As part of our Indian Startup Hubs Series in past few months we have discussed about the startup ecosystems in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore, Delhi & Hyderabad. In this article, we will be covering about the growing startup ecosystem in Gujarat.
In this article, we will be talking about some of the amazing startups from Gujarat, accelerators, incubators, people, and organizations that are boosting the startup ecosystem in the state.
Founder(s): Ritam Bhatnagar
Founded in: 2014
Funding: $159K in Seed funding from Ashim Mehra, Anunay Gupta and other angel investors across US, India and Singapore.
Entrepreneurship involves meeting and socializing with professionals from all walks of life including client meets, investor meets and networking events. wWhere, a location sharing web app is en-route to completely eradicate postal addresses. Individual, professional and event pages can be created to let your co-workers, clients and event attendees know your exact location. Indeed a precise way to find out the nearest cafe, restaurant, bank or co-working space.
Founder(s): Rajiv Sharma and Niraj Harlalka
Founded in: 2015
Funding: Raised about $300K (INR 2 Cr.) led by Suvas Barot, the Managing Director of Creative Infocity Ltd., who invested in the project via their incubation setup The 1947.
The startup wants to bridge the gap between food vendors and customers. It lets vendors understand their customers well by providing them complete details including – who is coming, what they eat and how many times they visit.
Founded in: 2011
All Events in City (allevents.in) is an event discovery and promotional platform with an aim to simplify the way people discover events happening in their cities. All Events acts like a bridge between event information seekers and event organizers by providing a right platform with its presence on web, iOS and Android mobile app. It has more than 22 Mn events from 20,000 cities of the world.
Founded in: 2012
Menstrupedia is a resourceful guide about menstruation, which helps girls and women to stay healthy and active during their menstruation. The startup aims at delivering informative and entertaining content through different media. It is a small but definitive step to shatter the myths and misunderstandings around mensuration.
Founded in: 2010
Space-O Technologies is a solution for all mobile apps development. From concept to development and marketing to ongoing maintenance, Space-O delivers, no matter how diverse or complex it is. The project is a custom software solutions in multiple platforms including mobile, web and desktop.
Founded in: 2014
Funding: 3 undisclosed funding rounds; latest Series A VC round
CollegeBol is a Social College selection platform. Leveraging the power of student-sourced content and advanced data sciences, the startup provides a wealth of high quality information about colleges in India to make the process of college selection a breeze. It caters to India’s 45,000 colleges and 30 Mn students who are enrolled in higher education.
Founded in: 2014
Moveo Apps is an agile mobile app design and development studio for lean organizations with a focus on generating revenue and brand loyalty through user engagement. Moveo seeks to transform India’s image from a back-end for bulk app development and cheap maintenance to the go-to source of premium mobile apps with human-centred design and innovative functionality.
Sunil Parekh, an IIT-D alumnus & founder of Gujarat Angels is currently Strategic Advisor to prominent Industrial groups Zydus Cadila Group & Jubilant, Monitor Consulting (Michael Porter’s consulting arm), NDBI, CIIE, Lead Angels since their inception. He is very active in new technology business incubators at CIIE at IIMA, at NID, and GIAN at IIMA. He is also part of the ‘Power of Ideas’; a national initiative of ET. Along with that, he is on boards of several educational, research and academic institutions including GIDR, FTM at CEPT University, Calorx IBS initiative, St Kabirs. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Vibrant Gujarat 2011, Charter Member of TiE, Board member in AMA, CERC, FICCI, Assocham. Sunil, quoted as “Father of startup ecosystem of Gujarat” is very much active in helping and guiding startups. He is an investor and mentor to numerous startups in the state.
Chirag Patel is the founder and CEO of Net4Nuts and is a veteran of the IT industry with over 20 years of experience working with Information Systems, internet and mobile technologies. Prior to Net4Nuts, Chirag headed the edible-oils division of his family business for five years, prior to which he worked in the US for an IBM Business Partner, designing, deploying and supporting IT solutions for large US corporations. He pursued his MBA degree at Loyola University, Chicago and graduated with honours, specializing in Finance and International Business. He is a founding charter member of TiE Ahmedabad, and is on the advisory board of a couple of incubators and is a regular guest speaker at IIM-A, Nirma and other business schools.
Pavan Bakeri serves as Director at Bakeri Engineering & Infrastructure Limited. He has been associated with Ahmedabad University and actively invests in startups across the city through Ahmedabad Angel Network.
