IIT Madras and Starburst to Create Accelerator for Aviation, Space Startups

Starburst accelerator logo

Three points you will get to know in this article:

  • The pact helps ASD startups raise funds, reduce risks, and grow faster.
  • Accelerator initiative with 100 Mn euros funding to mentor Indian startups in aviation, space, and defence.
  • India has 300 defense tech startups like ideaForge, Tonbo Imaging, and Sagar Defence Engineering.
IIT Madras

About IIT Madras

IIT Madras, or Indian Institute of Technology Madras, is a public research university located in Chennai, India. It was established in 1956 and is one of the oldest and most prestigious technological institutions in India. The university offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in various engineering and technology fields, including computer science, electrical and electronics, mechanical, civil, chemical and biomedical engineering, and physics. IIT Madras is widely recognized for its academic excellence and has produced many successful engineers and technologists who have contributed to the development of the country.

Establishing an Innovation Hub for Startups

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras recently inked a deal with the esteemed French aerospace company Starburst Accelerator SARL. Their joint venture aims to establish a vibrant innovation hub tailored for startups.

With a hefty funding injection of 100 million euros, this initiative will serve as a guiding light for up-and-coming Indian startups in the aviation, space, and defense sectors. Not only will it provide invaluable mentorship, but it will also facilitate connections to external funding sources, thus minimizing investment risks and expediting progress.

According to IIT Madras, this accelerator program will furnish selected startups with essential “business tools” crucial for expanding their operations. Additionally, it will actively promote exports and extend vital assistance to Indian startups in the ASD realm, aiding their foray into international markets through Starburst’s extensive global network.

IIT Madras announced a collaboration with the French aerospace and defense company, Starburst Accelerator SARL, to establish accelerator programs aimed at boosting India’s Aviation, Space, and Defense (ASD) ecosystem. This partnership will culminate in the creation of an innovative hub for startups, generously supported with €100 Mn in funding.

A Dream Team for Startup Support

In an exciting development, IIT Madras revealed that Starburst will assemble a consulting dream team consisting of IIT Madras alumni, seasoned military personnel, and experienced corporate consultants. Together, they will provide invaluable support to budding startups in the field, fostering a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and growth.

The project aims to spark fresh tech innovations, entrepreneurial concepts, and ways of doing business. Plus, it’s diving deep into collaborations within the broader ASD network. The accelerator is set to handhold budding businesses for swift action and global reach.

Tailored Programs and Academic Insights

According to a representative from IIT Madras, the plan is to craft tailored programs merging academic insights with hands-on startup support, including interactive sessions like workshops, talks, and personal mentoring. This is all geared towards nurturing Indian startup communities and driving forward their research and creative ventures.

Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Sealed

On Monday (March 25th), amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the IIT Madras campus, a significant Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was sealed. Among those gracing the occasion were distinguished individuals such as François Chopard, the esteemed founder and CEO of Starburst, and V Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras.

Fostering Innovation in Advanced Science and Defense (ASD)

In expressing his sentiments, Chopard remarked, “We’re truly proud and privileged to join hands with the esteemed IIT Madras, a beacon of excellence in our nation. Our collective endeavor is to foster a thriving ecosystem for Advanced Science and Defense (ASD) that nurtures innovation in cutting-edge technology. Together, we aspire to bolster indigenous production in India, poised to tackle the forthcoming challenges in aerospace, new space, and defense sectors globally.”

Supporting Young Entrepreneurs and Nurturing Emerging Industries

Adding to the conversation, the director of IIT Madras, Kamakoti, emphasized the significance of supporting young entrepreneurs as India aims to become a multi-trillion economy. He stressed that esteemed educational institutions should focus on cultivating future employers rather than just employees. In this regard, partnerships with accelerators to nurture startups in key and emerging industries are essential and well-timed.

The partnership is being formed at a crucial moment when the government is making significant efforts to decrease the nation’s dependence on imported defense equipment and technology. This includes actively supporting the Make in India initiative to promote domestic production of defense equipment, providing tax incentives, and implementing favorable policies for the sector.

The growth of the Indian defense technology sector has led to the emergence of numerous startups, such as ideaForge, Tonbo Imaging, and Sagar Defence Engineering. According to our report, India was host to 300 defense technology startups as of June 2023. These startups have received grants totaling over INR 200 crore from iDEX.

The collaboration between IIT Madras and Starburst aims to establish a vibrant startup hub in the Aerospace, Space, and Defense (ASD) sectors, supported by €100 Mn in funding. This initiative seeks to foster fresh tech innovations, entrepreneurial concepts, and business models while providing comprehensive support to budding startups. With a consulting dream team and tailored programs, the partnership aims to bolster indigenous production in India and drive the growth of the defense technology sector. This strategic alliance is timely, aligning with the nation’s endeavors to reduce dependence on imported equipment and technology, ultimately nurturing India’s startup ecosystem.

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