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Incubation centres tap into the talent of Tier II and III cities

Research has shown that cities such as Jaipur, Lucknow, and Coimbatore have witnessed a substantial 30% increase in job creation directly attributable to the burgeoning startup ecosystem.

Incubation centres tap into the talent of Tier II and III cities

Tuesday April 23, 2024 , 6 min Read

In the ever-evolving landscape of India's economic trajectory, the narrative of innovation and entrepreneurship has transcended the traditional confines of metropolitan cities. Now, Tier II-III cities are emerging as crucial hubs of untapped potential, and the establishment of incubation centres in these regions is not just a developmental initiative but a strategic necessity.

Empowering regional entrepreneurship

The heartbeat of innovation is not restricted to the sprawling metropolises; it resonates across the diverse landscapes of India's smaller cities.

A recent report by the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) highlights a commendable 25% surge in the number of startups in Tier II-III cities over the last two years.

This surge is indicative of the latent entrepreneurial potential waiting to be harnessed. The establishment and partnering up with the incubation centres in these cities will provide local entrepreneurs with not just physical spaces but essential resources, mentorship, and a conducive environment to transform their innovative ideas into sustainable businesses and, hence creating a sustainable ecosystem.

This empowerment of regional entrepreneurship is not just a mere ideal; it's a tangible force that is reshaping the economic landscape of these cities.

As the startup culture gains momentum, it becomes a key driver of job creation and skill development, two crucial pillars for sustainable economic growth.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in a comprehensive study, has shown that cities such as Jaipur, Lucknow, and Coimbatore have witnessed a substantial 30% increase in job creation directly attributable to the burgeoning startup ecosystem.

Driving economic growth

Beyond job creation, the economic implications of incubation centres in smaller cities are profound. These centres become crucibles for innovation, attracting not just local talent but also investment and attention from the national and global business communities.

The ripple effect of this economic activity extends beyond the immediate boundaries of the incubation centres.

A study conducted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) reveals that these emerging startup ecosystems contribute significantly to the GDP of their respective regions.

The study highlights the diverse sectors that are witnessing growth, including technology, healthcare, and manufacturing. This diversification of economic activities not only contributes to localized economic growth but also bolsters the resilience of these cities by reducing dependency on specific industries.

Strategic partnerships with leading incubators

In the ever-competitive world, collaboration becomes a linchpin for success. Tier II and III cities are not operating in isolation; they are part of a broader entrepreneurial ecosystem. Strategic partnerships with leading incubation centres in India become a force multiplier for the startups in these smaller cities.

An analysis conducted jointly by Ernst & Young and the Indian Angel Network underscores the significance of these collaborations. The analysis reveals that partnerships with leading incubators have led to a substantial 40% increase in funding opportunities for startups in Tier II and III cities.

This influx of capital not only provides the necessary financial fuel for growth but also acts as a vote of confidence, validating the potential of these startups on a national scale.

The benefits of such collaborations extend beyond mere financial considerations. Knowledge transfer, access to a broader network, and mentorship from experienced professionals become invaluable assets for startups in smaller cities.

It accelerates their learning curve, mitigates risks, and positions them on a trajectory for success.

Strengthening the startup ecosystem

The transformative impact of strategic partnerships is not merely theoretical; it is being realised in concrete terms through real-world collaborations.

An exemplary case is the collaboration between IIT Madras Research Park and emerging incubators in the states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka through Partner Institutes.

The initiative strives to fortify the foundation of the startup ecosystem by involving the student community. It encompasses the creation of the 'Build Club' platform for students to cultivate their ideas, providing support for incubators, and fostering a collaborative incubation process.

IIT Madras Incubation Cell extends this opportunity to their partner institutes, presenting a well-conceived program that aims to elevate the startup ecosystem.

This initiative is meticulously planned and executed within the IIT Madras Research Park ecosystem, facilitating the journey of startups from the conception of ideas to successful establishment.

This initiative has not only elevated the stature of these local incubators in these colleges but has also facilitated impressive participation of student-led build projects with a focus on creating enthusiasm for a startup ecosystem.

This statistic is not just a number; it has the potential to create tangible success stories that can eventually transform ideas into viable businesses, and most importantly the creation of a self-sustaining ecosystem in such cities. The collaboration between established and emerging incubators is not a zero-sum game; it's a win-win scenario where the expertise and resources of established players synergize with the local knowledge and potential of smaller cities.

Statistical reinforcement

The importance of statistical evidence in substantiating the case for incubation centres in Tier II and III cities cannot be overstated. It provides not just validation but a roadmap for future initiatives and investments.

A comprehensive survey conducted by Startup India and Invest India reinforces the significance of these initiatives.

The survey reveals a significant rise of 35% in the number of startups in Tier II and III cities over the past two years. This is not a random uptick; it's a trend, a manifestation of the changing dynamics of entrepreneurship in India. Coupled with this, there's a corresponding increase in investment inflows by a staggering 45%.

Investors are recognising the potential, not just in the ideas but in the ecosystems being created in these smaller cities.

These statistics aren't just numbers on a spreadsheet; they represent the aspirations of countless entrepreneurs, the dedication of incubation centres, and the belief of investors in the untapped potential of Tier II and III cities.

Establishing and strengthening incubation centres in Tier II and Tier III cities isn't merely a developmental goal; it's a strategic imperative for India's economic growth.

Supported by robust statistics, these cities can unlock their latent potential, fostering innovation, job creation, and prosperity. It's time to acknowledge and invest in these untapped talent reservoirs in our heartlands. These cities aren't just beneficiaries; they are contributors, shaping a more inclusive and resilient economic future.

By - Keerthi Nathan - Innovation Manager at IIT Madras Research Park

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)