When my generation started out as entrepreneurs, there weren’t any significant incubators or accelerators to help us. Funding was limited and we didn’t really have an entrepreneurial ecosystem ready to pay it forward and encourage and support the next generation of entrepreneurs. But today it is different. There is guidance and mentorship to be found at innovation hubs like T-Hub to support Indian youths’ entrepreneurial aspirations. There is also support from the Indian government through policy initiatives to encourage startup growth. Today’s academia is also engaging more actively with the startup ecosystem. The next decade will be exciting for any young entrepreneur beginning their startup journey.
At T-Hub, our effort to foster an entrepreneurial culture in India is aimed at making entrepreneurship a career choice for young India. We do this by working closely with colleges and universities and reaching out to them to identify talent.
We began by running challenges to identify youngsters who may have ideas or have already built innovative platforms or technology prototypes. We incubate these ideas through our goal-based seed accelerator programmes. These programmes are aimed at finding the next innovative socio-economic and technological solutions for India and the world.
For the aspirational India
Young India is aspirational and fearless. Young Indians are looking for more than job security. They are much more integrated with the rest of the world and have better access to information and resources. When they have a good idea, they know they can build a significant business. Young India is also more socially conscious. Young Indians think deeply about issues that impact them and the generations to come.
At T-Hub, we help these youngsters test out their ideas in the real world. We help them build a prototype to get an understanding of the product’s technical feasibility and market potential.
Once they have a minimum viable product (MVP), they are encouraged to join our master class programme, which is about getting the product fit for the market. It is a 12-week-long acceleration program that fosters idea validation, getting the fundamentals of entrepreneurship right, and equips participants with a problem-solving mindset. We help young entrepreneurs build sustainable business models, keeping design thinking principles at their core.
With our RubiX program, we help young entrepreneurs develop software prototypes to a minimum viable product (MVP) stage with reduced development time and costs. They are personally guided by domain and product experts. In addition, they also gain access to labs, our partners, and experts. An assessment is subsequently done based on milestones and objectives achieved.
Our approach helps entrepreneurs consider the User Interface (UI) and the User Experience (UX) while building a product. It helps them understand the importance of having the right tech stack
Funding kicks in only when the entrepreneur gets the fundamentals of their startup right. Our approach to revolutionising the entrepreneur culture in India is a lifecycle approach, starting from the idea stage in colleges and going all the way up to the Pre Series A funding.
We have an outcome-oriented approach to designing our programs that have produced results based on the 6Ms (Mentors, Market, Motivation, Manpower, Money, and Methodologies) and 2Ps (Partnerships and Policy Advisory). We help our startups move the needle on each of these vectors.
The road ahead in the entrepreneurial journey
T-Hub on November 5th completes its 7-year journey of shaping up the Indian entrepreneur landscape. We have so far supported over 2400 startups, which have attracted about USD 1.9 billion of funding overall.
Much is said about the high mortality rate for startups. But we at T-Hub have been able to build startups that have matured into sustainable businesses. Four out of the 10 startups we have worked with, have gone on to not just survive, but also grow, which is a good yardstick for us. In the coming years, we hope to be the innovation hub that incubates over 2,000 startups that add value to the Indian economy.
A lot of the credit goes to the people who have been at the helm of the leadership at T-Hub over the last seven years. They were entrepreneurs themselves who understood what an entrepreneur needs, having been through the trials, tribulations, and travails of entrepreneurship themselves. They leveraged and applied their learnings to what T-Hub needs to do.
However, we have a long, long way to go. India may be the country with the third largest number of startups. We have over 77,000 registered startups but it’s not a lot for a country with 1.3 billion people. The Indian government’s Startup India mission is a vindication of the Indian startup ecosystem’s potential for job creation and economic prosperity. Yes, we at T-Hub have revolutionised the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem through our initiatives. But we have barely scratched the surface of unlocking its true potential. We have many more miles to go. There is so much room for innovation and disruptive thinking. The best for the Indian startup ecosystem is yet to come.