Sustainability Mafia Launches “SusVentures” to Cultivate 100 Climate Startups by 2026

Initiative empowers students and entrepreneurs to address critical climate challenges

The Sustainability Mafia, a prominent organization of climate entrepreneurs, has unveiled a groundbreaking initiative called “SusVentures.” This venture creation program seeks to cultivate 100 climate action companies by the end of 2026, aiming to empower the next generation of climate innovators.

SusVentures positions India as a potential global leader in climate action and innovation. Recognizing the vast potential of climate entrepreneurship to drive positive change, the program equips aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and guidance to establish climate-tech startups tackling critical issues across various industries.

The program recently launched its inaugural cohort in collaboration with the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (BITS Pilani), becoming the program’s first official university partner. This initial cohort comprises 50 student entrepreneurs from diverse engineering disciplines across BITS Pilani campuses in Hyderabad, Goa, and Pilani. These students are developing 14 startups focused on sectors like circular economy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and solar energy.

“We are thrilled to partner with SusMafia on SusVentures,” said Sachin Arya, CEO of Incubation and Entrepreneurship at BITS Pilani. “This program offers our students an invaluable opportunity to address pressing climate and sustainability challenges. We are committed to fostering a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus, and this collaboration allows us to extend this mission to a broader community of innovators.”

SusVentures goes beyond traditional entrepreneurship training. The program provides access to an “Idea Bank” featuring curated problem statements sourced from climate experts, empowering participants to launch solutions directly addressing critical needs. Additionally, each startup is paired with a dedicated mentor, a seasoned entrepreneur in their field, who offers guidance on expertise, market access, and customer connections. The program also incorporates dedicated office hours, workshops, and “pitch days” to prepare teams for investor interactions, grant opportunities, and further support.

“At SusMafia, climate action is our unwavering priority, and we operate with a shared philosophy of ‘give more than get,'” stated Arjun P Gupta, Director of The Sustainability Mafia. “SusVentures, our flagship program, is designed and driven by industry veterans within the SusMafia community to provide impactful mentorship to emerging climate startups.”

The initiative has garnered substantial philanthropic support from prominent individuals and corporations like Rohit Rajput (Intersection Ventures), Pradip Burman (Chairman, Dabur Nepal), Mirik Gogri (Spectrum Impact), Parksons Packaging Ltd, and Sanghvi Movers Ltd. Theia Ventures, an official investment partner, has committed $100,000 in equity funding for promising startups emerging from the program.

Furthermore, SusVentures has pledged to offer a non-diluting grant exceeding INR 31 lakhs to the winning startup from each cohort to fuel their growth. The program is actively seeking additional capital to support promising ventures graduating from its cohorts.

“Entrepreneurship holds immense potential for tackling climate challenges and mitigating global warming,” emphasized Aditya Bhat, Co-Founder of Sustainability Ventures. “SusVentures aims to bridge market gaps and contribute to limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. By achieving our goal of creating 100 climate startups in three years, we envision bringing innovative solutions to market, generating green jobs, fostering community well-being, and contributing to the advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals. We invite collaboration from the corporate and investment community to join us in this mission.”