NSRCEL Startups: Inqui-lab Foundation
Inqui-lab Foundation is a non-profit working in the space of education. We are currently incubated as apart of the NSRCEL Social Cohort 2019.
Inqui-lab primarily works with children from the government school system and we strongly believe in the innovative and problem-solving potential of children. Whether it is a 10-year old Arif who made a shirt with magnetic buttons such that his handicapped friend can easily wear his shirt OR Jayanthi who wanted to make a solar cooling helmet such that people don’t avoid wearing helmets in the hot summers…
We are currently working towards designing a 2-year weekly innovation program that can be adopted in government high schools or tinkering labs to encourage such problem-solving and skills like empathy, creative confidence, design thinking, collaboration, and prototyping. This year we are working across 25 schools in Telangana and Bangalore reaching 1800+ students.
As both a pre-incubatee and incubatee at NSRCEL we’ve had close to a one year journey at NSRCEL. For my co-founders, Eshwar, Vivek, my team members Abhishek, Shramanth and myself – the sessions at NSRCEL have instilled a framework that helps us brainstorm via various lenses of design, finance, sustainability, and impact. Yet, as we build our organization together, one of the key pieces of advice I will always remember is to never lose sight of the “initial promise” of why we started due to the barrage of buzyness that comes with building an organization.
The best part about NSRCEL is the number of ventures that pass through its doors due to the launch pad program. This gives NSRCEL a clear view of what is already being tried in the space. Our mentors push us to think differently, carve out a unique proposition and work more effectively. The NSRCEL team and the cohort of incubatees become our go-to people when we have a challenge at hand – whether decision-making, social media strategies or fundraising tips. The 10+ opportunities we had got to pitch to review-panels, funders, mentors have helped us better articulate our work and crystallize our external communications. Within this year as an incubatee, we’ve made long strides in productizing our program into workbooks and kits, which is currently being piloted across the schools we work in. The field visit arranged to Timbaktu collective last month was an eye-opener for what is possible when an NGO works at depth consistently, even if within a small geographical area of 3 mandals. NSRCEL has helped us collaborate with graduates from HEC Paris and has also arranged for an exposure visit to Israel in the month of Dec 2019. Much gratitude to NSRCEL for all the opportunities that have come our way and look forward to the continued learning.