India is home to a large and fast-growing pool of startups. As per YourStory data around 19,400 startups are based out of India at present. No wonder then that accelerator and incubator programmes are becoming popular.
Started in 2015, by Kris Gopalakrishnan, S D Shibulal, Srinath Batni, Prof Tarun Khanna and Ganapathy Venugopal, Axilor is one of the few accelerators based out of JP Nagar Bengaluru. The main vision of the accelerator program was to help improve the odds of success of entrepreneurs in their first 24 months. Most of the early stage startups go through a 100 day intense program, Axilor takes close to a 12 per cent stake in the early stage funding program.
The accelerator program is designed to help startups in the first phase (idea to pilot) move as quickly into the second phase (pilot to launch) as possible. Depending on the progress each startup makes, they launch and look at scaling quickly.
The first batch of the accelerator program started in March 2015 and in one year a total of 10 startups have graduated from Axilor. Of these, one decided to close down as a result of the market validation carried out during the program.
Axilor is among a large group of accelerators and incubators that have opened up in India in recent years. A number of global corporates like Target, Microsoft, Citrix and SAP have set up their own incubation centres to build connects with new-age Indian startups. Older and equally popular are incubators and accelerators set up by academic biggies like the IITs and IIMs. These work with the larger body of students and alumni.
Apart from these, independent incubators and accelerators also have mushroomed, with some working with the government or academic institutions. However, Karthik Reddy, Co-founder and Managing Partner Blume Ventures, said in a YourStory article:
“Accelerators and incubators are doing a decent job but they have to keep increasing the duration of their programme, because in two or three months, you can't do much. We have realised that with most of our companies, it is taking 12, 18, 24 months to get all the answers.”
For startups, accelerators help remove entry barriers, provide relatively easy access to capital and mentorship. However, in an earlier YourStory article Vani Kola, Managing Director Kalaari Capital said, “Startups today do have a high failure rate. There will be a lot of money invested that perhaps will not give 100 percent success. The question is whether there were sufficient companies of size and scope that did create significant value.”
Some key accelerators active in the Indian startup ecosystem are Kyron, 500Startups, Catalyzer, TLabs, Freemont Partners and GSF Accelerators. Some of the startups that have been a part of an accelerator program are CloudCherry, Uniphore, Vakilsearch, Reverie and Baby Chakra to name a few.