The start-up ecosystem is fairly recent in India and it needs to learn from each other and also from global counterparts. International tie-ups are a great way to harness global learning in industry data, best practices to run business, community, connections and network. It also provides an excellent opportunity for start-ups to connect with mentors, entrepreneurs and investors on a global level.
This first such connection happened in India when early-stage venture capital fund Blume Ventures tied up with Draper Venture Network, a global collective of global venture capital firms to open up funding and networking opportunities for the fund’s portfolio companies. In a second such partnership Gurgaon-based, India Accelerator acquired membership of the Global Accelerator Network (GAN), a consortium of 70 leading accelerators in the world including H-Farm in Italy, NXTP Labs in Argentina, SparkLabs in South Korea and Techstars in the US.
Stoodnt.com got in touch with Ashish Bhatia, Managing Director at India Accelerator, to know more about the efficacy of global partnerships in start-up eco-system, and also about the challenges faced by new businesses and the way forward for them.
Global partnership to benefit Indian start-up ecosystem
According to Bhatia the partnership will empower Indian entrepreneurs to go global from the very beginning. This ecosystem support will help convert local solutions into globally scalable business models as GAN produces best practices in documentation and curates accelerator data to provide a holistic overview of the industry and forecast evolving trends.
“GAN Members and their founders have exclusive access to discounts and upgrades from more than 50 top providers. These perks amount to nearly $1M in savings for the start-ups. The partnership will provide an exclusive resource for members to access quality start-ups through curated GAN communications, we can match GAN companies with interested investors. Besides, the GAN has access to some of the world’s most experienced startup mentors which will be a boon for Indian fledgling businesses,” shared Bhatia, a serial entrepreneur, having cofounded companies such as AppWorks, OrganIQ and eGamersArena.
Problem exists at both ends of the scale
“Our start-up ecosystem is still at a very nascent stage. Hardly any exceptional incubator/accelerators like YC or Techstars to provide mentoring & support to newbies. Seed funding is a major concern. In fact, there is problem at both ends of the scale – from access to early stage capital to hardly having any decent exit,” notifies Bhatia launched an incubation programme this month to offer early-stage technology startups benefits from the partnership.
He believes that there is a tendency for many investors to have a short-term mindset and also a herd-mentality of investing in ‘hot’ areas, and thus missing out on larger, longer-term opportunities. “It is changing but big boys of Indian Industry have to get involved. You hardly see any decent participation by corporations in encouraging this ecosystem. Organizations need to connect their strength and resources with external innovation to drive growth,” he adds.
Sectors which Indian start-ups should explore more
“Media tends to over-promote ‘hot’ business opportunities and founders. E.g. e-commerce, food delivery, hyper local, travel etc. are a few sectors beaten to death – do not go with the trend or the hype. There are so many genuine opportunities out there to explore in a country like ours and common sense dictates that start-ups should focus on challenges faced by citizens and society,” updates Bhatia.
AI, Fintech, VR, Cyber Security, Wallets, IoT – are the sectors that according to Bhatia will see plenty of action. “Whatever the sector might be, try to find a white space. If there is a problem to be solved, it is a good beginning. Also there is a temptation to show how can it can scale massively and be the next unicorn. Start small and show there can be a paying customer for your offering. Scalability is a relatively easier problem to solve, survivability isn’t,” he warns.