Corporate accelerator programs in India engaging the start-up ecosystem.

Corporate accelerator programs in India engaging the start-up ecosystem.


Announcements were made earlier this year regarding accelerator programmes for Indian start-ups, with corporations such as SAP Labs and Cisco. Since these announcements, engagements with young companies have been underway. Many small companies have started to reap the rewards from being part of an accelerator program. One such company is Locus, a young logistics management company, for who the benefits of being part of such an accelerator programme was reaped through discovering new markets for their products.

These corporate accelerator programmes that corporations in the likes of Cisco, SAP Labs, Microsoft and Autodesk form part of, assist small companies with capital investment, corporate expertise and experience required for start-ups. In return these corporations expect the start-ups companies to provide innovative solutions being the motive behind the start-up, together with a market for testing.

Due to changes recently made in Indian policy and the fast evolving Indian start-up ecosystem, the country has become a preferable corporate accelerator destination with various such programs coming into existence, like Microsoft Accelerator and the Start-up Studio. It goes without saying that these accelerators are specifically in search of start-ups that offer innovative solutions that are aligned with corporations’ business strategy for India.

It is, however, acknowledged by corporations that it may not be easy for small businesses to make the decision to become part of such an program nor is it easy for these start-ups to take the risk by forming part of a corporate programme full time. However, it will be more beneficial to the start-up company and less concerning. Rahul Garg, founder of Moglix and forms part of the SAP Startup Studio program, substantiates these statements by stating that associations with SAP is beneficial for both parties in the accelerator program.

With the existence of numerous accelerator programmes in India and with many being mainly focussed on growth stage start-ups; it is only relevant that each has specific innovation solutions or industry related innovations in mind. It is evident in interviews conducted with various such corporations that engage in these programmes and that there are certain requirements that small businesses has to adhere to in order to form part of an accelerator program. Microsoft Accelerator’s global director, Ravi Narayan are of such an opinion as well as Pradeep Nair, Autodesk’s managing director for India.

The start-up possibilities in India has experienced phenomenal change, growth and have evolved tremendously in recent years. Therefore, it is not shocking that the country has become one of the destinations for corporate accelerators, especially since the evident increase in accelerator programmes currently available for start-ups in India.