When we hear the word Startups, the first place which strikes our mind is Bengaluru. Bengaluru is the hot bed for growing startups. The city is known as the startup capital because most of the rapidly growing startups have emerged from this city. But now with the Launch of T-Hub, which is being promoted as the country’s largest technology incubator, will Telangna be the next startup hub after Bangalore?
On 5 November, Governor ESL Narasimhan and Tata Sons Chairman Emeritus Ratan Tata inaugurated the first phase of T-Hub, an initiative by the Telangana government. It is located at the International Institute for Information Technology (IIIT) at Gachibowli where it offers 70,000 sq feet area to new startups.
When asked about this recent development, Ajay Kolla, Founder & CEO, Wisdomjobs.com said, “Hyderabad holds tremendous potential to be a startup hub along the lines of Bangalore, if not bigger. While Bangalore’s startup growth has happened over several years and more as a result of private initiative, the State Government’s role in developing T-Hub will definitely help in giving it the required momentum and direction. The involvement of ISB, IIT, NALSAR etc in mentorship roles will hugely benefit the initiative and help it to scale up effectively.”
It is a unique public/private partnership between the government of Telangana, India’s three premier academic institutes (IIIT-H, ISB & NALSAR) and key private sector leaders. It stands at the advantageous intersection of the startup, academic, corporate, research and government sectors.
Furthermore, the Indian School of Business and National Law University are also mentoring the incubator, the first phase of which is known as Catalyst. It is expected that at least 140 startups will participate in the Catalyst facility where they will be getting minimum of six months to establish themselves; after which they will move out to allow freshers to come in.
“Hyderabad’s abundant availability of infrastructure, its standing as a geographical hub for central and southern India, and its potential for expansion will appeal to many startups that are looking to attain operational scale quickly and efficiently. T-Hub will also help participating startups to ride Hyderabad’s projected growth wave that is expected to be driven by the IT and e-Com biggies. The presence of several startups in close proximity to each other will also help in creating an environment conducive to innovation and provide a platform for local startups to gain exposure,” said Kolla
The state government has put in Rs 40 crore for the 70,000 sq ft facility constructed on the IIT-H campus. As per the Telangana IT Minister, K T Rama Rao, the second phase of the T-Hub with 3,00,000 sq ft area which is expected to come up in the next three years would need at least Rs 150 crore.
When asked about the Telangana government’s initiative, Ashish Taneja, Co-founder and MD, growX ventures said, "I think T-Hub is a fantastic initiative. The facility looks truly world-class. It is well-located with access to quality talent (entrepreneurs/ mentors/ leaders) and is spurred by a great vision – walk in with an idea and walk out with a product! India needs a y-combinator equivalent and with whatever little I have heard/ seen so far, T-hub looks well positioned to fill that gap in the Indian startup ecosystem. With a PPP model, the hub can achieve a lot more as compared to what can be done collectively. It can push hard to bring the best of the world as partners, create right opportunities to conduct proof of concepts and demonstrate product or market fit. Overall, this is a great beginning and I look forward to more such initiatives across the country. I believe India needs many such facilities to unleash the tiger within!"
Rao further informed that the state government is in discussion with MIT Media Labs (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and University of Texas (Huston) for seeking their support for the T-Hub. According to him, the initial fund size for the T Hub project would be Rs 10 crore and scalable up to $100 million. Moreover, the startup incubator has already tied up with 20 venture capitalists. As per the official, the centre already has 120 startups and organizations who have signed up to occupy seats and cabins. Another 200 are in the pipeline.
"It's amazing to see the Telangana government creating a strong catalyst to further strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit of Hyderabad. T-Hub will provide a clear path for entrepreneurial expression to the amazing talent in IIIT and ISB along with other major educational institutes present in the city of Hyderabad. We look forward to our association with the progressive state of Telengana as it embraces digital in education," said Aditi Avasthi, Founder and CEO, embibe.com.
Now we have to wait & watch that how far this initiative of the Telangana government will boost the entrepreneurial culture in the country and also, will it be able to make Hyderabad the next startup hub?