India is entrepreneurial country and is easily visible with a risen number of start-ups in last five years. More and more young individuals are looking to try their chances running independent businesses instead of working for a company. India is third largest start-up nation in the world after US & Europe. More than 4, 200 developing start-ups were established in 2016. These startups operated across various sectors, including e-commerce, health technology, robotics, infrastructure, and the Internet. A large number of Startup incubators & accelerators in India have started mushrooming with the rise in the number of startups in the market.
The amount of fund and services made available by both private players and government along with a strong network of support also dismisses any doubt which naturally involves while going out individually and in fact, strengthens their confidence to take a big leap. There are many firms or individuals looking to invest in their unique and modern ideas, and they only have to worry about their innovative and marketable products and services. Other needs and assistance will be supported by independent individuals and institutions, like accelerators and startup incubators.
Background of Startup incubators & accelerators in India
Incubators provide diverse services along with capital, it includes contacts of state authorities, links of angel investors, economic alliances & much more. Incubators do not manage any enterprise, unlike other business drivers. Any founder or firm who wish to enter for incubator program must apply for it.  The eligibility conditions differ from program to program, but usually, those who have a feasible business idea and useful business model get the nod. These incubator programs provide selected startups or entrepreneur’s the investment capital to develop their ideas further.
The process of incubation not only provides the startup with an inspiring environment, quality guidance and a support structure, it also helps them improve their business model and get access to a tight, yet excellent working space. India’s start-up progress supported by incubators who offer a proper atmosphere where many entrepreneurs develop parallel.
India has around 140 startup incubators, according to a report by IT industry body Nasscom. But actual numbers might be different from the mentioned, Vijay Kumar Bawra, who is head of Nasscom’s 10,000 Startups, says that the country approximately has 150-160 incubators until December 2016.
Along with the guiding startups on what is right direction and what would work, these incubators also help them to get customers and investments. More than 50% of incubators located in non-metro cities. It facilitated start-ups establishment & their campaign across the country. 
These incubators mentors around 5-500+ startups, depending upon their launch date and their association. If they’re associated with an institute or university, then they are likely to have more startups associated, and if they’re a company or individual, their numbers are comparatively less.
For instance, IIT-M Incubation Cell (IITM-IC) has incubated 558 companies while IAN Incubator has provided investment for around 12 startups. University-supported incubators are around 36 while private institutes support only about 13. 
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Who are they promoting?
Starting a for-profit business is not an easy task, especially if you are entering the unknown territory. Lack of funds, workforce, knowledge resources, workable business model; barriers is endless. Thankfully, we have the support of different networks and institutions called accelerators and incubators.
The government has taken important measures for promoting business ecosystem as well as systems supporting them are engaged well. These include accelerators & incubators and they are promoting the development of start-ups, MSMEs & early-stage firms. These incubators help businesses with capital investments and other additional services required for successful operations. Their goal is to produce the successful startups which will leave the program with possible returns.
Who are they affiliated with?
An incubator provides a perfect stage for new start-ups to link with peers, mentors & advisors. These incubators usually affiliated with top universities, public research institutes, local government and private companies.
According to recent Nasscom report, around 50-55% of these incubators are associated with institutions like IIT-Madras’ Rural Technology and Business Incubator, IIT Hyderabad Incubator or IIM-Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE IIM). About 10% of incubators & accelerators supported by firms like PayPal, Target etc. Others are affiliated with the government support intuitions like T-Hub of Telangana, Kochi’s Smart City, and Nasscom’s Warehouses.
Company and government/institutional incubators
Any support from government is necessary for budding entrepreneurs. Government body of incubators, ISBA supports more than 100 incubation centres.  Some of the prominent names are Indian Angel Network, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship (SINE Mumbai), Center for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship, IIM, Technopark Technology Business Incubator, IIT Hyderabad Incubator, NSRCEL, IIM Bangalore, etc. There are other incubators supported by private companies, namely Microsoft Ventures, Qualcomm’s QDIC, Cisco’s GSF India, and Airbus BizLab.
These incubators assist them in general advice and technical mentoring which is needed to exist for a substantial period, unlike other who fall-out within months of their start.
Role of Startup incubators & accelerators in India
Incubators are playing important roles for the Startups in India. They have the potential to create employment, commercialize the new technologies and strengthen the national economic growth.
They usually provide clients access to suitable rental space and flexible leases, basic business assistance and equipment, technology support services and support in obtaining the investment along with mentors to guide the start-ups through its early stages.
Additionally, incubators play a significant role in the economy of the region by serving the central point of contact between VCs, business institutions, students & the governments.  This powerful collection of stakeholders enables the exchange of ideas and allows the creation of quick as well as efficient solutions to problems of young entrepreneur’s in the country. It not only benefits the stakeholders involved but also the general economy of the region and country as a whole.
Specific trends of Startup incubators & accelerators in India
In India, incubators have existed since the 1980s, under the Government of India and since 90s under the private sector. They have played a significant role in promoting and nourishing start-ups across the country.
With the formation of incubators & accelerators in 2010, associate networks of Indian start-ups have grown manifold. They provide investment, mentorship & methods for them to prosper.  According to a report from
Dutch giant in healthcare and consumer services Philips is eyeing to join other fortune companies in capitalizing India’s rapidly evolving startup ecosystem, particularly in health care.
Philips is aiming to considerably increase its data centre team and hire hundreds of data scientists over the period of next five years. The company is focusing on recruiting around 2000 techies to join their team in Bangalore to take advantage of the improved environment for startups.
There were only 35 accelerators in India in 2011, now according to Nasscom’s report, the accelerator and incubator numbers have risen to more than 150.
The incubation wave that started in 2012 has only increased since. Some of India’s top incubators include 10000 startups, Agri-Business Incubator, and IIT Madras’s Business Incubator.  The number of incubators was around 95 in 2015-16 and more 40% of those concentrated in the areas of Bangalore, Mumbai, and Delhi-NCR.
According to IT body “Nasscom”, more than 40 new business incubators added in 2016. Surprisingly, new incubators established in tier 2 and tier 3 cities showing significant investment in non-metro cities.
India will invest US$ 2000 million to set up 100 more incubators across the country to support start-ups in innovations, confirmed by Science & Technology Secretary on 7th April 2017.
Financial support for your digital health startup
For every start-up venture getting funds and other services is a headache in early stages. Incubators are ready-to-go space and support infrastructure for start-up firms. The incubator typically makes revenue by charging monthly rental fees to the renter companies.
In India, their support varies from loans to equity or just mentoring and assistance. Apart from their general assistance in building sustainable business environment and mentoring, startup incubators also provide resources like the office space, equipment, legal services and the much-needed help of raising investment.
Eligibility criteria for your digital health startup
- The company is listed as a Private limited company
- It should not be more than five years
- Its turnover has not exceeded INR 25 crore in any financial year
- It is working towards innovation, development, and commercialization of new product or services driven by technology
- It has not been formed by reconstruction of an existing business already in operation or as a subsidiary
- Start-up should provide application form along with all relevant documents to the Incubator
- It will agree to visit in-person or communicate with the Incubator as per the requirements approved by Incubator
- Start-up will agree to sign the Undertakings given by the Incubator, and their importance will be clarified satisfactorily by the Incubator to the Start-ups
Typical financial assistance varies from program to program, but they have certain definite time-frame like ten weeks or twelve weeks.
For example, Hatch has a 52-week incubator-program along with 13 weeks accelerator program. It has the facility of 25, 000 sqft located in Chandigarh & Gurgaon. 
The investment opportunity is up to US$ 1 million and also has access to investors for funding up to US$ 10 Million.
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