Accelerator FAQs

general

Toilet Board Coalition’s Accelerator is a year-long programme that offers mentorship, partnerships, and visibility for scale to the sanitation economy businessesThe Accelerator provides 12-month in-kind support; access to global and local mentorship from business leaders; access to investments and strategic partnerships, access to the business intelligence of the TBC global platform, in addition to opportunities for brand building and membership to the Toilet Board Coalition. 

January 2016! Since then, we have had 7 cohorts, and 52 sanitation businesses from 12+ countries have graduated from our accelerator programme.  

The goal of the programme is to prepare sanitation SMEs for investments and strategic partnerships that can bring both innovation and scale.  

Upon successful graduation from the Accelerator programme, the SMEs can expect to have a clear roadmap to scale for their sanitation business, resulting from intensive work around –  

  • Unit Economics and Business Model Optimization 
  • Financial Model and Projections 
  • Investability 
  • Partnerships  

The Accelerator is a unique sanitation focused global platform that can support sanitation SMEs in multiple ways as the scale-up their businesses across multiple sub-sectors and markets in sanitation. The TBC’s growing global platform brings together business leaders, investors and experts in the area of sanitation – enabling support to SMEs across geographies and business models. 

TBC’s unmatched sanitation business intelligence, carefully developed over the last 7 years, supporting entrepreneurs on the ground, is available for our community of entrepreneurs to benefit from.  

Access to investment is enabled through the Investor Forum and Investment Council – a unique community of active investors who are either making direct investments in sanitation or are creating sanitation-focused financial mechanisms. 

There are 6-12 participants in every cohort.  

 

The Accelerator works with growth and scale ready sanitation businesses. Businesses that have proven or at least piloted their solutions, preferably begun sales and have some social and environmental impact in emerging markets. However, in the past we have accelerated early-stage companies with breakthrough technologies or business models.  

application process

Applicants can apply online through the F6S portal link embedded on the Coalition’s website. Apply here!

We work with growth and scale ready start-ups/ sanitation businesses that have begun sales. However, in last seven years we have accelerated businesses at various stages: from pilot stage to listed companies with steady sales.  

 We look for businesses in the sanitation economy across fields such as: 

  • Building, operating, maintaining and/or providing toilets 
  • Collecting, storing, transporting and/or treating human waste 
  • Using analytics, information, IoT, and/or sensors, etc. to monitor sanitation infrastructure, and/or derive insights including preventive healthcare 
  • Sustainable menstruation health and hygiene, diapers and other products 

 

If you are a sanitation business that does not fit any of the above descriptions, we would still encourage you to submit an application or contact us at secretariat@toiletboard.org if you have any questions. 

There is no fee to participate in the accelerator programme. 

 

The programme starts every year in January and ends in November. View accelerator process and timeline.

The accelerator is seeking to work with businesses that meet the following criteria: 

Emerging & Frontier Markets: Target market includes populations most at risk in Asia, Africa & Latin America. 

Scalable: The business is positioned to deliver sanitation at scale and is connected to the full value chain of sanitation service delivery 

Innovative/ Replicable: Product offering that is aspirational for its target market and provides an improved solution to the market and/or product offering that is proven and replicable 

Market Based: Commercially viable businesses, at every point in the sanitation value chain, delivering sanitation to those without access, profitably 

In February, we launch the application for the subsequent year’s Cohort. Applications close at the end of April and the team begins reviewing applications.  

Ineligible applications (see criteria above) are declined, and a first list is assembled for internal (TBC Team) review. A first shortlist is presented to TBC corporate members in early July.  

Following this presentation an interview team is assembled from the membership to interview and select finalists. We may also ask for clarifications of information submitted in the application if needed. 

Finally in September, TBC corporate members make proposals of who they would like to mentor the following year. These matches are confirmed and announced on 19th November (World Toilet Day) 

Please note that the final selection is in the hands of the corporates, and they select top businesses whose stage of growth and needs are aligned with their priorities and capacities. Not being selected DOES NOT mean that your application is weak, and we encourage re-application for this reason as it can be just a matter of timing.  

Yes, both can be part of the programme. Team members are welcome to join the programme, however, founders/ CEOs are compulsory 

At the start of the year, the SMEs, in collaboration with their mentors and the accelerator team, will clearly define the work that they intend on completing through the year. Therefore, attending the regular meetings with the accelerator team and mentors is an important expectation. Additionally, we expect participants to be active members of the TBC platform to derive the maximum benefit – attending events, contributing to publications help SMEs to leverage the TBC platform fully. Each year, TBC also prepares an impact report that showcases the impact produced by our acceleratees, we expect the acceleratees therefore to report their impact in an accurate and timely manner to facilitate this process.

during the programme

The programme is conducted online with preference to locate the corporate mentor in the same geography as the SME to enable physical meetings. Additional opportunities to meet physically during the year are available subject to any travel restrictions.  

No, the mentors and the accelerator team will guide you and provide you tools and examples. It is up to you to implement those suggestions in your business to accelerate its growth.  

Participants are required to devote at least 3-4 hours/week.  

Mentors are business leaders as well industry experts drawn from a diverse pool within water and sanitation, who are part of the TBC’s membership network.  

 

Weekly calls are held with the Accelerator team led by the Managing Director, Venugopal Gupta (add link to Venu’s profile), and parallelly you are required to converse with your corporate mentor on regular basis (weekly, fortnightly, monthly). These calls will form the basis of regular updates and will also help in identifying partnership opportunities within the platform.  

The TBC considers it an opportunity and a privilege to work with you. Due to the intensive and personal nature of the program, sensitive information is exchanged. However, we take the security of your data and information seriously and will never share it without your explicit permission. Confidential data is never passed beyond the Accelerator team without your consent. We do compile aggregate data across the portfolio to report on impact or to include in a publication, but such requests will come to you directly. The accelerator team is not at liberty to divulge any data they encounter during their work with you.    

after the programme

  • Ongoing relationship management and access to the Toilet Board Coalition Network of Members & Partners
  • Participation in TBC Roundtables shaping and participating in the TBC’s Annual Programme
  • Engagement in speaking opportunities around the globe and complimentary attendance to TBC public events, optional participation with shared expenses to the TBC’s Annual General Meeting
  • Access to investment opportunities via the TBC’s investment activities
  • Continued promotion through the TBC’s media channels and publications

No, TBC will not directly invest in your business however, upon graduation from the accelerator, the businesses will have the opportunity to gain access to investments from TBC members and TBC investors network based on investment readiness. 

Not at all! We are running a not-for-profit accelerator programme and we do not charge fee of any sort. Your business is your business. We just want to help you scale! 

No, we do not take equity in your business. 

Yes, the programme will connect you with the investors. Typically, the focus in Q3 and Q4 would be on helping participants raise investment through TBC’s investor network, convened through the investor forum and the investment council. Further, as accelerator alumni, you are invited to participate in the pitching sessions and raise investment.  

 We will do our best to help you gain access to required capital, however investments are of course not guaranteed. Even if you do not receive investment in the duration of the accelerator, we will help you become more “investment ready” through strategic guidance, help with pitching and helping you gain exposure to our network of investors. 

Yes, that can happen. But even if you do not get the investment, you will gain the knowledge to scale your business and build important connections with industry experts, investor community and a global community of sanitation entrepreneurs. 

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