Monday, June 24, 2024

“AIC-T-Hub Aims To Grow Startups So More Indian Unicorns Can Contribute To The GDP”

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T-Hub has collaborated with Atal Incubation Centre (AIC), initiated by the Atal Innovation Mission to incubate semiconductor startups, fostering innovation for India’s advancement in entrepreneurship, contributing to GDP and employment opportunities. In a conversation with EFY’s Yashasvini Razdan, AIC-T-Hub’s CEO, Rajesh Adla, reveals what sets apart AIC-T-Hub from other incubators.

Rajesh Adla CEO, AIC-T-Hub

Q. T-hub calls itself India’s largest incubator, why so?

A. We have established ourselves across 39 sectors over the last eight years. Our incubation programmes are designed to cater to every stage of the startup lifecycle. We offer programmes to transition a startup across different stages: idea, market, or revenue stages, or the final level of scale. If a startup performs well at a scale level in India, we offer incubation activities to expand into international markets such as the United States, Canada, and others. We have sector-specific incubation programmes for more than 400 startups, focusing on areas like mobility, sustainability, semiconductors, spacetech, and healthcare.

Q. Don’t other incubation programmes offer the same facilities? What makes you different?

A. Our approach sets us apart from other incubators due to the scale at which we operate. While other incubators also have programmes for the idea and market stages, our established structure is distinctive. If you join us at the idea stage, you have the potential to graduate at the scale stage, achieving substantial revenues and establishing collaborations with other countries. Our incubation model is a comprehensive journey for startups, enabling them to grow holistically.

Q. Could you explain the collaboration between T-Hub and Atal Incubation Centre (AIC)?

A. The Atal Innovation Mission, a special project under NITI Aayog, aims to establish incubators nationwide. There are 76 incubators, known as Atal Incubation Centres (AICs), with each state hosting one to two such incubators. Each incubator, focused on a particular sector, partners with a parent body, such as a university, another incubator, or a research entity. The AIC incubator, in collaboration with T-Hub, initially focused on healthcare. From there, we moved to the needs of electric vehicles and autonomous mobility and subsequently delved into green energy technologies and climate intelligence. Last year, we ventured into semiconductors after the global chip crisis. The incubator runs an exclusive annual incubation programme in each sector, selecting 20 to 25 companies from a pool of 400 to 500 startup applicants across India.

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Q. What is the mission or the objective of this entire collaboration?

A. We are a part of a nation-building exercise aspiring for India’s advancement in innovation and entrepreneurship. The 76 AIC incubators are pivotal in various sectors across the country, including those in the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir. In Telangana, three AICs operate, specialising in social impact, sustainability along with us. AIC-T-Hub aims to grow startups so that they contribute to the GDP, innovation, and employment in the nation.

Q. How would you define your overall success factor as an incubator?

A. AIC T-Hub nurtured 150+ startups in 5 sectors in the last 3 years: 54 products commercialised, 35 IPs generated, ₹140 million investment raised by startups, 70+ customer pilots, and 1400 employments generated by startups. Two chips are taped out and fabricated from the very first cohort of AIC-T-Hub’s Semicon programme. These criteria demonstrate our ability to accelerate the growth of these companies.

Q. What partners or strategic alliances support AIC-T-Hub in its objectives?

A. We believe in co-incubation and collaborating with sector-specific institutions to grow startups. The collaborations include iCreate, Indian Semiconductor Mission (ISM), IIT SINE, T-works, Department of Emerging Technologies, and various Universities and Research bodies globally. We have partnered with T-Works, CITD, NSWAI, and EDS Technologies, providing our startups with efficient prototyping services. We have active engagement with prominent semiconductor companies such as ARM and NXP, and welcome mentors from diverse companies.

Q. How many hardware startups have you incubated at T-Hub and how many of these are related to the electronics industry?


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Yashasvini Razdan
Yashasvini Razdan
Yashasvini Razdan is a journalist at EFY. She has the rare ability to write both on tech and business aspects of electronics, thanks to an insatiable thirst to know all about technology. Driven by curiosity, she collects hard facts and wields the power of her pen to simplify and disseminate information.


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