Scaleup13 Demo day for Incubators

StartupTN in association with Headstart launched an exclusive “ScaleUp” program to support selected Incubators in Tamil Nadu. The incubators got exposed to a curriculum-based support through structured workshops over a 12-week period and an opportunity to get grants from StartupTN, to implement their learnings & action plan.

The aim of the program was to enable the incubators to gain insights, learn about global best practices, and gain access to networks & tools to close the existing gaps in the incubator and march towards a truly scalable and sustainable model of running the incubator successfully.

Week 1 : Orientation Session on 24th February 2021

Key focus: Icebreaker, Introductions to the program and the participants.

We started the Scaleup program on the 24th of February with an Orientation session. The main agenda was to let the incubators know about the 10 weeks program outline and get to know more about the fellow incubators’ team to facilitate peer to peer learning as well.

The incubators were given a task of making a pitch deck for a 3 minute pitch to a potential corporate partner.

Week 2 : 3rd March 2021

Key focus : Introduction to the basic elements & principles of structured Incubation.

The incubators were introduced to Lean Model Canvas, to understand the playbooks as well as be able to coach their incubatees on it and were given a task of preparing a leaner canvas for their incubator, across 4 key pillars discussed. The incubators also identified things that are working and not working for the incubator under the 7 elements of incubation (Infrastructure, Program, Process, Startups, Finance, Visibility and Network, Team)

Key Focus : Introduction to the various stages of an Incubation program, hands-on training on improving the pitch and pitch decks of the incubators, based on the feedback/performance of Week 1’s activity.

Incubators were introduced to the idea funnel for their startups. Different stages involved in making startups in the incubator successful, right from growing the idea pipeline, making them investment ready to tracking goals and results.

Guest speaker of the day was Chetan Bhatia , founder of Honest Create , who comes with 15 years of Sales & Marketing experience and has helped 1000+ organizations with their pitch decks and branding collaterals.

Week 3 : 10th March 2021

Key Focus : Introduction to Investments, investment readiness and interaction with an investor.

Guest Speaker of the day was Shruti Singhal, Head of Indian Angel Network (South)-  She talked about various aspects of investing. What do angels evaluate before investing, how to make a network of angel investors for your incubator and how to evaluate investment readiness for your startups.

Week 4: 19th March 2021

Key Focus : Strengthening Network of the incubator and introduction to CSR opportunities.

Guest speakers of the day included Vijetha Shastry, Executive Director, TiE Bangalore and Ramesh Loganathan, Head of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, IIIT-H, ex-Chief Innovation Officer, Govt. of Telangana.

Vijetha discussed about setting up a strong network for the Incubator, while Ramesh spoke about preparing for CSR funding opportunities, as an incubator. There were discussions with Gautham & incubators on the challenges and gaps, in incubators around effective mentor management, partner management.

Vijetha Shastry talking about the power of network and the importance of having a good LinkedIn page.

Week 5 : 24th March 2021

Key Focus : Procurement process, Infrastructure setup and management, Management of Mentors & Partners, Creation of Alternate revenue stream

The focus for week 6 was on the key elements of Infrastructure and Processes. Guest speaker for the day included Sagar Marepally, ex-Head of Infra & Procurement at T-Hub. He talked about best practices on procurement, how to manage the vendors, management of mentors & partners. Creating alternate revenue streams through partners were discussed in depth.

Week 6: 31st March 2021

Key Focus : Cracking partnerships, Creating a strong Value Propositions as an Incubator for Partners, Importance of nurturing local communities

Guest speaker of the day included Juliane from India EU Innocenter, Berlin. From her past experience, Juliane gave insights on how to build a partner network in domestic and international markets, how to collaborate across incubators for the benefit of our portfolio startups, how to create a strong value proposition for Corporate partners were discussed.

The second guest speaker for the day was Ojasvi Bhatia, Senior Partnerships Manager, Facebook who addressed the incubators on the power of community, its importance and techniques of creating strong communities in their region with their target audience.

Ojasvi Bhatia talking about the power of community and how to channelise the student community for incubator’s success.

Week 7: 7th April 2021

Key Focus : Bridging Research & Innovation with Monetizable Business Outcomes. Connecting research with startups.

The topic of discussion for the day was around Research/ Labs to Ventures – monetizing innovation – Guest Speaker for the day included Erik from Nexus Incubator and ACIR. He focused on bridging the Innovation & Research happening at the institutions with the startups in the incubators, to monetize better.

Week 8: 14th April 2021

Key Focus : Introduction to IP – Patents, Trademarks as an Incubator and for their startups

The focus for this week was on Awareness and preparedness around Intellectual Property. Harsh Pangi from Ip-fy, a senior IP lawyer addressed the incubators on – Basics of IP, Being prepared as an incubator to speeden IP creation by our startups, Dos & Donts around IP as a startup. We also discussed among the incubators around Virtual Incubation and its practices, as Wave 2 was getting stronger and this was the need of the hour.


