More than getting the right investor(s) initially, what matters the most to entrepreneur(s), is getting the right advice. And it goes without saying, that accelerators and incubators play a very important role in mentoring and nurturing startups during its initial days.
Institutes like Microsoft Accelerator, Axilor Ventures, Jaarvis Accelerator, Venture Factory and others have been instrumental in bringing various categories of startups in the forefront and making sure that their journey kicks-off smoothly.
Bangalore-based Excubator is a startup incubator and corporate venturing advisory organisation, whose mission is to create and grow a vibrant ecosystem that is designed to take Indian entrepreneurship practices to global levels. Helmed by a team of expertise; Excubator, currently has eight different startups that belong to different categories in its portfolio.
Speaking to the entrepreneurs at the incubator, I tried to understand 'what were the reasons that drove them to this place.'-
The mixed background of leadership available at Excubator
They are more keen on mentoring than enforcing upon an idea
Visibility - The abundance of networking opportunities
The incubator helps entrepreneurs connect to their first set of customers
Does not charge a monthly retainer fee
Helps entrepreneurs improvise products
Helped entrepreneurs design more customer-focussed products
For a single co-founder, Excubator acts like an outsourced co-founder
It's not always about funding
Guhesh Ramanathan, co-founder and CEO at Excubator, was previously heading Nadathur S. Raghavan Center for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) cell. Guhesh, who has interviewed over 2000 startups in the last two years, said that most of the newer startups that he comes across are what he calls "imitation startups." According to him, these are the kinds of startups that typically fail. "Our job is to make the startups understand what the potential points of failure are and what can be done to fix them - and it's not just funding," Guhesh said.
Guhesh does not believe in the idea of startups acquiring customers via discounts, because according to him these are the customers that a company tends to lose easily. "Every startup at Excubator clearly follows the plan of projecting operating margins," he said.
The following are the startups mentored by Excubator-
Playlife - It's cloud-based product works seamlessly with existing CRMs (e.g. Salesforce/Zoho/Nimble) to pull relevant performance data and generates intelligent gamified feedback loop for agents to act upon and in-turn increases CRM adoption for the company.
enEXL - enEXL's product 'BluPay' is a proximity solution that lets the consumers make payments and covers the entire life-cycle of the shopping experience beginning from proximity marketing, moving to self-check-outs while offering Omni-channel interaction
HipShip - This is an online platform that uses the power of aggregation to provide high quality logistic services at attractive price points.
Kfx Circuits & Systems is a technology innovation company working on embedded communication systems.
MyKids Ventures -They are the one stop solution for parenting and aim to become the largest online community for moms.
InfraEyes is engaged in creating affordable and effective medical diagnostic solutions with a special affinity for using non-invasive methods.
Medidaili : Provides hassle-free platform for regular medical check-ups and healthcare services which provides convenient, affordable, transparent and reliable medical services and solutions via an app.
Jigsaw Academy is an online analytics and big data training provider. They are a group of data scientists and educators who are on a mission to train the next generation of analytics practitioners.
With global giants like Apple Inc venturing into the accelerator space, the city is going to see an array of opportunities for budding startups to get nurtured by tenured industry hands.