FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Social Alpha E4i is a year-long immersive fellowship that equips passionate ‘entrepreneurs-in-the- making’ to leverage India’s deep science, innovation and entrepreneurship environment.
To know more about the program, please go through our frequently asked questions (FAQs) section.

VISION

  • What is the vision of the Social Alpha E4i program?

    An avenue to draw in passionate, empathetic and talented change-makers to leverage the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to solve India’s complex social, economic and environmental problems.

  • How is it distinct from other programs?

    The Social Alpha E4i program is distinct from other fellowships and accelerator programs in both its structure and approach. It focuses on equipping the individual with all the resources and knowledge s/he needs to create a successful social enterprise, while also helping them widen their grasp of the problem statement, and the technology required to solve it. Through a series of curated experiences and connections, the E4i program aims to equip ‘entrepreneurs-in-the-making’ with exposure to India’s social sector, deep science, innovation and entrepreneurship environment. At the end of the year-long Social Alpha E4i program, the fellows are expected to continue with their entrepreneurial endeavour.

  • What are the partner organisations and institutions involved in the program?

    The Social Alpha E4i program is supported by the Tata Trusts—India’s oldest, non-sectarian philanthropic organisation—and is proud to be a part of the Tata Trusts ecosystem. More partners are expected to join once we launch the program.


  • ELIGIBILITY

  • Are there any minimum educational qualifications required for the Social Alpha E4i program?

    No.

  • I don’t have any formal work experience, am I eligible for the program?

    Yes. Applicants do not require any formal work experience to be considered for the program. However, we encourage applicants with relevant entrepreneurial work experience to apply.

  • I am a student, am I eligible for the program?

    As the Social Alpha E4i program is a full-time program, applicants must have available for full 12 months once the program starts. Ideally they should have completed their engagement or graduated from their last educational institution with enough time to travel to Bangalore for the start of the program on May 6, 2019, to have a valid application. You must also be able to attend the group interview session and the case interview + one-on-one interview session during the selection process.

  • Do I have to be working in a social enterprise to be eligible for the program?

    No. Applicants are not required to have worked in or to be working in a social enterprise in order to be considered. Applicants can be from any sector or industry.

  • Is English proficiency a requirement?

    Working knowledge of English is expected as all seminars, workshops and trainings will be conducted in English.

  • Can I take a sabbatical to do the program?

    No. The program is not intended for the candidates to go back to their current jobs. At the end of the year-long Social Alpha E4i program, the participants are expected to continue with their entrepreneurial endeavour.


  • PROGRAM STRUCTURE

  • What is the duration of the Social Alpha E4i program?

    The Social Alpha E4i program is a year-long immersive program that will begin in May 2019 and will conclude by the end of April 2020.

  • What is the cohort size?

    The first cohort of the Social Alpha E4i program will be up to eight individuals, contingent to the quality of the applications received.

  • What are the sectors of focus for the Social Alpha E4i program?

    The Social Alpha E4i program is focused solving some of India’s most critical social, economic and environmental challenges. These challenges are in Agriculture, Health, Water, Sanitation, Energy, Environment and others. The applicant can choose any of these sectors or others as long as they are addressing a critical social, economic and environmental challenge in India.

  • What are the different stages in the program?

    The program is organized in the following stages:
    • Induction: Introduction to Social Alpha and its partner ecosystem. Philosophy of capital, innovation and entrepreneurship for impact. Theory of change - Entrepreneurship as a pathway to create impact.

    • Immersion 1 - Exposure to Grassroots Challenges: A sector-wise immersion exercise along with the Tata Trusts’ on-ground interventions. The E4i candidate will gather contextual understanding of the problem and implementation challenges that exist on the ground. Issues at the Bottom of the Pyramid and various approaches that have been used to address them.

    • Instructional Huddle 1 - Problem Statements, Need and Interventions: Finding the problem statement, observing sector trends and boiling down to the scope of the intervention planned.

    • Technology Scouting: Developing an understanding of technology adoption and commercialization, gaining an exposure to innovations at various institutions like IIT, IISc, MIT, GOI labs etc.

