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Fueling the next generation of innovation

In the last decade, India has emerged as the third-largest startup hub in the world owing to its robust availability of a strong pool of intellectuals, availability of resources and capital-rich investors – creating an ecosystem for startups to thrive.

While the opportunity for startups to excel is immense, post inception keeping a startup floating is equally critical. According to IBM Institute for Business Value and Oxford Economics, 90 percent of Indian startups fail within the first five years of inception. So what is causing this disparity?

While innovation is a key factor that decides the trajectory of a startup, various other latent factors affect their success as well. In a world full of external uncertainties, it is crucial to design business strategies that provide 360-degree solutions to impending challenges. Startups have to keep multiple factors in mind, to be touted as a success. Some of them include:

Offer differentiated value propositions to consumers amidst fierce competition.

Source a stream of investments for business continuity
choose the right talent that understands the objective and business goals.

Promote the idea in the right market to the right audience.

Navigate through administrative, bureaucratic, and regulatory hurdles.

Today, companies need to do a lot more than simply develop and launch digital tools or products. As per a recent NASSCOM-Zinnov Indian Tech Start-up Ecosystem – Leading Tech in the 20s report, with a cumulative valuation of $101 billion for Indian startups, there is a massive scope for new businesses to grow into well-established ones that drive the country’s growth. We have, in fact, seen innovative businesses emerge from beyond the metros and tech hubs with the same zeal that scaled and emerged successfully with the relevant guidance and resourcing in place.

One such example is a Lucknow-based startup that makes UAVs more sophisticated and useful in our day-to-day lives. Founded in 2015, it is now acquired by a leading food-delivery firm to advance drone-based deliveries in India. Many such stories call out to the fact that the right guidance, mentorship, networking and exchange of ideas can enable startups across the country to succeed.

In this process, accelerator and incubator programs play a very critical role as an enabler. India has the third-highest number of accelerator programs with almost 140 of them designed to guide startups in becoming strong businesses. To provide an ecosystem for startups to develop into successful businesses, these programs equally contribute to their breakthrough ideas. Accelerator programs, on the other hand, guide incubating ideas and equip startups with industry knowledge and a blueprint of what it takes to be a successful business and continue innovating. From expert knowledge to novel thinking, these accelerator programs are able to help startups build flexible solutions that have the potential of overcoming challenges they aim to solve. Furthermore, the availability of resources like mentors aids these new ventures with a best-in-class knowledge pool to help them thrive in the real world. Initial guidance provided under these programs can prove to be crucial in the long term while the networking opportunities help encourage/ enable an interplay of ideas.

As per data, 390 startups were funded by 10 of the most dynamic incubator and accelerator programs in the country, and 150 of these were able to source further funding which helped them scale ahead. In a country where the success rate of startups is relatively low, there is a need for well-rounded and committed incubator programs. These programs can play the role of a catalyst in not just identifying the potential of new ideas but also providing a robust ecosystem for these startups to become successful enterprises.

While the development and growth of accelerator programs in India are at a nascent stage, the last decade has seen a monumental rise of such platforms across sectors. This has resulted in the creation of massive opportunities for new-age startups to feel confident about their growth and profitability.

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Disclaimer

Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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