New Delhi: Incubators and accelerators continue to play an important role in the growth of the Indian start-up ecosystem. The number of incubators and accelerators have grown by 40%,with more than 40 new ones added in 2016, according to a new report by Nasscom, titled ‘Incubators/Accelerators (I/As) Driving the Growth of Indian Start-up Ecosystem–2017’, which throws light on the critical role of I/As in the start-up landscape.
India has more than 140 I/As at present split across corporate (9%), independent (32%), academic (51%) and government supported (8%) categories. While incubators provide support across the start-up life cycle, accelerators are focussed on the growth and acceleration stage. According to the report, tier II and tier III cities are also seeing traction with 66% new incubators established in 2016. Also, more than 30 new academic incubators have been established in 2016, and corporate accelerators are growing 35% year-on-year with Bengaluru, NCR area and Mumbai the leading hubs. Most of the I/As have a technology (cloud, big data/analysis, and machine learning/artificial intelligence) focus.
The report claims that the two most important trends in the Indian incubator and accelerator ecosystem are partnership-driven and sector-specific incubators and accelerators. Academia, industries and the government are coming together to set up sector-specific accelerators and incubators. For example,GE’s global healthcare accelerator, Pfizer and IIT-D’s incubation accelerator for healthcare start-ups, and SBI and IIT-B’s incubator for fintech start-ups. Given the impetus by academia, government and corporates, the Indian incubator and accelerator ecosystem is expected to grow manifold over the next few years.
Initiatives by the Central and state governments will trigger the growth of incubators and accelerators in tier II and III cities, and with corporates eyeing start-ups for innovation, more and more sector-specific incubators and accelerators will emerge in the future.
The report also highlight the challenges faced by I/As like limited time period for Incubation/Acceleration. Three to four months to incubate/accelerate is not sufficient for a start-up to scale operations. Besides, the volume of start-up applications is quite high in India, making the process tedious and time consuming as compared to the US where benchmarks are well defined.