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Lodha Group, Zone Startups India launch accelerator programme
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Mumbai-based real estate developer Lodha Group and Zone Startups India, an accelerator run by Toronto-based Ryerson Futures, have launched an accelerator programme focusing on consumer-tech, realty-tech and smart city technology ventures, a press statement said.

Called Palava Accelerator, the programme is named after Palava, a smart city located in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region where the startups will conduct their pilots.

Lodha will invest in Palava Accelerator from its flagship Startup Investment Fund for Real Estate and Smart Cities, which has an initial corpus of Rs 50 crore.

As many as 30 startups will be identified every year through an application process, the statement said. The first set of companies to be accepted into the accelerator will be announced in mid-November.

The selected startups will go through a four-month acceleration programme, wherein they will get a dedicated work space, receive mentorship from Zone Startups and its network, and have opportunities to conduct pilots, network and raise funds. They will also get access to other professional services such as accounting, legal, and taxation, the statement said.

Shaishav Dharia, regional chief executive officer of Lodha Group, said, “Palava Accelerator will aim at invigorating the economic growth of Palava, bringing the first set of jobs within the city thereby making walk-to-work a realty for the citizens of Palava. Through the programme, Palava would provide entrepreneurs an opportunity to work in the city and with the city management body...”

Ajay Ramasubramaniam, director (India) of Zone Startups, said, “A thriving startup hub helps build cities ground up, as we have seen globally. More so, such a programme, co-located with a growing, new-age city, acts as a solid test bed for numerous consumer-tech startups.”

Last month, Colorado-based accelerator Techstars, which has accepted over 1,000 startups into its programmes so far, had announced the launch of its India operations.

In November last year, Tata Sons said it was setting up a startup incubator in Pune or Bangalore for early-stage ventures.

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