Building a startup from the ground up used to be a daunting task not too long ago. While the difficulty and competitiveness have gradually increased over time, there are many programs and institutions that have come up with accelerator and/or incubator programs that will help nurture and grow your startup at a rapid pace, giving you a definite competitive edge.
Combined with the Indian Government’s push for “Make in India”, the Indian scene has never been as viable as it is in the present.
If you have a startup idea, with a minimum viable product, and are looking for rapid growth in a short amount of time, check out some of the best accelerators in India as mentioned in the list below. However, if you don’t have a minimum viable product, and are still putting together your founding team, an incubator in this list might be better suited for you.
Now that you have a clear idea, let’s move on to the top 10 Startup accelerators and incubators in India. Keep in mind that this list is in no particular order.
Table of Contents
- 500 startups Startup Accelerator in India
- TLabs Startup Accelerator in India
- Cisco Launchpad Startup Accelerator in India
- Indian Angel Network Startup Accelerator in India
- DevX Startup Accelerators in India
- ICreate Startup Incubator in India
- Prime Venture Partners (Angel Prime) Startup Accelerator in India
- CIIE- IIM Ahmedabad Startup Incubator in India
- DLabs Startup Incubator in India
- GSF Accelerator Startup Accelerator in India
500 startups Startup Accelerator in India
500 startups are one of the biggest names in the startup accelerator field. They are primarily a global venture capital firm that began accelerating startups way back in 2010.
Their Indian Headquarters are situated in Bangalore, and truly embody their motto – there’s more to venture than capital. They carefully curate the program based on the requirements of each individual founder, and have branded the program as an “MBA on steroids”
On average, they invest about $150,000 for a 6% stake in the company, but $37,500 are deducted as fees for participating in the program ($112,500 would be their net investment, to cover the basic costs of running a seed level startup.)
500 startups are primarily interested in startups from the tech industry in general. Regardless of whether you’re a marketplace, SaaS, a media program or in the field of AI/ML, you should find a home in 500 startups.
Famous companies in their portfolio include Bukalapak, Udemy, Talkdesk and Mayvenn.
TLabs Startup Accelerator in India
If you are an Indian internet/mobile technology startup, look no further than TLabs. TLabs is a startup accelerator that was founded in 2011 in Bangalore. The mentor team (100+) that will be working with you, should you choose TLabs, includes well-renowned, experienced entrepreneurs that will help your business grow rapidly in the 16-week program.
Apart from the mentors, TLabs provides weekly catch-ups across the different verticals of the business from an in-house team.
As mentioned earlier, the TLabs accelerator program spans 16 weeks, which they’ve broken down into 4 detailed phases.
Weeks 1-2: Hypothesis Development
Weeks 3-8: Deep Validation
Weeks 9-13: Strategic Direction +Traction
Weeks 14-16: Business and Financial Planning
Graduates from TLabs Bangalore accelerator program include companies like HopOn, GetMyUni, Niche.Ai and Peersome to name a few.
Cisco Launchpad Startup Accelerator in India
CISCO launchpad is a corporate accelerator program that specialises in helping deep-tech startups that work in disruptive technologies. The focus is primarily on networking and infrastructure, Security, the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning, Image processing, Linkages/video analytics, and Healthcare-specific technology to name a few.
The Cisco launchpad program accepts 2 batches a year, as their programs last 6 months. Each cohort contains a batch of 6-8 startups and is mentored by over 100 industry experts.
Like most accelerator programs in this list, apart from the standard mentorship and funding they provide, the CISCO launchpad also leverages CISCO technologies to aid their cause. Alumni of the program are provided continued support in terms of connections with investors and partners, GTM, hiring, support with User Interface and User Experience among other things.
Cisco will even consider majorly investing in the startup (sometimes downright acquiring the startup), be the startup’s customer, or even craft a joining GTM (Go To Market) strategy.
Their portfolio of startups includes Smart Ship Hub, Senseforth.ai, Sensegrass and Seashore networks to name a few.
Indian Angel Network Startup Accelerator in India
Unlike the other entries on our list, the Indian Angel Network is not an accelerator/incubator program. Rather, just as the name suggests it is a network of angel investors that will help your startup grow.
The network provides you connections with investors and successful entrepreneurs who are not only willing to invest their money but also their time helping your startup flourish in the long run. They also add value by providing mentoring and advice along with access to its entire network.
They keep the process simple, as documented by the simple term sheet they will provide you with should you qualify.
They do have some qualifying parameters that your startup will have to pass through.
Your business should have a high barrier to entry, with a high potential for growth.
