Top 5 Startup Incubators and Accelerators in India

Created on 07 May 2022

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Updated on 02 May 2024

Top 5 Startup Incubators and Accelerators in India

Disclaimer- Most of them are glorified co-working spaces. You pay rent, you get seats. Abb baithne ka bhi lagaan lagega!

Oyo, Coinbase, and Dropbox what all these successful startups have in common are they all were helped by startup accelerators before succeeding.
Have you ever thought that your business requires some kind of help, like to figure out a product-market fit(means a product that people want) or you have your product, but you want to scale your business? So, is there a solution to that?

Everyone wants to grow their business, but many of the times, we have some constraints like capital, network, right guidance, etc. to solve all these problems, there exist business incubators and accelerators which can help us in many ways.

Today we will know about business Incubators and Accelerators: What’s the difference between them?
Also, we will be looking at the top 5 startup Incubators and Accelerators in India.

Firstly we need to understand what Incubators and Accelerators are?

What are Incubators and Accelerators?

The incubator center is an organization that helps startups to get disruptive ideas and an MVP(Minimum Viable Product). Incubation centers can be supported by a university, government, or some venture capitalists.

An accelerator is an organization that helps startups that have an MVP(Minimum Viable Product) to grow at scale. Most of the startup accelerators are supported by venture capitalists.

Most of the incubation centers are directly or indirectly supported by the government of India to support and help entrepreneurs. Even colleges and universities have their startup incubators and accelerators for their students as well as non-students.

Benefits of Incubators and Accelerators

These are the major benefits one can get from business Incubators and startup Accelerators:

  • Exposure to venture capitalists and angel investors.

  • Can get access to a network of successful entrepreneurs.

  • Access to funding.

  • Access to industry experts and mentors.

  • It saves time and money.

  • Also, a startup can get customers from the portfolio of incubators and accelerators.

  • Like-minded entrepreneurs who come together can become partners/co-founders.

  • Consultation.

Differences between Incubators and Accelerators

Some key differences between Incubators and Accelerators are:

Startup Stage: Startup Incubators focus on early-stage companies that have yet not figured out their MVP(Minimum Viable Product). Startup accelerators focus on startups that have found their MVP and have high growth potential.

Funding: Most of the time, business incubators don’t invest money, and they just ask for equity in return for the services they will provide, whereas a startup accelerator can also provide funds directly or via a group of their network.

Duration: Business incubators usually work for the long term and stay with founders for 1-5 years. The startup accelerators are fast-paced organizations that stay with founders for 3-6 months.

Top 5 business incubators in India:

1. CIIE-IIMA ( Centre for Innovation Incubation And Entrepreneurship - IIM Ahmedabad):

The Centre for Innovation Incubation And Entrepreneurship was started by IIM Ahmedabad as an initiative to support early-stage startups with the help of the government of India and the state government of Gujarat.

CIIE consists of IIMA faculty, Alumni, and their like-minded partners. It provides benefits such as funding, mentoring, and networking with alumni and industry experts.

Founding year: 2002.
Founded by: IIM Ahmedabad.
Remarkable Startups: Razorpay, Thrillophilia, Biosense.

2. IAN (Indian Angels Network)

Indian Angel Network started in April 2006, where in addition to money, it also provides regular access to high-quality mentoring, vast networks, and inputs on strategy as well as execution.

The Indian Angel Network seems at making an investment upto USD 1 mn, with approximately USD 400-600K, and exiting over three to five years via a strategic sale. The Network may also consider investments over one million dollars.

Founding year: 2006
Founded by: Saurabh Srivastava, Padmaja Ruparel, Raman Roy.
Remarkable Startups: Mukunda Foods, Collegesearch, WOW! Momo


iCreate is an organization established with a vision of developing an efficient methodology for selecting tech innovators and helping them convert into successful entrepreneurs and, with this, create a large positive impact on India’s economy.

iCreate plays an important role in helping startups from ideation to execution. iCreate adds value for startups by mentoring, funding, and new business opportunities.

