Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla has set up an incubator for startups in India called Khosla Labs, adding to a growing list of incubators and accelerators seeking to support entrepreneurs in the country.
The site does not provide details, but Business Standard, which first reported the development, said the venture has roped in Srikanth Nadhamuni, head of technology at Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), as the chief executive. Nadhamuni was quoted as saying that the incubator has not drafted any plan yet. It is in the process of setting up a team and will take a minimum of six months to come up with a proper plan.
An engineering graduate from National Institute of Engineering in Mysore, Nadhamuni was instrumental in building the technology backbone for the UID project, which aims at giving unique identity for 1.2 billion citizens of India. Before joining the UIDAI, Nadhamuni was the managing trustee at e-Governments Foundation, a non-profit trust founded by him along with Infosys co-founder and UIDAI chief Nandan Nilekani in 2003. It focuses on improving governance and public services delivery in Indian cities using a suite of in-house municipal ERP products.
An IIT-Delhi graduate, Khosla began his entrepreneurial career at the age of 20 with his unsuccessful entry into soy milk business in India. Later, he co-founded Sun Microsystems and in 2004, he set up a venture capital firm Khosla Ventures in Silicon Valley. Last year it raised $1.05 billion for making early-stage investments in areas like cleantech, IT, mobile and Internet technology.
Khosla Labs, the high profile addition to the startup ecosystem,
will join a number of other incubators that help startups establish their business like Sameer Guglani's Morpheus (one of the oldest and which also runs a startup accelerator programme). Another one set up recently is Startup Village, which is promoted by the Kerala government and focuses on telecom technologies. Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan is the chief mentor of the incubator.
Another incubator, which started a year ago, is The Hatch, which seeks to be a pan-India incubator with campuses in six cities besides overseas centres.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)