Like they say, a startup’s journey is very lonely. Even more so in India as the startup support environment is still evolving. The local ecosystem often becomes the best friend of a new startup.  To nurture, support and accelerate.  In the starting stages, and beyond.

What exactly is this enabling ecosystem? This is a combination of social, academic and commercial enablers in a city that help startups. Specifically in the early stages. For many years this was just the premier institutions like IIT, IIM and IIIT that provided some enablement and funding for early stage startups. Lately several other private commercial enablers have come up. But how effective are these? Is there value beyond just providing startup work spaces? .

Co-working spaces are not accelerators (that have a structured programs that the startup must go through) nor an incubator (that nurture and grow startup’s thru domain or purpose specific enablement, mentors and support programs), they can still provide enablement that can help startup’s.

Studies show that peer group support network is the best and most available and effective support for any startup. Even as all startup’s maybe at similar early stages in their kidney, lit go value can be gained by sharing experiences, learnings, and even contacts. To significantly accelerate each other thru even this passive enablement


Having a dense concentration of startups in one space, there is an opportunity to provide shared services that all startups could use. Even better, co-workIng spaces can connect with the extended ecosystem in the city to make access to events, programs and even mentors/ investors to provide access to all startup’s. Whether it is through office hours in the space or by channels startup’s to these enablers.

Topically, as central and state governments start providing a lot of support, services and incentives to startups, the co-working  spaces can now hep funnel the information and also route the requests from startup’s got these benefits.

In this process the line between co working spaces and incubators is fast fading away. Today the incubators are mainly larger in their canvass and scope and some are domain specific (agri, deep tech,..). And co-working spaces are   generally domain agnostic and often smaller in size. Otherwise, the nature of enablement and services is fast becoming very similar. This is good news for the startup Ecosystem

Originally Featured in New Indian Express:—the-ecosystem/2016/07/21/article3538986.ece