CIIE.CO: CIIE.CO to support over 100 early-stage craft companies by 2025


NEW DELHI: In a bid to support India’s rich cultural heritage in crafts, CIIE.CO, a startup platform built at IIM Ahmedabad, has announced that it will accelerate and support over 100 early-age startups by 2025. The craft vertical at CIIE.CO will also provide over 15 innovative craft startups with access to portfolio support through sprints, incubation and acceleration programs, seed funding and catalytic capital support of up to Rs 50 lakh, as a part of their committed program funds and also via other funds.
In the last three years (2018-21), CIIE.CO has successfully conducted three craft-centric startup programs, supported over 46 startups to undergo an

change and enabled funding in 17 startups such as Khadigi, Kosha, Golden Feather, Fabriclore, Fabricmonde, P-Tal, Kalaghar, Dressfolk, Abira, Country Clay, Claybotik, Baansuli, Guddee, amongst others. In addition to this, CIIE.CO also published a report on the crafts sector in early 2022 outlining the startup opportunities in the sector and elaborating on the mechanisms of how private sector participation can positively impact the ecosystem.
Commenting on the announcement, Chintan Bakshi, Partner, Incubation, CIIE.CO, said, “Entrepreneurs working directly with craft clusters in India and bringing interventions in design, materials, and technology to develop and market sustainable, socially conscious, and eco-friendly products, can help India leapfrog from a primarily fossil-fuel-based economy to a green and sustainable economy, at the same time creating millions of sustainable rural livelihoods”

India has a rich cultural heritage in crafts and the sector has thrived for centuries. Today, with over 3000 craft forms and 7 million artisans, the country is strongly positioned to be a unique and fertile bed for product and business innovation. Since 2018, each year CIIE.CO supports a cohort of startups around a specific theme such as – crafts value chain, procurement with purpose, deep tech, FinTech sustainability etc. CIIE.CO also builds structured and outcome-focused interventions to amplify the sector for innovative craft startups in collaboration with partners such as SAP, Department of Science and Technology among others.

For the next 3 years, CIIE.CO is looking at the following themes within the Craft sector, to support startups in:

  • Startups are building disruptive technologies to bring efficiencies within the craft value chain in areas like supply chain transparency, traceability etc
  • Startups doing innovations in materials and enabling handicraft artisans to use these materials as part of their craft. For example, the use of more sustainable materials like bamboo and hemp
  • Startups creating disruptive models for customer experience through the use of technology
  • Startups going deep within a craft/cluster and then doing multiple innovations and interventions (including design, supply chain etc) to bring in efficiencies and better market connections for the craft / cluster

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