Amity Innovation Incubator, a not for profit organization run by Amity University, is helping a lot of Entrepreneurs and young startups by playing a vital part as a catalyst.
Ojasvi Babber, heads the Incubator at Amity University, Noida and also takes care of the PAN India Virtual Incubation program, which has been rolled across 17 different cities in India.
In a chat with Inc42 Magazine, Ojasvi explains the working of Amity Incubator, how it is helping startups and the team behind the initiative and his thoughts on startup ecosystem in India.
Inc42: Tell us something about the incubator at Amity?
Ojasvi: Amity Innovation Incubator is a registered ‘not for profit’ society supported by an advisory body consisting of industrialists, venture capitalists, technical specialists and managers, established to help entrepreneurs realize their dreams through a range of infrastructure, business advisory, mentoring and financial services.
Core team of AII offers a range of incubation services to nourish entrepreneurial talent such as – Business Planning, Company formation, Legal & IPR assistance, Managerial Support, Technology Support.
Inc42: How many companies have been physically incubated?
Ojasvi: We have so far incubated more than 100 organisations with around 54 student incubatees and 12 external incubatees present within the Incubator at the Noida Campus.
Inc42: How many of them are virtually incubated?
Ojasvi: Around 42 incubatees are virtually incubated, which are co-ordinated through the 17 centers present across the nation.
Inc42: What is the model on which you work, equity, rentals or something else?
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Ojasvi: The model is a balancing model, which comprises of a mix of rentals and Equity. The rentals here are significantly subsidized as compared to what the incubatees may pay for any outside office space.
The Equity being shared by the Incubatee depends on the value addition that the incubator is able to provide in terms of mentoring, strategic support, Business Development and Fund raising.
Inc42: What kind of value you bring in table for the incubated companies ?
Ojasvi: We have a vast network of mentors who are a part of our mentoring board. This essentially includes CEO’s , CXO’s , senior management professionals, renowned academicians and ex bureaucrats. These mentors stay actively engaged with our current incubatees and keep on guiding and mentoring them on the essentials of business.
Also, Amity Technology Incubator invests in these startup, wherever required, giving them the access to the much needed seed capital. Our incubator is also closely associated with Amity Capital Ventures and other Venture Capital and Angel networks to facilitate mentoring and fundraising advice.
Amity Innovation Incubator also works closely with the incubatees in their Business Development, strategy design and implementation and other essential areas.
Inc42: How much you typically invest in your portfolio?
Ojasvi: The investment into any organisation depends on the requirement and structure of the investment. Quite a few of Amity Technology Incubator investments have been co-investments with other prominent investors as well. The Current investment size varies from INR 5 Lakhs to INR 50 Lakhs (approx.) but we are open to investments of a bigger size as well. (may be up-to a crore)
Inc42: In how many cos. (under incubator or outside ) have you invested in?
Ojasvi: Our cummulative portfolio of investments reads of 20+ investment across sectors like, SAAS, GIS, Software on Chips, Clinical Research, Online advt affiliate network, Micro-controller based devises, Online Security, Business Simulations, Food automation and others.
Inc42: Tell us about the venture arm of Amity? What is the fund size you have?
Ojasvi: Amity Capital Ventures is an investment vehicle which invests in early stage organisaitons by way of seed and angel investments. Our target is to invest a few million $ in the next 5 years and help more than 200 Entrepreneurs in the next 3 years.
Inc42: So what’s the team like?
Ojasvi: We operate with a very lean team like any of the startups we nurture. We have a sub 10 team with close to a dozen independent sector experts who help us evaluate and understand sectors better and add value to the Business Plans that come in. Amity Innovation incubator’s CEO Mr Aseem Chauhan, with extensive experience in venture capital and leveraged buyouts has made investments of over $ 1 bn globally. It is under his vision and guidance that the Incubator has been able to reach the current heights of success.
I have been associated with the Incubator for the past 3 years, before which I had a startup which primarily consulted startups on Business strategy and fund raising; very similar to the role I currently handle.
Ravindra Singh, with his prior experience with LG and Samsung brings in the much required operational and technical expertise required by our startups to scale up and structure SOP’s.
Dolly Goklaney handles the Center for PEVC under the Amity Innovation Incubator. The Center has the prime objective of giving the startups and the PE and VC players a platform to interact and share expertise through the multiple workshops that keep on happening every fortnight.
Inc42: Has any of the incubated company crossed the break-even or made any significant progress in terms of funding, revenue or traction?
Ojasvi: We have had quite a few organisations which have crossed the break-even and have shown strong growth in terms of revenues, human resources and also external funding.
ApnaCircle, an incubate organization of Amity Innovation Incubator was acquired by French Networking site Viadeo.
Our organisations like GVC Microsystems, ITCons e solutions, Circuitsutra Technologies, RITSAN Media ventures, Biziga Solutions, Heuristics are a few of the companies who have successfully developed and launched their products and have been able to cross the crucial Break-even milestone and progress forward.
In terms of funding, almost all the organisations mentioned above have been able to raise seed and also angel round in a few cases along with quite a few of our other Incubatee organisations.
Ojaswi comes with a strong decade old experience in Indian Entrepreneurial Ecosystem. He successfully ran his own venture into startup consulting and fund raising. Proideaz concluded fund raising and consultation of US$ 4.5 Mn (approx) for 4 different startups. His forte includes mentoring startups, strategic alliances, fund raising, business consulting and financial modeling. You can reach him on @ojasvibabber & he would love to exchange notes on any possible topic under the sky.
Watch this space to see what advice Ojasvi has for Budding Entrepreneurs