Hyderabad: Two years after the inception of the start-up initiative of the Telangana government, entering into T-Hub is no longer a cakewalk for entrepreneurs. It may be recalled that minister K.T. Rama Rao had described the process as “Walk in with an idea and walk out with a product.”
But now the incubator is looking at start-ups that have crossed the idea stage. T-Hub CEO Jay Krishnan said, “A person with an idea can still come in, but we are looking at revenue positive start-ups because the market has validated that the idea will work.”
T-Hub, India’s largest incubator for start-ups launched in November 2015, will be celebrating its second anniversary on Sunday. It is at full capacity with 147- start-ups, and about 1,000 start-ups registered for virtual programme. In the past two years in its incubator channel, T-Hub has hosted 250 start-ups. About 190 start-ups have moved out of the catalyst building for various reasons. At its peak, the number of members in each start-up was small; however, start-ups with bigger teams citing expansion plans and financial reasons moved out.
The Goods and Service Tax (GST) did have some impact on the early stage start-ups. While T-Hub took around 30 days to get things right, it was not badly affected. However, the levy on the office space has increased with the new tax regime.
Apart from this financial change, T-Hub in these two years has increased the cost for one desk from Rs 5,500 to Rs 7,000 exclusive of taxes. Explaining the surge in cost, Mr Krishnan said, “At the end of the day we are a not for profit, public private company. The value the start-ups derive out of the services we provide significantly outweighs the small incremental change.”
The early stage start-ups may feel the heat with this change. However, Mr Krishnan advised that the start-ups need to check their market acceptance because with a better reception in the market, additional Rs 1,500 will be a small price to pay.
While T-Hub could put Hyderabad on the global map, with T-Hub 2, the second phase of the operation, the number of start-ups will increase, creating more opportunities for people to become entrepreneurs. A part of the T-Hub 2 infrastructure will be ready by July-September 2018 and it will be fully operational by the next calendar year.