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Top Startup Accelerators and Incubators in India [August 2022]

Updated: Aug 19

Check out the top startup accelerators and incubators in India.


Startup accelerator and incubator programs are important for the growth of the Indian startup ecosystem. They provide mentorship, resources, and networking opportunities to founders, which can help them grow their businesses. India has a number of accelerators and incubators that startups can join to get started. Explore below about startup accelerators and incubators, how are they different, and how to choose the right one for your startup. And, we listed a few top startup accelerators and incubators in India.

Top Startup Accelerator and Incubators in India

Startup Accelerators and Startup Incubators


Accelerators and incubators are excellent resources for early-stage enterprises looking to expand their operations. Startup owners who want to get their businesses off to a good start frequently seek assistance from a startup accelerator or startup incubator. The phrases "accelerator" and "incubator" are frequently used interchangeably to refer to the same thing. But there are several important distinctions that first-time founders should be aware of if they intend to join any of them.


What is a startup accelerator program?


What sets accelerators and incubators apart is the structure of their programs. Entrepreneurs participating in accelerator programs typically work with a team of mentors over the course of several weeks or even months to establish their company and avoid potential pitfalls along the way. For example, Techstars and Y Combinator are among the best-known accelerators.


Application processes for accelerators are the first step, however, the most elite programs tend to be extremely picky. Techstars typically needs to choose from roughly 1,000 applicants to fill just its 10 places. Y Combinator, on the other hand, only accepts about 2% of applicants. There are many benefits to working with a mentor network that often consists of startup CEOs, venture capitalists as well as industry experts, and other outside investors. In exchange for a modest amount of stock, early-stage startups often receive a small seed investment and access to a broad mentorship network.


According to Aaron Harris, one of the partners at Y Combinator says that the success of a company is directly attributable to its unique approach to incentives. A lot of that success stems from the alignment of incentives and when all stakeholders are aligned, it's a good program. At YC, all of the partners who assist the startups have an interest in their success. Also, at the completion of an accelerator program, all of the firms in a batch will likely pitch at a demonstration day (commonly abbreviated as a demo day), which will be attended by investors and media. Hopefully, the business has been further developed and vetted at this stage.

Benefits of startup accelerator

  • Funding: As an accelerator program is focused on rapid growth, investors are frequently eager to pay for outcomes as well. Numerous leading business accelerators provide ample seed money to assist startups in getting off the ground quickly.

  • Scheduling: With a constrained time frame, some entrepreneurs may find that a business accelerator assists them in determining what to undertake and when. This is an excellent "crash course" in business management.

  • Connections: An accelerator, like a business incubator, will provide you with more connections in the startup ecosystem, mentors, and vendors who can help you expand your firm quickly. Another common feature is the initial investments in tech firms that are made by many angel investors.

What is a startup incubator program?


Startup incubators work with businesses (or even individual entrepreneurs) that are in the early stages of development, and they do not function on a defined schedule. If an accelerator acts as a greenhouse for young plants, an incubator pairs high-quality seeds with the optimum soil for sprouting and growth.


While some startup incubators operate independently, others are sponsored or administered by venture capital companies, angel investors, government agencies, and large enterprises, among others. While some incubators accept applications, others work exclusively with businesses and ideas they come into contact with through trusted partners. An incubator can target a certain market or vertical, depending on the sponsor. For example, a hospital-sponsored incubator may only accept health-tech firms.


Most startups selected for incubator programs relocate to a certain area to collaborate with other startups. As part of the incubator, a company can fine-tune its product-market fit, uncover intellectual property challenges, and network with other startups.


A typical incubator offers co-working space, a monthly lease scheme, additional coaching, and community connections. Co-working is a significant aspect of the incubation experience and has been separated out as a different company offering across the country.


Benefits of startup incubators

  • The societal benefit: Working in shared spaces, receiving coaching, and being in close proximity to others facing similar issues can be a significant benefit for those who use startup incubators.

  • Infrastructure: It can be challenging for an individual entrepreneur to open the correct doors. However, within a startup incubator structure, they will have access to additional networking opportunities.

  • Elimination of the learning curve: Having access to the coaching and training offered by a startup incubator can help entrepreneurs accelerate their learning curve and avoid some of the more visible mistakes made by other entrepreneurs.


Startup accelerator vs Startup incubators


Getting your firm off the ground may be the goal of both an incubator and an accelerator, but this is not the case. You should know what these structures may achieve for your firm and the advantages and downsides of each option if you get the chance to join one. What you need to know is as follows:


  • How their funding works: Incubators for new businesses are frequently non-profit institutions. Collaborative efforts between public and private institutions such as colleges and government agencies are common. Startup accelerators, on the other hand, are financed by established businesses as well as angel investors and venture capital firms.

