While the world pins its hope on an effective COVID-19 vaccine, many countries have already started exploring the next frontiers of their economic recovery and national development. Recently, India launched the Aatmanirbhar initiative to make in India, for India and the world.
Despite the lockdowns and depressed spirits, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have announced ambitious plans to become favoured destinations for global startups. Programmes announced by ISRO and RBI, encouraging spacetech and fintech startups, look poised to strengthening India’s innovation ecosystem.
There is increased interest to provide more support to startups in key areas like health, education, agriculture, and energy, with incubators playing a critical catalytic role.
Events of 2020 are an opportunity for incubators to reflect on their mission and effectiveness in building successful startups. Incubators need to evolve themselves into viable institutions while they continue to help launch and scale successful startups.
A conversation with incubator management teams about their KPIs and outcomes often reveals metrics on the number of startups that have gone through their programmes, the number of mentor hours or even the number of workshops conducted. While these are legitimate indicators of an incubator’s operations, they do not throw adequate light on the impact that incubators are expected to produce, i.e. startup success.
A more useful set of measures will track the number of startups that meet business goals defined at the commencement of the incubation programme, and hence have “graduated” based on goal achievement rather than the fact that the last day