The Centre for Research on Start-ups and Risk Financing (CREST), an Institute of Eminence Research Centre at IIT Madras, has introduced India’s inaugural information platform dedicated to incubators and accelerators. Developed in collaboration with YNOS, an IIT Madras-incubated start-up, the platform consolidates comprehensive data on the nation’s active incubators and accelerators. Previously, with approximately 1,000 active incubators in India, entrepreneurs faced challenges due to scattered and inaccessible information. The new AI-powered platform, named ‘Incubators,’ seeks to simplify this process, assisting start-up founders in identifying, comparing, and analyzing suitable incubators effortlessly.
The ‘Incubators’ platform aims to contribute significantly to the success of emerging ventures. The platform emphasizes on the crucial link between the growth of the Indian start-up ecosystem and a robust incubator network. Governments which are acknowledging this correlation, have prioritized strengthening the incubation ecosystem. However, accessing information about various incubation centers has historically been challenging, making the ‘Incubators’ platform a valuable resource for entrepreneurs.
Dr. Jayesh Ranjan formally launched the ‘Incubators’ platform in Hyderabad on November 17, 2023. He commended CREST, IIT Madras, and YNOS for addressing the information gap within the start-up ecosystem. Further highlighting the platform’s benefits, Dr. Ranjan emphasized its potential to assist not only entrepreneurs but also CEOs and Managers of incubation centers in attracting start-up founders. The neutral platform provides an opportunity for incubators to showcase their strengths and benchmark against peers, fostering continuous improvement in their effectiveness.
“The growth of the Indian start-up ecosystem depends on a strong incubator ecosystem. Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between start-up formation and number of incubators. Recognizing this, various governments have focused on strengthening the incubation ecosystem in the country,” said Dr. Jayesh while congratulating, CREST, IIT Madras, and YNOS for developing this platform.
The ‘Incubators platform serves as a centralized hub for critical information about incubators and accelerators across India. Offering details such as the start-ups being supported, success ratios in securing funding, investor networks, and virtual incubation support prevalence, the platform addresses the multifaceted needs of the start-up community. Its intuitive filters enable quick identification and comparison of different incubators based on various parameters, aiding founders in selecting the most suitable incubator for their venture.
Prof. A. Thillai Rajan, Founder and Director of YNOS Venture Engine and Principal Investigator of CREST emphasized the pivotal role of incubators during the early stages of start-ups. He stated “During the initial few months after incorporation, start-ups face a high degree of uncertainty. They need a lot of support, handholding, and mentoring as they start finding their bearings. It is here that Incubators for start-ups play a very important role in helping start-up founders navigate the uncertain terrain. The Incubators help the start-up founders at multiple levels: Firstly, it gives an exhaustive list of incubators in the country that start-up founders can reach out to for incubation support. Secondly, it provides information on various parameters which helps start-up founders to identify incubators suited for their requirement.”
“Thirdly, for each incubator, it gives the list of start-ups supported and the different funding schemes being implemented which helps the founders to infer the prevailing ecosystem in the incubator. Fourthly, Incubators also provide information on the investors who have funded the start-ups supported by the incubator helping entrepreneurs to analyze the strengths of the incubators’ investor network. Fifthly, Incubators help to easily compare different incubators and assist founders to determine their order of priority in selecting an incubator,” he added.
By utilizing the latest technology tools, the ‘Incubators platform boasts data on over 920 incubators and accelerators, offering comprehensive information on each, including host organizations, startup funding agencies, supported startups, and invested investors. Its user-friendly features enable easy comparison of incubators, aiding startup founders in making informed decisions about the most suitable incubator for their specific needs.