CoWrks, a co-working space provider, has launched an accelerator called ‘The CoWrks Foundry’. The Bengaluru-based firm has invited applications from entrepreneurs and will have eight startups in its first cohort starting in May, a company statement said.
The programme will support early-stage startups over a 24-week period in the areas urban technology, enterprise technology and social enterprise. It will run two batches in a year.
CoWrks Foundry will invest $30,000 in each startup for a 7-8% stake, Nruthya Madappa, managing partner of the accelerator, told TechCircle. She added that it is still roping in partners and mentors for the accelerator. High-net-worth individuals will also fund the startups.
"It is a rigorous, real-world programme for high-potential entrepreneurs to build a resilient, enduring company. We will help them scale and make them understand that throwing people will not solve the scaling problems by helping them inculcate a work culture. We have intentionally selected these three major sectors as they face industry-specific issues that are not addressed by existing mentorship and accelerator programmes in the country,” Madappa said.
The CoWrks Foundry will operate out of CoWrks, situated at RMZ Ecoworld in Bengaluru, which has a curated community of investors, startups, and enterprises, as well as external networks, including the government, it said in a statement. It will help entrepreneurs pitch to investors and prepare the deck for their companies.
“Housing hundreds of startups, entrepreneurs and large corporates in our co-working space, we understand that there is an underlying challenge that Indian entrepreneurs are battling. With an awareness of the gaps in the current ecosystem, we decided to create an architected framework to address these bottlenecks by leveraging the network of CoWrks and its members,” said Sidharth Menda, chief executive of CoWrks.
Incorporated in September 2016, CoWrks started its operations in Bengaluru and currently has 3,500 members and 100 companies and employs 120 people. It is backed by RMZ, a large corporate park developer based in Bengaluru.
CoWrks charges a membership fee based on the number of desks and hours. Based on the location, a desk can cost can anywhere from Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000 a month. Cowrks also offers a virtual office starting at Rs 5,400 per month.
Menda in a recent interview with VCCircle said the company is targeting 100 shared office spaces over the next three years, spanning 9 million square feet. Besides, he is also looking to start operations in Southeast Asia and Europe.
CoWrks, which is bootstrapped as of now, plans to stay that way for the next year or so.