Key Catalysts Powering the Indian Startup Ecosystem
We, at the Startup League, are fueled with an unending zeal to create a passionate and dynamic startup ecosystem! Last month we supported 11 innovative startups at the RISE Conference in Hong Kong and we’re headed next to YourStory’s TechSparks, slated to be held in Bangalore this September.
With 65% of the demography being under 35 years of age, India is thriving with disruptive tech enthusiasts and zesty tech devotees that have collectively contributed to a promising and booming startup ecosystem. As the homeland and birthplace of plenty of successful tech geniuses such as TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), Infosys, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Directi, and many others, India is a haven that boasts of startup success stories. These early crusaders have paved the way for a new breed of tech startups. As a result, the investors today are placing their bets on the tech startups churning out of India, which has led to a growth in venture capital firms too. Also, a paradigm shift in educational courses veering towards entrepreneurship often supported by in-house incubators has played a crucial role in this space. Incubators at IIT Hyderabad and IIM Ahmedabad now hold the reputation to be the birthplace of flourishing startups. More recently, the startup ecosystem has been glorified and boosted by the Make in India and Startup India initiatives by the Union Government.
Here’s a quick look into some key incubators and accelerators that power the Indian startup ecosystem.
- T-Hub is a unique partnership between the government of Telangana, 3 of India’s premier academic institutes (IIIT-H, ISB & NALSAR) and key private sector leaders. They anchor the entire Hyderabad and Telangana startup ecosystem with a state-of-the-art 70,000 square foot building called CatalysT. They offer a platform for entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and academia to interact and collaborate.
- 10,000 Startups, a NASSCOM initiative, is one of the largest startup programs in the country. They work with hundreds of evaluators and mentors who are industry veterans, investors, and accelerators to help shortlisted startups raise seed capital and grow. Having worked with startups for over 4 years now, they fully understand the struggles and challenges that startups face.
- SINE, Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, hosted by Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay is an umbrella for promotion of entrepreneurship at IIT Bombay. They provide startups with physical infrastructure, assist in identifying technologies and innovations which have the potential for commercial ventures, and access to network with mentors, industry experts, investors, and advisors. SINE has the infrastructure to incubate 15-17 companies at a time and are supported by several government departments.
- CIEE, or Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship is setup at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA). The experience and expertise at IIMA in the areas of management, innovation, technology networks along with entrepreneurship provide the necessary impetus and intellectual basis for this initiative. They assist entrepreneurs through seed-funding, incubation, mentoring, training, knowledge dissemination and best practice research.
- Khosla Labs is a startup incubator and innovation lab based in Bangalore that focuses on solving large scale problems driven by technology and entrepreneurial zeal. Their team of entrepreneurs come up with prototypes of nifty ideas through in-house design and technology teams to test and experiment. The projects are then deployed to get feedback and market validation. Based on the project traction and business plan, the project gets funded by the Khosla Ventures seed fund and a new company gets spun-off by the lead entrepreneurs from the lab.
- Startup Village, started in joint partnership with the Government of India, is a not-for-profit business incubator based in Kochi, Kerala. They provide its members access to workspace, high-speed Internet connection, legal and intellectual property services and access to high-profile investors. Members are offered various workshops, networking sessions, engaging events and contests here. They frequently hold a community gathering where budding entrepreneurs can connect with investors, innovators, and influencers.
- TLabs, powered by the Times of India group, is a startup accelerator as well as an early stage seed-fund for Indian internet and mobile technology startups. They provide access to over 100+ experts and mentors of the program and ensure regular engagement with early stage VCs and angel investors. Furthermore, they provide access to a pool of like-minded peers allowing for an ecosystem where startups get to learn from each other and work together. The Accelerator program at TLabs is spread over 16 weeks and the program is broken down to 4 phases.
- Microsoft Ventures partners with visionary entrepreneurs looking to drive digital transformation. As part of its promise to portfolio companies, Microsoft Ventures offers unrivaled access to go-to-market resources and strategic relationships globally. They fuel the success of innovative, enterprise-ready companies by providing unprecedented access to top Microsoft partners and customers, powerful business connections, and technical knowledge. In India, Microsoft’s two programs, Accelerator Plus and Scale Up, focus on helping later stage startups in growing traction.
- GSF Accelerator is uniquely crafted for Indian startups offering them a chance to understand both, Indian and international markets. Selected tech startups get unparalleled access to the Indian tech community and hands-on mentorship from India’s leading tech founders. GSF Accelerator provides mentoring and funding to tech startups that have at least an initial prototype built. GSF Accelerator invests between USD $65k to USD 100K in each startup inducted into the accelerator program.
- Kyron is a business platform that navigates through challenges to inspire innovation. They identify the business needs of Fortune 500 companies and link them to innovative solutions offered by startups. In the process, they create a unique business ecosystem of opportunities for startups and Fortune 500 companies. They focus on accelerating startups specializing in IoT, visual reality, security, 3D print and other such new-age technology ventures.
- Techstars is a worldwide network that is empowering entrepreneurs to succeed. Based in Colorado, this startup accelerator has accepted over 1,000 companies into its various programs and these businesses have collectively raised over $3.8 billion, with a market cap of over $9.9 billion. Techstars has recently announced the launch of its India operations in a joint venture with ANSR Consulting, a Bengaluru based start-up which counts Accel Partners and Infosys as investors and helps large Fortune 500 companies like Limited Brands and Target set up their technology centres in India.
Characterized by a strong work ethic, constant innovation, and unparalleled skills, India is at the forefront of the development market. With the contribution of these accelerators and incubators, India’s startup ecosystem has been powered with the right support to catapult startups to success.
The Startup League has tied up with many similar partner communities, incubators and accelerators to extend financial support to deserving startups for exhibiting at prime tech events and startup fests.