As part of one of the fastest growing startup ecosystems in the world, it is becoming increasingly challenging for startups in India to find their feet, stand out in the crowd, and get noticed. In such a scenario, an accelerator or incubator plays the role of a catalyst, by swiftly enabling a startup’s growth and helping it successfully evolve to the next stage.
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has been actively working in this direction, helping startups build a strong foundation to scale up efficiently through its GenNext Hub platform.
Speaking about the philosophy behind the programme, Dr. R. A. Mashelkar, Chairman of GenNext Ventures and Board Member, RIL says, “At GenNext Hub, we are catalysing a unique startup ecosystem, which rests on the tripod of talent, technology, and trust. We spot and encourage ‘talent’, help them harness their ‘technology’ and back them up by putting total ‘trust’ in them.”
The four-month-long programme helps startups evolve from a minimum viable product to a minimum viable company, by achieving product-market fit, scaling up revenues, and increasing customer and user traction.
GenNext Hub brings incredible granularity across various aspects of the programme, right down to helping the participants focus on the right pitch for the right kind of audience. Key modules of the programme include drawing up business model canvases, operational plans, working on stakeholder development, customer discovery, creating a product roadmap, strategies to increase traction, digital marketing and PR strategies, and pitching and funding and even demos.
Participants don’t need to part with their equity nor pay any fees other than bear their own travel and accommodation expenses.
GenNext Hub runs two programmes in parallel – the “Scalerator” programme for product-market fit startups looking to scale up and the “Accelerator” programme for concept stage/product-ready startups looking to achieve product-market fit.
If you are a technology startup in the areas of Retail, Telecom, and Mobile Apps, Fintech, Messaging, Healthcare, Cloud Services, SME Solutions, Media, Industrial IoT or Consumer IoT, with a specific focus on Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Analytics, SaaS, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality among others, then this is the right platform for you.
The RIL connection: Through GenNext Hub, startups get an opportunity to partner with vast RIL businesses like Reliance Retail and Reliance Jio. RIL’s feedback from a customer’s point of view and access to their diverse businesses helps startups gain traction faster. With RIL as a large customer / partner, startups get better credibility and visibility in the marketplace. By building an effective bridge between the startup ecosystem and RIL, GenNext Hub is driving startup adoption in the larger corporate ecosystem.
- Access to mentors and experts: Apart from hands-on mentoring from the external ecosystem, experts from RIL spend a significant amount of time helping startups sharpen their focus and develop and deploy their solutions / products in a scalable way.
- Access to investors across the country: One of the key goals of the programme is to help startups raise funds from investors. As part of this, GenNext Hub is holding dedicated investor roadshows in major cities across the country, where selected startups will get a chance to pitch before angels and venture capitalists.
- Other resources needed to scale up: In addition to the above benefits, GenNext Hub also provides startups with all the tools and technology components they need to scale up. They also get dedicated office space for the duration of the programme, followed by access for a plug-and-play office space for client meetings in Mumbai.
GenNextHub’s strong partner network includes several big names across sectors. Microsoft Accelerator is the strategic partner; IBM, AWS and NVidia are the key technology partners; Accenture and EY provide subject matter expertise; Invest Ottawa, CIO Angel Network (CAN), Indian Angle Network (IAN) Venture Catalysts and Let’s Venture are key funding partners; while YourStory, F6S, Nasscom 10000 Startups, NextBigWhat and The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) are the key outreach partners.
Since its inception in 2014, 52 startups across four cohorts have been part of the accelerator programme.