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2015-01-23

Business World launches startup accelerator programme in India

The multi-city startup acceleration initiative, focused on creating an innovation-driven ecosystem in the country.

Business World has launched Business World Accelerate, a multi-city startup acceleration initiative, focused on creating an innovation-driven ecosystem in the country. The objective of this initiative is to support and encourage entrepreneurial aspirations in the country and empower budding entrepreneurs to reach the pinnacle in their domains of business.

Business World Accelerate will engage with startups across the spectrum, from idea to beyond minimum viable product (MVP), and fund early-stage companies across three verticals, that is, institutional, entrepreneur, customer and business connect programs.

It will also empower large organisations to set up incubation initiatives through Accelerate Organizational. With this, the programme will empower other ecosystem players to leverage the infrastructure built around it and contribute to creating and fostering entrepreneurial ideas and value creation in the country. 

Anurag Batra, Chairman, Business World, says, "Accelerate is a programme built on knowledge and intelligence acquired over the years. It has its foundation in a vision to create a platform for early stage start-ups focused towards speeding innovation, fostering business growth and accelerate entrepreneurial aspirations in the country."

Ashu Agrawal, Program Director, Business World Accelerate cites a recent impact assessment study conducted across 6 cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad; covering over more than 300 start-ups across  sectors.

As per the study, 70-80 per cent of total respondents express a critical need for deeper hands-on, on-ground participation and mentoring. Sixty-four per cent across stages of start-up life-cycle identify market access as a key gap and 70 per cent respondents feel that having experienced people to participate and getting the right people on board is another critical challenge.

"The significance of having a consistent initiative to address all these issues will enable more entrepreneurs, start-ups and result in an innovation-led consumption movement. The operating structure of Accelerate has been crafted carefully to address all the major lacunae, bridge gaps and facilitate experienced professional participation, which will enable start-ups to interact in a sharper way with customers and consumers," says Agrawal.

The programme has been categorised into different layers. The fist vertical is Accelerate - Institutional, which is an education institution-partnered initiative focused towards nurturing entrepreneurial aspirations of the young, on-campus students, and providing them with the right skill-sets to translate such ideas into prototypes.

The second vertical is Accelerate - Entrepreneur, which aimed at engaging with beyond MVP start-ups, across categories, with the objective to provide a knowledge base, and achieve customer traction. This vertical will also focus on facilitating involvement by experienced professionals as mentors and share their knowledge to help achieve sharpness, critical for growth.

The third vertical, Accelerate - Customer and Business Connect, is a programme designed for  backed start-ups, and will engage with such early stage companies through a tailor-made program. The focus will be to assist such start-ups with market connect and customer acquisition and help them achieve the right scale, in line with investor expectations. 

The final vertical, Accelerate - Organisational is designed to empower larger business entities and businesses to set up incubation projects within their fold, in line with strategic interests or as part of CSR initiatives. Through this relationship, the accelerate team will continue to support such larger organizations and will make available relevant infrastructural support to expedite growth of incubated start-ups. 

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