Rohit is an IT transformation leader at Adani Enterprises Ltd. Besides, he has worked on different roles across the world in managing industry professionals and providing leadership for large, hyper-growth companies in developing markets. His experience in consulting and leading IT function has given him an opportunity to develop T-shaped leadership skills with both depth and breadth of roles to manage people, processes, projects, technology, relationships and governance. Prior to this he has worked with companies such as MASAN Group, IBM and Wipro Consulting. Currently, Rohit is mentoring two technology ecommerce products and actively helping the entrepreneurs build a scalable technology and robust business model. He has a PGDBA, Business Administration and Management, General from K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research and BA (H) Economics from Delhi University.
Rajiv is the CEO of Sterling Addlife India Limited. In his 18 years of career span he has played various roles ranging from sales & marketing to consulting and M&A. He has a diverse work experience in industries such as oil & gas, consumer durables and in healthcare in Indian and international markets. Rajiv is a member of healthcare committee of FICCI, Gujarat. He is a B.E.(Mechanical) with honours from PEC Chandigarh and a postgraduate in management from IIM, Ahmedabad.
Kunal conceptualized and leads INFUSE. He brings in several years of incubation, investment, entrepreneurial and consulting experience. Since 2007, he has been leading IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship where he set-up the incubator and a seed fund. Kunal co-founded Sarvajal, a cleantech enterprise targeting the drinking water sector, a campus social network and a recruitment startup. He is an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, B.Tech from IIT Madras and has strategic and operational consulting experience across Citigroup and American Express.
Madhu Kumar Mehta is a technocrat-turned-coach for pursuit of next generation entrepreneurship. He has founded three companies these include a consulting firm to design digital electronics based products (notably calculators), Digital Innovations, which designed and marketed computers for diverse applications and his third venture was Anjaleem. He has mentored many startups and is also involved with many industry, non-profits and university bodies to promote technology and entrepreneurship.
K Thyagrajan has an experience of over 30 years traversing across numerous fields which includes engineering, management consulting, mentoring and propagating next-generation entrepreneurship and academic teaching in diverse areas of technology, business management and entrepreneurship. He is also a part of advisory for policy making. He is currently mentoring startups and aspiring entrepreneurs in the areas of Bio-medical diagnostics, edutainment, digital records management, ERP & CRM, special equipment design and manufacturing, energy conservation products, environmental conservation, and apps development. He had played an active role in setting up technology business incubator – NirmaLabs. Thyagrajan is a Mechanical Engineer, with a PGD in business and industrial management.
Neeraj Sonalkar is a research associate at the Center for Design Research at Stanford University, and also a co-director of VentureStudio (Ahmedabad). He holds a PhD in engineering design from Stanford University. Drawing on behavioral metrics and providing real-time feedback, Neeraj aims to understand and regulate the dynamic process of innovation.
Paresh is currently head of operations at VentureStudio & head quality assurance, Ahmedabad University at Ahmedabad University. He has over 25 years of experience in various sectors that include IT, telecom, software and engineering. Previously, he has worked with companies like Dover Solutions India, Dover Corporation, Sasken, Epson, Wipro, and Bridgeline. He is a IIT, Bombay alumi.
Jatin is the co-founder & salesman at eChai Ventures, co-founder of Sweetly & Point10. Prior to eChai, he has worked in companies like Redington India Ltd, Advaiya Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and Shubh Collection Inc. Jatin has a diversified professional experience in New Business development, market research, international sales, IT solutions sales, strategic consulting, community building, rural development and education reforms projects. He holds a Bachelors degree in Information Technology from Nirma Institute of Technology. Jatin has been actively involved in the Gujarat startup ecosystem and is very much helpful to startups and young entrepreneurs.
Accelerators and Incubators
IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) is an incubator and entrepreneurship promotion centre, which is set-up in collaboration with the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology and the Gujarat Government. CIIE works closely with investors, entrepreneurs, innovators and service providers to foster entrepreneurship. As of now, the incubation center has motivated more than 400,000 people about entrepreneurship, helped 30,000+ crystallise ideas, mentored 4000+ entrepreneurs, supported 200+ entrepreneurs and has invested in nearly 80 enterprises. Few of their investee companies include Ajji, Alma, Connect, Aspiration Energy, Atelier, Awaaz De, Azoi, Barrix, Baruni and Biosense.
Set up by MICA-EDC, MICA Incubator (Communication Technology Based Business Incubator) is an incubation centre specifically for the strategic marketing and communication sector to commercialise and nurture ideas and innovations. It helps ventures conceptualise, develop and manufacture innovative processes, formats, mediums of communication for reaching out to individuals or masses. It provides them training, mentoring, intellectual support services and the requisite infrastructure.
