In a rare demonstration of Indian execution, private and public stakeholders have taken just over two months to open a fully-equipped, shiny new incubator in Bangalore’s commercial district, which aspires to be the focal point of the nation’s start-up growth.
On Wednesday 7 August, the patrons of the 10,000 start-ups initiative, Google, Microsoft, and India’s peak IT industry body Nasscom, and the Karnataka State Government, cut the ribbon at the 10,000 square foot office, situated in Diamond District on Bangalore’s main artery, Old Airport Road.
Nasscom product council chairman Ravi Gururaj, returning to the site the group first visited just seven weeks ago, said it was crucial to secure the support of the local government (whose bloated bureaucracy and suffocating red tape can slow down new business development for months, even years).
“This took literally all of ten weeks, from the time of idea to the actual opening. That is an incredible speed for any part of the world,” Gururaj said.
“We approached the government and they were very receptive.
“That’s the key: find a really effective champion in the government, who’s willing to believe and make it happen.”
The initiative aims to “successfully impact” 10,000 start-ups and received $1 million funding from a consortium including Google, via its entrepreneur investment program, Microsoft, Verisign and Kotak Bank. The Karnataka State Government put up $500,000 over three years.
In the same way the initiative has enjoyed a smooth ride to launch, Gururaj hopes to remove the friction to high-quality resources, such as mentors, investors, education, and corporate facilities, which will increase a start-up’s chances of success.
The inaugural class’ first six freshmen — Admirch, Tooki Taki, Psiphi Labs, Bookpad, Linkmysport, and Woome — are due to commence their tenure next week, and will progressively be joined by another 20 or 30 companies — selected from 4,000 applicants — in the 90 seat venue. They don’t receive any cash but are granted $25,000 in vouchers for products from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and others.
Gururaj eventually hopes to expand the concept to other cities across India.
“India’s a huge country, to be able to move the needle you have to scale your model.”