Hyderabad: The country’s largest incubator T-Hub, is making all efforts to take its activities global. Having achieved its initial goal of creating density, the incubator is all set to create success stories and generate billion dollar startups. It is also going to focus on more corporate innovation driven initiatives as well as attracting global startups to the incubator and taking the startups here to places, worldwide.
T-Hub founder and COO Srinivas Kollipara told Telangana Today, “The mission of T-Hub is to make Hyderabad a startup hub. The first stage was to build density for the first two years of its operations, increase the number of startups, incubators, accelerators, mentors and corporates. We have done that very well. The number of startups has grown ten-fold. He added, “We have 25 corporates who have partnered with us. Density is there. So we are now focusing on next step of our journey.”
Telangana government along with T-Hub is creating Telangana State Innovation Council (TSIC) with a chief innovation officer, which will look after the mass outreach.
Kollipara said, “T-Hub is now looking at how to find the best startups, how to attract the best startups from elsewhere and help all of them to scale such that in the next 10 years, we have a unicorn (a startup company valued at over $1 billion) coming out of Hyderabad.”
The T-Hub, which started off as a co-working space has become an incubator. It has gone through restructuring. The incubator has a stringent selection process and only best of the startups get selected. There are clear scalable programmes for the incubator. On the corporate innovation front, the incubator which had been conducting hackathons regularly is looking at much deeper programmes that involve solving problems the corporates are facing.
For instance, United Technologies has a programme at present where the company needs video analytics companies solving very specific challenges. They were looking for very matured companies and what T-Hub has done is that it has searched the best 37 companies from across the world and brought them to top five all going through the programme in Hyderabad now. It has helped United Technologies to get solution to their problem and it helps the startups in the incubator as best of the startup companies from across the world come and operate here and they can get a chance to get mentored and network with them opening more avenues.
“We want companies to move here as part of the corporate innovation programmes and this is going to boost the startup ecosystem. These are deep programmes, which focus on helping startups to increase their size and revenues not just their valuation,” he added.
Starting this year, T-Hub is looking at helping international companies looking at India, enter and access the market. These companies are large companies (mostly series A, B and C funded companies), which have figured out how to solve the problem. Their knowledge will help other smaller startups to scale. Also, T-Hub is working towards helping Indian companies take their operations overseas.
T-Hub which is looking at emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), electric vehicles and smart and connected cars, has created a smart mobility cluster that will look at all these new possibilities including the batter and drivetrain technology. Kollipara said, “We will focus on smart cars and create a first of its kind centre of excellence for artificial intelligence.
We want to attract all the companies operating on AI to come to Hyderabad. T-Hub will be picking 3-4 specific domains. Though our approach is futuristic, but we are equally keen to enable development of technologies that help society to solve real problems.
Next phase of T-Hub
The new T-Hub building, will have incubators and accelerators. It will have seed and venture capital funds. It will also have labs, corporate innovation divisions and the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem in one place, which has never been done before. The building is likely to be ready by end of 2018.
The existing catalyst incubator building has 140 startups now and through corporate innovation programmes running 9-10 batches several more companies are involved and 14 international startups are operating under the T-Bridge programme. Through T-Scale (taking early stage companies and helping them to scale) and other programmes & workshops, around 30 startups are being interacted regularly, and 800 startups contacted less-regularly.
Kollipara adds, “With the new building, the maturity of the startups will go up. Initially when we started as a co-working space, we have early stage companies that had five-people teams, but now among the 140 companies that operate at T-Hub, there are companies that have 150 people. We may have 1,000 mature and international startups once the new building comes up.” T-Hub’s mission is to make Hyderabad, a startup city. So the incubator is keen on building collaborations with other incubators, accelerators, investors, mentors, corporates and other stakeholders, in the coming years.