StartupDash and A Look into the Early Stage Startup Ecosystem in India

StartupDash and A Look into the Early Stage Startup Ecosystem in India

Well all good things have to come to an end sometime. So with this post we mark the end of the first edition of #StartupDash. For those of you not aware of it, you’ve got a little bit of catching up to do.

Your’s truly, Inc42, had teamed up with TLabs, India’s leading startup accelerator, and Nasscom 10,000 Startups to conduct India’s first highly curated event for early stage startups, #StartupDash with the mission of acting as a catalyst for startups in MVP stage.

While there are a number of events that focus on sharing general startup “gyaan” or on startups that already have good visibility and traction, we saw that there was a big need for a support system for early stage startups that works not only during the event but also post event. We have worked with early stage startups long enough to understand what issues they face and what tangible value they seek from startup events, partners and accelerators.

#StartupDash has been designed on the lean startup principle and provides the complete package  —  Launchpad, Team Building, PitchUp and Mentorship Opportunities for startups and was conducted in the 3 major startup hubs of India  —  Delhi, Pune and Bangalore.

It has been a wonderful journey – from getting over 500+ startup applications, curating them down to just 40, hosting startups, to the 3 days of extensive mentor-ship to final pitches and jury decisions, it was one hell of a time.

10 of these 40 selected startups (of the 500+ applications) were announced as winners across the 3 cities. If you missed out on that, here are the winners for Delhi, winners for Pune and winners for Bangalore edition. To find out about all the startups that pitched at StartupDash, you can checkout the StartupDash feed on Inc42 here.

With so many participants and great quality comes great data as well 😉 So we went ahead and analysed this data to get some great insights on the early stage startup scene in India. Here’s a nice little infographic we created for you.

Key insights from this data:

Tier 2’s – Upcoming Startup Hubs?

Tier 2 cities are spawning some great products and startups. About 16% of our startups were from Tier 2 cities.

From our brief stay in the Pune ecosystem, we noticed that there are a lot of great techies and some awesome tech products being built. Though the ecosystem seems a little fragmented, but it’ll soon get there.

It was great to see a number of good technology startups from other Tier 2 cities like Nagpur, Jaipur, Aurangabad, Bhubaneswar, Surat, Indore, Hosur and many more.

EdTech – The Next Big Thing?

The Education and training market seems to be the next big thing in the startup world. Almost 15% of the startups at StartupDash were building something in this field.

This is consistent with this year’s funding deals as well. As per CB Insights and Mukund Mohan’s post, EdTech was the number 1 funded vertical, in terms of number of venture funding deals, in the past year.

What’s up with SaaS in India?

While we had almost a good number of SaaS product applications (almost 10%), most didn’t have much traction or were finding it difficult to sell in the Indian market. This can very well be attributed to the stringent RBI regulations in India. Most Indian SaaS companies have to register in Singapore or the US to be able to even take payments – FreshDesk, Practo to name a few.

The Future is in Big Data!

Again we had a healthy number of startups in venturing into the field of analytics, big data, image processing and it seems that this trend is going to pickup even more considering the market size for these fields is estimated to be well over $30 Billion for 2014 globally.

Females are still low!

Only about 5-6% of the applications had a female member in their team. Not exactly surprising, some food for thought.

A Shortage of Designers?

A weird trend that we noticed and was also pointed out by many startups as well, there seems to be a shortage of good designers, frontend coders, UI/UX guys in the market. We found that startups were able to find good developers relatively much more easily, but were unable to find good designers.

So that was a really exciting journey for us and we hope it was as awesome and insightful for all the StartupDasher’s who attended the event.

Would like to especially give a shout out to all the mentors, investors and the jury for all three events who were the driving force of the event and helped groom so many awesome startups and entrepreneurs.

Lastly would like to thank all our sponsors and partners without whom this would not have been possible.

PS. We have some big announcements coming up soon about some of the awesome startups that launched at StartupDash. So stay tuned…

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