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IIT Madras’ Centre for Research on Start ups launches India’s first information platform on Incubators & Accelerators

Entrepreneurs had to spend a lot of time and effort to identify the incubator most suitable for their start-up.

“The growth of the Indian start-up ecosystem depends on a strong incubator ecosystem. Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between start-up formation and number of incubators”: Telangana IT Secretary Dr. Jayesh Ranjan, IAS

CHENNAI / HYDERABAD, : The Centre for Research on Start-ups and Risk Financing (CREST) an Institute of Eminence Research Centre at IIT Madras has developed India’s first information platform on incubators and accelerators.

The platform, developed in partnership with YNOS, an IIT Madras-incubated start-up, contains comprehensive information on incubators and accelerators, which play an important role in helping start-ups navigate an uncertain entrepreneurial ecosystem. While India had about 1,000 active incubators, until now, the information about them was scattered and not easily available in a single location. Entrepreneurs had to spend a lot of time and effort to identify the incubator most suitable for their start-up.

The platform developed by CREST addresses this pain-point and helps the start-up founders to identify, compare and analyse incubators very easily. Called ‘Incubators’, this AI-powered platform will help start-up founders to identify incubators and accelerators across India and shortlist one that best fits their requirements.

Incubation is a very critical phase in the start-up lifecycle. Choosing the right incubator can significantly contribute to the success of the start-up in subsequent years. The Incubators Platform can also benefit the CEOs and Managers of incubation centres to get the attention of start-up founders for their incubation centres and benchmark themselves against comparable incubators and constantly improve their effectiveness. Other stakeholders associated with the development of the start-up ecosystem such as educational institutions, government and funding agencies, would also benefit from this platform.

Dr. Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Principal Secretary, Departments of Information Technology, Electronics and Communications, Industries and Commerce, Government of Telangana, and Member, Board of Directors of T-Hub, the largest incubator in India, formally launched the ‘Incubators’ platform at Hyderabad today (17th Nov 2023) in the presence of Prof. Thillai Rajan, A., Professor at the Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras, and Principal Investigator of CREST. Prof. Thillai Rajan is also the Founder and Director of YNOS Venture Engine.

Congratulating CREST, IIT Madras and YNOS for developing this platform, Dr. Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, said, “The growth of the Indian start-up ecosystem depends on a strong incubator ecosystem. Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between start-up formation and number of incubators. Recognizing this, various governments have focused on strengthening the incubation ecosystem in the country.”

Dr. Jayesh Ranjan added, “However, getting information about various incubation centres has always been a challenge. Since there are information platforms that provided a one stop resource on the incubation network in the country, entrepreneurs had to visit through multiple websites to get the information they needed. With the availability of Incubators, this problem has been squarely addressed. There is no doubt that the platform would significantly benefit entrepreneurs by presenting various incubation opportunities available to them and helping them to identify the perfect incubator for their start-up. I congratulate Prof. Thillai Rajan and his team for conceptualising this platform and developing this for the benefit of the start-up community.”

Elaborating on the benefits to incubators, Dr. Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, said, “The platform will no doubt benefit the incubators too in many ways. Being a neutral platform, it gives an opportunity to incubators to get the attention of start-up founders, policy makers, and investors and showcase the strengths of their incubation centres. The managers of the incubation centres can also use this to benchmark their facilities with other incubators and constantly achieve higher levels of performance”

The Incubators platform is a one-stop destination for all critical information about incubators and accelerators such as

Ø  The various start-ups being supported by the incubator or accelerator,

Ø  Success ratio of the start-ups in getting funded,

Ø  The investor network of the incubator

Ø  The prevalence of virtual incubation support

Elaborating on the need for such tools, Prof. A. Thillai Rajan said, “During the initial few months after incorporation, start-ups face a high degree of uncertainty. They need a lot of support, handholding and mentoring as they start finding their bearings. It is here that Incubators for start-ups play would a very important role in helping start-up founders to navigate the uncertain terrain. The Incubators help the start-up founders at multiple levels: Firstly, it gives an exhaustive list of incubators in the country that start-up founders can reach out to for incubation support. Secondly, it provides information on various parameters which helps start-up founders to identify incubators suited for their requirement.”

Further, Prof. A. Thillai Rajan said, “Thirdly, for each incubator, it gives the list of start-ups supported and the different funding schemes being implemented which helps the founders to infer the prevailing ecosystem in the incubator. Fourthly, Incubators also provide information on the investors who have funded the start-ups supported by the incubator helping entrepreneurs to analyse the strengths of the incubators’ investor network. Fifthly, Incubators helps to easily compare different incubators and assists founders to determine their order of priority in selecting an incubator.”

Prof. A. Thillai Rajan added, “Apart from providing infrastructure, access to experts, partnerships with service providers, networks with investors, incubators also significantly influence the start-ups' journey. The role of an incubator and accelerator in the success of a start-up is as much as that of an investor, if not more. Therefore, it is critical that start-ups partner with the right incubator.”

The Incubators platform has been developed using the latest technology tools to quickly analyse the incubator and accelerator landscape in India. It features intuitive filters on multiple incubator parameters to quickly identify the set of incubators that satisfy different criteria for shortlisting and a facility to bookmark shortlisted incubators for detailed assessment at a later stage

The Highlights of Incubators Platform include:

Ø  Data on more than 920 incubators and accelerators

Ø  Comprehensive information on each incubator such as host organization, startup funding agency, number of startups supported, investors who have invested in the startups supported by the incubators, among others

Ø  Focus areas of existing startups supported by the incubator

Ø  Enables easy comparison of incubators on various parameters helping the startup founders to decide on the incubator that would be most suitable for their start-up


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