India’s largest tech incubator attracts 130 startups even before launch

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Creating a buzz even before its formal launch, T-Hub, India’s largest technology incubator, is almost completely booked, attracting over 130 startups from across the country.

The facility, claimed to be only one of its kind in the country, has also tied-up with 20 venture capitalists and is also in talks with University of Texas, Houston, MIT Media Lab, Incubio of Spain and laboratories and academic institutions in India and abroad for collaboration.

Aimed at providing right ecosystem for startups and making Hyderabad the startup capital of India, the facility will be formally inaugurated by Tata Sons chairman emiritus Ratan Tata along with Telangana Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan on November 5.

Telangana Information Technology Minister K. Tarakarama Rao told reporters on Monday that the state government will provide Rs.10 crore for the innovation fund to provide funding to the startups. The state government hopes that private players will contribute Rs.90 crore for the innovation fund for T-Hub in public private partnership mode.

“To begin with the innovation fund will be Rs.100 crore. We want to ramp it to $100 million or over Rs.600 crore,” he said.

The minister, who recently visited the US, claimed that venture capitalists in Silicon Valley including those who are connected to Hyderabad are interested to pitch in for the innovation fund. Over 30 top technology companies have also evinced interest in T-Hub.

Tata Capital has also showed interest in participating in the fund. The minister hoped that the deal will be closed soon.

In addition to the innovation fund, the startups will also have the opportunity to get funds from venture capitalists and angel investors.

Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy will be mentor and one of the principal advisors of the facility, which has been built at the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) here at a cost of Rs.40 crore.

The 70,000 square feet facility with seating capacity for 800 people can house 150 startups.

The minister said the government would provide the assistance till T-Hub become self-sustaining. It will make revenues by leasing out office space to startups, VCs and others.

Tarakarama Rao has requested Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Adobe Systems CEO Shantanu Narayen, Biocon’s chairman and managing director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and other biggies to be mentors or address the young entrepreneurs when they visit Hyderabad.

T-Hub has already roped in 60 personalities from top academic institutions to play a mentor’s role.

The facility has been developed by Telangana government in collaboration with IIIT, Hyderabad, Indian School of Business (ISB) and NALSAR University of Law.

While ISB will be the business mentor, technology mentorship will be provided by IIIT and legal and intellectual property mentorship by NALSAR.

The IT minister said the second phase of T-Hub would come up at an estimated cost of Rs.150 crore in Raidurgam in Hitec City, the IT hub, in less than three years. It will have 300,000 sft space and the state government is hoping to get financial help from the central government.

The government plans to take up the project in PPP mode.

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