To know more about the Quest, we request you to go through our frequently-asked-questions (FAQs) section:


  • Who can apply for the program?

    Social Alpha Quest for Urban Livability is a search for start-ups, social enterprises, or non-profits who have created innovative solutions that can enhance the quality of living in mega urban centres and the growing cities of India. Individual innovators are not eligible to apply for the program. The applicant should be a registered company (whether for-profit or not-for-profit) in India. The shareholding by Indian promoters in the company should be at least 51%.

  • I am a college student working on a technology. Can I apply for the program?

    One may apply as long as one has a legal entity established as specified in the earlier answer. However, winners of the Social Alpha Quest for Urban Livability will be required to participate in pilot tests that will be facilitated with urban local bodies/implementing partners and liaise with governing/implementing authorities concurrently. This may require the physical attendance at the convening location and may interfere with college schedules. It is recommended that this is taken into consideration at the time of application.

  • Can I submit more than one application for different technologies?

    Yes, applicants can submit multiple applications, but each application has to feature a distinct technology/process/innovation. However, in the final decision, only one application (if selected) will be considered per enterprise.

  • Is there any preference for a particular type of innovation?

    Applicants are encouraged to submit applications for technology-based innovations that solve a real-world challenge that are faced by cities, solving which can significantly contribute to the quality of life for urban citizens. Innovations can be a product or a service, but must be aligned to the focus areas outlined in the program. Innovations should be at the prototype stage or further, which could be piloted with urban local bodies/ implementation partners.

  • Program Structure

  • What is the structure of the program?

    Winners of the Social Alpha Quest for Urban Livability will take part in facilitated pilots with urban local bodies / implementation partners based on their requirements for a span 6 - 18 months. The program is cohort-driven, however, the pilot durations will vary based on the needs of the start-up and the pilot partner they would be working with. As part of the cohort there shall be opportunities to attend seminars and sessions organized by the Social Alpha ecosystem and its partners. Also, interspersed through the program shall be opportunities to interact with external stakeholders, funders and mentors from within the Social Alpha network. Program structure details will be shared in advance with winners.

  • What is the duration of the program?

    The program is a 6-18 month long engagement.

  • What are the different types of benefits I can avail from the program?

    The offerings of the program for winners of the Social Alpha Quest for Urban Livability are:

    • Pilots with urban local bodies (ULB’s), state governments or implementation agencies
    • Access to seed capital of up to INR 1 crore per winner
    • Hands-on support for business planning and go-to market strategy by team of dedicated portfolio managers
    • Access to a curated set of knowledge offerings, peer learning and cohort-driven exercises
    • Mentorship by a set of qualified global and local experts
    • Gateway to a diverse and large investor ecosystem

  • Do I have to be physically present for any cohort-based sessions? Is attendance necessary?

    As part of the program, there may be a requirement to attend certain sessions in person. Non-attendance can potentially result in termination of contract with Social Alpha.

  • Is the mentoring paid or free?

    Mentoring, as part of the continuous engagement with the winners of the Social Alpha Quest for Urban Livability, will be provided free of charge. Participation in specialized/additional events could be subject to a nominal fee.

  • How frequently will Social Alpha interface with the winners during the program?

    There will be regular interface between the winning teams and the Social Alpha program implementation team. Each start-up will be allocated a portfolio manager to help with customized requests.

  • Follow-on Funding

  • Will I be eligible to receive dilutive funding by Social Alpha upon selection?

    This will be determined on a case-to-case basis. Some amongst the winners of the Social Alpha Quest for Urban Livability might be considered for follow-on funding by the Social Alpha investment committee, subject to due diligence.

  • Can I find other funding partners for dilutive investments?

    Yes, the winning start-ups can find other funding partners.

  • Selection Process

  • What are the important dates to remember during the selection process? By when will the results be announced?

    Launch Date/ Application Start Date: March 6, 2019

    Application Deadline: April 21, 2019

    Announcement of Finalists: July 15, 2019

    Pitch to Grand Jury and Start of Program: August 20, 2019

  • Can I submit my application after the deadline?

    No, applications submitted post the stated deadline will not be considered for evaluation. There are no possibilities for lateral entry into the program.