In a bid to fuel the growth of early-stage startups in India, a group of entrepreneurs, investors and advisors have teamed up with Bengaluru-based InnovationQore to launch Turbostart, a startup accelerator programme.
Turbostart is expected to help 100 startups over the next five years.
Registration for the six-month sector-agnostic programme will begin on Tuesday. This will be followed with stages of applications screening and startup pitches in the months of December and January. The first edition of Turbostart will see ten startups shortlisted to receive funding of up to $2.8 million in January 2020.
“Our plan is to fund 20 startups per year in two seasons - January and June. The intent is to accelerate the growth of at least 100 startups over a period of five years. We have raised around 50 crores ($7 million) already with additional commitments from investors on a need basis,” said Ganesh Raju, founder and chief executive at InnovationQore in Turbostart’s unveiling Thursday.
In addition to funding, selected startups will also receive assistance in multiple aspects of entrepreneurship — ranging from product positioning, human resource management, brand and digital strategy, marketing and sales to taxation, legal, regulatory compliance services, and “anything else that occupies considerable mind space of the founder,” a Turbostart statement said.
“Today most of the startups we see, sit with the lawyers, days together. They don’t even understand what a stamp paper is. They go to the bank, open an account, raise funds, sign all the documentation, take the money, use the money, have the CFO or not have the CFO... our whole idea is that let them concentrate in entirety towards the project,” Ullas Kamath, a Jyothi Laboratories executive and an advisory member at Turbostart, added at the launch.
Kamath is also the chairperson at the Karnataka chapter of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry or FICCI.
These services will be free for a year from selection or until the next round of funding, whichever is earlier for each of the ten selected startups. The $2.8 million funding potential will be priced at a 10-14 % equity.
Applicant startups, in order to be eligible for the programme, either need to have been incorporated for a period less than 10 years or even just have an idea of a business model or a scalable product.
Selection criteria include innovation in products, solutions, team cohesiveness, market depth, viable unit economics alongside traction and impact.
Founder Ganesh Raju previously headed the Entrepreneurial and Private Business practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers India, through which he ran a national level initiative called LevelNXT for startups looking to scaleup.
Raju was also part of the Elevate programme organised by the state government of Karnataka for its first two editions. In the last four years, Ganesh has advised more than 300 startups, the statement added.
Other start-up accelerator programmes in recent news:
Search engine giant Google’s ‘Launchpad Accelerator India’ is ready to teach its third batch of startups. The second batch was announced in February this year with 10 startups.
Prarambh, the legal tech incubator founded by law firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, has announced three winners of its first cohort.
Nine months after it launched its accelerator programme Surge for startups in India and Southeast Asia, Sequoia Capital India unveiled the second cohort of startups for the 16-week programme. Out of the 20 startups that make up the second cohort, 12 are from India.