Woxsen University’s startup incubator ‘Trade Tower’ is aiming to build a disruptive startup ecosystem to jumpstart unicorns. The incubator wants to do things differently than the market players by following an unconventional yet powerful strategy to accelerate the rate of creating ventures that impact the world. Kashyap Kompella, head, Trade Tower, Woxsen University, shares with Telangana Today, their near-term goals and strategy.
We are deploying the Rocket Internet (Germany) model at Trade Tower, which involves identifying high potential venture ideas and recruiting high energy and potential founders to make those ventures successful. We are also building a model to predict future unicorns based on data from the existing unicorns in India. We intend to acquire intellectual property (IP) from technology powerhouses such as IITs and IIITs to build IP-driven ventures in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, blockchain, internet of things (IoT) and industrial IoT.
We run two programmes at Trade Tower- My First Billion and Unicorn Calling. Under My First Billion, we will be conducting six inspiring storytelling sessions (virtual /physical) by successful business founders/owners of unicorns. The sessions are open to the students of all the streams and Woxsen alumni. Those who attend the sessions would be given a chance to register for Trade Tower’s incubation centre. The registered candidates would be given guidance in terms of resources, technical consultation, go-to-market strategy and introduction to venture capitalists. Under Unicorn Calling, startups will get mentorship and support for making investment pitches.
Progress so far
We have already rolled out the Unicorn Calling programme and have conducted two sessions so far. We intend to launch the first My First Billion session in October with one of the founders of Swiggy. We also partnered with Amazon AWS to support each early-stage startup with $5,000 worth cloud credits. This is of great help to early-stage tech startups to launch their products. We are also in the process of partnering with Microsoft for supporting startups and other corporate startup-oriented programmes.
End of 2021, we plan to incubate at least 10 potential unicorn tech startups as part of our first cohort. By the end of 2022, we want to double this number. This would be the most important implementation goal for us. We are also working on a comprehensive Indian Unicorn Ecosystem Report and looking for a suitable partner to co-publish it by early 2022.
We are aiming for scalable technology and deeptech ideas, agnostic to sector, but with due focus on the potential to become a future unicorn. Having said that, some of our focus areas are going to be healthcare, wellness/fitness, fintech, agritech, design, and fashiontech. We have a great talent pool at our School of Design and that is the core differentiator compared to most other incubators. We would be adding great value to ideas involving physical products, where design thinking is needed. We have the infrastructure and the right labs to rapidly build prototypes and get early customer validation.
We have seen where most incubators are facing challenges and have devised a very efficient process for handholding startups from the very early stage so that they can track their progress from the very beginning of their journey so that the mentoring support is channelised to produce certain outcomes.
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