Zone Startups India celebrated its 3rd Anniversary by inaugurating a new accelerator space and announcing a few new initiatives, in the presence of Hon. John Tory, Mayor of Toronto, and Mohamed Lachemi, President, Ryerson University, accompanied by a large Canadian business delegation. The event witnessed participation of several leaders from the Indian startup ecosystem.
With the new program aptly titled "Gateway91", Zone Startups India looks forward to being the first "Market Accelerator Program" in India, to host and support international, growth-stage startups looking to build their India market. Earlier this month, Zone Startups hosted a bunch of Canadian FinTech startups as a part of this endeavor, and showcased them to industry partners at another new initiative - Fintegrate Zone, a 3-day FinTech conclave.
Alan Lysne - Managing Director, Ryerson Futures Inc, "Today, we are pleased to announce the expansion of our accelerator space, with the support of BSE, Government of Ontario and Government of Canada. That makes us the only startup accelerator program in India, to have set up a program to support international startups. We look forward to assisting many international growth stage technology companies in their market validation and customer acquisition phase in India."
Zone Startups India is truly a hotbed of innovation and entrepreneurship. Since opening its doors in Feb 2014, Zone Startups India has on-boarded 108 startups till date and is rapidly growing. Zone Startups India has firmly entrenched its name as a leading startup accelerator in India by setting up multiple accelerator programs including the Rise Accelerator in partnership with Barclays, Thought Factory Accelerator with Axis Bank and empoWer - India's 1st tech accelerator for Women Entrepreneurs.
The startups at "the Zone", as it is popularly known, have resulted in the creation of 650+ new jobs. The rolling accelerator program is focused on product validation, customer acquisition, and investment readiness. On an ongoing basis, Zone Startups India brings in top CXO's to interact with its portfolio startups and creates opportunities for them to get their first set of customers, and jumpstart their revenues. Some of the alumni from ‘the Zone’ include FlexiLoans, BabyChakra, Obino, vPhrase, AasaanPay to name a few.
Ajay Ramasubramaniam - Director, Zone Startups India says, "The last year has been really busy for us, with several new initiatives launched such as corporate accelerators with Barclays and Axis Bank, as well as launching empoWer - India's 1st tech accelerator for women entrepreneurs. We have also had good success with our flagship program, with several startups having raised their funding, such as FlexiLoans raising INR 100 Crores, BabyChakra raising its Series-A and Dimension NXG, Shirsa and vPhrase raising their angel rounds. Over the next few months, we will be launching a few more new programs, focussed on specific domains. We are really excited about everything that is currently happening in India's entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem"
The Next BIG Idea contest, which Ryerson University has been organizing in India in partnership with the Government of Ontario, Canada, even a year before starting its accelerator program; has attracted close to 900 applications and has soft-landed 20 hi-tech Indian companies at Toronto & Ontario, Canada. Some of the top ones being CitrusPay, Vidooly, AdSparx, Plackal, Survelytics and Remitr.
Dr. Mohamed Lachemi - Interim President & Vice Chancellor, Ryerson University said, "As Canada’s leading innovation university, Ryerson recognizes the importance of partnerships for our researchers, our students, and our community," said Mohamed Lachemi, President, Ryerson University, Canada. "We know that partnerships with BSE Institute and multiple universities and corporate partners in India fosters the sharing of best practices, knowledge, and new opportunities for economic and social development."
Ambarish Datta - Managing Director and CEO, BSE Institute says, "At the BSE Institute, we are happy that we have been able to train, mentor, guide and groom startups and also contributed to job creation in our own small way by providing jobs and internships to a few hundred, bright young graduates coming out of our universities and engineering colleges. We hope to continue to innovate in our offerings and services to the startup community not only in India, but also to startups from Canada and other parts of the globe who are looking to target the Indian market.