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10 Indian Incubators for UrbanTech StartUps

Technology Incubators Leading The Urban Digital Transformation Journey

Urban living often poses a lot of opportunities and challenges. Traditionally, it is assumed that civic problems have to be addressed by public authorities. In reality, the private sector plays an important role. As a partner with the government, it brings together technical, managerial and financial resources to solve civic problems. Startups are a recent addition. And, UrbanTech is evolving fast as a discipline at the crossroads of urban studies, technology solutions and entrepreneurship.


In India, Incubators and Accelerators have played an important role in developing the startup ecosystem. They bring together entrepreneurs, experts, investors, resources and networks to foster entrepreneurship. They develop an entrepreneurship culture. They catalyse the growth of startups. They support them to survive in the most difficult initial years.


Incubators and Accelerators provide entrepreneurs with workspace, mentorship, research assistance, networking opportunities and access to investors. They aim to build an innovation culture to drive economic growth and create employment opportunities.


Many UrbanTech startups have benefitted from the ecosystem provided by the Incubators and Accelerators in India. They’ve helped the UrbanTech startups to refine the problem statements, carry out experiments, identify partners, and raise financial resources.


We present examples of 10 Indian incubators. Facilitating startup journey from ideation into implementation.

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1. T-HUB

T-Hub is transforming India’s innovation ecosystem. Based in Hyderabad, it is a tech-innovation intermediary and business incubator, started in 2015 with the fundamental goal to become an epicentre for start-ups in India along with serving as a common anchor point.


It has provided 1,100+ national and international startups access to better technology, talent, mentors, customers, corporations, investors and government agencies. It has successfully raised over INR 1800 Crore as funds, enabled 1500+ jobs, designed and delivered more than 75 innovation programmes since its incorporation. Having a diverse range of thrust areas including agritech, edtech, fintech, healthtech, information and communication tech, Smart Cities, smart mobility, sustainability etc., T-Hub has incubated several urban tech startups to make cities better. For example, Banayan Nation focuses on a circular economy by recycling plastic waste in cities. Docturnal, Donate Kart, Sanshodhan are a few other notable startups incubated by T-Hub.


T-Hub is a not-for-profit organisation based on the public-private partnership model. It has an extensive network of corporates - Microsoft, HSBC, Uber to name a few. Over the years, it has ventured into multiple strategic programs to enable growth. This includes T-Angel, Trestle, Community Membership, etc. It is an ecosystem designed to make entrepreneurial ideas into a reality.


2. NASSCOM 10,000

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) started its 10,000 startups initiative in 2013 with an aim to aid the growth of 10,000 startups in the country by year 2023. It functions on the F.A.M.E. model - Funding, Acceleration, Mentoring, and Enterprise connect. Its objective is to foster the ecosystem, build entrepreneurial capabilities, and drive significant value and change in the tech startup ecosystem.


Since inception, it has impacted over 5,800 startups, incubated over 150+ product concepts and has a presence in 11 Indian cities working in partnership with state governments. It has delivered over 3,500 events. Its focus areas include health-tech, fintech, E-commerce, AI, and Blockchain. Altruistik, AppiVa, AskSid, Backbench, Dartexon are some notable startups incubated by Nasscom’s 10,000 startups initiative.


The Nasscom 10,000 Startups Programme helps shortlisted startups raise money from a wide range of investors - angel investors, venture capitalists and government funds. Its partners include TESCO, Wipro, Coca-Cola, Tata communications, etc. It has made a difference in the startup ecosystem through the FAME model. It has played an important role in making India one of the top startup ecosystems in the world.


3. CIIE, IIM AHMEDABAD

In 2002, Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) started as a research and training centre at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. In 2007, CIIE gained recognition as a technology business incubation centre with the launch of a physical incubation space at IIM Ahmedabad. It is supported by the Government of India and the Government of Gujarat.


Since 2007, 500+ ventures have been incubated, over 100 startups were seed-funded, over 30,000 ideas scouted and about 5,000 mentored. CIIE has also successfully generated over 3,000 jobs over the years and has facilitated over INR 10 crores as grants. It engages with ventures across technology and impact areas like mobility, cleantech, consumer, fintech, agriculture, and healthcare. CIIE has incubated various startups that aim towards making better cities, especially through the cleantech arm. StrataEnviro manufactures and installs outdoor air pollution controllers to control rising outdoor pollution. Sustlabs, Transerve, and Razorpay are notable startups.


