ShelterTech Accelerator

The world’s leading platform for affordable housing innovation


We help ambitious entrepreneurs disrupt the affordable housing market. 

Find out more about ShelterTech at

ShelterTech accelerator is a program designed to support entrepreneurs who are solving the most pressing issues in shelter through innovative, scalable solutions. Throughout the program, enterprises received customized support to strengthen and scale their solutions through bespoke business mentorship, one-to-one industry mentors, connections to market partners, and unparalleled investment readiness support. They also have access to Catalytic Funds to conduct lean experiments through the program. 

The accelerator is part of ShelterTech’s innovation platform that brings together ecosystem builders, partner corporations, investors and sector experts in rolling out initiatives to maximize a venture’s market-readiness, growth and funding opportunities.  Habitat for Humanity’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter has partnered with Villgro Philippines to bring the accelerator program to Southeast Asia, in collaboration with Global Urban Village. Villgro brings its 20-years of experience in funding and mentoring over 300 enterprises in Asia and Africa, helping them scale business models and succeed in the market and raise institutional investment while creating a direct impact on the lives of the marginalized. Villgro Philippines is joining hands with Global Urban Village, bringing the team’s specialized expertise in taking innovations in housing to market and focused investment readiness advisory. 

We help ambitious entrepreneurs disrupt affordable housing

ShelterTech accelerator Southeast Asia cohort

The cohort consists of innovative for-profit enterprises that are:

  • Solving a key challenge to improve the livability and affordability of housing for low-income families
  • In the prototype, startup, or scale-up stages and have at least a minimum viable product (MVP) or meaningful customer validation
  • Based and operating in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Singapore.
  • Committed to creating a responsible, inclusive, and impactful enterprise.

If you’re interested in learning more about investment or partnership opportunities with the ShelterTech cohort, please reach out to

How it works

A custom group of mentors and experts relevant to each enterprise will be assembled to deep dive into the model and surface risks and opportunities. The panel along with the team will create an acceleration plan with actionable and measurable lean experiments. 

Learning Labs are immersive knowledge workshops facilitated by experts delivered through a high-impact curriculum focused on business resilience, growth planning and financial management. Entrepreneurs will attend 3 Labs virtually, over the course of 6 months along with peers. 

Monthly online sessions will be hosted by leading experts on key topics to help you upskill as a leader focused on business growth and affordable housing. Topics will range from design thinking to product development to supply chain and marketplaces to impact management.

Each participant enterprise will be assigned a business mentor, who is an experienced entrepreneur, intrapreneur, or industry expert. Each mentor will support the entrepreneur to implement the growth plans, to discuss and brainstorm solutions to challenges, and work on exercises and activities from the masterclasses and Learning Labs. 

Each participant enterprise will be also assigned a sector mentor, who will provide expertise on addressing livability and affordability in the housing market and guide enterprise teams on their lean experiments throughout the duration of the program.

Catalytic Funds

Participating enterprises will each get USD 10,000 through ShelterTech’s catalytic funds. The funds provide startups the opportunity to pursue pilots of new business models and refine product-market fit, get them closer to customer segments, and attract new sources of capital and investments.



Shelter Venture Fund

Habitat has its own in-house Shelter Venture Fund that aims to accelerate entrepreneurs’ pathways to reaching low-income families with products and services that improve their housing conditions. Past participants of ShelterTech accelerator have been able to successfully raise funding through the Shelter Venture Fund following the program.

Entrepreneurs will receive investment readiness support to prepare the business to raise external capital. Financial experts will work with the team on strengthening compliance, and internal financial systems, developing financial forecasts and models for the business, and set up and monitor key metrics that investors focus on.


Through the program, enterprises will develop financial projections and scale-up plans, refine their investment ask, and prepare for investor pitches. We will then facilitate meetings and connections with potential investors and/or market partners in the final phase of the program based on the needs of the business. Entrepreneurs will also have an opportunity to present their businesses and achievements to different stakeholders at the program culmination, the Impact Showcase.

Participant enterprises will get to build linkages and connections to market partners globally and across the region who can unlock new customer segments, funding opportunities, and synergies between corporations, intermediaries, and other startups. 

Participant enterprises will get to interact with other sheltertech entrepreneurs from different regions through learning sessions with integrated peer learning mechanisms to facilitate knowledge sharing and learning from each other’s experiences, as well as opportunities for collaboration.

