Impact Bangalore Report 2014

April 15, 2014 social sector

Impact Bangalore Report is one among the first impact ecosystem studies of a city in India. Bangalore is the city of our choice since it is the unofficial startup capital of India and the IT boom of the last decade has given Bangalore a vibrant startup ecosystem. We felt there is a strong need to understand and document the dynamics of this ecosystem.

In January 2012 the idea of bringing the Hub (now Impact Hub) to Bangalore was floated. Impact Hub is an international network of co-working spaces that are part incubators and part co-working space. When talks of a Bangalore Hub began, we applied and became the Hub Bangalore Candidate Team. We initiated a feasibility study to examine the viability of bringing the Hub model to Bangalore. We mapped the startup ecosystem – both the commercial and the social ecosystems – and spoke to key ecosystem stakeholders about the Hub network and model. While there was widespread acceptability of the idea, what seemed unviable were the model and the fee structure. There was an almost unanimous rejection of the model prompting us to relook at the study.

During this time, our team of four had grown to become nine people who had leveraged their networks and initiated deep conversations with diverse stakeholders. We concluded that while the commercial startup ecosystem had naturally taken centre stage, there was emergence of an impact ecosystem which also needed due attention. We were also curious to know whether the impact ecosystem was mere hype or was it for real. Thus, we began the process of investigation. Our attempt in this project was to go beyond the fact reporting work done in previous market studies, and share ground realities and local stakeholder perspective. We also wanted to understand the players, regional as well as national, in this ecosystem, what challenges and opportunities do they see, and how they want to/are influencing the ecosystem. Interestingly, the insights in this report are not just about what views we have shared but also how these stakeholders think/approach their involvement in the ecosystem reflecting the current state of the ecosystem.

We started with primary research, organized a few events and participated in events organized by other communities. We mobilized peers and friends, and met and spoke with over 50 key players in Bangalore – start-ups, social enterprises, NGOs, incubators, accelerators, impact investors, funds, foundations, mentors, online communities, support organizations, academic institutions, co-working spaces, industry bodies, philanthropists, and corporates. We have profiled some of the key stakeholders and our conversations with them. We also covered our research findings, our candid observations of people and trends, and of the way conversations shaped up to the lessons we derived from them. We have shared a few ideas of approaching a ‘collaborative’ platform, top 10 recommendations to solve some of the challenges and leverage existing opportunities.

We have defined ‘impact’ by the collaboration between commercial and social sector and 4 criteria of impact (social, economic, ecological and cultural)

Why this report?

  • This report can help global and Indian organizations to partner and/or explore opportunities in Bangalore’s impact ecosystem. It gives an overview of the ecosystem players that are Bangalore-based or influence the city’s ecosystem as national players.
  • This study format/approach can be applied to ecosystem studies of cities across the world to understand their local market better.
  • Another city ecosystem can do a similar study to explore “twin” city partnerships with Bangalore. This report can be applied to spawn models of collaboration with another city like Bangalore & Singapore, Bangalore & Berlin or Bangalore & Toronto.

Who would benefit from this report?

  • Organizations/ individuals looking at opportunities in Bangalore for investments, business or projects.
  • Organizations/ individuals looking to perform similar studies of their respective cities.
  • Universities/ colleges would be interested in the report for the case studies, trends and insights in the report.

We will be releasing the report in January 2016, so look out for the link in our work section and click here to download the complete PDF.

We do hope that you find this report relevant to your own respective journey of getting involved with Bangalore or any other start-up ecosystem in India or globally.