Techstars hires Microsoft accelerator’s India head to lead local incubation

Techstars hires Microsoft accelerator’s India head to lead local incubation
9 Mar, 2018

US-based incubator Techstars Central LLC has hired the head of Microsoft Accelerator India to lead its operations beginning in the country next month, a report said.

Bala Girisaballa, former managing director of Microsoft Accelerator India, will act as president of Techstars India, a joint venture with Bengaluru-based ANSR Consulting, Inc., the report in Mint added.

Applications for the first three-month programme will be invited next month, Mint said, adding that the batch will begin by year-end. The accelerator will operate out of Bengaluru and have a broad focus on hardware and software, the newspaper said.

Typically, on admission to Techstars’ three-month accelerator programme, a company is offered a $100,000 note convertible into shareholding, news portal ET Tech said. Techstars also contributes $20,000 to the startup for 6% share in return, it added.

E-mail queries to Techstars did not get a response till the time of publishing this report.

Commenting on the foray, David Brown, co-chief executive at Techstars told Mint, “India is such a large country -- very different from any European country or Israel. We saw from the beginning a lot of opportunities here and it is worth setting up a different structure here.”

In August 2017, the global accelerator was planning to hire a country head for India. In the same period, Techstars India was launched.

Techstars was founded in 2006 by David Cohen, David Brown, Brad Feld and Jared Polis. It operates in countries such as Australia, Canada, Israel, France, and the US. Over the past decade, Techstars has accepted well over 1,000 early-stage ventures globally into its programmes.

Collectively, these companies have raised over $4.4 billion in funds, ET Tech said. Techstars counts cloud computing firm DigitalOcean, fitness company ClassPass, and gaming firm Sphero among its programme graduates.