CHENNAI: Chennai’s got its first startup warehouse. Inaugurated on Wednesday by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa through videoconferencing, the 8,000 square feet facility at Tidel Park will serve as a space for 50-odd startups from the region to innovate and disseminate ideas and grow. The Tamil Nadu government also inked a Memorandum of Understanding with NASSCOM for the facility through the Electronics Corporation of Tamil Nadu (ELCOT).
The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has been setting up such ‘warehouses’ across the country since the first 10,000 square feet installation came up in Bengaluru.
Reminiscent of an era where Silicon Valley’s then fledgling firms like Google made use of immense empty warehouses to get some cheap office space, NASSCOM’s ‘Start-up Warehouse’ programme seeks to give India’s baby companies the same thing, along with an eco-system where they can innovate, disseminate ideas and grow through a combination of interaction, exposure to innovation firms and training in the essentials of a good business.
Chennai’s start-up warehouse will be NASSCOM’s fifth, with others in Bengaluru, Kolkata, Kochi and Hyderabad already in operation. Chennai’s warehouse will be followed by two more in Mumbai and Pune, one in Visakhapatnam and another in the National Capital Region (NCR). “We will have nine of these operating within a few months time,” said Rajat Tandon, vice-president, NASSCOM 10,000 Startups Programme.
The space and the capital expenditure for the Chennai warehouse are being put up by the Tamil Nadu government. “Chennai has a strong entrepreneurial culture and has been a great inspiration to other cities as well. We definitely want to back this culture and support these entrepreneurs in every possible way,” stated Jayalalithaa at the inauguration.
Chennai’s warehouse is being seen as a crucial link in the spread of warehouses across the country, with the city establishing itself as the hub of Software as a Service hub. Entrepreneurs who get through the application process will see a series of benefits by being part of the warehouse, not least of which is space. There will be connect sessions, early stage mentoring, access to resources from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM Cloud, Kotak and other firms.
Babies get A nanny
■ Size: 8,000 sq feet
■ Location: Tidel Park
■ Number of start-ups that can be accommodated: 50
■ Number of start-ups to be fostered through the years: 200-plus
Other prominent start-ups from the Start-up Warehouse programme:
■ InShorts, SlideRule, Redingo and BookPad