French aerospace and defence firm Starburst Accelerator SARL is partnering with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) to set up an innovative hub for start-ups with €100 million in funding support. Through this collaboration, IIT Madras will enable Starburst to set up accelerator programs to boost the Aviation, Space, and Defence (ASD) ecosystem in India.

A key focus of this partnership will be entrepreneurs, research parks, investors (public and private), government, and corporate firms. Starburst Accelerator SARL will work towards achieving long-term ambitions for the Indian ASD program. The aim is to create innovative startups and help them grow rapidly to work in tandem with future aerospace and New Space worldwide programs.

ASD venture capital funds

Starburst Accelerator SARL wants to create venture capital funds for ASD technology, a powerful engine to transform India’s economy and its integration with global stakeholders. This partnership will enable export promotion and provide support for Indian ASD startups to explore international markets through the extensive network of Starburst, says a release.

An MoU for this collaboration was signed on Monday at the IIT Madras campus by François Chopard, Founder and CEO of Starburst Aerospace and V Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras and Manu Santhanam, Dean (ICSR) of IIT Madras.

Starburst is a global aerospace and defence accelerator that connects startups with corporates, investors, and the government. With offices in Los Angeles, Paris, Munich, Singapore, Seoul, Tel Aviv, and Madrid, the team has built an ecosystem of key players with over 17,000 startups in its network.

New space initiatives

Chopard of Starburst Aerospace said, “We believe it is the right momentum to faster emergence of pioneer boundary-pushing technological innovations in India. Together we aim at creating a robust ASD ecosystem that support innovation in Deeptech, and the production in India, to meet the future challenges of Aerospace, New Space and Defence worldwide players.”

Kamakoti said, “encouraging young entrepreneurs is extremely important as we embark on our journey to become a multi-trillion economy. To this effect, reputed higher educational institutions must aspire to nurture future employers than employees. In this context, such collaborations with accelerators to nurture startups in critical and emerging sectors are crucial and timely.”

Starburst Accelerator SARL has developed relationships with dozens of worldwide aerospace and defence legacy players, contributing to their strategic vision and growth strategy through consulting projects. Starburst will create a consulting team composed of IIT Madras alumni and experienced military officers, besides ASD managers and senior consultants from Starburst offices, to help start-ups scale up in their growth journey, the release said.

Structured programs will be created by combining academic knowledge with practical startup guidance, including workshops, seminars, and mentoring sessions for Indian Start-up clusters and research and innovative projects. Starburst will provide startups with business tools to grow and scale businesses in aerospace and defence to become future suppliers.

Some of the projects that could be taken up in India through this partnership include market analysis and scouting of identified technology for aerospace or defence players (disruptive market); innovation transformation of a market leader in his domain; international expansion strategy for SMEs & Go-to-Market Strategy and design and structuration of a lab for government or corporate, the release said.