Delhi to host US government funded Nexus platform for start-ups

Under the Nexus platform, 10 start-ups were selected out of 115 applications from across India.

The Dollar Business Bureau

The start-up hub Nexus, an American Government-funded platform to enable and encourage start-ups in India, has chosen New Delhi to host its activities as the country’s capital has ‘all the right components’ required for such type of initiatives, said Erik Azulay, Director, Nexus.

“Delhi has all the right components, you have the entrepreneurs, the funders, the government, the capital and other complementary factors. We saw an ecosystem here which was needed for starting this initiative,” Azulay told PTI.

Azulay, who moved to New Delhi from Austin (Texas) to establish and run the centre, said that New Delhi is the pilot and now the vision is to enhance the presence to other parts of the country and South Asia.

“We did look at other cities, including Bengaluru, but we chose Delhi. Delhi is the pilot... From here on, we see our future in more Indian cities, and other parts of South Asia,” he said.

Under the platform of Nexus, 10 start-ups (cohorts) were selected out of 115 applications from across India. They followed an intense training programme for 10 weeks, featuring workshops conducted by industry leaders and experts from the two countries.

Almost half of these cohorts were chosen last week for the incubation under the platform, which is run by the US government in collaboration with the University of Texas in Austin via its interdisciplinary research unit - IC2 (Innovation, Creativity & Capital) Institute.

Nexus centre is hosted in the American Center building in New Delhi and resembles a small classroom at the University of Texas.

“This place on the first floor of the Center was initially housing the library, which has been shifted downstairs. The next cohorts would be starting this fall (autumn season). We are also hopeful of the formal launch of Nexus facility sometime in September,” Azulay said.

The start-ups, which have been chosen under the Nexus programme include Escrowffer (a platform for buying or selling property with a safety net), Agpulse (Ayurvedic organic agriculture inputs), Dhakka Brakes (which created a new regenerative brake system for the rickshaw pullers).

The Dollar Business Bureau - Jul 24, 2017 12:00 IST