Entrepreneurial Spark – Powered by Viridian is a joint venture between Viridian Group & Entrepreneurial Spark and was launched recently in the state. It is focused on developing entrepreneurs with a GoDo attitude to create value and make them investable. It provides a platform for aspiring and early stage entrepreneurs through a world class business accelerator program providing an entrepreneurship support system and opportunities to grow. With mentors, ambassadors and supporters, workshops, pitch practice and a full time ‘entrepreneurial enabler’ the focus is on the individual.
NBDI (NID Incubator)
NDBI is part of a commitment of NID, that aims to promote design focused entrepreneurship. NDBI not only supports designers to turn their ideas and concepts into successful competitive businesses but also provides an environment where they can develop the essential business management skills and systems that enable them to grow. NBDI basically wants to create a new class of entrepreneurs, the Designpreneurs.
International Centre of Entrepreneurship and Technology (icreate) is an autonomous institution that identifies, nurtures, and mentors aspiring individuals/teams (with or without ideas) to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. Its an initiative of Gujarat Foundation of Entrepreneurial Excellence (GFEE) and a joint venture of Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation Limited (GMDC) and Gujarat Entrepreneurship and Venture Promotion Foundation (GEVPF). It conducts various seminars, reach-out programs, networking events and more for both students and aspiring entrepreneurs. The grooming and incubation program is conducted in a batch of 25 with a duration of 13 weeks.
VentureStudio aims to nucleate an ecosystem of innovation that accelerates regional economic development and create a national and global impact. It believes that practicing design-led approaches to business creation will foster an ecosystem of innovation. VentureStudio also offers a product and business creation opportunity through a full-time six-month fellowship program for entrepreneurs, engineers, innovators and designers to learn and practice designing their own companies. Fellows will work in teams to identify critical market needs, generate and prototype novel solutions and develop business models to launch scalable businesses to satisfy such needs.
Incube Ventures is a private organization committed to evolve into an institution, nurturing creative ideas and incubating them through their initial growth phase, guide and mentorship. With this, they aim to trigger innovation in entrepreneurs to build more interest. Incube Ventures has sponsored India’s First Social Venture Fund registered with SEBI as Category I Alternate Investment Fund for investing into socially oriented companies, SME innovations and technology based companies.
Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) places significant emphasis on innovation, entrepreneurship and community engagement. Its undergraduate program includes innovative elements, such as an emphasis on the liberal arts, project oriented learning, compulsory courses in design and the life sciences, diversity and globalization. The students get a chance to expose themselves to the importance of community engagement in its 5-week foundation program. The Institute organizes several hands-on design competitions and incorporates several initiatives within its curriculum to cultivate innovation and entrepreneurship skills among students. IIT-Gandhinagar incubation center is currently incubating companies started by its alumni and is open to incubate companies from outside.
The DA-IICT Centre for Entrepreneurship and Incubation (DCEI) aims to encourage students with an entrepreneurial bent of mind to come up with innovative ideas and channelise their efforts to give births to new ventures based on ICT products.
The Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED)-A Government of Gujarat Organization is the 1st of this kind in the country, established in 1979, engaged in promoting skills and entrepreneurship across the state of Gujarat. In order to strike a deep and long lasting impact on the state economy, CED has constantly been on an innovation spree, consistently coming out with imaginative programs aimed at specified target groups.
There are chances that Startup Village will be launching in Gujarat soon.
Gujarat Angels is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to assisting early-stage, high-growth potential business ideas and entrepreneurs in Gujarat. They are a group of motivated, successful entrepreneurs who want to add value to early stage ideas by catalyzing your growth through mentoring, nurturing, funding and networking. Grabbing onto the opportunities generated, the Gujarat Angel Funds Network is actively seeking to invest in great startup companies. In addition to money, GAFN brings connections, market knowledge, mentoring and operational excellence to early-stage entrepreneurs with disruptive technologies.
GVFL is an independent, autonomous board managed venture finance company that aims at providing knowledge and expertise to guide professionals who are inspired with entrepreneurial enthusiasm and a vision to build successful businesses. They wish to develop next generation business leaders who build sustainable organizations, deliver better results and in process share the rewards. Currently, it is making investments in growth stage technology sector and infrastructure sector, primarily involving clean technology, renewable energy and urban infrastructure across India. Few of its portfolio company includes, Alfa Corpuscles Pvt. Ltd, Hubtown Limited, iNurture Education Solutions Ltd., Pegasus Semiconductor Limited and e- Infochips.
