When ServX, an on-demand car repair startup carried through the nerve-wracking screening of the US-based accelerator Y Combinator in 2017 and bagged its mentorship, the founders Akash Sinha and Anubhav Deep weren’t celebrating alone. The entire team of UDGAM, the Delhi-based incubator of ServX was fired up.
The role of an incubator is critical towards the long-term well being of a startup and helps it improve the odds of success. Starting up a venture and seeing it to a positive cash flow stage is all about how well the venture is seeded and receives the best ambient and soil conditions in its early days.
“It’s more of handholding, nurturing, and following processes that are critical to de-risking the venture in its early days,” Manish Gupta, Founder, and Chief Mentor at UDGAM sums up the mission of an incubator.
India has become a country with a fertile playfield for startups and incubators have opened new frontiers in innovation and co-creation. Around 6,337 startups were recognized by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) by December 2017. As per NASSCOM, that number is expected to increase to 10,000 by 2020. Currently, India harbours the third-largest startup ecosystem after the US and China.
Manish, who brings rich operational, consulting, mentoring and entrepreneurial wisdom, along with over 20 years of experience in management education, recognized a gaping vacuum in the startup ecosystem in the country. He found that many management and engineering graduates were ready to grab the mantle of an entrepreneur, but lacked facilities and adequate support system. “If someone wanted to start up a business, he was not getting the right direction. I identified that it was the right step for me to take it forward and UDGAM was founded in 2015”, says Manish.
UDGAM as the startup incubator has made long strides in matching the needs of new age and first-generation entrepreneurs. The incubator follows a sector-agnostic approach and has startups in its portfolio as diverse as Globox which offers a makeup and beauty box service, Corporate Shiksha, which already boasts of 200 plus happy customers, online legal consultation platform Expertily and a dozen other which are alive and kicking.
UDGAM’s collaboration with global networks and companies like 1776 UNION, Startupbootcamp Fintech Singapore, Amazon Web Services and Sendgrid, have created a platform for its startups where they can share ideas with a network of entrepreneurs, mentors, and experts from across five different continents, get real-time feedback, access curriculum, training and resources, and direction on various stages of project development. At home, a partnership with service providers offering technological, operational, legal, logistics, hiring support and co-working space has ensured that startups dedicate their precious time executing their idea into a reality.
In just three years of its existence, UDGAM has carved a niche for itself. “We have been appreciated because most of our startups are functional. We have not stopped at the first round of funding, we have helped them in continuing with their ventures, and we’ll give them support in all aspects- physical, financial and emotional,” adds the UDGAM founder, who himself is a serial entrepreneur.
UDGAM’s vision is to become the most respected incubator in the country, counted upon as an individual, friend, mentor, and launch pad for anyone who aspires to don the entrepreneurial hat.
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