Incubator and Accelerator stimulating start-up ecosystem in COVID 19

Incubator and Accelerator stimulating start-up ecosystem in COVID 19

In these tough times, start-ups are one of the sectors facing the major heat. And if we especially talk about the early stage start-ups, they are impacted the most. Incubators and Accelerators have always played an important role in helping and building Indian start-up ecosystem and same kind of support is required from them during these COVID era.

To understand this NASSCOM organized a webinar last week on “Incubator and Accelerator stimulating start-up ecosystem in COVID 19” where we discussed on various aspects around the impact, expectation etc. So we have gathered key highlights of the webinar below:

  • Mohit Gambhir, Innovation Director, Innovation Cell-Ministry of HRD
  • Shankar Kumar, Advisor, GIZ GmbH
  • Poyni Bhatt, CEO, Society for Innovation & Entrepreneurship (SINE) – IIT Mumbai
  • Sruthi Kannan, Head, CISCO Launchpad
  • Kritika Murugesan, Director, NASSCOM 10000 startups

Impact of COVID 19 on accelerator and incubators ecosystem:

  • Start-ups and investors have to look at the opportunities in these struggling times.
  • Mentoring and incubation engagement activities to go virtual
  • Product based start-ups will be effected for a while due to lack of physical presence
  • Call of action has to come from investors and start-ups
  • More challenge for nascent incubators compared to mature incubators so they have to be judicious in their spending for longer runway to survive.
  • Make effort to keep your start-up alive because if they sail through chances of their bounce back will be high

Change in expectation from start-ups:

  • Start-up products should be impactful so that it can be easily accepted by the government
  • Start-ups need to continue to learn
  • Increased expectation for linkages from different stakeholders
  • Start-ups need to innovate by looking at best practices cross border

Policy and other suggestions:

  • Need to look at quality rather than quantity of incubators and accelerators
  • Support process to incubator and accelerators needs to be eased
  • CSR policies needs to be properly channelized
  • Recognition, awards and benchmarking of incubators and accelerators are required
  • Opportunity should be given to start-ups to deploy their product.
  • Demand has to work on procurement from government and how they map this requirement from start-ups and MSMEs

Success factors:

  • To foster innovation, focus should be on design thinking, cognitive skills, entrepreneurship development, tech transfers, Intellectual property rights
  • Centralized database of various incubation cells are created for easing search activities of investors

Best Practices:

  • Ecosystem is decentralized means incubator and accelerators are established under local bodies
  • Large corporates are actively involved from very early stage and take CSR activities as a business activity
  • Mentor network has to be strong and brings together right kind expert into the ecosystem for mentoring
  • Start-up intake needs to be screened before providing them access to incubators and accelerator.

Advise for start-ups:

  • File patent or provisional patent application for the idea and carry the copy of NDA before going for any meeting with prospective clients or investors
  • Also have an exit agreement with your co-founder, CEO, CTO etc.
  • Instead of looking for right incubator, start-ups should map their requirement with vis a vis what incubator can offer
  • Look at incubator team and past start-ups that have come out from that incubator

Incubators and accelerators can play a pivotal role in the hard times for early stage start-ups but start-ups need to leverage this to pass through these struggling times.

Webinar video link:



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