US startup accelerator Techstars to launch in India
L to R: David Cohen co-Ceo Techstars,Lalit Ahuja Ceo ANSR, David Brown co-Ceo Techstars

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

The global accelerator is planning to hire a country head to lead its operations in India before bringing its various programmes to the country, said Techstars co-CEO David Brown.

Techstars India will be a joint venture with ANSR, which offers in-house centres and corporate accelerator programmes for global corporations in India.

“We have been watching India’s growth very closely and its emergence as the third largest global startup ecosystem in less than a decade. There is so much great activity here and the potential for growth is huge, as one of the fastest growing economies in the world,” Brown added.

Startups, which have so far participated in Techstars’ accelerator programmes, have collectively raised over $3.8 billion, and have a market cap of over $9.9 billion.

In addition to its $300 million venture capital fund, Techstars Venture Capital Fund, the company conducts platforms such as Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Program, and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships.

The accelerator is a three-month programme, where the company typically invests $120,000 for a 6% stock in US. Brown said the numbers would be different for India as they are yet to finalise their strategy.

Welcoming Techstars, Priyank Kharge, Minister of IT, BT and Tourism, Karnataka, said the government needs ecosystem experts to bring in a tech revolution. “The government of Karnataka is focused on building a bolder and structured ecosystem and the collaboration with Techstars is exactly what the government required.”

In the last three months alone, over 3,200 startups have registered with the state government. “We are also coming up with numerous centres of excellence and by the end of August we will have India’s first centre of excellence for artificial intelligence,” he added.

Backed by Accel Partners and Infosys, ANSR is engaged in establishing, operating and optimising global in-house centres and provides solutions to enterprises across the life-cycle. Through its innovation arm Kyron, ANSR also operates startup-led innovation programmes for its corporate partners, including Target, L-Brands, Lowes and Swiss Re.

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