Kerala is in many ways ahead of the curve when it comes to startup policies at the state level, even though it may not be home to India’s biggest startups, or may trail the likes of Karnataka, Delhi and Maharashtra in terms of funding. The state government’s incubator, accelerator and mentorship programmes along with funding at seed level and grants for R&D have helped propel many ideas.
The Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) had brought Brinc, a Hong Kong-based hardware accelerator, to India to address the challenges faced by product and hardware development startups in the country. India’s first international accelerator, Brinc supports startups in understanding the global hardware market and develop products accordingly.
Brinc has launched an accelerator programme along with Maker Village and KSUM to support hardware startups working across sectors such as internet of things (IoT), robotics and consumer electronics. Brinc CEO Manav Gupta said the programme will provide comprehensive support to mid-stage startups that already have a working prototype and are ready to move to their design for manufacturing (DFM) phase.
What Startups Get From Brinc?
The Indian startup ecosystem has been exploring technology innovation and has made definite improvements and market plans for software developments. However, the country is still nascent in its growth and understanding of hardware tech startups. Although late to the scene, the Indian startup ecosystem is slowly opening up to the idea of maker spaces and startup accelerators for hardware and IoT innovators.
Along the same lines, the Brinc accelerator programme will be investing in teams across three gates. The selected teams who progress through the programme levels can receive up to $250K in investment and additional support services to develop their DFM products and bring their businesses to market.
Further, selected startups will have access to the state-of-the-art labs at Kochi’s Integrated Startup Complex. Launched in January 2019, the facility is built to provide top quality infrastructure for incubation and acceleration for the state’s startups.
Startups will get access to industrial 3D printers, metal machining centres, electronic and mechanical CAD software, product testing equipment, fully automated SMT assembly line and all allied facilities at Maker Village and Fab Lab Kochi.
“Kerala is trying to create an exclusive hardware startup ecosystem in the state and it is necessary to create accelerators who provide product-market linkage, early market connect and access to venture funds,” said Dr Saji Gopinath, CEO of Kerala’s Startup Mission.
Brinc Accelerator For Hardware Startups
To be eligible for the Brinc accelerator programme, startups must be based in India. Further, the startup needs to be focussed on creating a product that fits within the Brinc hardware and IoT investment categories. Startups would need to have a working prototype or show technical capabilities of being able to build the product. The programme is only open to those startups who have at least two cofounders with relevant industry experience. And finally, Brinc says it’s looking for a scalable business model with high growth potential.
Rohan Kalani, COO, Maker Village said that this would be an exciting opportunity for startups to get their products ready for international markets and the programme augments Maker Village’s incubation programme which has 64 hardware startups working in the facility in different stages of product development.
According to Inc42’s The State of Indian Startup Ecosystem Report, India has over 300 accelerators and incubators. However, despite a smaller number of such support, software startups have been able to leverage the guidance and chart their growth.
With the advent of revolutionary new technologies like 3D printing, robotics and nanotechnology, manufacturing and hardware businesses have seen substantial disruption and change. And now the Indian startup ecosystem has to as well. For the hardware industry to thrive and scale, a robust network of ecosystem enablers and supporters is a must.Apply To Brinc Now