New Delhi-based early stage incubator Startup Tunnel is offering an incubation programme that focuses on developing the capabilities of entrepreneurs as well as making their product market fit. Famed for its network parties and the signature of egging on startups to push their limits and get the ethos of disruption ingrained in their DNA, Startup Tunnel is redefining the concept of incubators.
Inviting new blood into the Startup Tunnel programme for their soon-to-be-launched batch, Aditya Dev Sood, the Founder of Startup Tunnel, opens up to Techstory about his experiences and the story of Startup Tunnel.
“We have been focussing the fundamental value proposition. Entrepreneurs have to go through various challenges which come along the journey. They have to wait for years for seed funding and then finally pitch to a market with product validation. Startup Tunnel makes sure that a deserving idea backed by a dedicated team gets its spot in the sun.”
Several years ago, in his travels across Europe, Aditya Dev Sood came across different platform and events where mentors, investors and entrepreneurs interacted. The entrepreneurs got insights about the market trends and what the world needed and the mentors and investors got to witness miraculous innovations that no one would see for many years. This was around the time that Y-Combinator and Techstars began making headlines. The structure of the pioneering accelerators, the reason they did what they did, the impact they were making and the lack of such a setup in India is what inspired Startup Tunnel.
Identifying and tackling the challenges that new growth companies face through training programs and one-on-one mentoring, Startup Tunnel is an enabler that catalyses early deployments, start up traction and early revenues.
Arita Abrol, Co-founder, Mr. Med recollects:
“One of the most special was the very first day, where a bunch of around 25 odd people, all with ambition of building some great startup in their mind, came together for the Startup Tunnel’s induction. Everyone expected to go through the formal process of introductions and pitching ideas to the group on day 1. However, what we were actually made to do was come together as a community and bond over football, group games and chats. The one thing Aditya wanted us to talk about was – Who you are, where you’re coming from and where you want to go. Just basic questions about the self and nothing business related, unlike the common perception. We may have not realised it that day; but what he did achieve through that induction was to build a strong sense of camaraderie between all of us; which went a long way during the program for us to honestly be able to help each other develop and improve upon ideas, business model and pitches.”
What Happens in the Tunnel
The 13 week programme at Startup Tunnel helps startups with product definition, market validation, product launch, customer engagement, and early stage funding. With a network of mentors with expertise in areas of social media, infotech, marketing, design, business, legal, product, UI/UX, an entrepreneur, enrolling with Startup Tunnel has a lot to look forward to.
“Startup Tunnel focuses on providing mentorship to passionate teams working on game changing ideas to enhance their capabilities in product development, marketing strategy, rapid prototyping, and design & user experience.”
Right from the ice breakers and elevator pitches to defining multiple monetisation strategies, growth hacking and launching, Startup Tunnel always tries to do it differently. With solid emphasis on team building, getting funding and redefining product and business architecture, and dedicated sessions for each, Startup Tunnel makes sure that at the end of the day, the goods are delivered.
What the future holds
“We joined Stun at a very initial idea stage of business. We wanted to be a part of an incubator which would help us find the ideal product market fit and get some understanding on investor’s perspective. At the time we were still in the process of testing our business concept out, and had yet to develop our several media and customer service channels, settle on a brand name, and detail out future growth strategies. Startup Tunnel’s strong mentorship and funding support has helped a lot. Aditya is always clear about is feedback which always helps. They make sure if you pass the tunnel you are a much stronger business.” says Dipesh Garg CEO & Founder, Truelancer.com
Young start-ups in India face several challenges related to access to capital, talent and knowledge. As an early stage incubator, Startup Tunnel brings powerful ideas to life and provides the right nurturing to let them take shape.
Take for instance Medimojo. With only an idea in hand when pitching for incubation, they went from an idea stage to MVP stage during the stint with Startup Tunnel. Aditya numerous inputs helped us build a product, test & evolve the MVP.
“Aditya’s push & prod to the founders do build socially relevant & impactful business on the civictech side, is really inspiring. He would push the Founders with the eye of Master trainer, training a contortion artist – blend well, be flexible & build user relevant & design conscious products. The Mock pitch sessions used to be really interesting. They could be really nasty & belittling with feedback, but always pushed towards betterment for the final pitch session.” Says Vikas Ranjan, COO , Medimojo
Startup Tunnel is currently in the process of receiving applications for its next batch. With a proven track record, they are getting a lot of attention and tons of applications. So much so that Aditya jokes that short listing the startups for the incubation programme has become the hardest task. The startup space expects a lot from Startup Tunnel in the future and Techstory wishes him the best of luck with his endeavours.
Startup Tunnel is looking for startups in the following domains.