Founding year: 2012.
Founded by: GFEE (Gujarat Foundation for Entrepreneurial Excellence), it’s a 50:50 joint venture between GMDC (Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation, a public sector undertaking) and GEVPF (Gujarat Entrepreneurship and Venture Promotion Foundation.
Remarkable Startups: TecSo CHARGE+ZONE, Drone Nation, The Solar labs.

4. Amity Innovation Incubator

Amity Innovation Incubator supports innovative and tech-driven startups, and in total, they have helped 100+ companies that have shown significant growth.

Amity Innovation Incubator has close ties with venture capitalists and angel investor networks and with them, they have invested over $40m in companies through mergers & acquisitions and angel investments.

Founding year: 2008.
Founded by: Amity institution.
Remarkable Startups:, Marksman, Anduril Technologies.

5. SINE (Society for Innovation & Entrepreneurship)

Society for Innovation & Entrepreneurship was established in 2004 and is one of the oldest incubation centers in India. It is an initiative by IIT Bombay, and it provides nurturing to startups going from idea to execution.

Till date, they have helped more than 190 startups succeed via various activities to support venture creation and their startups have raised more than 4000 crores in funding.

Founding year: 2004
Founded by: IIT Bombay.
Remarkable Startups: ideaForge, Bhugol GIS, Bellatrix Aerospace

Top 5 startup accelerators in India:

1. GSF Accelerators

GSF is a tech-focused early-stage venture capital firm that provides funding and mentoring to startups to scale their products and services.

GSF accelerators have a portfolio of more than 110 companies and their portfolio companies have a combined valuation of more than 2 billion dollars.

Founded by: Rajesh Sawhney
Founding year: 2012.
Remarkable Startups: HackerEarth, Bimaplan,eBIkeGo.
Funding: Upto 150k USD.
Location: Gurgaon.
Duration: 12 weeks.

2. 500 startups

500 startups were started in Mountain View, California and it is a global venture capital firm with over 2.7 billion dollars in assets under management that invests early in startups building fast-growing tech companies.

500 startups is at the forefront when it comes to supporting startups. They have helped more than 2600 companies globally.

Founded by: Dave McClure
Founding year: 2010.
Remarkable Startups: Instamojo, Udemy, Canva.
Funding: Upto 150k USD.
Location: Bangalore.
Duration: 4 months.

3. Cisco Launchpad

Cisco Launchpad is an initiative by Cisco which is aimed at supporting early-stage startups with their expertise.

Cisco Launchpad has invested in around 54 startup companies. They help startups by giving them access to their technologies and support. They provide co-working space as well.

Founded by: Cisco.
Founding year;2016.
Remarkable Startups: Teslon, NavStik Labs, VuNet Systems
Location: Bangalore.
Duration: 6 months.

4. Microsoft Accelerator

Microsoft Accelerator was started by Microsoft to bring technology, guidance, and support to startups.

Microsoft Accelerator provides help to startups in creating new markets and distribution channels.

Founded by: Microsoft
Founding year: 2012.
Remarkable Startups: Plustxt(Acquired by One97), Nowfloats, Explara.
Funding: Non-monetary benefits upto 150k USD via access to Microsoft Azure and office 365 tools.
Location: Bangalore.
Duration: 4 months.

5. Zonestartups

Zonestartups is a not-for-profit foundation set up as a joint venture between Ryerson University (Toronto) and Bombay Stock Exchange Institute (BSE).

Zonestartups is a Mumbai-based organization that helps early-stage startups to grow with their support.

Founded by: Ryerson University (Toronto) and Bombay Stock Exchange Institute (BSE).
Founding year: 2014.
Remarkable Startups: Nimble, Sismatik.Bioscan Research.
Funding: Ranging from 50k-750k USD.
Location: Mumbai.
Duration: 4-6 months.


If you think you want to grow and leverage the opportunities, then the best way to grow your startup is with startup incubators and accelerators.

Before selecting the right incubation center and startup accelerator, we should do thorough research as many of the incubators aren’t worth it as some do not provide funding, some have limited networks with them, and some don't provide access to tools like Microsoft accelerator and Cisco launchpad are able to provide, etc. 

Now we know the difference between business incubators and accelerators and the benefits they provide to us.

Till we meet again! 

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Blind follower of his curiosity and loves revolving around startups, businesses, economics, and finance.

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