business refinement, including opening up B2C as a business model, increasing online awareness and sales, pricing optimisation, developing integrated marketing campaigns, optimising distribution, enhancing retail training, and implementing sales IT systems. As a result, it crossed several noteworthy milestones.

At Marico Innovation Foundation, we pride ourselves on our ability to recognise and de-risk disruptive innovators with the powerful potential to create long-lasting impact in India. Start-ups that match our values of innovation, sustainability, and social impact receive extensive tailored support to increase their chances of success and scale.

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