Info-tech

How WeHub is fine-tuning start-up selection, building networks

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on May 12, 2020 Published on May 12, 2020

As companies, big, small and tiny, struggle to find their feet in the midst of the Covid-19 mayhem, WeHub, an exclusive incubator for women entrepreneurs, is going about the incubating differently — by helping start-ups fine-tune their business strategies to tap newer opportunities unfolded by the pandemic.

For example, it helped an education player it was incubating, Radius Edutech, to go beyond e-delivery of academic content to schools and colleges and develop a video-conferencing offering — which the incubator put to use for its second round of start-ups to incubate.

As it allowed staff to work from home once lockdowns were announced, WeHub initiated the process to recruit start-ups for its second cohort.

After calling for applications and funnelling them, it picked 62 start-ups (out of the 223 applications) for the final pitches.

“All of the 62 start-ups, based in cities like Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Pune and Jaipur, have pitched their project ideas through a video-conferencing solution developed by Radius Edutech, a start-up we are incubating. We selected 24 of them for the second cohort,” Deephti Ravula, Chief Executive Officer of WeHub, told BusinessLine.

WeHub is promoted by the Telangana Government to exclusively hand-hold the small enterprises set up by women entrepreneurs.

The solution developed by Radius can bring 400 participants into video-conferencing and can broadcast content up to 10,000 people. “As Covid-19 has impacted all of us, we have decided to ensure ‘business as usual’ for the start-ups that we are associated with,” she said.

WeHub created five sub-groups, each assigned with specific tasks such as business continuity, working from 8.45 am to 7.30 pm.

Networking

To ensure business as usual for the start-ups and helping them to scale up, WeHub is creating a network of like-minded organisations in India and abroad. “Their reach should not be restricted to the local markets. It should transcend borders,” she said.

“Crisis nor no crisis, businesses should run well. Instead of telling them what to do over webinars and through lectures, we are engaging with them one-on-one to understand their issues, solving them and connecting them with investors and global partners,” she said.

Credit linkages

The incubator is also helping the start-ups keep papers ready so that it is easier for bankers to vet them and consider providing them with credit.

Published on May 12, 2020
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