IT software body National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has started an initiative christened 10,000 Startups, aimed at incubating, funding and supporting 10,000 technology startups in the country over the next ten years. Indian Angel Network, Google, Microsoft and Verisign will be among the partners in the programme.
The partners declined to reveal the amount each will be putting in the initial fund, but said that this would be a huge investment and appropriate for different startups in the technology space.
"We will be facilitating a start up kit of $25000 to each start up that straight away makes the fund $250 million if we invest in each startup. We do not want to put a number to the monetary amount going in the 10,000 startup programme. The money will be put by companies like Google, Microsoft and Verisign. We are just the administrator of the programme," said Som Mittal, President, NASSCOM.
He said the initiative aims to catalyze the technology startup ecosystem by 5X and create a significant national impact on employment, GDP, innovation and entrepreneurship indices.
The idea is to incubate and facilitate funding of 10,000 startups through partnerships with some of the leading incubators / accelerators and angel networks in India. 10,000 Startups will also extend support to incubators/funding partners in the form of industry connects and co-working infrastructure and a startup kit consisting of hosting credits and other technology and business tools valued over $25,000.
"We will be doing 700 events in the next two years and plan to add another 500 startups to fund in the next two years. We will also have four business plan competitions in the next two years," said Sangeeta Gupta, vice president, Nasscom.
In the longer run, the initiative will facilitate over 7,000 startup events like hackathons, investor roadshows and best practices workshops across 30 cities. Tech talks and white space discussions will also be held to help young entrepreneurs identify global technology trends and needs.
The other angel partners include Chennai Angels, Harvard Angels, Hyderabad Angels, Indian Angel Network, Mumbai Angels, Silicon Valley Bank Accelerators: 91Springboard, IAN Incubator, Kyron, Microsoft Accelerator, TLabs, The Hatch, The Morpheus and Venture Nursery.
Rajan Anandan, VP and Managing Director, Google India, said the investment for the initiative is massive, even though it is spread over a long period of time. "An amount of $25000 is more than the initial seed fund that a startup gets. The idea is to bring a better deal flow in the ecosystem. We want startups to respond quickly once they have illustrated their idea to investors," he said. He said with over 150 million internet users and growing, the internet in India presents opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Saurabh Srivastava, Founder, Indian Angel Network said, "We are enabling the ecosystem by connecting the chords. All the incubators, accelerators could meet under one roof to exchange ideas. We are also tying up with universities to get the right entrepreneurial talent."
Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft India said, "Microsoft has initiatives to promote startups through programmes such as BizSpark, BizSpark Plus and the Microsoft Accelerator for Windows Azure. We will continue to work with the startup ecosystem of India, both on our own, and in partnership with industry bodies like NASSCOM."
According to NASSCOM data, the number of technology startups have tripled in the last six years from 162 in 2006 to 450 now. The next ten years will create 10 times more startups, five times more startup jobs and 20 times more seed funding.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)