Why ShelterTech

  • Globally, 1.6 billion people live in inadequate shelter, a number that will increase to 3 billion by 2050, if no action is taken now.
  • In Southeast Asia, an estimated 36 million people still live below the international poverty line.
  • In this critical moment in history, the world recognizes more than ever the link between health and housing.
  • Innovation is critical to solve existing housing and sustainable development challenges, globally and especially in a rapidly growing region like Southeast Asia. 
  • Entrepreneurial solutions in shelter typically target middle and upper income segments, while the affordable segment lacks adequate solutions. 
  • Need of the hour is to unleash the potential of innovation to address intractable challenges in affordable housing.
  • Entrepreneurs addressing the affordable segment need support to navigate the market and connect to investors and market partners to create impact at scale. 

    ShelterTech accelerator aims to:

    • Support startups and scaleups to grow into successful forces within affordable housing.
    • Bring together ecosystem builders, partner corporations, investors and sector experts to maximize startup’s market-readiness, growth and funding opportunities.
    • Provide catalytic funds to help enterprises refine solutions to create an ideal product-market fit.
    • Connect a community of entrepreneurs digitally with global networks, peer learning, ongoing mentorship opportunities, engagement with sector experts, and funding or recognition opportunities.
    • Create a pipeline of scalable and investable enterprises in housing for the ShelterTech Venture Fund and make housing one of the top five impact investment categories within five years.

      Key Sectors

      We are passionate about innovations that have the potential to disrupt the affordable housing sector, particularly those that deal with the following:

      Core Housing


      Better-quality, more durable products that reduce waste, cost, and time in the construction or house repair process.



      Training, standardization, techniques, safety, and monitoring


      Credit products and assessments and alternatives to ownership, such as renting


      Titling access, tenure, and transparency of information


      Improved transaction and supply chain practices for new or repaired housing

      Allied Services

      Water and sanitation

      Clean water and sewage treatment, using cost-effective, efficient models



      Off-grid, smart homes, and alternative and clean sources

      Program Timeline

      The ShelterTech accelerator provides stage agnostic support and funding opportunities to innovative shelter enterprises in Southeast Asia. It is primarily divided into three key phases:

      Acceleration Phase

      December 2020 to March 2021

      The core program will focus on analyzing, improving and upskilling the individual business needs of the ventures. During this phase, each venture is provided stage-agnostic and customized mentorship, masterclasses, peer learning sessions with your region’s cohort, as well as prototyping support through catalytic funds. As we continue to battle COVID-19 in the region, we currently plan to deliver all of our support digitally. 

      Ecosystem Phase

      April to June 2021

      While the acceleration support continues, the emphasis on connections and partnerships between ventures and the ecosystem (partners, supporters, investors, corporates). Activities will include investment readiness training, investor roadshows, dialogues, an impact showcase and others. 

      Global & Alumni Phase

      July 2021

      The program offers a cross-regional, peer-to-peer experience, where ventures can exchange knowledge, open markets for each other, and work with Habitat’s global donors and partners. ShelterTech Southeast Asia participants will have the chance to engage with a global community of current and past ShelterTech cohorts from the Andean region, India and East Africa, where ventures will share learnings, connection opportunities and other online and offline engagement channels. 

      The ShelterTech Difference

      ShelterTech is the world’s leading platform for affordable housing innovation. Spanning across Asia, Africa and Latin America, it is designed to build and advance a thriving, connected affordable housing ecosystem. A sector-specific accelerator, ShelterTech combines Habitat for Humanity’s decades of global experience, extensive network and expertise in the industry and Villgro’s tried and tested methodology, tools, and investor networks to help ventures scale, succeed and raise venture capital. 

      Each selected venture will get: 

      • Business and leadership training & tools
      • World-class business mentors and sector advisors
      • Guaranteed funding of USD 10,000 and access to in-house venture capital 
      • Partnerships with corporations and industry networks
      • Robust global alumni network and connections

      Sheltertech Southeast Asia Steering Committee

      About us

      The Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, a unit of Habitat for Humanity International, works with housing market actors to expand innovative and client-responsive services, products and financing so that households can improve their shelter more effectively and efficiently. The goal of the Terwilliger Center is to make housing markets work more effectively for people in need of decent, affordable shelter, thereby improving the quality of life for low-income households.

      To learn more, visit

      Villgro Philippines is an early-stage impact enterprise incubator that mentors, funds, and nurtures entrepreneurs who are building innovative market-based solutions that can transform the lives of the poor.  Our incubation and acceleration model is designed to provide highly customized early-stage support that is anchored in access to risk capital, high quality mentoring, investment readiness and access to talent, networks and markets.

      Global Urban Village is a capacity building consulting and seed investment company with a mission to empower entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds with the knowledge and capital to build successful businesses. We support entrepreneurs and organizations in Southeast Asia who are contributing to sustainability and improving quality of life, with an emphasis on in-country and women-led businesses.

      Country Ecosystem Partners

      Community partners

      As Seen In:

      There is such a shelter in each other.


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