Like every other kid growing up, I wanted to do something that would change the world,” laughs Disha Singla, adding, “And it’s something I hope to do.” It is this still burning passion that led Delhi-based 28-year-old to co-found Supreme Incubator, a virtual incubator that helps early-stage start-ups quickly get off the ground, building strong and scalable businesses. “There are so many young entrepreneurs out there who have ideas for businesses that can truly bring about a change, so helping out as many of them as I can is definitely going to have a positive impact.”
The company announced the launch of its third cohort recently in May 2021 of its flagship six-month seed stage incubation program. The cohort is designed to enable founders to graduate with robust and fundable ventures. 600+ start-ups across the country had initially applied to the program with applications coming from different Tier 1, 2 and 3 cities including New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Pune, and more.
However, the continuing number of applications has led Singla and her team to consider opening a fourth cohort in the next month. “I am still getting e-mail pitches every day; it must have reached over 3,000 proposals at this point. And there are so many young entrepreneurs from across the country who have great ideas but need guidance on how to get their businesses from paper to reality,” she shares.
The program admitted fewer than 3 per cent of the applicants for this program after interviewing start-ups from diverse industries. The program itself sees Supreme Incubator hand hold these nascent businesses and help them get off the ground, by providing everything from one-on-one mentorship sessions and larger workshops for the hopeful companies to workshop their ideas, to connecting would-be businesses with venture capitalists and angel investors, to even helping businesses find space from wherein to start up their operations.
“I look at two things when our team is deciding who to work with: firstly, the profile and passion of the founders and how committed they are to their vision; and secondly, that the idea is scalable and fundable, so that it is attractive to potential investors,” explains Singla. In this cohort, for instance, the chosen start-ups will be given access to mentors across borders from companies like 1mg, PayPal, MakemyTrip, Flipkart, OLX and research based institutes like IITs. The mentor panel also comprises experts from industries like space-tech, ed-tech, artificial intelligence, healthcare, FinTech, and more.
“We have seen some truly great success stories, and we are proud to have associated with and helped these businesses grow from the ground up. For instance, we helped a space tech start-up with funding as well as find adequate room for their facilities (space tech requires a lot of well, space), and they are doing really well and seeing a lot of interest. Similarly, an EdTech company we helped out just secured Rs 50 lakh in initial funding,” enthuses Singla.
While Singla declines to identify some of the unrealistic pitches, she suggests that those who were not picked for Supreme Incubator, or have not got positive responses in general, should look at retooling their ideas. “That’s what we always keep coming back to. The practicality and scalability of the business needs to match the passion of its founders, whether they are freshers out of college or want to change careers to pursue their own business.”