Start-ups shine as corporates turn to T-Hub for innovation

Blue chip firms like Microsoft, Uber, Boeing, Facebook, Intel and UTC find it attractive.

HYDERABAD:The number of major corporates looking at T-Hub for collaborations over the past year has grown tremendously. Microsoft, Uber, Boeing, Facebook, Intel and UTC were among those looking at the start-up initiative to find the right kind of unit to solve their problems.

Mr Rama Iyer who heads this programme at T-Hub said, “Corporates can innovate only to a certain extent as they are big organisations and move at a very slow pace. They have their internal products and goals to achieve because of which innovation takes a backseat. If they have to innovate, they have to look at open innovation.”

Open innovation, he said, is all about how you work with start-ups, get their products and solutions integrated to your company’s lifecycle with proportional impact on the top and bottom lines.

Mr Iyer who is senior vice-president and head of innovation and strategic alliance at T-Hub, said, “Startups want to sell their product to multiple customers and at some point of time are looking for an exit. That’s what start-ups look at, how to sell the start-up for multi-million dollars. That is real outcome for them.”

Not all entrepreneurs are looking at selling their start-ups or positioning themselves for acquisition. The corporate innovation programme catered to other start-ups interested in opening large channels for big customers, expanding their customer base and increasing revenue.

There were different versions of the programme. One of these is the generic multipurpose programme where companies selected a few start-ups, took the staff to their headquarters and trained them on the nuances of business. In this segment, start-ups tended to get a lot of goodies or prizes and industry experience.

The other variant was problem statement-oriented where selected start-ups would create a solution to a problem and would get paid for the work done for the corporate. To conduct this programme, T-Hub charge corporates and not startups. T-Hub has emerged as the top player in this space which had been driving a bunch of corporate innovations.

“We have done large corporate programmes over the last one and a half years and at least half a dozen are in the pipeline. We worked with United Technologies, Intel, Qualcom, Facebook and Boeing among others,” Mr Iyer added.

These corporates became customers of the start-ups through a structured programme or intervention. T-Hub had diverse programmes such as T-Source, T-Challenge, T-Innovate and T-Accelerate for corporate innovation. As every start-up was being given equal opportunities from anywhere across the world, entrepreneurs from the US, Israel, Canada and Poland were participating in the programme.

"For a corporate it is not about local or Hyderabad or India, since the companies are global ones and the programmes are at global scale,” Mr Iyer said

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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