India’s economy is expanding because to the startup culture there and the continuous technological revolution. Entrepreneurs from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are starting to emerge with creative ideas and businesses, which is enabling socioeconomic revolution and is continuing to thrive even at micro levels. Due to supportive government regulations, improved infrastructure, changes in consumer behaviour, etc., India’s startup cluster has finally expanded outside of metropolises. According to current statistics, Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India are home to close to 50% of known startups.
India has an abundance of talent, yet several firms usually struggle at the entry level because they lack access to mentorship, networks, and resources. Fortunately, the development of virtual startup incubators has been aided by the increased connectedness of the digital infrastructure and the move towards digital adoption. In order to close this gap and realise the potential of India’s smaller cities, these incubators are helpful.
Attempt to enter Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities
Due to the pandemic outbreak, a wide range of local issues needed to be solved at scale by creative business brains. These issues, which span a variety of sectors including healthcare, education, agriculture, and financial services, need to be addressed due to shifting consumer psychology and behaviour. Many people also left the city and returned to their rural backgrounds, where they engaged in technology-based endeavours that helped their communities advance.
Accelerators and incubators are working continuously to support high potential businesses from these cities while bridging the accessibility gap in light of the situation. A recent poll found that 79% of business owners feel virtual incubators help to raise the calibre of companies situated in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. To validate these startups and assist them in connecting with the appropriate mentors and investors, these incubators establish various venues such as bootcamps, pitch sessions, and founders’ grooming sessions.
Similar to this, company founders consider innovation at the ground level. Rural innovation is now a common economic activity supported by modern entrepreneurial thinkers. Virtual incubators are providing help to rural entrepreneurs in order to make up for the gaps in rural India’s innovation trajectory and to compete fiercely with their urban counterparts. The development of online incubators has had a big impact on the rise of entrepreneurship in rural areas.
Virtual incubators contribute to lowering talent migration in addition to improving tier 2 and tier 3 cities. According to study results, 71% of business owners believe that virtual incubators will encourage talent to remain in their community by giving them access to the same resources and assistance as their counterparts in Tier 1 cities. This will consequently result in the development of an inclusive and diversified startup environment.
Creating a level playing field
Accessing the networks and resources needed to grow a firm might be difficult for startups in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. By giving entrepreneurs access to the same resources as their counterparts in Tier 1 cities, virtual incubators keep it afloat and encourage growth and innovation in smaller communities.
Entrepreneurs may have previously had to travel a great distance to meet with mentors or go to training and development programmes. But thanks to virtual incubators, businesses may now use these services from the convenience of their own homes or offices, which is a time and money-saving strategy for creating a profitable business. By bringing together entrepreneurs from across the country, the entrepreneurs may promote networking and collaboration among startups from various locations, offering up new business opportunities.
In recent years, India has seen a particularly substantial increase in the number of online startup incubators, with several well-known incubators establishing online initiatives specifically designed to support businesses from Tier 2 and Tier 3 locations. As an example, the 10,000 Startups Virtual Incubation Programme was introduced by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM). Similar to this, Startup India, the government of India’s flagship initiative, has introduced Startup India Hub, an online incubator that gives companies access to a variety of tools and support services, including funding opportunities, mentorship, and legal and regulatory guidance.
By giving companies access to mentorship, funding, and other resources, the rise of virtual startup incubators is assisting in realising the potential of India’s Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. As a result, it is anticipated that an increasing number of entrepreneurs from smaller cities will develop novel ideas and businesses, spurring growth and innovation across the nation.