ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Anish TiwariSubscribe to Anish Tiwari

Mapping the Startup Ecosystem in India

This article examines the major trends in the Indian startup ecosystem based on three key parameters: new venture creation & fundraising, characteristics of the founding teams, and types of entrepreneurial exit, especially exit via acquisitions. It highlights the key developments in these parameters over the past decade (2010–2020) by collating data from leading databases and industry reports. The key data sources are Tracxn, Crunchbase, and Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. Four key findings emerge from the analysis: First, despite dedicated policy interventions, the startup activity in India remains concentrated in three prominent clusters - Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, and Mumbai. Second, the data suggest that the startups outside these clusters create disproportionately more jobs vis-a-vis their share in the total entrepreneurial activity. Third, a handful of universities dominate the founder pool, and women entrepreneurs remain severely underrepresented in the founding teams. Finally, acquisitions are a popular exit route for Indian startups, with a higher proportion of acquired startups coming from outside the three prominent clusters. This article recommends increased targeted policy support towards female founders and entrepreneurial activity outside the three clusters.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of ‘Startup India’

Promoting high-tech entrepreneurship is widely accepted as a catalyst for economic growth, but outside of developed countries, there has been little independent assessment of these policies. Using a comprehensive set of data sources, we provide the first assessment of the “Startup India” programme launched in 2016. We find that Startup India has had a positive impact in reducing regional entrepreneurial disparities but has been less successful in providing financial support through its fund of funds for startups. Furthermore, the policy has failed to recognise and address the under-representation of marginalised caste groups and women entrepreneurs in the Indian start-up ecosystem.


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