Start-up Incubators and Accelerators in Bangalore
A Growing List
The start-up ecosystem in Bangalore has really grown in the last few years. It is with intention that I use the word "grown" rather than "matured." The numbers have increased but it is debatable if this is accompanied by a proportionate improvement in quality. Yet there are enough success stories to suggest that Indian start-ups are getting better: Google acquired Impermium; Facebook acquired Little Eye Labs; Yahoo acquired Bookpad; Flipkart, MU Sigma, Olacabs, and a few others got funded handsomely; Zomato has acquired companies overseas and has gone global.
A start-up ecosystem has many parts: incubators, angel investors, accelerators, seed funders, venture capitalists, mentors, business connectors, networking platforms, technology bloggers... the list goes on. Let us not forget the entrepreneurs themselves. They are the ones who have ideas, have the passion to see it through and are bold enough to take risks. Then there are the designers, engineers, coders, marketeers and analysts who translate ideas into executions.
As we round up another successful year for Indian entrepreneurship, I think it is proper to make a list of incubators and accelerators in Bangalore. To do a similar list for India would be a greater work.
There are some who succeed without incubators and accelerators. Perhaps they are "born entrepreneurs," if there is such a thing. There are others who have ideas, passion and temperament but are still lost. It is for them that incubators and accelerators become important. They are meant to show the right path to folks who would otherwise go nowhere or run around in circles.
So, here then is the list of incubators and accelerators in Bangalore:
- Angel Prime: Their website makes it clear that their involvement is during prototyping and getting ready to scale. Their focus is clearly on execution, exactly where many start-ups need help.
- Axilor: Their tagline reads, "Where innovation meets execution." Founded by ex-Infosys folks, they help with acceleration, early-stage funding and entrepreneurship in residence.
- Bangalore Alpha Lab: This is a shared space for start-ups. They also claim to provide mentorship.
- BeaglesLoft: Located centrally at Ulsoor, they introduce themselves as, "We’re not a co-working space, or an incubator, or an accelerator. I think we’re more like a playground where you can go out and collaborate." They look to support innovative and disruptive ideas.
- Cobalt BLR: Centrally located in Bangalore, this is a shared working space.
- E health-TBI: They provide working space, mentoring and initial funding for start-ups.
- Global INcubation SERVices: Called by the acronym GINSERV, it is promoted by JSS Mahavidyapeetha, Mysore, with support from the government. This is a suitable place for small start-ups who wish to share office space. The venue also hosts regular events for the start-up community.
- GSF: The website describes GSF in these words: "The key objective of GSF is to spur innovation and entrepreneurship through angel and seed investing." Little Eye Labs came out of GSF.
- IIIT-Bangalore Innovation Centre: One of the few incubators that is attached to an academic institution.
- Jaaga: This is a nice place at a central location. Among other things, they offer a one year study programme for aspiring coders in a place just outside Bangalore.
- Khosla Labs: Started by Vinod Khosla, Khosla Labs has partnered with Unitus Seed Fund to support start-ups that build applications based on the Aadhar platform. They also are quite clear on domains that form their current focus.
- Kyron: Their accelerator programme aims to mentor entrepreneurs and develop their ideas towards building successful enterprises within 4 months.
- Lounge47: Run by a couple, veteran entrepreneurs themselves, this place hosts regular talks and sessions for the start-up community. They offer advice to start-ups from both marketing as well as technology perspectives. They help start-ups to hone their offering and obtain funding.
- Microsoft Accelerator: A popular programme that many see as getting better with each batch. Start-ups in this programme benefit from Microsoft's extensive business connections.
- Myntra Fashion Incubator: Specifically created for fashion designers, the first batch is scheduled to start in January 2015.
- Nasscom 10000 Start-ups: The counter on the website reads 9000 applications, 800 shortlisted and 150 impacted. With funding, mentorship and essential developer software, this programme attracts many start-ups.
- NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore: An institution-led incubator, it offers essential office services in addition to the space.
- Seedfund: An early stage VC fund, their website features a nice portfolio that includes Red Bus.
- Srijan Capital: This is run by people who are entrepreneurs themselves. Internet of Things, SAAS, and consumer internet start-ups form their focus. Up to 2 crores of seed capital is available.
- Target: Five start-ups were part of the first batch that started in January 2014. Their demo day was held in June. It is now time for the next batch to start registering.
- Tata Elxsi - INCUB@TE: Their website describes INCUB@TE as, "We help you take your ideas to the market real fast by providing ready-to-use infrastructure, key technical consulting through in-house experts, mentorship, access to service providers, plug-n-play office and connections with people and organizations who matter."
- TechHub Bangalore: They introduce themselves as the "community and workspace for tech entrepreneurs." They have regular demo days so that start-ups can get feedback on their ideas and progress.
- TLabs: Recently, TLabs has come to Bangalore but it has the experience of incubating 30-odd start-ups in the Delhi/NCR region. As with many incubators, they focus on early stage start-ups.
About the Author
Arvind Padmanabhan graduated from the National University of Singapore with a master’s degree in electrical engineering. With fifteen years of experience, he has worked extensively on various wireless technologies including DECT, WCDMA, HSPA, WiMAX and LTE. He is passionate about training and is keen to build an R&D ecosystem and culture in India. He recently published a book on the history of digital technology: http://theinfinitebit.wordpress.com.