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Inc42 and Amazon Launch ‘Hidden Ecosystem Champions’: Meet The Unknown Crusaders Of The Indian Startup Ecosystem

There are many little-known accelerators, incubators, ecosystem bodies & key mentors who have contributed immensely to the Indian startup ecosystem

‘Hidden Ecosystem Champions’ is a five-part series that puts the focus on the unsung heroes of the Indian startup ecosystem

We’re inviting applications from all those who feel they make the cut for the series

The Indian startup ecosystem — the third largest in the world — is at a critical juncture. It’s spinning faster than ever in an upward growth spiral, buoyed by technology innovation, the proliferation of about 50,000 startups, and ever-increasing investor interest. All of this ties in with India’s massive Internet user base — standing at 470 Mn and growing — which offers huge potential to companies offering technology-based solutions across sectors such as fintech, healthtech, agritech, edutech, enterprise tech, ecommerce, etc.

This has been made possible by the sustained efforts of various stakeholders and elements — accelerators, incubators, angels, and agencies or bodies — with the common goal of building a robust startup ecosystem and taking India to great heights.

Today, India is home to more than 200 incubators and over 190 accelerators, all of whom are helping startups accelerate their growth and initial journey right from the idea stage. In the last one year alone 50 accelerators have been opened in India, a 35% increase as compared to 2016. Accelerators and incubators are playing a huge role in developed startup ecosystems like the US and China.

Incubators and accelerators have been playing an increasingly important role in honing startups in India. Some of the well-known names are the Microsoft Accelerator in Bengaluru and TLabs in Delhi-NCR. Considering the fact that India has a deficit of good accelerator programs, the entry of global accelerators such as Y Combinator, Startupbootcamp, etc with their varied experience and expertise are the need of the hour as they’re sure to boost the growth and scalability of startups.

Coworking spaces such as Awfis, 91springboard, Innov8 and of course the global giant WeWork on the other hand, are doing their bit to ease entrepreneurs’ journey by addressing the space and operational needs of startups. In 2017, the size of the coworking market in India increased by more than 50%. JLL India said that by the end of 2018, India’s coworking market is expected to grow by 40% to 50%, reaching over 1 Mn square feet of leased areas with a total investment of $400 Mn.

While there are many popular incubators, accelerators, and ecosystem bodies who make the headlines regularly, there are many others whose names have never seen the light of day, but without whose contribution the Indian startup ecosystem wouldn’t be where it is today.

At Inc42, our quest has always been to go beyond the apparent, bring you more than just the news, delve deeper into the layers of the startup ecosystem, and bring forth stories that amaze and enamour. One such effort in this direction is The Ecosystem Summit coming up on November 16.

In yet another effort, Inc42 in association with Amazon Internet Services Private Limited (AISPL), the local seller for AWS Cloud in India are launching ‘Hidden Ecosystem Champions’, a five-part series that seeks to put the spotlight on little-known incubators, accelerators, and other ecosystem bodies, who, in their own way, are helping Indian startups find a footing.

The aim of this initiative is to facilitate an introduction between aspiring entrepreneurs and these lesser-known key stakeholders, who can make all the difference between make and break for startups looking to raise funds and mentorship.

Further, with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) announcing the much-awaited State Startup Ranking Framework, Indian states are making a beeline to incubate their own startup ecosystems. This is the next wave of startup growth, which is moving away from metros to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Naturally, the more investors and incubators startups can have knowledge of and access to, the better it is for the growth of the ecosystem.

If you are an ecosystem stakeholder — incubator, accelerator, or an agency — and want to share your story of how you’ve shaped entrepreneurial dreams while connecting with more startups out there, here’s a chance to get featured in ‘Hidden Ecosystem Champions’.

Apply Now