Startup Incubation (also known as Startup accelerators) hold significant importance in a country like India where entrepreneurs by the score are launching new setups and changing the game of business by minutes. For the uninitiated, Startup incubation programs or centers provide support functions, mentorship and resources to individual entrepreneurs or entrepreneurial setups.
This enables them to get all the expert advice and technical guidance that they need to survive for a longer time, unlike most other entrepreneurial ventures that fizzle out within a few months of their launch.
Almost every other prestigious B-school today houses an incubation center so that great ideas can be nurtured from their very source. Currently there are about 100 incubation centers supported by the ISBA which is the apex Indian professional body supporting business incubators. Private incubators are a handful, but gradually growing. These numbers are expected to double within the next two years.
Let’s take a look at some of the good business incubation centers in India.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT Mumbai,
If you’ve heard of Webaroo, Bhugol GIS and SMSGupshup.com, then you must know that these ventures came into existence because they were nurtured and incubated by SINE – the tech incubator housed at IIT Bombay. ThinkLABS Technosolutions, an educational robotics venture, Myzus Technologies and Elnfinitus are amongst some of the famous businesses that SINE has incubated. These startups have been successful in raising venture capital investment after incubation of upto Rs. 3 crore from the market.
Established in 2004, SINE can incubate an average of 15 companies at a time and has an infrastructure spread over 10,000 sq.ft. They still haven’t opened up to external business incubation because ideas from within IIT just don’t stop flowing! To know more, visit their website.
Technology Business Incubator, IIT Delhi
Run by IIT, Delhi, this incubator is accepts icubation applications from either IITD students, alumni or one of the members of the Acadamic staff only. The selection criteria is quite stringent. If external startups want to be a part of it, they can explore having tie-ups with the college professors, which can then enable you entry into TBI.
You can check more details on their website.
Technopark Technology Business Incubator (T-TBI), Kerala
Established in 2006 with the support of the Government of Kerala, T-TBI offers fully furnished working spaces spread over 15,000 sq.ft, expert opinions and guidance from the industry, marketing and legal management consultancy and financial assistance.
T-TBI has till date successfully incubated about 60 companies and has had a 92 percent success rate. In early 2011, T-TBI was chosen as the world’s best software incubating company and the first Indian organization to have achieved this status. To know more, visit their website.
Startup Village is a different kind of incubator which is a public private enterprise run by Government of Keral. The Govt has earmarked Rs. 100 crore for Startup Village and want to incubate over 1000 startups in 10 years.
Interestingly, students entrepreneurs are offered with various perks to be part of this incubator including getting attendance at college, grace marks and even tax exemption for business generated by startups incubated within Startup Village premises. You can find more details on their website here.
Indian Angel Network (IAN)
IAN in an equity based business incubator center that gives priority to ventures in the areas of healthcare, gaming and animation cloud computing, retail, mobile VAS, media and entertainment, alternative energy, education and clean technology. It has been established with the support of the National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board and the Department of Science & Technology of the Government of India.
In addition to the regular functions of a business incubator, the IAN incubator helps startups to get seed funding and pre angel funding through its tie-up with Small Industries Development Bank of India. The IAN also has strategic alliances with DST supported incubators, corporate, R&D labs and many industry associations.
The IAN incubator is particularly famous for the activities it organizes – from its ‘Open Saturdays’ to angel investors meet to workshops for training entrepreneurs. To know more, visit their website.
Technopark Technology Business Incubator (T-TBI), is the India’s first Non Academic Business Incubator, hosted and housed inside the Asia Largest IT Park Technopark. Technopark Technology Business Incubator (T-TBI), a joint association of Technopark, Trivandrum and the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, to help the technology business start-ups.
TBI provides startups with fully furnished office spaces, mentoring support in developing business and technology plans, networking of business resources, seed capital assistance, marketing assistance, professional assistance, conference facilities and video conference facilities.
You can find more information about them here.
Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad
A business incubator housed at India’s prime business school simply cannot be left out of the list. Having started incubation initiatives since 2007, CIIE has an interesting perspective on why it doesn’t provide physical space for business incubation. They want entrepreneurs to build their ideas from wherever they are stationed, so that the local economy benefits from its growth.
From the time it started, CIIE has incubated more than 50 companies, only a handful of which were owned by IIM students. CIIE has been incubating businesses in the areas of internet and mobile technology, clean technology, social sector startups and healthcare.
From mentoring clinics to art exhibitions from global warming initiatives to social enterprise funds, CIIE has evolved as a prestigious business incubation centre in India. Some of the CIIE’s incubatees are Colored.by, Biosense, Boond, Croak.it, Flick2Know, Ideophone, amongst a host of others. To know more, visit their website.
NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore
NSRCEL is an incubation center run and managed by IIM, Bangalore. They offer various incubation offers all the basic facilities to startups including an office space, desktops, Hi Speed Internet facility, Uninterrupted Power supply etc. The incubator provides mentoring from their eminent faculties and also offers seed money support to some of the incubatee companies. The funding is primarily through government grants and its disbursement is in accordance with the guidelines that have been laid down by the primary funding agency.
Screening is done by the screening committee before startups can get into NSRCEL. You can check more information on their website here.
GSF is a private accelerator rather than a incubator. However, many startups from their portfolio have been quite successful. Some of them have got acquired by likes of Facebook or then raised hefty Series A funding after being mentored at GSF and hence we are including them in the list.
According to their website, GSF wants to push innovation and entrepreneurship in India through angel and seed investing. Their larger mission is to encourage flow of informed, knowledgeable mentorship capital to the start-ups in India and beyond.
AngelPrime was launched recently in 2011 in Bengaluru by well known names in the Indian tech industry like Bala Parathasarathy, Shripati Acharya and Sanjay Swamy. The areas that AngelPrime aims to incubate in are mobile payments, e-commerce and smartphone / tablet apps. It has already begun incubating a mobile payments company and a smartphone and tablet startup.
Unlike the CIIE, AngelPrime believes in incubating their ventures at their office space so that they can be closely monitored. AngelPrime has an edge in its services because the founders bring their previous corporate networks and experiences into incubating new ventures. To know more, visit their website.
Business incubators play a large role in reducing the gap between new products / services in stages of ideation to their commercial rollout. It also provides an equal platform to all entrepreneurs so that they can create products and services that will benefit all sections of the society.
Latest news about Business Incubators in India:
- The Ministry of Science and Technology cleared a proposal for setting up a Rs. 36 crore biotechnology business incubation center at the University of Pune called the The Science and Technology (Scitech) Park.
- The Hubli-Dharwad Municipal Corporation in the North Karnataka region is planning to open an incubation center at the Aryabhata IT Park in Hubli to attract and hone entrepreneurs in the IT sector from Hubli and Dharwad.
- In 2012-13, The Ministry of Science and Technology has proposed to set up a Nano Park near the Bengaluru International Airport (BIA). This will host a nano-incubation center, science and technology-based business incubator, physical infrastructure and other support systems.