Techstars, one of the world’s most successful startup accelerators, has opened its first centre in Asia in Bengaluru. The initiative is in joint venture with Ansr, a company that has been focused on bringing MNC captive centres to India and running corporate accelerator programmes. Techstars may open a second location in Hyderabad soon.
Techstars co-founders David Cohen and David Brown told TOI that the plan is to do a lot more in the country , including bringing city-specific accelerators and investing in Indian startups.. More than 5% of the US startups that get Series A funding have gone through Techstars.
“We can connect India in a greater way to the rest of our network. We want to bring more capital. Our model has worked financially so far and we find enough opportunity to succeed in India,” said Cohen. Brown acknowledged that the startup ecosystem around the world was witnessing a downturn, but noted that Techstars itself was founded during a downturn. “There are ups and downs, but over the long term, it’s a sustained movement in the upward direction,” he said.
Entrepreneurship encouragement programmes:
In India, Techstars involved in organising entrepreneurship encouragement programmes like Startup Weekends. The plan now is to significantly increase the engagement. Unlike rival Y Combinator, Techstars has a big focus on corporate accelerators, where it brings together startups and big corporates that want to work with each other. It runs a financial tech focused accelerator for Barclays, a mobility focused one for Ford, and an AI (artificial intelligence) focused one for Amazon.
Lalit Ahuja, co-founder of Ansr Consulting, said, “With the proliferation of global in-house centres (GICs), these large corporates are looking at a startup-led innovation model in India. Our desire is to dominate this market. ” Ansr Consulting already runs corporate accelerators for Target, Lowe’s, L Brands, Swiss Re, JCPenney and Novartis in India. Ahuja said discussions are on with Techstars on creating an India-focused fund to invest in startups.
In Boulder City, Colorado, is spreading itself around the world, unlike Y Combinator that focuses on Silicon Valley startups. Today, it has 30 accelerators across the globe in 26 cities. Cohen said, “We believe that an entrepreneur can come from anywhere. The future is going to happen in Toronto or Berlin or Bengaluru and not necessarily in the Valley.
” Techstars invests about $120,000 in each startup programme and takes 7-8% stake in it. It invests more – between $300,000 and $500,000 – in certain startups that graduate from its accelerator programme.