Palava Accelerator, launched by Lodha Group, and Zone Startups, the accelerator operated by Toronto-based Ryerson Futures Inc., is providing startups in Pune a platform to promote the tech-entrepreneurship spirit of the city.
Palava Accelerator, launched in November 2017, is an initiative to identify new age technology companies ranging across smart city solutions, real estate tech, hyperlocal commerce, sustainable development and analytics and provide them a platform to test their products/services at scale. Startups accepted into the Palava Accelerator program receive support and services including co-working office space, free residential options, business development support, an opportunity to pilot their products at Palava City, access to high quality investor networks, mentorship programs and networking events. The program provides early stage companies a test bed and launch pad for their businesses.
Since the launch, the accelerator program has mentored 8 startups at various stages. The startups are from varied technology domains such as CleanTech, Governance, Ed-tech and Fintech to name a few.
Lodha Group is envisioning to develop Palava into a pedestrian first smart city, designed to have all basic necessities within walking distance to enhance quality of life and to solve the problem of inadequate public transportation. Palava is positioned as a model of urbanization in an emerging economy such as India that is focused on developing new cities due to urban migration.
Utopia, an outdoor light automation platform, is one of the notable examples of a successful pilot at Palava. The company provides a cost effective and smart way to automate street lights as per time of day, and track faults, if any. The solution was piloted at Palava and later at other locations such as ISB Hyderabad and IIT Bombay.
Another startup helping Palava to achieve its goal, is FingPay, which is enabling Aadhar-based payments across all retailers in Palava and provides residents with a cashless transaction experience.
Palava, an approximately 4500-acre development located in Kalyan Dombivli, Mumbai is a smart city being developed and managed by Lodha Group. Phase I of Palava, spread over approximately 300 acres, was completed in 2016 with 18,026 units handed over to customers.