Social Alpha, a multistage innovation curation and venture development platform for science and technology start-ups has teamed up with FedEx Express (FedEx), one of the world’s largest express transportation companies to launch the ‘FedEx and Social Alpha Accelerator for Sustainable Last-mile Logistics’ – a unique program thoughtfully curated to nurture and support innovative ventures that are working towards creating a vibrant mobility space to serve marginalised and underserved communities.
The program was rolled out to specifically identify and accelerate start-ups that have showcased promising innovation in the area of electric bicycles (E-Cycles) without compromising quality and user experience. E-Cycles not only promise a good range at a meager operational cost but are also affordable and ensure minimum carbon emissions. Based on the entries received, two ventures, Mag9 Energies, and Accelero Vehicles, have been selected as the final cohort satisfying the program parameters of sustainability, innovation, and pricing. Through Social Alpha, FedEx will also extend its deep expertise to start-ups in the program around technology, innovation, and tools needed to scale their company and grow into a successful venture.
The first of these – Mag9 Energies, is a Mumbai-based company that develops e-bikes for logistical services. Their affordable high-range vehicle is designed with customisable power modes, multiple cargo modifications, a mid-drive transmission, and integrated electronics architecture. The latter – Accelero Vehicles, is a company based in New Delhi that makes a cost-effective portable electric engine named “eBik Smart” which can convert any existing bicycle to an electric bicycle with a host of smart features in under 15 minutes.
The selected start-ups will now work with allotted Portfolio Managers from the Social Alpha program team. They will be provided support as mentioned, as well as potential seed investment from Social Alpha. Social Alpha and FedEx will conduct mentorship sessions, knowledge sessions, and workshops to enhance the founders’ capability. During the program, the Portfolio Manager will act as an advisor and help the start-ups tap opportunities across new markets.
“Enabling universal access to affordable motorised mobility is a priority area for Social Alpha, lack of access to which not only results in drudgery but also loss of income and economic opportunity for millions, many of who are forced to walk long distances to earn their livelihoods, especially in urban settings,” said Smita Rakesh, Vice President and Partner, Social Alpha. “The Social Alpha Accelerator for Sustainable Last-mile Logistics, supported by FedEx, is designed to identify and scale solutions which are addressing these needs and are sustainable, affordable, and accessible, without compromising on quality and user experience.”
“FedEx has a long-standing history of promoting innovation within small and medium enterprises through collaboration. We believe that SMEs play a vital role in driving progress toward a more sustainable future, and by investing in them we can unlock opportunities that lead to healthier and more prosperous communities, improved access to resources and services, and a more resilient economy overall,” said Suvendu Choudhury, Vice President of India Operations, FedEx Express. “Electric-powered bicycles create a more sustainable and efficient mode of transportation that benefits both urban and rural communities. E-bikes offer a healthier transportation alternative for millions of people, by reducing carbon emissions, combating rising fuel prices, and easing congestion on Indian roads. In sum, they foster a more sustainable and equitable future.”