India has emerged the third largest base for start-ups in the world with 3,100 of them after the US, which is home to 41,500 start-ups, and the UK, which has 4,000 start-ups.

The start-up ecosystem attracted 300 venture capital/private equity and 225 angel investment deals worth over $2.3 billion since 2010 and over 20 mergers & acquisitions worth $1 billion in the last 3 years.

Over the last 12 months alone, 805 technology product/digital start-ups were set up across the country, which is projected to grow four-fold to hit 2,000 by 2020. These were some of the key findings of the India Start-up Report 2014 unveiled by Nasscom at the 11th edition of its annual flagship 3-day Product Conclave, which kicked off in Bangalore on Wednesday.

“India has the fastest growing start-up ecosystem in the world and the total number of technology product/digital start-ups is projected to be 11,500 by 2020, employing over 2.5 lakh people from just 65,000-75,000 in 2014. This is the hyper-growth, inflection point for the Indian start-up ecosystem,” said Ravi Gururaj, Chairman of Nasscom Product Council.

Unprecedented growth Stating that there has been an unprecedented growth in the start-up ecosystem, he said, “We have 120 companies displaying their products for the first time and have had 300 applications for the same; every major accelerator, investor, angel group, VC, corporation is participating in the conclave. We have five summits running simultaneously across the city on various themes - Design, Seed, Growth, Early stage and Innovative Devices, that spans the entire spectrum of the start-up ecosystem. We have organised for the first time, 250 four-minute meetings so that 250 founders of start-ups can present their elevator pitch to 20 companies. We have had 350 requests for this alone.”

Rajat Tandon, Senior Director, 10,000 Start-ups, Nasscom, pointed out that the top six locations accounting for 90 per cent of start-up activity in India are Bangalore (28 per cent), Delhi-NCR (24 per cent), Mumbai (15 per cent), Hyderabad (8 per cent), Pune (6 per cent) and Chennai (6 per cent). However, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Jaipur and Thiruvananthapuram are the next emerging locations. Young entrepreneurs dominate the start-up landscape with the average age of founders at 32 years, with 52 per cent being post graduates. Interestingly, only 6 per cent of the start-ups have women founders, he said.

Next steps Nasscom plans to take 150 of India’s hottest entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley in 2015 as a part of its Innotek initiative, launched earlier in May this year where 30 start-ups were taken to Silicon Valley. Gururaj said Nasscom will launch the Industry Partner Programme, which aims to connect corporates to start-ups early next year, which will help start-ups get ideas, mentorship and access to markets and help them become better companies.

Additionally, policy roundtables will be organised to enhance awareness on product and start-up issues, more warehouses and labs will be set up in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata, regional Nasscom Product Conclaves will be initiated to build domain focus in different regions across the country, the Aadhaar Diffusion Project which had slowed down during the elections will receive renewed focus, and Nasscom will build industry landscapes to segment the industry by domains in order to build connects with start-ups.