A high quality, complementary management team is necessary.
The propositions should be sharply different from the competitors and can provide evidence of their validation.
Their portfolio companies include Hungryzone, adStringO, and fab alley to name a few.
DevX Startup Accelerators in India
One of India’s leading accelerators, DevX Accel focuses on startups that solve problems using a combination of Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things. The problems that are solved can be in multiple domains including healthcare, Fintech, manufacturing 4.0. Cloud computing, E-com enablers, Mobility, Real-Tech and SaaS to name a few.
Apart from standard benefits like funding, business development, industry connections and a collaborative workspace across the country, DevX Accel also provides your startup with technology support (with dedicated AI and IoT labs, providing you with all the hardware, software and design related support at your disposal), technical mentorship, Media and PR support, and other allied services like managing legal, accounting, and digital marketing among other aspects necessary to boost your startup growth.
The program lasts for 90 days, and is provided with funding in return for a 5-7% equity stake in the program. At the end of the 90 days, DevX Accel will organize a demo day, allowing you to pitch your idea to a large community of high net worth investors, helping you secure much-needed funding.
DevX Accel’s portfolio of companies includes Quixote, BigSpoon Foods, Financepeer and The Healthy Company to name a few.
ICreate Startup Incubator in India
The first incubator on our list, ICreate (The International centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology) is spread across a 40-acre campus in the outskirts of Ahmedabad. ICreate is an independent centre established with a key goal to facilitate “Next Generation Entrepreneurship”.
The Icreate startup accelerator looks for startups in the fields of Information technology, Electronics, Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Robotics, Non-conventional green energy generation, Bio-Medical Equipment and devices and Afro & Food processing among others.
The incubator program consists of 5 parts
Grooming – Generating and converting business ideas to develop a minimum viable product to prepare for the incubation phase.
Incubation – Conversion of an idea into a feasible concept, and acquisition of initial customers. May include funding.
Mentoring – Guiding and nurturing the potential entrepreneurs throughout the process
Networking – Opportunities will be provided to connect with multiple businesses and potential investors.
Angel Funding – Early-stage funding helps startups achieve better valuation before seeking funding from venture capitalist firms.
Prime Venture Partners (Angel Prime) Startup Accelerator in India
Prime Venture Partners, formerly known as Angel Prime, is an early-stage Venture Capital firm that helps entrepreneurs and operators grow in their chosen vertical. Prime Ventures are looking for a star team, with a big market and solutions which are 1000% better than the current state of the art.
Post investment Primve venture partners also help businesses and startups in the following aspects.
Business – Product, Go To Market and sales strategy, execution of the business model, etc
Help on Finance, Legal, PR and Community, among others
And “Literally anything else that the founders need that (Prime Venture Capitalists) could help with”.
CIIE- IIM Ahmedabad Startup Incubator in India
The innovation continuum is not just a single program, but rather a combination of multiple programs as organized by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
They provide an incubation program with state of the art physical infrastructure, training and mentoring programs, along with connecting the startups with like-minded collaborators and partners, non-dilutive investment opportunities, and learning resources and insights for entrepreneurs.
However, they are primarily known for their accelerator program that conducts various workshops, diagnostics, problem-solving exercises along with bespoke coaching and support that are personalized to the needs of each individual startup.
DLabs Startup Incubator in India
DLabs is another unique entry on our list, being a pre-incubation program that is supported by the Department of Science and Technology.
They are located on the campus of the Indian School of Business and works closely with the ISB alumni network to give your startups the needed connections.
Over the years, Dlabs has been instrumental in the success of over 124 startups, with the help of over 400 experts and mentors. Over time, they have also conducted over 12 accelerator programs.
Their portfolio companies include companies like Envirofit, Chakr Innovation, Millet Bowl, and Ecolibrium to name a few.
GSF Accelerator Startup Accelerator in India
GSF Accelerator, as the name suggests, is an accelerator program located in Gurgaon. GSF accelerator provides funding of up to $60,000, along with “unparalleled access” to venture and business networks. They provide personalised and intensive mentoring programs during the 13-week long program.
Famous companies to graduate from GSF accelerator include startups like Little Eye Labs, Zapr, Overcart, Flinto and Browntape to name a few.
Each startup is different and requires a different type of program to succeed in the venture. The 10 programs mentioned in this list are highly competitive and accept very few businesses per batch. If you don’t get selected right away, don’t lose heart.
Refine your idea a bit, and apply for the next batch, and you will be on your pathway to success. To know more about accelerator programs, and everything related to startups, head on over to our blog.