    • Immersion 2 - Exposure to Start-up Challenges: An enterprise-wise immersion exercise to be done along with the portfolio companies of Social Alpha or partners to understand the daily challenges experienced by entrepreneurs.

    • Instructional Huddle 2 - Product-Market Fit: Transitioning from an idea to a product/ service/ intervention through understanding product-market fit, competitive landscape and the product lifecycle. Understanding and establishing the product market fit and minimum viable product.

    • Business Bootcamp: Bootcamp to guide entrepreneurs through all the basic business skills for starting their own enterprise.

    • Instructional Huddle 3 - Product Development and Prototyping: Building viable products, and gaining hands-on knowledge for the new product development process, and prototype development.

    • Product Development, Piloting & Testing: Iterative process for arriving at solutions and test in the market by piloting and conducting field trials, in parallel to GTM readiness.

    • Instructional Huddle 4 – Go-To-Market Readiness: Understanding the techniques for sales, marketing and customer service.

    • Investor Pitch Week: Final pitch presentation to be presented to the specially-constituted investment committee and potential external investors. Graduation ceremony leading to start-up announcement.


  • SELECTION PROCESS

  • What are the application dates for the fellowship?

    Applications Open: November 13, 2018

    Last Day for Applications: January 6, 2019

    Interviews and Evaluation: February 4, 2019 - March 17, 2019

    Start of Social Alpha E4i Program: May 6, 2019

    End of Social Alpha E4i Program: April 27, 2020

  • What is the selection process?

    The E4i selection process is designed as a multi-stage rigorous application process that will test applicants on essential entrepreneurial traits across different stages. Each stage of the process is designed to test for a distinct set of skills:

    • Written Application—Personal motivations, passion areas, goals and vision

    • Group Interview—Intangible inter-personal traits like teamwork and collaboration

    • Case Interview + One-on-One Interview—Business acumen and culture-fit


  • PROGRAM LOGISTICS

  • Will I receive a stipend during the program?

    Yes, selected E4i candidates will receive a monthly stipend of INR 60,000 to cover essential expenses.

  • Will I have an office space to work out of?

    Yes, selected E4i candidates will be given work space initially at the Social Alpha head office in Bengaluru, India. For immersion and field stints, other work space will be arranged for the candidates.

  • Will I have access to any office equipment I would need to complete my tasks?

    E4i candidates will be required to have their own laptop computer and mobile phone for the program. All other office equipment such as printers, scanners etc. will be made accessible for the candidate at the Social Alpha head office in Bengaluru.

  • Who will I report to during the program?

    You will report to a community manager who will be responsible to connect you with rest of the Social Alpha ecosystem on a need basis. Community manager will be the lead E4i program manager.

  • Can I discontinue the fellowship program during the 1-year engagement?

    The Social Alpha E4i program is an investment made by Social Alpha towards individuals to equip them with all the resources and knowledge required to create a successful social enterprise. Therefore we strongly encourage all selected candidates to continue through the entirety of the program. The terms of the termination will be detailed in the offer letter to the selected candidates.


  • APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

  • What should I keep in mind while filling out the application form?

    The main part of the Social Alpha E4i application are a series of short and long-answer questions. The rest of the questions are to capture demographic information and are of the single & multiple choice selection type. You are also required to upload documents including your CV, and a problem analysis worksheet. Please read the questions carefully and follow the instructions. Incomplete application forms will not be considered for evaluation. Ensure all answers submitted are clear, concise, and honest. Social Alpha reserves the right to cancel your application if false information has been shared.

  • Do the questions have word limits?

    Yes. Each of the short and long-answer questions has a word limit which is specified in the question stem. As you type in your answer, the number of remaining words will appear at the bottom of the window. Other questions may require you to select an option from a given list. Please follow the instructions closely for each question.

  • Is it possible to change the answers on a submitted application form?

    No. It is not possible to change answers once you have clicked ‘Submit’ on the final page of the application form. Please review your answers closely and press ‘Submit’ only after you have completed all questions.

  • If you have any questions or experience technological issues while filling out the application online, please email E4i@socialalpha.org Good luck!