Hyderabad is now a startup hub. With the number of startups rising, there is also an increase in the number of ecosystem enablers. Headstart Hyderabad is one such which is doing its bit to add buzz to the segment. The volunteer-driven body has been providing platforms that foster networking and also validate ideas. Srikanth Soni, Hyderabad City Lead for Headstart tells to B Krishna Mohan about the connecting link the startup world.
Headstart has been in Hyderabad for about 12 years now. Headstart Hyderabad is a forum for entrepreneurs to discuss, present, network and learn from peers, prospective customers, adopters, partners and investors. We have been conducting Startup Saturday, an event that aims to discover new startups in the city. The event will play a bridge between select investors and startups. We will also help them find mentors. More importantly, we have been getting the business ideas validated. Feedback from investors helps startups in refining them. We are now present in 23 cities, including some Tier II and III cities, where such support is more needed.
Startup world challenges
Many startups think their ideas infallible. Without networking and validation, they will not go very far. Funding mechanism is grossly misunderstood by the startups. Many think that funds will flow on mere presentations. That is not the case. A startup should do the first few sales by itself to make an impression for the investors. Also, not many keep accounts or if they do they are not clean. That said, Hyderabad has fewer investment channels compared to Bengaluru. Also, finding a right mentor is a difficult thing particularly when everyone calls themselves a mentor.
We are getting an industry event HS X in June. This will be held at IIIT-H. The last edition of the event was held in Bengaluru. Now, it is being brought to Hyderabad, which is now a hot bed of startup activity. There will be investors, mentors and speakers. It will be a platform for networking as about 600 people are expected to participate. At least three companies will demonstrate product tear-downs.
Hyderabad is one of the best markets for co-working space players. New players are regularly announcing plans for Hyderabad. About 70 per cent of the space is being leased out by big corporates operating here. It also reflects about the talent availability locally, which startups can leverage. Earlier, many startups, after reaching a certain level, moved to Bengaluru or other places. Now, they are rooting for Hyderabad.
Multiple players are chipping in to nurture startup ecosystem in Hyderabad. TSIC, IIIT-H, T-Hub and several others are working to strengthen startups. Discovering new startup is easy but keeping track of them is difficult owing to low success rate. Many wind up or switch to other segments.