Host to some of the best known multinational companies in the world, Hyderabad is now also emerging as the preferred destination for hundreds of young entrepreneurs opting out of conventional careers and setting up their own ventures. With an active community, excellent incubation cells, increased investor interest and a thriving student population, the city is finally developing an ecosystem that’s conductive to start-ups, say budding entrepreneurs. Industry insiders feel that the overwhelming turnout at the recently concluded Google Hyderabad Startup Weekend speaks for itself. “There has been a huge transformation in the quality and quantity of people in the city who are now starting up their own businesses. Compared to even two to three years ago, there are now more students with hands-on experience. There are now more ideas and more investors willing to fund these ideas,” said Rahul Sanghi, one of the organisers of the event.
Much of the credit, it appears, goes to highly-equipped incubation cells of top notch educational institutes in the City such as IIIT, ISB, NIT and BITS Pilani, which offer space, support and networking opportunities to aspiring businesses. In addition to an incubation cell to promote entrepreneurship for students, the IIIT-Hyderabad, for instance, has a separate non-profit facility known as the IIIT-H Foundation, which not only funds promising ventures, but offers over 14,000 sq ft of fully-equipped space which start-ups can work out of. BITS Pilani has a similar facility and ISB is expected to start one more. “The idea is to create an ecosystem for entrepreneurs. Most of the start-ups are floated by people who have experience in large corporations. We provide them logistic, business and networking support,” stated Srinivas Kollipara, COO of IIIT-H Foundation. Young entrepreneurs in the city believe that as a result of all these developments, Hyderabad today is as good a place to set up a new company as Bengaluru or Mumbai. “Even a year ago, I wouldn’t have gained the know-how necessary to set up a new business.
But now, there’s a strong support system and networking opportunities for people like me,” said Varun Devireddy, who presented one of the winning ideas at the Start Up Weekend for a venture called the Bootlegger. The Hyderabad Angel Network is one of the major organisations that invests in emerging businesses in the City. It now receives more than 20 proposals a month. They say they have taken notice of the upward trend in the start up scene too. “There is an absolutely positive trend. Earlier, we didn’t see half the number of quality deals that we see today. This is a market that’s going to show great promise in the coming years,” said J.A. Chowdary, co-founder of the Hyderabad Chapter of Angel Network.