Toronto-based Ryerson Futures launches startup incubator in India

18 Jun, 2014

Toronto-based Ryerson Futures Inc. has launched 'Zone Startups', a startup incubation programme in a joint venture with the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute in Mumbai.

The accelerator is focused on mobile, internet and digital media startups across verticals like consumer, enterprise and social, informed Ajay Ramasubramaniam, director of business development (India) at Ryerson Futures.

However, the incubator is not accepting applications that are at an ideation stage. "Our screening criteria require a startup to have at least two co-founders. Besides, the startup must be at an MVP or beta-testing stage or with early customers," said Ramasubramaniam.


Its India entity commenced operations in March this year and is already working with 31 startups- 24 based out of the program while the remaining are on virtual mode. Of these, about five are from Bangalore, two from Ahmedabad, and the rest from Mumbai. The firm has a revolving program which basically means it receives applications throughout the year.

"We typically offer four months of acceleration to selected startups, and the services include infrastructure, mentorship (functional, business and industry), business development & market development support, access to investors, access to North America and other peer to peer check-in," shared Ramasubramaniam.

"Zone Startups is also setting up an India-focused seed fund that will invest in the range of $20-50,000, with a potential follow-on round of $100,000. Even now, while our fund is still being setup, we do present our portfolio companies to other potential investors and help them in fundraising," he added.


Operational since 2009 in North America, Ryerson Futures has successfully incubated over 150 startups. India is its first foot-print outside of the region.

"We are on an international expansion mode, with similar zones coming-up in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Israel, South Africa, Eastern Europe and Brazil," said Ramasubramaniam.

Its portfolio in India is a mixed bag in terms of sectors, including startups from fintech, retail analytics, enterprise mobility, gaming, mobile apps, and health tech etc.


Here's a low down of some of the startups that are being incubated at Zone Startups:

AasaanPay: Delivers mobile POS end to end solutions for BFSI, retail and hospitality industry.

Algo Engines: A wind turbine portfolio management and performance improvement solution.


Areysun: Allows users to gossip with their friends anonymously.

ArtZolo: Online b2b2c platform that supports the art ecosystem by bridging the gap between offline and online art.

AutoTranz: Provides hardware and software that allows for connected, secure vehicles to talk to your mobile phone.


Blynk: Offers guest engagement solutions through mobile devices for the hospitality industry.

BOOKstreet: Marketplace for solutions to past exam papers for engineering undergraduates.

Codeniti: Conducts a series of social hackathons where entrepreneurs, developers and designers meet to create apps in the public and social domains.


Cubicle: Provides Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications tailor made for project intensive engineering companies.

Dive: Mobile app for community building, with location-based services.

DrawTime: Interactive mobile platform that helps teachers easily create lesson videos and engage with their students in real-time.

DrugIO: Uses gamification and rewards to ensure that patients adhere to their prescribed medicines.

DYPER (Dynamic Performance Rendition): Has a patent pending in-movie advertising technology.

Educept: SaaS platform that offers unique 'academic networking' platforms to maximise a student's potential.

Effte: Provides an open source algorithmic trading system for use on Indian exchanges, and to retail traders.

Epoise: Enterprise video interviewing solution using both synchronous and asynchronous styles.

FOSEngage: Enterprise mobile solution that enables marketers to socially engage with their channel partners.

Hoverr: Provides in-image ad-serving solutions to power brands and commerce.

LinkMySport: Provides online discovery and hosting platform for sporting venues and events.

Mirc Media: Social media analytics service provider.

Nimble: Transforms the space in front of your computer into an interactive area using a low cost Bluetooth device.

ObiNo: Mobile weight-loss coach.

Pangea Guides: Provides utilities-packed city specific travel guides for iOS, Android and Windows devices.

RetailNav: Uses indoor navigational technologies to provide unique in-store location based analytics on your shoppers based on their smart devices.

Reviu: Offers video-based reviews through their patented mobile platform.

SHIRSA: Uses interactive and engaging brain games to improve the cognitive skills of students.

Sismatik: Instantly converts an existing TV into Smart TV.

Sosio: Provides an engagement platform for NGO's and academic institutions.

Trenduce: Global community of fashion enthusiasts where they discover and inspire others with their personal style.

UnderDogs Gaming: Creates flash-based online games.