Pushing the envelope as a business incubator &accelerator
AmbujaNeotia Incubation Pvt. Ltd. (ANIPL): Empowering the startup ecosystem in Eastern India
Life moves slowly in Kolkata- with old time’s trams, ambassador taxis, rich academic roots and a seldom mention in the Indian startup ecosystem. The oldest metropolis of the land which has bestowed three of India’s five Nobel laureates never appears under the spotlight when a talk about startup hubs in India shoots up. Mind calls the same picture for rest of Eastern India which not likely to figure in the index of startup things. Howbeit, the cultural land of India is sprouting the green shoots of a potential new economy led to change. The essence of rapid emergence of technology entrepreneurs, startups, disruptors, investors, and new-generation businessmen could be sensed in the air, that are thriving to bring the fresh innovation wave into the city like never before, aiding the country’s startup boom. Today, a healthy number of startups have their home base in Kolkata. Startups dreams originating from Eastern India have been metamorphosed and the promising venture is emerging to the brim. What has been the secret ingredient behind this magnetic surge? The answer lies in the big box of success, vision and expertise of business mentors like AmbujaNeotia Incubation Pvt. Ltd. (ANIPL).
AmbujaNeotia is counted among one of the most prominent and respected corporate houses headquartered in the city of joy, Kolkata with its forte located in Real Estate, Hospitality, Healthcare and Education. The company, under the stewardship of Mr Harshavardhan Neotia, has been responsible for various landmark projects. In 2016, The Group decided to set up an Incubator & Accelerator in Kolkata for the benefit of young entrepreneurs and ANIPL was created which soon got favoured as Neotec Hub. On a soaring competitive ground, it becomes daunting for a business idea to take shape and cultivate. Just like a sapling, they need to be nurtured in a perfect environment. Business accelerators endow and empower these ideas with the necessary business acumen to develop them into startups that will impact the future. A leader was required to lead this initiative – right from conceptualizing the Incubator/ Accelerator Model to designing its Incubation Program, build the required networks & operating teams, select the right Startups and build an environment for helping/supporting them and making their ventures good enough for funding from Investors in due course of time.
Sanjay Sarda was called up by Mr. Neotia to do the needful. He had worked earlier with the Group, had an infectious passion in doing new things and after doing corporate assignments in senior positions at reputed Groups like Hindalco, Jindals, Dalmias etc. had taken a sabbatical from Corporate Life and went on a musical journey of self-discovery for the last 3 years. He was persuaded to take over the reins of this new concept and he agreed.
Sanjay Sarda soon evolved the Incubator/Accelerator concept of Neotec Hub.
It was evident that the main reasons why a high % of Startups ended up in dust were basically:
- Indefinite idea/team
- Unfitness in reaching the Market.
- Ill-advised guidance at each step of their journey
- Inadequate funds
Neotec Hub was created to ensure that all the above reasons of failure were addressed by its program offerings:
- Unlimited Mentorship
Providing startups mentors to guide them in areas of Technology, Strategy, Business Plan, Pivoting, Marketing etc. Unlimited mentorship in terms of both time and topic – unlike other Incubators in which this is restricted
- Access to Group Businesses
Providing access to AmbujaNeotia’s existing businesses- Realty, Healthcare, Education and Hospitality- as a test bed for doing their Alpha, Beta Projects.
Neotec Hub incubation program supports eligible startups with business funding(partly from AmbujaNeotia Group and the balance from a consortium of Investors) after the initial teething period.
- Space & Co-working environment
The startups will get free access to Workstations, Chambers, Meeting Rooms, Auditorium, Club and Cafeteria of Neotec Hub.
Backing the startups with Legal, accounting, administrative and communication support
Every startup goes through a customized program. Business Plan, Key Milestones, Cash Flows are made when the program begins, the progress is monitored monthly and required support is given in areas of concern.
- Connecting to Angel Investor, and P-Funds
Every quarter, participating startups will be mentored on various investor expectations and will be provided with an interface to connect with Angel Investors.
- Market Outreach Initiatives
Once the products/ services/ technology of the startups are verified by us, a suitable Go-To-Market Strategy is made for each startup to implement.
Soon a highly effective team was created, adorned by Lead Mentors who were Industry Honchos and Domain experts, Business Domain champions from the business verticals of AmbujaNeotia Group, a network of Investors, Ecosystem partners, Academia, Entrepreneurship Cells etc.
The Neotec Hub Team embarked on – Converting Dreams.
Since its incorporation, ANIPL has been striving at the heart of the Indian startup sphere as an unequivocal leader in providing complete exposure and nourishment to the business dreams right from the idea to the final execution.
The sole intention, core values, clear vision and impulsion of the management team, together has anchored the organization firmly. Today, the firm has successfully established itself as a guiding light inspiring and leading the dreams of budding entrepreneurs to unmatched heights. The entity has consistently grown and has marked its deep footprints on the Indian geography by tailoring young minds’ dreams as per the market needs with its expertise. The firm has created a favorable environment for copious startups- I & We, Slick Account, Orduino Labs, Enact Systems, Vedic Maths, WeC Minds, Anthyesti, Healthy Billions Family Care, One Wallet Hub, Kornerstone Analytics, Mechlution Dynamics, Tech Shiksha, TecHacks, Booking Jini, Akvo, MeFy, Lean Technocrats and Cryptic Adventure Sports.
Expansion Binge and Journey Ahead
Neotec Hub plans to have in its Kolkata Hub a Cohort of 20 high-quality Startups at all times. As soon as Startups reach a Pre-Series A level of funding, they can be on their own and will be replaced by others from the pipeline. The program is customized, does not have a fixed duration. After a steady & sustainable revenue stream is reached, the Startup starts the Acceleration program which will conclude in the Pre-Series A funding.
Out of 20 Startups that are in the First Cohort, 10 are in revenue stages and 4 are in the Acceleration Program and the Pre-Series A rounds are expected in Dec 2018 – March 2019 for them. This journey will continue after March 2019 with more Startups taking up the Acceleration Program to reach Pre-Series A, more going to sustained revenue stage and new Startups being added in the program to maintain the level of 20. Furthermore, Neotec Hub envisions opening new Hubs in other geographies. Four such Hubs are being planned in 2019.
Recently, Neotec Hub has entered into Joint Venture with Israeli Companies who seek to push their products/technology in the vast Indian Market. These products/technologies will be made in India under the JV. Neotec Hub observes huge opportunity in becoming the business partner to Israeli as well as EU Startups/SME/MME companies who need India as a market and need an Indian partner to work with.
In the words of Sanjay Sarda – “The future looks interesting. Kolkata will, slowly but surely become a buzzing & thriving Startup Centre with many success stories – encouraging young professionals to embark upon their entrepreneurship journeys in new uncharted territories and build innovative, disruptive solutions which will be technology driven and will build the India of tomorrow.”
The journey has begun…