How Does Incubate Hub Bridge the Gap Between Corporates and Startups? - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Net Zero by Narsi is a series of brief posts by Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi), on decarbonization and climate solutions.
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Interview with Rajiv Mukherjee, the CEO and co-founder of Incubate Hub, a pioneering force in the realm of corporate innovation. In this insightful discussion, Rajiv sheds light on the unique role Incubate Hub plays in connecting corporates with innovative startups, driving impactful collaborations, and fostering growth in various industries. Explore the origins of Incubate Hub, its journey of driving innovation over the years, and real-life examples of its transformative impact.

Narasimhan Santhanam, Director, EAI interviewed, Rajiv Mukherjee, the CEO and co-founder of Incubate Hub. Here are the highlights and takeaways.

Narsi: Hello Rajiv, it’s great to have you here. Could you tell us about Incubate Hub and its unique role in the corporate innovation landscape?

Rajiv Mukherjee: Certainly. Incubate Hub serves as a crucial link between corporates and startups in the realm of open innovation. We specialize in helping corporates discover and collaborate with innovative startups to drive disruptive solutions. Our approach involves facilitating the entire process, from identifying promising startups to executing proof of concept projects and scaling successful innovations within the corporate ecosystem.

Narsi: That sounds intriguing. Can you share how Incubate Hub got started and what motivated its founding?

Rajiv Mukherjee: Absolutely. Incubate Hub originated from a realization back in 2014 that while there was significant support for startups in terms of funding and co-working spaces, there was a lack of focus on helping B2B startups acquire their first 100 customers. Recognizing this gap, we founded Incubate Hub under the parent company FHS Accelerator, with a mission to assist B2B startups in gaining organic traction through customer acquisition. Our motto, “First 100 sales,” epitomized our commitment to helping startups thrive.

Narsi: It’s fascinating to hear about the origins of Incubate Hub. How has the journey been so far, and what impact has Incubate Hub had on the startup ecosystem?

Rajiv Mukherjee: The journey has been incredibly rewarding. Over the years, we’ve worked with more than 100 enterprise clients and facilitated nearly 1,000 paid pilot projects with startups, amounting to around $13.6 million in revenue. We’ve become the largest open innovation platform in Asia, with a database of over 38,000 startups. Our impact extends beyond just financial metrics – we’ve helped startups gain valuable traction, forge partnerships with leading corporates, and scale their innovations to new heights.

Narsi: Impressive numbers indeed. Could you walk us through a real-life example of how Incubate Hub collaborates with corporates and startups to drive innovation?

Rajiv Mukherjee: Certainly. Let me share a case study involving Procter & Gamble (P&G). P&G approached us with a sustainability challenge related to packaging solutions. They sought alternatives to single-use sachets commonly used in their products. We leveraged our platform to source innovative solutions globally, ultimately presenting P&G with four viable alternatives. Through a streamlined process, we evaluated over 100 solutions, shortlisted eight startups, and facilitated deep dives with P&G. Subsequently, a startup from Indonesia was selected for a pilot project, which proved successful. Not only did this address P&G’s sustainability goals, but it also opened doors for the startup to secure contracts with multiple other clients.

Narsi: That’s a compelling example of how Incubate Hub drives significant results for both corporates and startups. Lastly, how can corporates and startups engage with Incubate Hub, and what sets your approach apart?

Rajiv Mukherjee: Corporates interested in leveraging our services can engage with us by posting their innovation challenges on our platform. We provide a tailored approach, leveraging our extensive database and network to connect corporates with the most relevant startups. For startups, we actively scout and onboard promising ventures, ensuring a rigorous evaluation process to maintain the quality of our database. What sets us apart is our commitment to fostering meaningful collaborations, our streamlined processes, and our focus on driving tangible outcomes for all stakeholders involved.

Narsi: Thank you, Rajiv, for sharing insights into the remarkable work of Incubate Hub. It’s evident that your platform is driving significant innovation and collaboration in the startup ecosystem. We look forward to seeing more impactful initiatives in the future.

Rajiv Mukherjee: Thank you for having me. It’s been a pleasure discussing our journey and the transformative role of Incubate Hub in driving innovation.

As we conclude, Incubate Hub emerges as a leader in fostering innovation and collaboration within the startup ecosystem. From its humble beginnings to becoming Asia’s largest open innovation platform, it continues to pioneer initiatives bridging corporates and startups, fostering disruptive solutions and partnerships. With a steadfast commitment to significant outcomes and sustainable growth, Incubate Hub shines as a beacon of innovation in today’s business landscape.

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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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