Startups Incubators People

Watch: Ravi Narayan on why T-Hub is doubling down on the supply model for corporate innovation

18 Aug, 2020

Hyderabad headquartered startup incubator T-Hub has pivoted in phase II with a focus on mature startups, which it says, need to be brought up to speed. 

T-Hub, which works with industry, academia and the state government, started out as a technology incubator on a public-private partnership model with the state of Telangana in 2015.

The organisation has since started generating revenues from consultancy and capacity building work it does with startups, government and industries. 

While T-Hub works with startups across different stages of growth, close to 85% of the startups in its multiple programs are in the early stage, followed by around 10% in mid-stage and 1-2% in the growth stage. 

In an interview with TechCircle, Ravi Narayan, CEO of T-Hub said the incubator has doubled down on its focus on demand-supply model for corporate innovation in phase II of development. 

“More than (equity) capital, startups need business to survive,” Ravi Narayan told TechCircle, adding that the focus has been on demand-generation from corporates and the government for solutions devised by startups as a means to survive the pandemic.

The organisation has tie-ups with corporates including Facebook, Boeing, Uber, Cisco and others. 

T-Hub has also started a programme called T-Angel for early-stage investment and Funding Desk, which facilitates startups to apply for government grants, debt funding and bank loans meant for MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) to tide over the pandemic. About 20% of the startups in its ecosystem have seen demand for specific products surge during the pandemic. 

“Startups are in the business of risk management,”  Narayan, adding that how the companies respond -- through pivots or finding ways to optimise cash -- will determine their survival.

An alumnus of IIT Madras, Narayan previously served as the global director for Microsoft for Startups. Narayan took on the additional role of chief innovation officer with the government of Telangana in March.

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