Week 10: 5th May 2021

Key Focus : Preparing for Virtual & Hybrid programs, as Covid continues to disrupt.

Discussion around the Demo Day / Pitch Day, what to expect and how to prepare for the same. Deep discussions continued around Virtual Incubation and being prepared as an Incubator for the same.

Discussions around the 4 elements of Virtual Programs were discussed –

Level 1- Awareness (can be focused on students),

Level 2- Pre incubation (Structured, focused programs)

Level 3 – Incubation (Hybrid Model) 

Level 4 – Acceleration (Driven virtually)

Week 11 : 19th May 2021 

Key Focus : Government schemes and incentives for incubators and startups

Neha Nagpal from Startup India spoke about the schemes and incentives for incubators and startups by Startup India. She also explained the nuts and bolts of the recently launched Startup India Seed Fund Scheme.

Week 12: 21st July 2021

A recap session by Gautham where the entire learnings from the past 11 weeks were summarised. We also had Mr. Bharat Oswal, Chief happiness officer from Botree Communications guide the incubators on making an effective pitch deck. He touched upon the important must haves of a pitch deck and the importance of perception and storytelling.

Demo Day: 24th July

A Demo day was hosted on the 24th of July for the incubators to showcase their learnings and roadmap for the coming months. These are the incubators who showcased in the final demo day in front of 7 jury members.

Incubator NamePresenter’s Name
AIC-Anna University Incubation FoundationDr. C. Aarthi
AIC Raise Business Incubator, CoimbatoreEbin Ephrem Elavathingal
IIT Madras Bioincubator, Chennai, Tamil NaduDr. M. S. Narayanan
Sathyabama Technology Business Incubator, ChennaiKishore Kumar S
Periyar TBI ThanjavurDr.A.P.Aruna
EDII Periyakulam Horti Business Incubation Forum and Periyakulam, Theni DistrictVASANTHAN Selvam
EDII Trichy Agribusiness Incubation Forum (TABIF), TrichyS. Santhosh
Annamalai Innovation and Incubation Research Foundation – EDII, Annamalai NagarDaniel Prabhakaran.G
EDII Periyar University Business Incubation Confederation, Salem, Tamil NaduGautham Palaniswamy
Crescent Innovation and Incubation CouncilC N Prem Kumar
AKC – Dr APJ Abdul Kalam COE in Innovation and EntrepreneurshipDr. J Arun Kumar
Mettupalayam Agroforestry Business Incubation Forum, Mettupalayam, CoimbatoreP. Sivakumar
K.R Innovation Centre, National S. Dinesh Kumar
Engineering College (NEC), Kovilpatti

We had an esteemed panel of jury members evaluating the incubators on the demo day. 

Jury Member’s NameOrganisation
Grace Pachuau IASMission Director, Tamil Nadu Startup and Innovation Mission
George PaulHead, Strategic Programs & partnerships, JIO GenNext, Reliance Industries
Gautham SivaramakrishnanVC & PE Ecosystems, Microsoft & Director, Headstart
Tathagat Verma   Senior Director & Head, Technology & innovations, Walmart
Shashank RandevFounder & Managing Partner, 100X VC
Sruthi KannanHead, Cisco Launchpad
Ravi KannigantiDirector & Head, Target Accelerator

These were the 5 parameters on which the incubators were scored upon:

  • Vision of the incubator
  • Value Proposition
  • Communication
  • Overall Presentation
  • Future Programs/Roadmap

Results from the Demo Day:

The top 12 incubators got 3.5 lakh grant as upgradation support from the Government of Tamil Nadu.

The scores are completely based on the presentation made by the CEOs on the demo day and have not considered the prior performance of the incubators, to ensure all incubators are evaluated without bias, irrespective of how long they have been in function.

Headstart shall continue to support the incubators in helping them implement the learnings from the program and organize periodic mentor sessions with these leaders. The 12 selected incubators would get Headstart’s support in the following ways:

  • Headstart support as an Ecosystem Partner for the selected incubator, have monthly mentoring 1:1 calls with the incubator team to address any challenges they’re facing.
  • The incubators can leverage Headstart’s expertise and experience to create meaningful programs for the startups in their network. 
  • The incubatees will get access to Headstart Boosters worth Rs. 50 lakhs+. Headstart Boosters are deals and perks from Headstart’s curated set of partners in various categories such as marketing, legal support, finance, social media, pitch deck creation, valuation etc. 

The incubators get complimentary access to Headstart’s Startup School tech platform (Leanstack) which has curriculum, videos and activities for fast growing 5 incubatees.All the incubators were sent co-branded merchandise by Headstart as part of the ScaleUp Program.