Here's India's Top #46 Technology Incubators While start-ups and investments went through restructuring, the mentorship and support ecosystem has only gone from strength to strength

By Sandeep Soni

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With change in value indicators for a start-up from last year, a similar change is what we have brought in our second edition of 100 brilliant start-up incubators' ranking this year, which reflects in our ranking methodology. That's why this year it is a complete overhaul in the ranking with four out of top five spots being sealed by incubators at India's premier public institutes of higher education.

While the start-ups and investments went through restructuring, the mentorship and support ecosystem has only gone from strength to strength. From the last year's list, when we unearthed around 120 incubators, the number has scaled to more than 190, including technology business incubators housed at various government universities and technical institutes, entrepreneurship-led private incubators, incubators based in private universities, corporate incubators, and incubators that are part of knowledge parks.

As you scroll through our first list of top incubators focusing on technology and technology-enabled areas across sectors to pick which one suits you best as an entrepreneur, we wanted to emphasize that accelerators are not part of the ranking, as confused by one of our readers last year when names like Microsoft and Google weren't visible. Nonetheless for this year's ranking, we have cherry picked each one of the 100 incubators (as you will see in other sector-specific lists we release from here onwards) to take you one step closer in exploring the true potential of your billion-dollar idea. Happy Incubation!

  1. IIT Madras Incubation Cell, RTBI, Bio and Medtech Incubator - IIT M Research Park - The incubator was recognized by Department of Science and Technology's National Award for the "best emerging technology Business Incubator' in May 2017. It provides concept to scale-up support to start-ups and is home to 127 tech start-ups primarily in the areas comprising manufacturing, energy/renewables, IoT, biotech, water, wastewater, healthcare/medical devices, deeptech, agritech, edtech/skill development. 44 companies have graduated so far generating 2,500 jobs and more than 65 intellectual properties.
  2. Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship - IIM Ahmedabad – It offers deep expertise to nurture early-stage ideas in agriculture, healthcare, energy and digital technologies. The incubator runs national scouting programs including the flagship one - Power of Ideas held every alternate year. It also runs several sector-specific accelerator programs including ICT, energy, healthcare, water and food and agriculture sectors. Out of 59 start-ups that graduated from CIIE, 82 per cent of them are still active creating around 3,000 jobs. The incubator also has largest mentor pool of more than 350 mentors.
  3. Nadathur S Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning - IIM Bangalore – the incubator offers Blended Entrepreneurship Model that includes - MOOC'S (Online Courses), workshops, go-to-market orientation and seed funding support. Some of the other programs include Do-Your-Venture MOOC, India Innovation Challenge in association with Texas Instruments and DST, Women's Startup Program, NSRCEL Social - Not for Profit Incubator supported by the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. The total valuation of 55 active companies from the incubator is around $1 billion with highest job creation of 4,500.
  4. Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - IIT Bombay – The incubator has collaborative incubation programs with the government, industry, PSUs and academia such as Centre of Excellence under Nidhi - CoE to support 70+ start-ups, Plugin: with DST and Intel for Hardware & Systems Start-ups, Scube: An accelerator program with SAP for social enterprises, India Russia Bridge for Innovations (IRBI) for entrepreneurs to explore Russian market. With more than 300 mentors 63 start-ups have graduated from the incubator out of which 41 are still active.
  5. Amity Innovation Incubators – The incubator has dedicated mentors recognized by Wadhwani Foundation and National Entrepreneurship Network. It also deploys its own funds in start-ups. The incubator has consulted different academic institutes both from India and abroad on setting up its Incubator Developmental Frameworks for successful incubation. More than 50 of its start-ups continue to exist after incubation with more than 35 IPs and above 3,000 jobs generated.
