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JioGenNext, Reliance's startup accelerator, opens applications for 12th cohort after scaling 136 Indian startups

The programme helps startups build their business through a two-stage approach, which involves intensive mentoring, followed by a PoC with RIL / Jio. The programme tracks the startup’s progress for a potential acquisition / strategic investment or a commercial partnership as the startup scales up.

JioGenNext, Reliance's startup accelerator, opens applications for 12th cohort after scaling 136 Indian startups

Wednesday March 04, 2020 , 5 min Read

An industry report by Zinnov revealed that just 26 percent (900) of the 3,100 startups in India in 2014 were B2B startups. However, by 2018, B2B startups’ share in India’s startup ecosystem had shot up to 43 percent, indicating an evident shift in interest in the startup economy with 7,400 startups of the 32,000 being B2B startups.

This interest has not been just one-sided. Even the funding in B2B startups increased at a faster CAGR of 46.8 percent from $ 797 million in 2014 to $ 3.7 billion in 2018, in comparison to B2C funding that increased at a CAGR of 14.6 percent from US$ 4.4 billion in 2014 to $ 7.6 billion in 2018.

By 2019, with 24 unicorns, India had become home to the 3rd largest number of unicorns in the world. The year had seen seven new startups join the Unicorn Club, five of whom were B2B.

All of this is a clear indication of India’s B2B startup ecosystem has been growing stronger and stronger over the years. This robust growth has been driven by a combination of factors including Increased corporate involvement, with several large companies starting their own tech accelerators. And, one such corporate accelerator that has been handholding B2B startups even before B2B startups were considered ‘models that could work’ has been Reliance’s flagship startup programme, JioGenNext - the startup accelerator backed by Reliance

Beginning with programmes like Basecamp and following it up with other programmes, JioGenNext has accelerated 136 startups in 11 cohorts over the last five years. Today, many of these startups are on the road to become unicorns.

“As a corporate accelerator, we solve specific product and business growth challenges of startups. World-class B2B companies like Headspin and LogiNext who were in our programme have collectively raised almost $100 mn in 2020” says Amey Mashelkar, Head of JioGenNext.

The accelerator has been almost sector agnostic. It has supported B2B startups across verticals ranging across healthcare, education, fintech, retail and logistics, travel, gaming, media, original content, adtech, agriculture, ecommerce, learning and development, cybersecurity, enterprise IT, and telecom.

A programme for B2Bs building the ‘next big thing’

The startup focused division of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), JioGenNext advises and mentors exceptional founders for launching their startup in the Jio ecosystem through strategic investments, commercial partnerships and mentoring.

The programme has been designed to handhold the founders at every area that is crucial for the startups’ success. From assisting the entrepreneurs to evaluate the business plans to fine-tuning them and making it pitch ready for the Jio Management, fast-tracking investment discussions by connecting startups to the right stakeholders, to connecting entrepreneurs with industry experts to help think through the growth plan and scale strategically.

After 11 successful cohorts, the programme is now open for its 12th cohort.

Why should you apply?

The six weeks full-time programme helps disruptive startups build their business from the ground up through a two-stage approach, which involves intensive mentoring, followed by a Proof-of-Concept with RIL / Jio. The programme thereafter tracks each startup’s progress from the point of view of acquisition and/or long-term commercial partnership.

Key modules of the programme include exhaustive one-on-one mentoring with industry experts, developing a business model canvas and operational plan, evaluating product-market fit and corresponding product roadmap, growth hacking strategies, digital marketing and PR strategies, among others.

The programme also boasts of strong partnerships with multiple ecosystem stakeholders. This includes Microsoft Azure, Accenture, EY, Amazon WebServices, Alchemist Accelerator, as well as investors such as Kalaari Capital, 3one4 Capital, Indian Angel Networks, Upekkha among many others.

A star-studded alumni lineup

Today, its alumni are a live testimony to the impact of the accelerator, with many of the startups winning market recognition and global traction. Some have also grown to become the top startups in their respective sectors. This includes startups like Headspin, LogiNext, CARIQ, BharatAgri and Utter among others.

“We have actually grown from Zero end-users to one million monthly active users on Jio Saarthi, digital assistant in MyJio app primarily because of JioGenNext. And, onboarding Reliance Jio as our first enterprise client proved to be a huge validation. It helped to answer the questions regarding our ability to answer scale in the enterprise market,” says Kushagra Sinha, Co-Founder, Jiny, a Bengaluru based startup that has built the world’s first Assistive UI Platform.

With some of the top banks, financial and insurance companies and retail brands as its customers, Lavelle Networks, yet another startup that showcases what the accelerator programme does for B2B startups in India. Lavelle Networks is counted among the top three names among India Enterprises for SD-WAN solutions. Shyamal Kumar. Founder & CEO, credits JioGenNext as a significant contributor in its growth story. “Getting to be part of the JioGenNext accelerator did wonders for us in the market. The fact that we were working with the Jio network team gave us incredible exposure. They also connected us to other global companies, asking them to work with us to build joint solutions. Today, we have deployed some of the largest SD-WAN installations in the world proving the scalability of the technology and the speed of deployment.”

JioGenNext Cohort

You could be next!

If you are a B2B startup with a big dream then JioGenNext is your launchpad to realise that dream.

While the accelerator programme is open for B2B startup across sectors, startups focused on new commerce, agriculture, education, healthcare, fintech, media and entertainment, social and messaging, and telecom, will benefit from the programme the most considering RIL and Jio’s market leadership in the sectors. In addition, the programme will also benefit startups that have technology focus on AI/ML, Blockchain, AR/VR, consumer and industrial IoT, Data Analytics, drones, UX, SaaS, 3D printing, IndiaStack, mobile apps, automation tools, SD/NFV, and smart materials.

Applications are now open. Apply here.