Current Projects and Studies

Ongoing Projects

Research Study

Incubator Ecosystem in India

Chandrakanti Behera, Thillai Rajan A., IIT Madras

The objective of an “Incubator ecosystem in India” is to provide a comprehensive and insightful analysis of the overall incubator ecosystem across multiple regions in India. The report aims to offer a detailed overview of various aspects, including the incubator landscape, program offerings, startup successes, challenges faced, collaborative efforts, and the broader impact on the entrepreneurial ecosystem. By presenting a thorough examination of incubator models, achievements, and future plans, the objective is to inform stakeholders, policymakers, investors, and the general public about the vital role of incubators in fostering innovation, supporting startups, and contributing to economic growth. The report seeks to contribute to data-driven decision-making, facilitate collaboration, and inspire initiatives that enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of the incubator ecosystem.

Research Study

The Tamil Nadu Start-up Ecosystem Report 2023

Reeba Devaraj, Thillai Rajan A., IIT Madras

This report provides a snapshot of the start-up ecosystem in the state and was compiled using data from various secondary and primary sources. The secondary data was obtained from various policies and initiatives, articles, and websites that provide relevant information on the start-up ecosystem. StartupTN initiatives and relevant sector-specific policies have been studied in detail to understand their engagement with critical areas of support imperative for the success of a start-up. They include areas such as formation support, fiscal, regulatory, human capital, ease of doing business and so on. The exercise provides a comprehensive perspective of the state-initiated start-up schemes aligning with the mission of StartupIndia, as well as schemes targeting select industries with the intention to boost the relevant start-ups to meet national and global expectations. The analysis of the schemes launched between 2018 to 2022 was done extensively as they form the core of the StartupTN initiative. The main data for this research was obtained from two sources, namely YNOS Venture Engine and StartupTN for data on the start-up landscape, funding, revenue and asset generation. Furthermore, data related to employees was collected from start-ups through an online survey.

Study Report

Impact and Overview of the Start-up Economy in India, with special reference to the Digital Start-ups

Thillai Rajan A, IIT Madras

The Startup India initiative is envisioned to catalyse the start-up culture, with start-ups being recognized through the initiative and entrepreneurs availing the benefits of launching and conducting their own business in India with ease. In recent years, India has seen a steady increase in the number of start-ups incorporated, especially in sectors such as IT and ITES. The annual growth rate of start-ups as of early 2022 was around 15.5 percent. The number of registered start-ups grew from 223 in August 2016 to more than 83000 in December 2022. Several policy changes and new schemes have been introduced by 129 different ministries, to encourage and support start-ups. Government’s support is critical in providing the essential funding, mentorship, and market access support required by start-ups. In line with the same, MEITY’s start-up support programs contain various provisions to incentivise key start-up stakeholders such as incubators and institutions of higher education among others so as to promote holistic development for India’s start-up ecosystem. The objective of this study is to analyse the start-up landscape and understand the impact of the Start-up policy introduced by the National Government in 2016, with a specific focus on start-ups in digital technologies.

Research Study

Patents and Startup Performance: Evidence from the Indian startup ecosystem

Arushi Gupta, IIT Madras

Entrepreneurship and startups are considered drivers of technological innovation and economic growth in today's economy. Through these engines of economic growth, cities attract fresh ideas, talent, technology-driven businesses, and venture capital (VC) funding. Several studies have shown that along with business acumen and creativity, intellectual property rights play a role in helping firms survive competition in the market. There is an increasing number of patents filed by start-ups in India; the number of patents filed by Indian start-ups increased by 353% between 2015 and 2019. Startups patent for a variety of reasons: to gain a competitive advantage, prohibit competitors from utilizing their technology, raise capital by indicating to investors the appropriability of their technology and own an asset that adds to the company's value.