  6. Foundation for Innovative and Technology Transfer - Technology Business Incubator - IIT Delhi - The incubator has institutional infrastructure with state-of-art laboratories/testing and fabrication facilities that helps to nurture innovation and entrepreneurship. An innovation and research park is also established in the campus for research, innovation and product development. It can accommodate nearly 100 start-ups. The graduated start-ups have a combined turnover of more than $600 million. The mentor network is also strong with more than 250 mentors on board.
  7. Global Incubation Services – Bengaluru – it is perhaps the only incubator that also have an acceleration program and special focus on women entrepreneurs. It focuses on clean energy, internationalization initiatives, and linkages with corporates through CSR initiatives. The incubator has a strong mentor pool of over 200 mentors and over 140 start-ups that graduated so far out of which more than 110 are still active. Hence, it has a high success rate.
  8. Kerala Startup Mission – Thiruvananthapuram – It is Kerala's nodal agency for start-ups. The incubator has set up mini fablabs in 20 engineering colleges across Kerala to boost entrepreneurship. The incubator is at par with IIM Bangalore in terms of job creation with more than 4,500 jobs and scores high when it comes to number of active start-ups – 110 and number of IPs generated - 20.
  9. Startup Village – Kochi – The incubator which was ranked at the top in 2016's ranking shifted last year from physical to digital-first incubation called SV.CO. It helps students to build campus start-ups by having unique industry partnerships with Facebook, Google, Paytm and Freshworks. It offers membership fee-based access to the SV.CO Collective - a community to support college students to build start-ups and once in a year exposure to Silicon Valley events. The start-ups have generated 3,154 jobs so far. The incubator was ranked at number 10 on the top 25 list.
  10. BITS Pilani – Hyderabad - The program is hosted by BITS Pilani's Hyderbad campus which is equipped with state-of-art laboratories and operates on BOT (Built Operate and Transfer) model to support other incubators. The start-ups have raised Rs 1.4 crore in external funding and created eight IPs. The incubator was the 11th among top 25 incubators this year.
  11. Intel India Maker Lab – Bengaluru – Ranked at number 14 in this year's top 25 list, it is a unique corporate incubator for hardware and systems start-ups in collaboration with government and academia. It hosts Intel India Maker Lab Demo Day for graduating start-ups to showcase demo of their products and engage with investors and other ecosystem people. The incubator provides platform to the start-ups to showcase their solutions at key industry events like Bengaluru; IESA Vision Summit; NASSCOM IoT CoE; CeBIT India. It boasts of having all of its more than 35 graduated start-ups still active despite only 36 mentors (apart from Intel India volunteers) – lesser than other incubators. Interestingly more than 20 IPs have been generated by these start-ups.
  12. Amrita Technology Business Incubator - Kollam, Kerala – At number 15, the incubator has tie-ups with ecosystem partners and mentors in Silicon Valley, Germany, Netherlands and Singapore. It launched programs including on cyber security along with an entrepreneur-in-residence program and an accelerator. Its selection by NITI Aayog for scale-up to world-class incubator standards was the high point.
  13. T-Hub – Hyderabad - India's largest incubator, T-Hub, at the 16th spot, is ideal for corporates to scout the best ideas, curate and scale up. It works closely with government's Invest India program to curate start-ups that will represent India across the world. Some of the initiatives taken include, T- Source: To connect with corporate; T- Connect: Help with peers, mentors and investors; T- Scale: Help in business development, hiring, growth hacking; T- Bridge: For national and international market access etc. So far 92 start-ups have successfully incubated at T-Hub out of which 77 still exists.
  14. EMPI Vittal Center - The incubator based in Anantapur (near Bengaluru) focuses on areas like aerospace, defense and electronics, smart grid, artificial intelligence, health informatics etc. EMPI has incubated Innovation Park, which focuses on aerospace and defense and electronics as a joint venture with Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation. It has partnered with global universities and organizations in Europe, US, Japan, and Korea to promote cross-cultural entrepreneurship and technology. It facilitates exchange of ideas with an amalgamation of knowledge and best practices in business management. The incubator has more than 30 mentors, offering consulting and operational support over 12 to 15 monthly mentorship sessions. So far, 19 graduated start-ups have generated 211 jobs.