Lead Angels Network is a platform for angel investing and supporting early stage companies in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Hyderabad. Their aim is to assist investment into early stage ideas and companies founded by students and alumni of premier institutions. Lead Angels connects promising startups to experienced individuals who wish to invest time and money for developing entrepreneurship. The investment process also enables companies to get feedback on their business models and future plans. Post investment, members not only mentor companies but also connect them to potential clients, partners and investors.
IdeaPad is a co-working space located within premises of IIM-Ahmedabad that brings together creative teams and enablers of startups in Ahmedabad to collaborate and innovate.
Working Company is a co-working community who believes unlike business centers, co-working spaces are also designed to encourage a strong sense of community. The co-working also hosts events; outside of business hours.
Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace, able to meet the needs of large corporates and small businesses alike. The company now has 3,000 business centres in 900 cities globally. Regus has followed a “right place, right time” strategy, selecting buildings in prime locations in city centres, central business districts or business parks with good transport links. Recently, they have also moved into residential areas closer to where people live. Their products and services include, offices, virtual offices, meeting facilities, video conferencing, business lounges, buisnessworld, support services and more.
The Indus Entrepreneurs’ (TiE) mission is to foster entrepreneurship globally through mentoring, networking, and education. Currently, there are 13,000 members, including over 2,500 charter members in 61 chapters across 18 countries. TiE also has active presence in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It conducts workshops, seminars, discussions regularly in the city.
eChai is an offline-online social network of entrepreneurs, it helps fellow entrepreneurs connect with each other with offline events and online co.rise social network. It’s a platform to share insights, have discussions, collaborate with fellow entrepreneurs and help each other to grow and succeed in their ventures. Every month entrepreneurs, professionals, students and mentors from various backgrounds come together in different 25 cities to share, connect, collaborate and get the eChai experience. Jatin Chaudhary, who founded eChai has recently announced formation of CoRise, under which 100 entrepreneurs pledged to contribute INR 1000 every month and additional business resources for startup kit. As of now it is giving #CoRise Seed Prize to 1 promising startup every month.
Headstart Network is a not for profit organization and is the first of its kind initiative to promote and form an Indian ecosystem of entrepreneurs, startups, researchers, early adopters and investors. It facilitates entrepreneurial learning, hiring, marketing insights and peer mentoring amongst the startups and also addresses their issues through initiatives such as Headstart Startup Saturdays, Headstart Higher, Headstart Cofounder Search Program, Headstart Hackerspace and Headstart Club. The network also has presence in Gujarat.
Startup Weekend is a non-profit and a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. One can share ideas, form teams, and launch startups. On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical or design backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds. There is an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. The weekend brings together people with different skillsets – primarily software developers, graphics designers and business people build applications and develop a commercial case around them.
The Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDI), is an autonomous body and not-for-profit institution. It is an acknowledged national resource organization which is engaged in entrepreneurship education, research, training and institution building. The PGDM–BE two-year, full-time, residential programme at EDI has been designed specifically for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial managers to encourage critical and lateral thinking, nurture their ambitions, and enable new ventures through an academically rigorous, directly relevant and highly practical learning experience.
Gujarat Government’s New Startup Policy
Gujarat has recently got a new startup policy. This year, the state government announced exclusive policies for startup, making Gujarat the second Indian state (after Andhra Pradesh) to do so.
The policy includes three pillars to its structure:
- Innovator: The one who gets the incentives for his/her ideas and venture.
- Institutions: Which includes all the incubators, accelerators, Universities, R&D institutions etc. who mentors the start-ups in the initial phase.
- Government Committee: It approves and finances the projects.
- 10,000 per month will be provided to the innovator for a year.
- Upto INR 5 lakhs will be provided to the institutions for the assistance service.
- And up to INR 10 lakhs will be provided for cost of raw material/components required for the innovative process development.
- VAT benefits will also be provided to the startups.
The State Finance Minister, Saurabh Patel however, accepted that the State’s startup policy focuses more on the manufacturing startups and needs to be modified for the benefaction of whole startup community.
Don’t worry if we missed out anyone, we will keep on updating the list.
[Thanks to Ritam of wWhere & Sunil Parekh for helping us put together this list.]
This is part of our special series, In Focus: Indian Startup Hubs, in which we highlight the numerous established as well as upcoming startup hubs in the Indian Tech Ecosystem!