Co-working operator GoWork is all set to unveil an acceleration cum incubation programme, GoConnect, designed exclusively for startups across varied sectors. Launching in September, it will invite startups from India and abroad to join the programme that will help them setup as well as do sales acceleration in India.
Sudeep Singh, CEO, GoWork India says that the idea is to build a robust community in India which no other country has done so far. “We want to go deep into the startup ecosystem and build an incubator which can take our vision forward. Eventually we want to float it as a separate holding company,” he reveals.
In step with PM’s Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) which intends to give a thrust to innovation and entrepreneurship in the country, GoConnect also plans to enable startups with the necessary wherewithal to up their game and be on the growth path.
Key aspects such as the team behind the startup, the innovative quotient and startups with a sales acceleration focus will be the basic parameters to zero in on the selected startups. These will also be companies which have passed the first round of funding and have a product fitment which is relevant for India.
Presently 173 startups have applied so far, of which 25 will be shortlisted for the first batch. There will be three such batches with duration of 6-8 weeks each that will be spread out over the course of one year. The programme, which will see a mix of international and domestic companies, will first connect startups with corporates to sell their solutions and once the startup has scaled to a certain level, GoConnect will make them investment ready and help them network further with VCs to raise funds.
Startups will need to incur a one-time enrollment fee of Rs 50,000 for the programme and the seats occupied by them at GoWork during the programme will be subsidised at Rs 6,000 per seat.
Singh feels that India really has to move up the ranks if it wants to make a name for itself as the startup hub of the world. “91% of the Unicorns of India are Singapore-based companies. So basically we, as a startup nation, are contributing to some other country’s GDP. The regulations here need to be more startup friendly so that it can incentivise companies to be listed in India,” he adds.
In the Budget this year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced a slew of initiatives for the benefit of startups including breathers to resolve the issue of the controversial angel tax, e-verification mechanism as well as a new TV channel in the pipeline to advance their cause.
Singh feels that it is essential to also think of reaching the next level. “The initiatives should be taken forward in a bigger way. Great innovations are happening, but who is funding those creations post innovation? The momentum has to be sustained else the idea will be lost. Even if you look at the aspect of corporate taxes, India is at 30-35% as against Singapore which is 17-18% which is why many companies prefer to be listed outside. We need to work around such aspects if we want to come up the curve as a startup nation,” he asserts.