  15. Malviya Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship - IIT BHU, Varanasi – Among the most significant incubators in Northern region apart from Amity University and IIT Delhi. At 19th position, the incubator offer after-care services such as ongoing linkages back to current and new clients of the incubator, local commercial linkages, access to information, developing business plans, business counseling, co-entrepreneurship and angels program, etc. Five out of eight graduated start-ups that raised funding have been valued at Rs 5.5 crores with five IPs generated.
  16. Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - IIIT Hyderabad Foundation – 20th top incubator this year offers deep tech research support and seed fund of up to Rs 25 lac. It runs multiple programs including, Disha – A summer program for students, who have an idea to make it a start-up; Avishkar- Accelerator program that provides funding and takes start-ups to prototype and first customer; Tech4Social – A three month structured program that provides funding, mentorship and workshops for early stage social start-ups; FastApps - A three month structured program that provides start-up an opportunity to appify their idea in record time. 740 jobs have been created by around 35 active start-ups.
  17. Science and Technology Entrepreneurs' Park TBI – IIT Kharagpur – It is the first-of-its-kind incubation centre supported by Ministry of Textiles to value add in new product commercialization in the areas of technical textiles including application in defense sector. About 20 start-ups and 3 existing industries are likely to be provided with the service from this infrastructure. Companies like Capillary Technologies, Data Resolve and Sankalp Semiconductors are among its incubatees. The incubator made it to the 23rd spot this year.
  18. iCreate – Ahmedabad – Among the leading incubators in Gujarat beyond IIM Ahmedebad and ranked at number 24, it offers dedicated start-up lifecycle coach for each incubated project. The incubator is also a part of the India-Israel Innovation Bridge. It has established India's largest IoT Lab with Cisco and is in the process of conducting an annual SUN (StartUp Nest) event that includes a national level iCreate Innovation Challenge on doubling farmers' incomes and an event on Campus to showcase the complete Gujarat Start-up ecosystem.
  19. Lovely Professional University Incubation Centre - Phagwara, Punjab - As many as 30,000 students and 5,000 faculty members act as an ideal testing/prototyping market for the incubatees and have a large network of business and technical mentors. It is developing 10,000 square feet of co-working space and also runs special faculty development programs to drive entrepreneurship culture within the University. In September last year, it launched the Startup School to boost entrepreneurship.

Below are the 27 incubators (from the rest 75) in the same category.

