India : Startup Village aims at transforming innovation to entrepreneurship

By June 18, 2013
indian incubator

Startup Incubation holds significant importance in a country like India, that produces more than 300,000 management graduates and 0.75 million engineers every year. “Startup Village” in Cochin is a typical case study for the success of technology incubation centers in India.

Startup Village, a telecom business incubator setup in Kochi, India, purported to be the country’s first and one of the first such in the public-private partnership model has celebrated its first birthday in March 2013. Startup Village has been featured as a major achievement in the two years of the present Kerala Government. Around 700 small startups have come forward to get them incubated. The total investment exceeds Rs.1 billion and around 5000 employment opportunities have been created. A joint venture of the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Technopark (one among the three large IT parks in India) and a private firm, Startup Village aims at incubating 1000 product startups in 10 years. Startup Village seeks to emulate Silicon Valley by transforming Kerala into a Silicon Coast and begin a search for a billion dollar tech startup out of Indian campuses by the end of this decade.

Startup Village – A Centre of Excellence

Startup Village is equipped with full 4G LTE network, telecom labs, innovation zones, legal and intellectual property services, fully furnished offices spaces and videoconference rooms. In addition, Startup Village will give a host of perks from three-year service tax holiday to funding opportunities for tech startups to build, break and innovate. As per the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), the number of start-ups had been tripled in the country to 450 last year from 162 in 2006. Cloud and Big Data topped the list with 32 per cent, followed by education (29 per cent), mobile (21 percent) and social media (18 per cent). NASSCOM has also drawn up plans to facilitate setting up 10,000 startups in the country in the next 10 years. Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) approved the Startup Village angel fund of $10 million with a ‘Green Shoe’ option (over allotment) of $20 million. This would address the problem of resource crunch for startup companies in Startup Village as well as across the country.

Incubation Centers in India – A Wider Perspective

Almost every famous B-school in India today houses an incubation center of its own. At present there are roughly 100 incubation centers supported by the Indian STEP and Business Incubator Association (ISBA) - the apex Indian professional body supporting business incubators. The numbers are expected to double next two years considering participation from private partners as well. Some of the best business incubation centers include

1. Technopark Technology Business Incubator (T-TBI), Kerala

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.

2. Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), IIT Mumbai

Established in 2004, SINE can incubate an average of 15 companies at a time and has an infrastructure spread over 10,000 sq.ft.

3. Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), IIM Ahmedabad

A business incubator housed at India’s prime business school incubated more than 50 companies. CIIE want entrepreneurs to build their ideas from wherever they are located, so that the local economy benefits from its growth.


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