Social Alpha, a multistage innovation curation and venture development platform for science and technology start-ups has teamed up with FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and one of the world’s largest express transportation company 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 meagre 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 their deep expertise to start-ups in the program around technology, innovation, and tools needed to scale their company and grow into a successful venture. “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. While our cities are growing and electric mobility is increasingly getting the centre-stage, this still remains an overlooked need.
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. We are confident that both Accelero and Mag9 will make best use of this support and the full-stack innovation architecture of Social Alpha, to scale their solutions for the most underserved user groups. We are happy to work with FedEx toward the shared vision of making mobility not just sustainable, but also equitable, to contribute towards a just energy transition for India,” says Smita Rakesh, Vice President and Partner, Social Alpha. “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 towards 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, combat rising fuel prices, and ease congestion on Indian roads. In sum, they foster a more sustainable and equitable future.” Selected start-ups will 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. About the winners of the FedEx - Social Alpha Accelerator in Sustainable Last-mile Logistics
Mag9 – 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.
Accelero – 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.
During the duration of the program, both the ventures will customise their solutions to the needs of the target communities, deploy them at an affordable price and sustainably expand to new geographies with the combined support of FedEx and Social Alpha. Their innovations aim to achieve drudgery reduction, improve income and enable better livelihood opportunities for their target customers.
About Social Alpha Social Alpha is a multistage innovation curation and venture development platform for science and technology start-ups that address the most critical social, economic, and environmental challenges through the power of entrepreneurship and market-creating innovations. Since its inception in 2016, Social Alpha has supported more 200 start-ups including 60+ seed investments. For more information, please visit www.socialalpha.org. About FedEx Express FedEx Express is the world's largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date.