From deep tech to biotech, these IIT-B incubated startups have made a mark
The Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE) at IIT Bombay has been at the forefront of nurturing startups, many of which have now gone the distance.
SINE at IIT Bombay (IIT-B) began as a pilot project in 1999 and was set up as a non-profit society in 2004. It was created to back and mentor startups from their idea stage to incubation and acceleration. Since then, it has been the launchpad for over 120 startups.
SINE runs a business incubator that provides infrastructure, monetary support, and networking opportunities to primarily tech-based startups. Its acceleration programme runs for 6-12 months, while further incubation support is extended over a period of three years.
SINE receives grants and benefits from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeiTY) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the Government of India. It is also funded by the Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) under its Bio-NEST incubation support and seed fund support schemes. (BIRAC is a not-for-profit body under the Department of Biotechnology.)
Even large companies such as L&T, TCS, SAP, and others have collaborated with SINE to provide support to startups through their CSR funds.
According to a statement from IIT-B, more than 50 percent of SINE-incubated startups go on to be funded by VCs and angels. Further, a majority of SINE-supported startups have generated revenues in the range of Rs 50-100 crore.
In a prior interaction with YourStory, Rakesh Rajiv, Manager – Incubation at SINE, said:
“There’s talent everywhere but sometimes they don’t know the right way to tap into the ecosystem. There is a disconnect between the lab and the industry. That is where our mentorship comes in. We incubate companies at a very early stage. However, some companies come to SINE when their products are 50-70 percent ready.”
At any given point, SINE houses 20-25 startups. YourStory lists some of its top incubatees.
Founded in 2006 by Gagan Goyal, ThinkLABS Technosolutions uses robotics to deliver fun science lessons to children. It received a soft loan of Rs 10-12 lakh from SINE, and raised $1 million from SeedFund in 2007. ThinkLABS’s science experiment kits have been adopted by over 300 schools across 23 Indian states. It reportedly crossed Rs 50 crore in revenues in 2014, and was acquired by Bengaluru-based edtech startup FitKids in 2016.
Deep tech startup NanoSniff Technologies was founded by Kapil Bardeja and Dr Nitin Kale in 2011. It is a commercial spin-off from the Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics (CEN) at IIT-B and was formed “to productise various technologies” developed during research work at CEN. NanoSniff builds nanotechnology-based products for security and surveillance, hazard detection, medical diagnosis, and applied research. Its clients include the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Germany’s Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science. In 2017, NanoSniff raised $300,000 through crowdfunding platform 1Crowd.
SensiBol Audio Technologies was founded by Dr Vishweshwar Rao in 2011 and incubated at SINE in 2012. It develops proprietary, patentable audio-processing technologies for media, telecom, music, and entertainment industries. In 2014, SINE recognised it as the Best Startup under its Technology Incubation and Development of Entrepreneurs (TIDE) scheme. Earlier this year, SensiBol was one of the 40 startups included at NASSCOM Innotrek 2018. SensiBol is currently funded by the India Angel Network (IAN).
Vision Earthcare is a green tech startup working in the area of wastewater management. Founded in 2004 by HS Shankar (a professor at IIT-B’s Dept. of Chemical Engineering) and his daughter Malini Balaji, Vision Earthcare has developed a sustainable bio purification engine which turns sewage into potable water. The startup has patented it as the ‘VisionE Soil Bio-Technology’ that can reduce water consumption by 45-50 percent. Its clients include the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), Godrej Group, ITC, Taj Hotels, Jindal Steel, and more.
Founded by IIT-B grads Manoj Meena and Sibabrata Das in 2012, Atomberg Technologies has built India’s most energy-efficient ceiling fan. It consumes only 28W of energy, which is one-third of what ceiling fans typically consume. The startup has distributed over 3,000 units of its product across India. In 2015, it received seed funding from the promoter of Aarti Industries. Atomberg is now leveraging emerging technologies like IoT to build smart fans and other connected electrical appliances for households.