Research Study

Alternate Approaches for Valuing Start-ups: Investigating the Effectiveness of Risk Neutral And Cascade Neural Network Approach

Haritha V H, IIT Madras

A typical valuation procedure of a startup involves an analysis of potential future cash flows, an analysis of comparative firms’ stock prices, or an analysis of the price-to-earnings ratio of the venture. The valuation of a new venture with significant growth opportunities, high uncertainty and no real cashflow using foggy discount rate estimations seem to defy all the common wisdom on growth firm valuation. Rather than anchoring the Risk-Return equation of such high-growth, high-uncertainty firms in some impassable plan, the study intends to conduct an empirical analysis of the risk and return profile of start-ups in the Indian scenario using a risk-neutral model and backing it up with the findings of the cascade neural network model. This would provide a systematic reference guide for entrepreneurs as well as risk capital investors in India.

Research Study

Motivating factors of sustainable entrepreneurs

Madhavan V Nampoothiri, IIT Madras

The decision to startup into one of the SDG areas can be driven both by external and internal factors. The regulatory environment, societal needs for more sustainable solutions or other drivers constitute the external factors, while the intrinsic motivation could be either idealistic/altruistic orientation or pure economic orientation or a combination of both. There have been studies in the past that examine entrepreneurship in the sustainable development area. These studies are based on western markets and there is a dearth of literature that focuses on the Indian startup ecosystem. This study addresses the gap by examining the drivers of sustainable entrepreneurship (specifically environmental entrepreneurship) in the Indian context and looks at demographic factors including age, gender, education and prior experience, and the behavioural factors like altruism/idealism or economic reward maximisation.

Research Study

Role of Start-Ups and Entrepreneurship in Achieving Health Equity

Aarthi Ramachandran, IIT Madras

Health Equity is the absence of unfair, avoidable, or remediable differences among groups of people, whether those groups are defined socially, economically, demographically, or geographically or by other dimensions of inequality (e.g., sex, gender, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation). It also requires attention to health inequities, which are differences in population health status and mortality rates that are systemic, patterned, unjust, and actionable, as opposed to random or caused by those who become ill. Health equity is an issue within all our countries and is affected significantly by the global economic and political system. Startups have unique capabilities such as revenue generation, poverty elevation, and strengthening the local economy, etc. that can help them achieve health equity. This proposed research focuses on how these startups and entrepreneurship can contribute to health equity and address inequities in health.

Research Study

Differential uptake of circular practices between Indian Start-ups and Incumbents

Nandhini Priya N, IIT Madras

In today's world, where industrialization and technological advancements strain resources, the urgency for sustainable transformation is paramount. Businesses hold a significant social responsibility to positively impact the communities they serve. For countries like India, aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goals poses a significant challenge due to its vast and varied population. However, through resolute initiatives from all stakeholders, progress towards the UN 2030 targets is underway. Embracing the circular economy concept, which minimizes waste, optimizes resources, and restores natural systems, promises accelerated sustainable development. Companies can lead by integrating circular design principles, promoting product reuse and recycling, and innovating business models. Policymakers must support these efforts by incentivizing resource efficiency and facilitating access to financial resources. In the context of India's rapid economic growth and thriving start-up scene, this study aims to explore how established companies (incumbents) and (start-ups) new ventures are embracing circular principles by seeking to identify the factors driving Indian manufacturing firms towards circular economy practices and examine the business strategies of both circular start-ups and incumbents for achieving circularity.

Research Study

Founder Demographics and Ecosystem Factors for Success of Student Startups from Higher Education Institutions

K. P. Nandhini and Thillai Rajan A., IIT Madras

Over the past decade, student entrepreneurship has seen a successful evolution. Many higher educational institutions have recognized this potential and are actively imparting entrepreneurship knowledge to their students. The resulting success of these student startups has motivated a growing number of young people to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. This research delves deeper, investigating the factors that influence the success of student startups beyond just access to resources. It examines how student entrepreneurs’ socio- economic backgrounds, venture-specific characteristics, and traditional factors like market fit and team dynamics contribute to the varying success rates of early-stage student startups.