MANILA, Dec 2, 2020 – (ACN Newswire) – Habitat for Humanity’s ShelterTech today announced the 20 startups and scaleups that will join the platform’s newest accelerators — one in Southeast Asia, the other in the Andean region of South America — to advance housing solutions for low-income families. An initiative of Habitat’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, ShelterTech provides mentorship, masterclasses, connections to investors and partners and a wide range of additional support to businesses that hold the potential to tackle affordable housing challenges. The newest accelerators, which join existing ones in India, Kenya and Mexico, will be conducted online, with special focus on solutions that work in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over 100 ventures applied for the ShelterTech accelerators in Southeast Asia, vying for a chance to be part of the world’s leading platform for affordable housing innovation. Prior to the final cohort announcement, startups went through a review with technical experts and ecosystem partners, diligence interviews and presentations before a selection committee. “We were very impressed by the quality and potential from applicants. It was not easy narrowing it down to ten startups, but these are the ventures we believe hold the greatest potential to grow and multiply their impact,” said Lizan Kuster, associate director for entrepreneurship & innovation at Habitat’s Terwilliger Center.
ShelterTech selected startups with products and services that address housing livability and affordability, in sectors related to materials, labor, finance, land, markets, energy and water and sanitation. In Southeast Asia, the cohort is comprised of:
– AffordAble Abodes, Malaysia
– Nay Yar Housing, Myanmar
– Billion Bricks, Singapore
– Pounamu, Myanmar
– Cubo Modular, Philippines
– Sampangan, Indonesia
– Gradana, Indonesia
– Social Light, Philippines
– My Dream Home, Cambodia
– TapEffect, Cambodia
While the startups are unique in their solutions, they share a common mission of making homes sustainable and resilient. In the Philippines, Social Light develops affordable Wi-Fi monetization strategies, where plastic waste can be used as a digital currency for affordable internet packages. My Dream Home, a Cambodian social enterprise, aims to bring down construction costs by producing affordable and environmentally friendly interlocking bricks, which are made of waste materials and abandoned soil purchased from local farmers. Read about the work of each startup here habitat.org/sheltertech/portfolio.
Starting in December, the accelerator participants will go through an intense program, including technical trainings, refining their venture’s value proposition and business plan, product demonstrations and one-on-one mentorship and support from housing sector experts. Regional mentors include Steve Melhuish, co-founder of PropertyGuru, Asia’s largest online property portal group, Slater Young, founder and CEO of Liteblock and Tean Li, managing partner at Seeva Capital.
A corresponding accelerator in the Andean region of South America also selected 10 startups for its cohort. Following the acceleration phase, startups and scaleups will have the opportunity to establish connections with global players in housing and impact investment, meeting investors, gaining exposure to funding opportunities and joining events to promote their products and services.
ShelterTech is a global innovation platform advancing entrepreneurial housing solutions that radically improve the lives of low-income families. Supported by Habitat’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter and its partners, ShelterTech puts entrepreneurs at the center of a highly connected ecosystem of mentors, investors, peers, alumni and technical experts who share a passion for revolutionary ideas in affordable housing. For more information and opportunities, visit shelter-tech.org
About Habitat’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter
The Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, a unit of Habitat for Humanity International, works with housing market actors to expand innovative and client-responsive services, products and financing so that households can improve their shelter more effectively and efficiently. The goal of the Terwilliger Center is to make housing markets work more effectively for people in need of decent, affordable shelter, thereby improving the quality of life for low-income households. To learn more, visit habitat.org/tcis.
About Habitat for Humanity
Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort and has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in more than 70 countries. In the Asia-Pacific region since 1983, Habitat for Humanity has supported millions of people to build or improve a place they can call home. Through financial support, volunteering or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve the strength, stability and self-reliance they need to build better lives for themselves. To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit habitat.org/asiapacific
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