Entrepreneurs believe virtual incubators enable inclusive and diverse startup ecosystem, especially Tier 2-3 cities.
The growth of virtual startup incubators in India has been particularly significant in recent years, with several prominent incubators launching online programs specifically aimed at supporting startups from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. For example, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) launched the 10,000 Startups Virtual Incubation Program.
Similarly, Startup India, a flagship initiative of the Indian government, launched an online incubator called Startup India Hub, which provides startups with access to a range of resources and support services, including funding opportunities, mentorship, and legal and regulatory advice.
The rise of virtual startup incubators unlocks the potential of India’s Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities by providing startups with the resources and support they need to grow and succeed. As a result, more and more entrepreneurs from smaller cities are projected to emerge with innovative ideas and ventures, driving growth and innovation across the country.
The Indian startup ecosystem has been embarking on an ambitious journey and the wave of a digitally driven economy is bringing forth the emergence of startups in Tier 2 and 3 cities. However, in a highly competitive landscape, some entrepreneurs frequently encounter entry-level challenges due to inadequate access to resources, networks, and mentorship. Fortunately, the rise of virtual startup incubators is helping to bridge this gap and unlock the potential of India’s smaller cities.
A recent survey conducted by IncuDash, a virtual incubator focused on the growth of startups from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities reveals 79% of respondents believe virtual incubators will help improve the quality of startups in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
Virtual incubators can provide unique solutions to their everyday challenges and hence, play a significant role in the wave of Tier 2 and 3 startupsRishabh Kumar Taneja, Founder, and CEO of IncuDash
Rishabh Kumar Taneja, Founder, and CEO of IncuDash, says, “In the startup space in India Tier 2 and tier 3 cities are most thriving and offers a large pool of talent at a lower operating cost than tier 1. Virtual incubators can provide unique solutions to their everyday challenges and hence, play a significant role in the wave of Tier 2 and 3 startups.”
The survey also says 82% of respondents agree that virtual incubators can help rural entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. This implies that virtual incubators can offer strategic support for the growth of entrepreneurship in rural areas and that people recognize their potential to uplift these communities.
71% of the respondents feel virtual incubators will play a crucial role in reducing talent migration from Tier 2 and 3 cities. Reaching out to incubator support allows talent to stay in their city by gaining access to the same resources and support services as their counterparts in Tier 1 cities.
“Virtual incubators potentially level the playing field for startups from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. Startups from these areas faced challenges accessing the networks and resources required to expand their businesses. Virtual incubators, on the other hand, give these entrepreneurs access to the same tools and services as their counterparts in Tier 1 cities, which can spur development and innovation in these smaller towns,” he further adds.
The survey further reveals the role of virtual incubators in the democratization of the startup ecosystem. Around 78% of the respondents believe that the existence of virtual incubators can create a more inclusive and diverse startup ecosystem in India. This could also lead to the formation of a virtual community of entrepreneurs to collaborate, work and grow together.
Taneja also says, “Virtual incubators prove to be a cost-effective and efficient way for startups to access mentorship and guidance. Traditionally, entrepreneurs may have had to travel long distances to meet with mentors or attend training and development programs. However, virtual incubators enable startups to access these services from the comfort of their city, which can save them time, money, and resources.”