CIIE was set up as a not-for-profit entity. Its key initiatives include Startup Oasis, MentorEdge, The Power Of Ideas, IdeaPad, etc. Its mentor network has 300+ active experts on board. Some of its key corporate partners include Cisco, Godrej, Intel etc.


4. INDIAN ANGEL NETWORK

Indian Angel Network (IAN) Incubator was set up in 2006 with the support of the National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board and Department of Science & Technology, Government of India. It is the pioneer in ‘Angel Investing’ in India. Apart from investment, it provides access to mentorship, networking, strategizing and execution.


IAN has introduced 1,000+ ventures, holds 5 pitch sessions every month, made over 130 investments and is operational in 7 Indian cities. It seeks to invest in early-stage businesses across domains. WildTrails is a startup incubated by IAN that provides services in sustainable eco-tourism. Saahas offers integrated waste management systems to bulk waste generators and is working towards providing complete zero waste solutions. Ecosense, Fab Alley, Loginext are other notable startups incubated by IAN.


IAN provides a network of angel investors. Their experience and background help them in assessing potential and risks at a very early stage. It works with entrepreneurs in stabilizing the product/service, business planning, formulating the market strategy and providing full support in operationalizing the business plan.


5. SINE, IIT BOMBAY

Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) was set up in 2004 at IIT Bombay. It is a business incubator aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and nurturing tech startups in India. The incubator looks at companies from three aspects - high risk, high growth; strategic value; and social impact. It provides infrastructure, monetary support, and networking opportunities to tech-based startups.


Since its inception, it has incubated over 180 startups, impacted 800+ entrepreneurs, raised above INR 2000 Crores and have generated over 4,000 employment opportunities. It ventures into tech startups in the areas of cleantech, fintech, IOT, medtech, IT/ICT etc. Vision Earthcare is a green tech startup working in wastewater management. The startup has developed a sustainable bio purification engine that turns sewage into potable water. Otopark, Atomberg, Thinkerlabs, Nanosniff are other prominent startups incubated here.


SINE was set up as a not-for-profit organisation. It receives grants and benefits from the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Government of India. Some of its leading partners include ONGC, Bank of Baroda, Intel etc. SINE is aimed towards empowering and enhancing knowledge and innovation into successful entrepreneurial ventures.


6. VILLGRO

Villgro, founded in 2001 in Chennai by PAUL BASIL, is a social enterprise incubator. It's not only focusing on the launch of new businesses but also on the transfer of new products, knowledge and services into rural space. It provides services in funding, mentorship and incubation of early-stage innovation-based social enterprises.


Since 2001, Villgro has incubated 315 enterprises, deployed above INR 600 million as seed funding, impacted 20 million lives, and created 4,500+ direct jobs. It has incubated 80+ women-led enterprises. Villgro specializes in healthcare, agriculture, edtech, energy and cleantech. GARV Toilets is a smart sanitation solutions company extending basic hygiene services to remote communities. Oorja is an energy services company in the business of replacing diesel engines with affordable, reliable solar energy systems for productive power in rural markets. SustainTech, Neomotion, Oscillo are other imminent startups incubated by Villgro.


Villgro focuses on catalyzing the social enterprise sector. It has built programs like Innovative Ventures and Technologies for Development (INVENT), Healthcare Accelerator Program, Scaling Impact program and more. Its partners include BCG, Amani Institute, Accenture amongst others.


7. NSRCEL, IIM BANGALORE

Nadathur Sarangapani Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) was launched in 2000 as an academic incubator at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B). It is an entrepreneurial hub that brings together startups, mentors and eminent academicians in order to facilitate research to practical ventures. It is enhancing its focus on women entrepreneurs, social ventures, start-ups in rural areas and student-run ventures across India.