  • Their time duration: Accelerators prepare early-stage startups in three to six months. Because the program has a deadline, businesses applying to accelerator programs have already proven their products are marketable. Startups should be able to attract investors after intense mentorship and growth.

Conversely, startup incubators are more flexible. These initiatives are designed to nurture and mentor companies over time. Incubator programs typically last two to three years.
  • Goals of their program: The goal of accelerators is to assist new businesses to grow. As a result, accelerator programs focus on startups and early-stage companies. Also, there are a number of different types of startup incubators, each with a different purpose to aid startups.

  • Application process: Competition for accelerator seats are high. Approximately 45 to 90 firms are accepted into accelerator programs each year. Applicants are required to go through an application, assessment, interview, and evaluation process before they may be considered for admission. The application process for startup incubators, on the other hand, is less competitive. Instead of accepting applicants from all over the world as accelerators do, incubators prefer to work with local start-ups and companies.

  • What they offer: Between the two programs, there are many parallels and differences. You can decide between an accelerator and an incubator by examining the services they offer. Before applying, conduct a thorough analysis of their offerings.

  • Capital investment: Incubators rarely provide seed capital to entrepreneurs enrolled in their programs. Incubators don't ask for a cut of startup equity. They provide office space, business mentoring, and networking.

However, most entrepreneurs seek out accelerator programs to raise much-needed capital. Each accelerator has its own equity percentage capital. In exchange for a particular amount of money, some accelerators, like TechStars, require up to 10% startup equity.



How to choose between a startup accelerator and a startup incubator?


Think of selecting an incubator or accelerator as selecting a college. Similar to colleges, accelerators, and incubators provide programs tailored to specific industries, and some are more difficult to obtain admission to than others. Founders seeking a space to launch or scale their firms today have a variety of possibilities. The challenging aspect is deciding precisely what you want. Thus, when entrepreneurs are determining which program is best for their firm, they should look for the best fit. While the majority of firms would benefit from being in an incubator, only a select handful would profit from an accelerator. An analysis is vital in order for you to choose the best one.


Top Startup Accelerators in India

Below are some of the popular startup accelerators in India.

  • DevX

  • India Accelerator

  • Indian Angel Network

  • 500 startups

  • Techstars Bangalore Accelerator

  • Marwari Catalysts

  • Microsoft Accelerator

  • GSF India Accelerator

  • 9Unicorns

  • JioGenNext

  • TLabs Accelerator

  • Cisco LaunchPad (CLAP)

  • SAP Labs

  • GSF Accelerator

  • Axilor Ventures

  • ScaleMinds

  • Green House Ventures Accelerator (GHV)

  • Zone Startups

  • Jaarvis Accelerator

  • Rebalance

  • Target Accelerator

  • iAccelerator

  • Incubate Fund India

  • Forge Accelerator

  • WE Hub

  • Startup360

  • thinQbate

  • Brigade Real Estate Accelerator Program (REAP)

  • Aspire Labs

Top Startup Incubators in India

Below are some of the popular incubators in India.

  • NSRCEL

  • Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIEE - IIMA)

  • IAN Incubator

  • Nasscom 10,000 Startups

  • IIMK Live

  • iCreate

  • T-HUB

  • Khosla Labs

  • 91 Springboard

  • Social Alpha

  • Startup Oasis

  • Supreme Incubator

  • Centre for Technology Business Incubator (BITS Pilani)

  • Rainmatter

  • VIT-TBI

  • SINE

  • Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Park (STEP)

  • Kerala Startup Mission

  • IIM Calcutta Innovation Park

  • Villgro

  • HealthStart

  • Technology Business Incubator (University of Hyderabad)

  • Amity Innovation Incubator

  • SIDBI Innovation and Incubation Centre (SIIC)

  • Venture Catalysts

  • TIDES Business Incubator

  • Technology Incubation and Entrepreneurship Society (TIETS)

  • Venture Center

  • DLabs

  • Atal Innovation Mission

  • Maker Village

  • Agri Business Incubator

  • Riidl - Research Innovation Incubation Design Labs

Wrap Up


So, these are some of the top startup accelerators and incubators in India. If you’re a startup looking for funding and mentorship, any of these would be great places to start. But remember, it’s important to do your research before applying – make sure the accelerator or incubator is a good fit for your business.


Do you have any experience with startup accelerators or incubators? Let us know in the comments below!