Innovation Blog

Israel Is at the Forefront of Agricultural…

“Israel is at the forefront of agricultural innovation so it was the perfect location for us”. – Saumya of Kheyti, MassChallenge Israel 2017 alumni from India.

We offer $5,000 scholarships for Indian startups to join our 2018 equity-free award-winning accelerator in the capital of the Startup Nation. Apply until February 4th.

100M small farmers in India LOSE money from agriculture alone. Kheyti helps smallholder farmers battle income variability through our “Greenhouse-in-a-Box” (GIB), an affordable, modular greenhouse bundled with services. Designed for small farmers, the GIB fits in 2% of their land, protects crops from climate risks and grows 7x produce using 10% water. We integrate financing, inputs, training and market services to give farmers a seamless path towards a steady income of $100/month.

Ending poverty for 1 million small farmers through our “Greenhouse-in-a-Box”, an affordable, modular greenhouse bundled end-to-end services.

Women lend a different perspective on a team, explains Saumya of Kheyti, the lone female founder in the group.

Ive been working in social impact for 7 years, and the ratio of 3:1 men to women is pretty standard. Prior to starting Kheyti, she had already been working on social issues with her partner Kaushik for 5 years. The projects were successful, but not scalable, and they realized they needed to pivot their idea to something that could expand.

While already working in agricultural issues, they discovered small farmers had no way to mitigate the unpredictable impacts climate change was having on their crops. While larger farmers could buy insurance, small farmers were left with the potential for ruin at the end of every season. They decided to devise a solution to help these poor farmers, but creating their greenhouse in a box that allows farmers to plant a large enough portion of their crops in a greenhouse, so that regardless of the weather, theyll have produce thats protected and they can sell.

Their motivation to help small farmers didnt just come from wanting to help their fellow people – One of the co-founders’ grandfather is a small farmer, and Saumya grew up in one of the poorest districts in India, so this is something that is close to everyones hearts.

When working on such impactful projects, gender doesnt really play a role. Saumya adds, I keep trying to remind myself that everyones a person. I add a lot of creativity to the company, so any marketing and branding comes through me. Were actually thinking about moving to a female only model where we would get financing for women, and the whole microfinancing realm in India was started by women. We think women will be a lot more empowered if we work with them and were doing everything we can to work with them.

Israel is at the forefront of agricultural innovation so it was the perfect location for us. Our goal here is two-fold: 1) leverage Israeli design expertise to create an ultra-low-cost greenhouse suited to small farmers and 2) transfer years of growing experience of Israeli agricultural experts to help our farmers get maximum yields. The ecosystem here is very close-knit so making connections has been easy. Most of the companies understand the Indian market pretty well and our cultures are also strikingly similar.

Following the success of our first year bringing Indian startups to our Jerusalem-based accelerator, including 2017 winners Khetyi and Sukriti, we are thrilled to once again invite high impact Indian startups to our 4-month, equity-free accelerator. With the generous support of program partners the Deshpande Foundation and Nasscom, up to 10 Indian teams will be eligible for a $5,000 scholarship to support them in coming to Jerusalem.

Join our 2018 equity-free award-winning accelerator in the capital of the Startup Nation. Apply until February 4th:

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