The University of Minnesota Acara Summer Institute for High Impact Businesses

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, 2009 - $20,500

2010 is the first year of the Acara Summer Institute, a two-month, intensive incubation for selected teams from the Acara Challenge. Institute attendees are students from ten US and eight Indian universities who will be selected as winning teams from the Challenge. The goal of the institute is to develop and nurture startup social ventures via an end-to-end facilitation, starting with providing course materials, the competition (Challenge), mentoring and financial support. Teams travel to India, then spend the rest of the summer in residence at the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment, attending lectures and other training and working with mentors to launch their business.

This grant aids in developing, assessing and refining the content of the Acara Summer Institute; establishing processes that incorporate networks of mentors, funders and supporting companies in a structured fashion; and developing a plan for long-term institutional sustainability of the institute. In 2010, the institute aims to incubate at least two businesses.