Startup accelerators - why and what is required?

India has become one of the world’s favourite ‘startup’ destinations.  The numbers say it all!

India is one of the top 5 startup communities in the world. 

  • Over 4200 new age companies have come up during the last year. As per NASSCOM’s statistics we have over 3100 startups in IT (as of last year) and expected to have 11,500 startups by 2020.
  • Being the youngest startup nation, and 2 out of every 3 founders are under 35 years.
  • Almost $5 billion worth funding has been pumped into Indian startups in 2015.

Well the stats can go on, but the key point to consider here is that the environment has never been better for a great startup ecosystem to get built.  At a time, while the rapid rise is on for the startup industry, how long can it LAST and how many of those can actually SCALE?

Many startups face challenges in even having an office space for their work.  With limited funds, lot many of them cannot afford a proper working space and address.  Here comes incubators who do provide co-working space for startups and this trend is picking up across various cities over the past few years.

To facilitate startup ecosystem, there are enablers like TiE, NASSCOM, CII, BYST, etc. who provide a platform for startups and bring together mentors, investors, incubators, and other stakeholders.  This is also witnessing increasing tractions, as we can see from the number of such events being conducted across cities.

To ensure that we have a solid startup ecosystem, and one that sustains over long term, is to have good accelerators.  So who are, and why, ‘startup accelerators’?

Startup accelerators support early stage high growth companies through incubation, mentoring, investments, and guide them through their journey.

Today, many companies call themselves accelerators but not really sure as to what they offer other than incubation space, and possible networking with investors.  I would say, ‘accelerators’ are meant to ‘accelerate the startups’ businesses.  Startup accelerators need to ensure that startups tread in the right path, direction, and do course correction when and where required.  These accelerators need to have a business model that incentivizes them when these startups perform.  This gives both the startups and startup accelerators a win-win proposition.

You might have heard about the famous Y-Combinator in the US.  Based in Boston, it was the first seed accelerator program that I know of.  They add a lot of value for those startups who have the opportunity to work with them.  Accelerators typically have a cycle time of 3-6 months of working with startups.

Startups, in order to increase their success quotient, need more nurturing than before due to dynamic market conditions, shift in technology, disruptive innovation, and many other factors that startups need to be aware of during their journey.  The growth can be exponential and at the same time can go down deeply, if they tread on a wrong path. 

Startup accelerators need to support today’s young entrepreneurs through incubation, mentoring, connecting with potential investors, perfecting their pitch to investors, and guiding them through their journey.  By doing this they certainly can create a positive impact in our society and also help build a better startup ecosystem which is essential for our rising economy.

Startup accelerators startups incubators NASSCOM

About the author

Shyam Sekar S

Chief Mentor, Founder @ Startup Xperts


An entrepreneur supporting other entrepreneur to succeed. Most entrepreneurs lack the critical business skills and Shyam provides you just that. Act as your Virtual CMO to drive all your business initiatives, right from strategies, to tactics, to execut

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