The Indian business world has seen many drastic changes over the last decade. It has evolved by leaps and bounds. A prominent example of this evolution is the emergence of startups in the marketplace. Relaxation of regulations in starting and operating a business, brought about in the last few years, has made it easy for young entrepreneurs to chase their dreams and bring them to reality. This has led to a situation where we have many startups in the market who are trying to cope with challenges like lack of vision, guidance and positive supervision required to climb the ladder of success. This is where a business accelerator comes into play.
A startup accelerator or business accelerator aims to solve a wide range of problems for its incubatees (usually early stage startups). By helping the startups sort their technical, commercial, legal and marketing needs, accelerators become instrumental in prepping them to face investors with confidence. In a nutshell, they alleviate the utter chaos surrounding fresh ventures, and provide a sense of direction to startups. This proves the importance of an accelerator to a startup. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that the growth of the startup industry is directly proportional to the existence of accelerators in the market. As a result, there is no dearth of brands that position themselves as powerhouses that startups can approach to elevate their growth trajectory.
While there are many accelerators operating in the Indian marketplace, one that stands out from the crowd is Jaarvis Accelerator (JA). Sponsored from Hong Kong and Singapore and operating in India, JA is an innovative venture by the Jaarvis Group, which strives to identify early stage sustainable startup ideas and help them turn into scalable business models. This is made possible by providing the startups with well-rounded assistance aimed to bridge all the gaps that they might encounter in their journey. From providing office space to solving everyday problems related to human resources, technical glitches, legal compliances, marketing support – JA assists its startups in every step they take.
Headed by Brett Stevens, Vice President of JA and a veteran in the industry, JA boasts of a team comprising of industry experts who play vital roles in guiding the incubatees and shaping up their paths to success. JA’s mission is to turn disruptive ideas into reality through a vibrant ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs with mentoring, technology, networking, business experience and capital. Additionally, the accelerator also endeavors to ensure that fledgling entrepreneurial ideas are converted into compelling fundable propositions in the shortest possible period of time. For this, the accelerator offers a four-month resident program developed by seasoned entrepreneurs. During the course of this program, JA intensively works with its incubatees to build and grow their business. A skilled in-house team and a panel of advisors and mentors ensure that the startups gain access to prominent people and pioneers from the industry, potential strategic customers or partners, top-tier technical support and a wide pool of capital providers. At the end of each four-month residential program, a ‘Demo Day’ is held where the startups are invited to pitch and showcase their product and business to investors, which in turn, eases their path to funding.
JA is also one of the first accelerators in India to offer an international exposure for growth and learning to its incubatees. For its next batch starting in May 2016, JA has committed to provide its FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain technology startups a two-month learning experience in the Hong Kong market and an opportunity to meet and learn from experts around the financial world. The IoT, Big Data Analytics and Agritech sectors have also gathered tremendous momentum in recent times, and JA believes it to be a strategically positive move to expand its portfolio in those verticals.
To sum it all up, the startup ecosystem in India looks quite promising at the moment. But it is a dynamic landscape with constant changes taking place every day. It would be interesting to see how accelerators work to catch up with these changes and how they evolve in the process. Even more interesting would be to see how Jaarvis Accelerator fares in the face of challenges that stare the startup world right in the face. With all the expertise and resources, will JA be able to emerge as the most potent accelerator it promises to be? Only time will tell.