India’s first free-to-use virtual incubation platform StartupWave crosses 190 entrepreneur members

India’s first free-to-use virtual incubation platform StartupWave crosses 190 entrepreneur members

In four short months StartupWave, which aims to support idea and pilot stage ventures especially in Tier II and Tier III lacking access to incubators, has been adopted by 190 entrepreneurs throughout the country.

As 21% of SMEs fail, the need for the right mentoring & strategic support is critical.

India’s yearly job creation requirement over the next decade is predicted to be 10-15 million per year[1], which can be addressed by boosting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). While there has been a steady growth of such enterprises, over 21% of them failed in early years due to roadblocks to scale.

A thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem consisting of incubators and accelerators providing advice, mentoring and, occasionally, seed capital can ensure that budding entrepreneurs face minimal challenges in scaling their enterprises. Unfortunately, in India, this has been limited to metro cities that have limited bandwidth to support enterprises outside of these cities.

StartupWave is a virtual incubation platform that has been built as an infrastructure for the Indian start-up incubation eco-system. It has been conceptualized by Intellecap in partnership with Government of UK’s Department for International Development in India and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). As a collaborative platform, it aims to “democratize incubation” and is a one-stop service, providing a blend of virtual and in-person support to take start-up enterprises from idea to investment stage. This platform is designed in consultation with, and is being used by, incubators, corporates, funds and start-ups.

The platform was launched in April this year for a test pilot. Since then, it has onboarded 190 idea and pilot stage ventures that run a variety of businesses ranging from tier III-focused ecommerce ideas, to affordable diagnostics, to skill-building initiatives for youth. About 20% of these start-ups are based out of Tier II and Tier III cities. StartupWave’s current offerings for these entrepreneurs include business idea validation and feedback, mentoring, and showcase to leading incubators and angel networks. The platform has 20 mentors and a network of 25 partner incubators − 5 of which are from low income states such as Jharkhand, Rajasthan etc.

Nisha Dutt, Executive Director at Intellecap says, “We believe incubation support needs to be more democratic, and available to anyone with a business idea regardless of whether they are in Delhi or Ranchi or Imphal. StartupWave is still in early stages of working towards this vision; but given that it is an online platform, we think we will be able to scale it rapidly.”

Marshall Elliott, Head, DFID India, says, Supporting small and medium businesses in India to establish and expand will lead to job creation and development, especially in the poorer states. We are delighted to be a part of this exciting initiative ‘StartupWave’ which will support such enterprises and help them contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction.”

 

Stefanie Bauer, Project Manager, Private Sector Development at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, who is a founding partner of this initiative says, “StartupWave has the potential to bring startup support providers on a common stage. We believe that we can help young entrepreneurs in a better way through collaboration in the eco-system and cooperation between incubators, investors, corporates and other support organizations. StartupWave does not only make it easier for the entrepreneur to find the right support, it also helps incubators and investors to build a good pipeline for entrepreneurs.

The platform is finding strong acceptance with entrepreneurs. Ashweetha Shetty who runs a rural students’ skill building enterprise “Bodhi Tree Skills” says, “StartupWave has immensely helped me in articulating my initial ideas and improving them based on feedback from the Evaluation Committee. I am now filling up a business pitch to apply to for incubation support. The platform has helped me to get a step closer to my dream of building a successful enterprise.”

StartupWave is free to use for entrepreneurs, who can register at startupwave.co/beta and turn paper plans into business models validated by experts, and even go on to showcasing these to incubators and angel networks for further support. The platform is also open for incubators and startup evangelists to sign up.

 

Contact:

Charisma Murari, Head – Marketing Communications

Charisma.Murari@intellecap.net | 98200 96516

 

About StartupWave

StartupWave is a virtual incubation platform that has been built as an infrastructure for the Indian startup incubation ecosystem, conceptualized by Intellecap in partnership with Government of UK’s Department for International Development in India and GIZ on behalf of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). For more information please visit startupwave.co/beta

About Intellecap

Intellecap is a pioneer in providing innovative business solutions that help build and scale profitable and sustainable enterprises dedicated to social and environmental change. Its unique positioning at the intersection of social and commercial business sectors allows us to attract and nurture intellectual capital that combines the business training of the commercial world with the passion and commitment of the social world to shape distinctive solutions. For more information please visit intellecap.com

About GIZ

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is an enterprise owned by the German Government. GIZ implements sustainable development through international cooperation, on behalf of Germany and other partners. With a global footprint in over 130 countries, GIZ leverages its regional and technical expertise for local innovation. GIZ India has a team of over 300 staff. To address India’s need for sustainable and inclusive growth, in partnership with stakeholders, GIZ’s key focal areas are: Energy, Environment, Sustainable economic development and Skill development.

Together with its partner SIDBI, GIZ under its “Responsible Enterprise Finance Programme” funded by BMZ aims to strengthen the eco-system for startups and help them accessing risk capital. 

About DFID

For several decades, Government of UK’s Department for International Development has been actively working with the Government of India to help the country achieve its own poverty reduction priorities and the Millennium Development Goals. India is a growing global power and an important partner for the UK. As India’s economy grows, poverty reduces and India has ever greater prominence in world affairs, the UK’s development partnership with India is evolving.

In November 2012, the UK and India agreed to move to a new development relationship, ending the UK’s financial grant aid to India. The UK will responsibly complete by 2015 all our commitments to on-going projects. All new programmes will focus on sharing skills and expertise in priority areas such a growth, trade and investment, skills and health, or on making investments in private sector projects which create opportunities for the poor while generating a return. We will also strengthen our partnership with India on global development issues like food security and climate change.

Rajendra Ganotra is the Editor of Spicy Stars Mumbai

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