Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Kanwal Rekhi supports Kakatiya Sandbox with Rs 20 crore to promote and scale rural entrepreneurship programs.


Kanwal Rekhi Rural Entrepreneurship and Startup Center (KREST). KREST will be a part of K-hub, a social innovation hub run by Kakatiya Sandbox (KS) in Nizamabad to improve economic prosperity in the region. 

KS will use the investment to scale its programs across agriculture, skilling, startups, and micro-entrepreneurship by leveraging the large pool of talented youth in rural India. 


Hyderabad, India, December 14th, 2022: Kakatiya Sandbox (KS)* is proud to announce the tremendous support of Kanwal Rekhi, an iconic Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Co-Founder & MD, Inventus Capital to promote and scale rural entrepreneurship programs in India. Kanwal was the first Indo-American Founder & CEO to take a venture-backed company public on the NASDAQ. He co-founded and helped build TiE into the largest global network of entrepreneurs. Kanwal has been a great role model in entrepreneurship and philanthropy. He is also known as ‘The Entrepreneurship Pandit’.


Kanwal has committed ₹20 crores to seed KREST- the Kanwal Rekhi Rural Entrepreneurship and Startup Center. KREST will be a part of K-hub, a social innovation hub run by KS in Nizamabad to improve economic prosperity in North Telangana. The mission of KREST is to build a strong rural entrepreneurship ecosystem for entrepreneurs to test their ideas, build successful ventures and scale.


Raju Reddy, the Co-founder of Kakatiya Sandbox (KS), considers this a momentous milestone for KS, as this Center will build on the past nine years of grassroots work done by KS in North Telangana. “KREST will support mission-driven entrepreneurs solving problems in agriculture, healthcare, education and rural livelihood. Kanwal’s considerable contribution has the potential to be transformative, and I believe KREST can become a model for other parts of rural and semi-urban India,” said Raju Reddy.


Kanwal’s donation will energise KS to scale its programs across agriculture, skilling, startups, and micro-entrepreneurship by leveraging the large pool of talented youth in rural India. With philanthropic intervention, utilisation of technology, execution excellence and mentorship, KS hopes to catalyse the North Telangana region as an engine of economic growth and prosperity.


According to Kanwal,  “Indians have raised the bar in the US and built great prosperity through Entrepreneurship. We want a similar movement in India to create an ecosystem which supports 10 million entrepreneurs when India turns 100 years in 2047.  Furthermore, I believe that India has the potential to become the breadbasket of the world. To achieve that goal, it needs an entrepreneur-driven infusion of technology and techniques in this sector. Hopefully, Kakatiya Sandbox will validate this idea and provide a role model for others.”


Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao popularly known by his initials KTR, serving as the Minister for Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Industries & Commerce, and Information Technology of Telangana, is excited about the boost this Center will give to the economic development of his state. KTR said “I am confident that KREST will become a bustling center for innovation and entrepreneurship in Telangana. It is also well poised to become a gateway for entrepreneurs from the rest of India looking to solve the challenges of rural India. I am thrilled that Kanwal Rekhi has chosen Telangana to create KREST.”


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*The Kakatiya Sandbox (KS), founded by noted entrepreneurs Raju Reddy, and Phanindra Sama, is located in Nizamabad, Telangana. KS has been in existence for nine years. It is a place for impact catalysts to test ideas, make changes and eventually develop truly scalable solutions to bring about rural transformation.  KS is an extension of the Deshpande Foundation (DF), founded by Gururaj Desh Deshpande & Jaishree Deshpande in Hubballi, Karnataka. The successful model inspired Raju Reddy and Phanindra Sama to replicate it in Nizamabad, Telangana as KS.  


  Details about KREST Building and Programs:

10,000 sq. ft. of a state-of-the-art infrastructure

4000 sq. ft. of Incubation

3000 sq. ft. of Makers Lab/Hardware Prototyping

2000 sq. ft. of Micro-Entrepreneurship Centre

100-seater Co-Working Space

30+ startups can be incubated at a time

Additional convention facilities Programs and Initiatives:

Startup exposure for aspiring entrepreneurs

Networking support

Mentoring by industry experts

Access to angel investors and venture capitalists; funding/grant support

Scaling a business

Intellectual property management

Cumulative Impact of Kakatiya Sandbox (KS) in the past 9 years:

20 lakh lives touched

$50 million per year incremental income for one lakh families 

Proven Model in Hubballi, Karnataka (Deshpande Startups)

300+ startups supported

3,500+ jobs created

₹250 crores added to the local economy

127+ products commercialised

69+ patents filed

44+ trademarks registered

₹11.2 crore+ grants raised

₹17 crore+ investments made


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