Enthused by the India growth story, IQube, the Swedish business incubator firm, is scouting for a partner to start its operations in India.
“Business idea incubation is a volume-based model and it will be fit for a country like India due to the potential it offers. Within few years, I see a couple of IQube’s in India and China which are among the fastest growing economies in the world,” said Johan Stael von Holstein, founder and chief executive officer of the company.
It will focus on helping early-stage companies and entrepreneurs to grow and achieve their commercial breakthrough.
In Sweden, IQube has invested in 71 companies including medical engineering, biotechnology and design-oriented industries. It receives 400 applications a year and takes in companies into its fold only after a stringent due diligence.
It works like this. IQube takes a 10.1% equity in these firms and offers them start-up capital and free office space. It also has an option to increase its stake later to 15%. The firm’s fiscal support to the start-up lasts for 12-18 months, after which the start-up company is free to explore other financing options.
Arun Natarajan, founder and chief executive officer, Venture Intelligence, a research and consultancy firm tracking venture capital firms in India, said, “Firms like IQube are more and more welcome as the demand for them is very high. There are only two business incubation firms of any significance in the country outside of universities. They are Indiaco.com and Nadathur S. Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning.”
“I am the best friend of the entrepreneur, I will have one big ‘whale’ every year. There are a lot of companies in our fold that can become the next big thing. For example, there is already a lot of excitement around Ta Momail with their free email in cellphones,” seasoned entrepreneur Holstein added. He is also the creator and founder of Interactive Television and Speed Ventures, Icon Medialab AB and Letsbuyit.com.
Natarajan, however, cautions that “the incubation model globally has seen mixed success. The real problem is that it should not end up as only a real estate incubator by providing office space and bandwidth.”