  1. Nasscom Startup Warehouse - The incubator offers six months program across its 11 centres including the virtual incubator at Gurugram. So far around 300 start-ups have graduated from its incubators. It has Google, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook, Amazon, etc. among its industry partners to lend support to start-ups.
  2. Indian Angel Network Incubator - India's largest angel network's incubator is powered by The Indus Entrepreneur (TiE) Delhi-NCR chapter and runs virtual program for 12 months that can be extended up to 18 months. Last year, it partnered with UK-based sustainable technologies company Johnson Matthey to offer incubation to ventures in cleantech space.
  3. SIDBI Innovation and Incubation Centre - IIT Kanpur - The incubator has launched an incubation fund called Invent for start-ups in social sector with Rs 7.5 crore corpus. It aims to support 40 start-ups.
  4. Manipal University TBI – Manipal Institute of Technology. The incubator focuses on technology and knowledge-based businesses and encourages students of the Manipal Group and people in the Manipal region for entrepreneurship.
  5. Innovation Center - IIIT Bangalore. The incubator this year launched I-MACX Studio to support social innovation and entrepreneurship by conducting hackathons and competitions.
  6. Startup Oasis – Jaipur - The incubator is supported by Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation and CIIE, IIM-Ahmedabad. It has incubated 95 start-ups so far. The start-ups have raised Rs 5 crore so far. It also focuses on social segment.
  7. IIT Gandhinagar Incubation Centre (IIC) - The incubator is among the six incubators approved last year for setting up centre of excellence for start-ups as per NIDHI programme by DST. It also has a 'Women in Startup' program for women entrepreneurs.
  8. Incub@TE - Tata Elxsi - Bengaluru-based incubator set up by the design arm, Tata Elxsi of the Tata Group offers 18-24 months of incubation.
  9. Venture Factory – Bengaluru - The incubator is supported by Imperial Innovations UK, Tata Sons etc. It is also the first private incubator supported by Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.
  10. Centre for Incubation and Business Acceleration - The incubator has so far incubated 63 start-ups that have generated 500 jobs and raised Rs 10 crore funding. It has its own seed funding program of up to Rs 50 lac. The incubator is based in Assagao and Verna in Goa.
  11. 91Springboard - There are 13 centres for co-working offered by 91Springboard that has a community-led model of incubation where start-ups are part of 200 entrepreneurs working every day.
  12. Progress Pacific Incubator – Hyderabad - NASDAQ listed global software giant Progress Software's incubator in India offers its 'SaaS and mobile-ready app development platform' and its cloud platform without taking any equity or offering funding.
  13. Startups Valley TBI - Amal Jyothi College of Engineering - The incubator along with a rural technology business incubator and a training centre was launched in May this year. Around 18 companies are part of the Startups Valley. The incubator based in Kerala's Kottayam district was set up with assistance from DST.
  14. Idea Factory - ACME Group. Energy and telecom company's incubator based in Gurugram supports businesses in the related sectors and offers seed funding.
  15. Information Technology Business Incubator (ITBI), JSSATE- STEP - J.S.S. Academy of Technical Education - Noida-based JSS Academy of Technical Education runs incubator with funding option of up to Rs 25 lac and follow on funding via angels and VCs on case-to-case basis.
  16. Business Incubator Program – Bengaluru - The incubator was launched last year by US-based automated test equipments producer National Instruments to focus on start-ups and SMEs working towards the 'Make in India' and' Startup India'.
  17. StartUpWave - Intellecap & TiE Ahmedabad - It is a virtual pre-incubation and incubation platform for entrepreneurs to access support and services online.
  18. Coimbatore Innovation and Business Incubator - The incubator is part of the $1.2b Sakthi Group and has partnered with IIM-Ahmedabad for mentoring support. It also has an accelerator called FORGE in Coimbatore.
  19. IotaCell Incubator - Bengaluru-based incubator focuses on students as, "there is lot of free time (relatively), scope of experimentation, team formation is easy and very low opportunity cost," and takes equity or consulting fee or both for seed funding and support offered.
  20. Women's Business Incubation Program – Thiruvananthapuram - The only women-only incubator in India offering 60 days incubation.
  21. Unicorn Growth Centre - White Unicorn Ventures - The early stage fund cum co-working space runs incubation space in three centres in Mumbai.
  22. Non-resident Indian TBI - Infopark, Kochi - It is a first-of-its-kind incubator for NRI entrepreneurs in India. The incubator says, "The number of NRI's venturing as entrepreneurs in Kerala is very much disproportionate to the total $55 billion in remittances and 25 million NRI's in number. Hence, there was a need for such an incubator."
  23. Graphic Era University – TBI - The incubator based in Dehradun has incubated more than 20 start-ups. It has set up the science and technology entrepreneurs' park for emphasis on entrepreneurship development.
  24. Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University Technology Business Incubation Center Society – Jammu - The first and only incubator in Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh, focuses on entrepreneurship development in the region and largely across North India across biotech, engineering and business development.
  25. Abhiyan - IIM Lucknow - Mentoring, infrastructural and financial support is available to the student entrepreneurs.
  26. Innovators' Destination for Entrepreneurship and Amelioration of Society (IDEAS) - IIT Jodhpur - The incubator helps students to work on ideas that solve critical issues and creates products and services through science and engineering.
  27. Incubation Centre - IMT Ghaziabad - The incubator is an emerging one in Delhi NCR and its flagship event Start-up Fair offers networking platform for its start-ups and students to pitch to investors.
Sandeep Soni

Former Features Editor

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