NSRCEL has incubated over 500 ventures, has engaged over 100,000 entrepreneurs, and holds a combined value of USD 1.5 billion of the incubated ventures. It has also successfully generated 6,000+ jobs. It focuses on agriculture, human resources, energy and environment, mobility, and social impact amongst others. Mapunity is a social platform that brings citizens, officials and businesses together to help solve public problems. Binbag helps enterprises and manufacturers recycle end-of-life electronics waste. EcoSaviour, Farmzon, MagnaTech, Mycaptain are some other leading startups incubated by NSRCEL.


NSRCEL runs programs like Launchpad, Women Startup Program, NSRCEL Social, 10,000 Women. Its supporters include Ford Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Capgemini amongst others.


8. SOCIAL ALPHA

SocialAlpha founded in 2016 is an innovation, curation and venture development platform for science and technology start-ups. It aims to address social, economic and environmental challenges. It facilitates startups right from ideation to market venturing.


SocialAlpha since its inception in 2016 has successfully incubated 100+ startups, evaluated 1000+ ideas, and raised more than INR 250 million committed capital. 28% of startups incubated by SocialAlpha were co-founded by women. It focuses on cleantech, agritech, civictech, assistive tech, consumertech, medtech, edtech and others. It has created huge impacts in the urban tech arena especially through its civictech startups. EasyGov is an Aadhar stack based solution to enable citizens' access to government schemes and entitlements. Cydee Tech is lighting up the streets through solar powered high dispersion angle lights. Bioman, Pothole Raja, Revy, Greenironment are other startups working towards creating better, sustainable cities.


Social Alpha is a not-for-profit platform created by Foundation for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (FISE). It is sponsored and supported by the Tata Trusts to promote socially relevant innovations and entrepreneurship. Its mission is to create a large-scale sustainable social impact.


9. CIBA, GOA

Centre for Incubation and Business Acceleration (CIBA) is a technology business incubator formerly known as Agnel Entrepreneurship Development Institute. It was founded in 2000. It is currently based in Goa and Mumbai. It offers services such as incubation, modern office spaces, mentoring, networking opportunities, seed funding and rapid prototyping. It plays an integral role in catalyzing the entrepreneurial movement, especially in Goa.


CIBA has supported 150+ startups, raised more than INR 50 crores of external funding and generated 1,000 job opportunities over the years. The thrust areas of CIBA include information technology, food processing, clean technology among others. Think-A-Print, Legal capsule, Earnestek are some eminent startups incubated by CIBA.


CIBA is catalysed and supported by NSTEBD Division, Department of Science and Technology. It is a not-for-profit organisation working towards enhancing entrepreneurship culture in Goa. Some of its leading partners include Microsft, IBM, ZOHO etc. It is relentlessly working to support growth of local technology based startup companies.


10. UNLTD

UnLtd was launched in 2007 as a startup incubator. It aims to nurture startups that solve India’s socio-economic problems. They fuel startups by providing mentoring, personalized coaching, site visits, workshops, networking, impact measurement, and follow-on funding.


UnLtd has supported 250+ social entrepreneurs, raised over INR 9 billion and impacted more than 15 million lives. It helps to establish social startups across all sectors – education, sports, gender equality, financial inclusiveness, housing and development, agriculture, environment, energy, and livelihoods. Harit Griha develops composters for households, leaf composters for parks, and community composters for neighborhoods. Hexpressions provide ready-to-assemble green homes to rural communities. Rent-On-Recycled Water, Klimrus Sustainable Solution, Indiluv are other note-worthy startups.

UnLtd is a not-for-profit organization. It finds, funds and supports India’s next generation of social entrepreneurs. Targeted toward individuals with the ideas, passion and entrepreneurial skills to bring about long-lasting solutions to the country’s social problems. It is supported by partners like JP Morgan, Reliance Foundation, MananTrust amongst others

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Urban Digital Technology Initiative is aimed at developing knowledge products, networking events and community-focused programs in areas on urban digital technology.


Initiative By : Urban Liveability Forum | Knowledge Partner : Urban Innovation Lab

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This blog is reproduced from the following source:

Urban Innovation Lab.Urban Liveability Forum. 10 Indian Incubators for UrbanTech StartUps - Technology Incubators Leading The Urban Digital Transformation Journey. Urban Digital Technology Initiative. UrbanTech Bytes, Volume 4, June 2021.

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Download the full report here.

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