BW Announces ACCELERATE To Foster Entrepreneurship
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BW|Businessworld, one of India's most respected business media brands, has launched Businessworld|ACCELERATE, a multi-city startup acceleration initiative, focused on creating an innovation-driven ecosystem in the country.
The objective of this initiative is to support and encourage entrepreneurial aspirations in the country and empower aspirants and entrepreneurs to succeed in their domains of business and achieve greater heights.
BW|Accelerate will engage with startups across the spectrum, from idea to beyond minimum viable product (MVP), and fund early-stage companies across three verticals - Institutional, Entrepreneur, Customer and Business Connect programmes - and will empower large organizations to set up incubation initiatives through Accelerate|Organizational.
The programme will also empower other ecosystem players to leverage from the infrastructure built around it and contribute to creating and fostering entrepreneurial aspirations and value creation in the country.
"Accelerate is a programme built on knowledge and intelligence acquired over the years and has its foundation in a vision to create a platform for early stage startups focused towards speeding innovation, fostering business growth and enabling accelerated entrepreneurial aspirations in the country," said Anurag Batra, chairman of BW|Businessworld.
Citing a recent impact assessment study, Ashu Agrawal, programme director for Businessworld|Accelerate, said 78 per cent of respondents expressed a critical need for deeper hands-on and on-ground participation and mentoring.
The study conducted across six cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad - covered over 300 startups in various sectors.
Sixty-four per cent respondents across stages of startup lifecycle identified market access as a key gap and 70 per cent respondents felt that having experienced people to participate and getting the right people on board is another critical challenge.
"Emphasizing the significance of having a consistent initiative to address all these issues will enable more entrepreneurs, startups and result in an innovation-led consumption movement," Ashu said.
He added: "The operating structure of Accelerate has been crafted carefully to address all the major lacunae, bridge gaps and facilitate experienced professional participation, which will enable startups to interact in a sharper way with customers and consumers."
The programme is layered starting with Accelerate|Institutional, the first vertical, which is an education institution-partnered initiative focused towards nurturing entrepreneurial aspirations of the young, on-campus students, and providing them with the right skill-sets to translate such ideas into prototypes.
The second vertical, Accelerate|Entrepreneur, is aimed at engaging with beyond MVP startups, across categories, with the objective to provide a knowledge base, and achieve customer traction. This vertical will also focus on facilitating involvement by experienced professionals as mentors and share their knowledge to help achieve sharpness, critical for growth.
The third vertical, Accelerate|Customer & Business Connect, is a programme designed for backed startups and it will engage with such early stage companies through a tailor-made programme. The focus will be to assist such startups with market connect and customer acquisition and help them achieve the right scale, in line with investor expectations.
And Accelerate|Organizational is designed to empower larger business entities and businesses to set up incubation projects within their fold, in line with strategic interests or as part of CSR initiatives.
Through this relationship, the Accelerate team will continue to support such larger organisations and will make available relevant infrastructural support to expedite growth of incubated startups.
"We are excited to create this platform with the support of various stake-holders, and their willingness to contribute," Ashu said.
Applications for Accelerate|Entrepreneur will open soon and the launch of this programme and commencement of the first batch will happen in the first week of February 2015.