iAccelerator incubation for internet and mobile start-ups in India
This is one thing India was missing on till now- but I see some traction building up now. And its about time.
Karam Lakshman, this year’s programme manager for iAccelerator (an incubator of internet & mobile startups in India) introduced me to this relatively new but exciting programme they have come up with.
The Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE), an IIM (Indian Institute of Management) Ahmedabad endeavour, has invited entrepreneurs in the internet and mobile space to submit application under its iAccelerator incubation programme.
The incubation programme runs from June 1st to August 1st this year, and the deadline for submitting application for the iAccelerator’s current edition is April 10, 2010.
iAccelerator have their own building in the IIM campus, and the programme has run thrice in the last 2 years, and have already funded about 16 companies.
What to expect from the programme? Verbatim from Karam here:
Its fairly simple. You send us an application for funding saying that you want a startup that does xyz. We read every single application that comes in. If we like your application, we’ll get in touch with you via email and then meet you if the email conversation goes well. We’re funding companies in Delhi, Hyderabad, Bombay, Bangalore & Mumbai.
We offer living and working space in each of these cities if the startup needs them. Once you get selected, you spend 10 days at IIM to sort things like your business plan, get your company incorporated, etc… After that, you spend 3 months building the first version of your product.
We’ll have weekly meetings with mentors & inspiring speakers in your cities + free dinner !
After 3 months, we help you get your first set of customers so you can see if your product is actually viable.
We’ll take it from there after that… if you need funding and your customers are happy, we’d be happy to fund you ourselves or introduce you to other investors too.
The programme will be run by experienced professionals and CEOs from the Indian internet and mobile space.
The selection criterion:
According to iAccelerator, all you need to have is brilliance and a good idea. More here.
This differentiates their programme from other incubators in the present landscape.
More. (Verbatim again):
I think there’s a great story around the fact that there are extremely few incubators in India who are willing to fund a startup even if all they have is just an idea.
The other thing is, given that we’re backed by IIM-A… we can do a tremendous amount to help startups apart from just funding them.
If they apply from a place like mysore for example, we can give them living and working space in Bangalore.
We’ll get them in touch with mentors to advise them if they come across any difficulties and I think the greatest value we provide is the fact that we’ll help them get their first set of customers once their product ready.
The other great thing is that we’re the only incubator that can support a startup across the country, We’ve got amazing partners in Delhi, Bangalore, Bombay & Hyderabad apart from our own facility in Ahmedabad.
And no Red tape.
The best thing I can say however is that we’ve got zero in the way of red-tape even though we’re technically a government organization. That and we read every single application that comes in.
So that’s about it. if you are an Indian entrepreneur, go ahead and try this out. Best of luck to iAccelerator and all the applicants.
Keep on Chasing The Storm.