Applications for the Land Accelerator South Asia 2023 are now closed.

What is the Land Accelerator South Asia?

In 2019, World Resources Institute India (WRI India) and Sangam Ventures launched the Land Accelerator South Asia, the world’s first accelerator program targeted specifically toward South Asian businesses that restore degraded forests and farmland. The program provides South Asian entrepreneurs with mentorship and networking opportunities, technical training and workshops to build their storytelling and pitching skills, and enhances skills for tracking environmental and social impact. Participants leave the program more empowered to connect with potential investors so they can take their business to the next stage of growth.

The 120 businesses that have graduated from the program, chosen from over 900 applicants, have created more than 2600 jobs, restored over 1 million hectares of land, engaged nearly 1.5 million small and marginal farmers and grown 8.9 million trees.

Learn more about the Land Accelerator South Asia alumni and their success in the program's brochure.

What does the program look like?

For the fourth Land Accelerator South Asia to be held in 2023, WRI India and Sangam Ventures will invite 30 entrepreneurs from across South Asia to join us for a hybrid business creation and growth accelerator.

The top 30 applicants will receive: 

  • Three months of exclusive, weekly virtual trainings and two in-person bootcamps.
  • Templates to create content to help their business thrive.
  • Weekly office hours with mentors who lent their expertise to discuss how to integrate new concepts and tools into their business strategy.
  • Weekly networking sessions to speak with and learn from other land restoration entrepreneurs in the cohort.
  • Opportunity to attend an in-person workshop for further learning and networking.

By the end of the program, entrepreneurs will have created:

  • A compelling one-minute pitch to hook investors, customers and potential partners.
  • A 10-to-12 slide pitch deck targeted toward investors.
  • An environmental indicator measurement, management and marketing plan.
  • A three- to five-year financial model to visualize growth projections and to identify capital needs.
  • Increased confidence in their business’s mission and operations.

All participants who complete the 6-week program are invited to apply for a Land Accelerator Investment Pack, which will be awarded to the top 15 entrepreneurs and includes:

  • A $3,000 innovation support.
  • A coaching meeting with a Land Accelerator organizer to develop their investment and innovation support plan.
  • A 90-minute group mentorship session with members of the Land Accelerator mentor network, who provide tailored feedback and suggestions.
  • The opportunity to present their three-minute business pitch at the virtual Land Accelerator Demo Day to be held in December 2023, an event that brings together the top 15 entrepreneurs and business and social investors from across the continent.

Past Cohorts 

The 2022 Land Accelerator South Asia | Online and in Delhi, India | November 2022

Land Accelerator cohort members presenting.

Forty-six entrepreneurs from India joined the Land Accelerator South Asia cohort. After completing a rigorous online learning program, the selected Top 15 entrepreneurs met virtually with mentors and investors to improve their impact. This Top 15 2022 cohort joined with Top 15 companies from 2020 and 2021 for a special Land Accelerator South Asia Impact Days, where 32 companies networked, attended workshops, and pitched to a room of investors. Watch them pitch here.

The 2021 Land Accelerator South Asia | Online | November 2021

Himalayan Sustainable Energy Solutions

Fifty-eight entrepreneurs from India and Sri Lanka joined the expanded second Land Accelerator South Asia. After completing a rigorous online learning program, the top 15 entrepreneurs met with mentors and investors to improve their impact and presented to a live audience. Watch their pitches here and here. Learn more about the 2021 and 2020 cohorts from this brochure.


The 2020 Land Accelerator South Asia | Online | December 2020

The 2020 Land Accelerator South Asia Cohort

For its first cohort in South Asia, the Land Accelerator brought together 15 entrepreneurs from across the region. The six-month training program culminated in a Demo Day where companies pitched to investors. In total, the group received 75 requests for investor follow-up calls. Watch their pitches here and here.


Partner Organizations

World Resources Institute India provides objective information and practical proposals to foster environmentally sound and socially equitable development. WRI’s Global Restoration Initiative works across South Asia to restore the health of degraded forests and landscapes for the benefit of people and the planet. 

Sangam Ventures is a seed and early stage venture fund that invests to improve access to sustainable energy and resource productivity solutions for the underserved in India that can lead to inclusive development and creation of communities that are resilient to climate change.

Salesforce is supporting the Land Accelerator South Asia program.

Founding Sponsor

IKEA Foundation (Stichting IKEA Foundation) works to create a better everyday life for many people through sustainable livelihoods and by fighting against climate change. It funds the Land Accelerator South Asia. It funded the initial three years, 2020-2022, of the Land Accelerator South Asia. The program has built on this foundation to serve additional geographies in 2023 and 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

What countries are covered by the Land Accelerator South Asia? 

  • We welcome applications from businesses based in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Applications must be written in either English or Hindi. 

Do I need to pay to apply or participate? 

  • No. The Land Accelerator is a completely free program supported by generous private and public donors. 

What types of businesses can apply? 

  • All entrepreneurs whose business model center on land restoration — through practices such as sustainable agriculture, reforestation and agroforestry — are invited to apply.

How are businesses selected? 

  • There are five main criteria that the judging committee is considering: profitability, scalability, replicability, environmental and social impact of the company. In addition to these five criteria, the committee will also consider a company’s uniqueness, quality of the team and current traction of the company.

My project is not structured as a company. Actually, it is part of a non-profit initiative. Does it qualify?

  • Your company should be a registered/duly incorporated for-profit enterprise and should rely on the market forces, have customers or clients purchasing your products or services. W

What stage of growth does my business need to reach before I can apply? 

  • The Land Accelerator was created to help scale companies who restore land. Therefore, we are seeking companies who are past the idea stage, yet still see something to be gained from the activities and networking that our program will bring together.
  • We encourage entrepreneurs with innovative workable prototypes, business models, products, solutions, and services at or post validation stage with few paying customers to apply positively.
  • We aim to bring powerful entrepreneurs together, with great mentors and strategists, for a one-of-a-kind retreat-like atmosphere where you’ll be guided in partnership with experts to think big and translate the dreams into actions.
  • Even as the Land Accelerator is seeing many larger companies; new and small companies can also be a great fit, especially if there is some uniqueness to the offering. Again, the accelerator is designed for companies that are at least in the testing phase of taking their product to market. Do not be shy to apply, as applying is free, and it will allow our team to get to know your company.

How much time am I expected to commit to the program? 

  • To get the most out of the program, we expect entrepreneurs selected to participate in the Land Accelerator to always show up, be present and give their best effort.

  • Participants will be required to attend weekly, 90-minute webinars, in-person bootcamp and networking events. These events are usually held on either Wednesdays or Thursdays, in the afternoon or evening.


  • The program leader will provide a unique link to take attendance at the beginning and end of each session. Additionally, entrepreneurs will receive weekly homework assignments. Assignments will be graded on a pass/fail scale according to the timeliness of submission, completeness and effort demonstrated.


  • Companies that fail two or more assignments will be disqualified from consideration for the investment pack, but may still participate in the full virtual program.

  • We strive to deliver the best quality programming and ask participants to be at their best in return.  

What are the eligibility requirements for the investment pack? 

  • Investment Packs will be awarded to the top 15 entrepreneurs from the Land Accelerator South Asia cohort who submit the following:  


      A company factsheet.
    • A one-minute business pitch (submitted in writing and via video recording).
    • A 5 to 10 minute site visit video.  
    • A 10 to 12 slide pitch deck. 
    • The selection committee may also choose to conduct interviews with some candidates before making the final selection. Templates and guidance for the above documents will be provided to the 30 businesses throughout the course of the Land Accelerator.