Startup incubators · India

Need help in creating a framework for a virtual startup incubator

Anshumaan Bansal Initiator & Dreamer @ Startup Mantra

July 21st, 2015

I am from a small Indian city, have been working from some time with early-stage tech-startups, helping them shape up their ideas better and create a strong foundation. 

We're very excited working with such high-potential aspiring entrepreneurs and plan to set up a virtual incubator to support more startups, mainly in smaller Indian cities. We want some guidance form people involved in startup incubators, in the following areas - 

Impact Measurement - What attributes should we measure? We could look number of startups getting selected in other accelerators or getting angel funding after our program. Or should we try to do a before and after valuation? Are there any thoughts on measuring the personal transformation of the entrepreneurs?

Program Framework - We plan to align each startup with mentors and also have subject matter experts on different topics to conduct webinars/workshops. Is there any well structured framework to define the components for such a program. 

Sustainability - To keep this initiative sustainable, we could charge a fixed fee or equity from startups. Or could think of charging the angel investors or look at donations. What are the best practices? We want to operate as non-profit initiative, but do not have much funds to sustain for long.


Eleanor Carman Incoming BLP Sales Associate at LinkedIn

July 21st, 2015

Great question - we have tons of similar discussions already on this topic that will certainly be helpful to you. Here are two discussions that I think might be helpful. 

If you do a search on 'accelerators' or 'incubators," you'll find tons more like these. Don't forget to both do a search before posting a discussion, and follow the topics you're interested in so you get notifications when there is an update.

John Seiffer Business Advisor to growing companies

July 29th, 2015

One problem that gets worse as more and more incubators and accelerators proliferate - especially in smaller cities - is the focus on investable companies and the search for unicorns. By definition they are rare and tend to be found only in the few major centers. 

That leads to a shortage of support for bootstrapped companies - those that can make a profit, grow organically, create wealth but probably won't have an exit that appeals to investors. Supporting these companies is often called "economic gardening" and I think it would be a great focus for incubators in smaller cities. 

DISCLAIMER: Of course I'm biased since I've done some boot camps for companies like this 

Gopi Mattel General Partner. Lifeboat Ventures

July 21st, 2015

Anshumaan, I am currently working on opening a chapter of Founder Institute in Chennai. Though Founder Institute is not an incubator, they have a strong methodology to help guide entrepreneurs.
In addition, I am interested in creating an incubator as well. Perhaps we can collaborate

Ralf-Rainer von Albedyhll Serial entrepreneur with a passion for startups

July 29th, 2015

I don't know that I understand what a virtual incubator is? Do you mean an online resource that provides guidance to budding entrepreneurs? That could be helpful but I suspect misses the point.

Traditionally I understand that 9 of 10 startups fail. If that is correct the question might be why that is so. In a nutshell the answer might be because the task is overwhelming since the founder is everyone from CEO to tartan and all functions in between (finance, product development, sales, marketing etc. etc.). How many people are there with expertise in all of these areas - very few.

It seems to me that you would be better off using your Harvard credentials to raise some significant capital for your startup incubator and locate it in a secondary city to meet your criteria. Then put together a standard package for entrepreneurs who can apply to join. The package for TechStars I believe is $118,000 in seed funding for 8% equity (could be totally wrong on this). Regardless, the value you bring to the table beyond seed capital is a supportive environment with mentorship for say 6 months by which time every startup gets a chance to pitch to investors selected by your incubator. The supportive environment includes office space and of course lots of connections to accounting, marketing, programming and other services needed by the startup.

I understand that TechStars has a 9:1 success rate which, if correct, would reverse the traditional wisdom. That might be your vision for india.

Gopi Mattel General Partner. Lifeboat Ventures

July 29th, 2015

+John Seiffer I am working on launching a chapter of the Founder Institute in Chennai, India.   What i like about their model is that they are really focused on making companies viable.  Their goal is to have at least 20% of their companies be worth $50 Million.
Their focus is to  make every company succeed rather than go for the Unicorn/Home run model.
Fundamentally, i see a much better economic outcome with this model.

Ralf-Rainer von Albedyhll Serial entrepreneur with a passion for startups

July 29th, 2015

For great inspiration check out this super cool idea by a Danish entrepreneur who built and sold his company and found that he wanted to create something totally new in Indonesia of all places. It is called LiveIt with a clever domain at Below is a summary from their website. I don't have any connection with them other than being inspired by the vision.

More about Livit

Livit is an Indonesian  (Bali & Bandung), Denmark and Hong Kong based tech startup ecosystem that builds amazing businesses by providing specialist resources, business knowledge, creativity and inspiring spaces to startups. Livit’s primary focus is software and online solutions where tech and entrepreneurship are at the core of our businesses. The Livit businesses include several consumer and B2B software solutions, online services as well as several edutainment games and simulations.

In accordance with our vision of creating the optimal ecosystem, Livit has created a place where sharing knowledge and ideas are the main focus of the business. This place is known as “Livit Spaces”. Livit Spaces is a space for creativity where people work together across all the different startups in order to share knowledge and create more amazing stuff. By working so closely together all our startups become a core part of the ecosystem that enables the businesses to grow - because growth is our true north! Several people work on multiple startups sharing best practices and knowledge and supporting our bigger vision.

As part of the ecosystem, Livit offers its startups a number of specialist resources to help them grow and develop. These specialists support the startups within areas of productivity and execution, PR, communications, online marketing, growth hacking, recruiting, graphical design, programming and development and software testing. When startups experience their initial growth, they are often faced with challenges especially with regards to scarcity of knowledge and resources. By being part of the Livit Ecosystem the startups will be provided with the necessary resources to overcome these common challenges. Here they can use the Ecosystem resources to the extend they need until they have grown enough to start hiring their own specialists and grow even bigger. This gives them a unique opportunity to grow dynamically, which is an important part of our focus and supports our vision to 

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