IgniteHQ, a startup hub in Marietta, Georgia, has partnered with India-based venture development firm to bring their accelerator programming and global development opportunities to U.S. entrepreneurs. Commence Mint will replicate its already-successful program at IgniteHQ, providing accepted startups with funding, education opportunities, mentorship, advising, and a trip to India.
Commence Mint operates both an early-stage fund and accelerator out of Bangalore and also has partners in Silicon Valley, Boston, and Singapore — this is its first partnership in the southern U.S. Applications for the accelerator are now open and will be accepted on a rolling basis; the first cohort of up to 10 startups will kick off in Q2 2018.
Mark Hubbard, IgniteHQ’s president & CEO, says the partnership is the first of several programming collaborations intended to bring more international business and attention to the Atlanta area.
“Our startup scene is definitely growing, but we still, frankly, don’t get the international deals we should here,” says Hubbard. “We’re talking to a number of programs in other countries as well.” Last year Hubbard also launched a $3.5 billion funding initiative, Curate, intended to tackle the challenge of limited capital at work in the region.
The partnership will go in both directions — companies accepted into Commence Mint’s program in India will have the opportunity to visit Atlanta and IgniteHQ on a curated trip where they will meet with local entrepreneurs, investors, and business leaders.
“Through this exchange we will have the opportunity to showcase Atlanta and the Southeast for the Indian startups coming here. In return, IgniteHQ startups will have the opportunity of a lifetime to explore the international market through a successfully tested program,” says Hubbard.
Startups in the accelerator based here will attend an India Immersion Program to gain exposure to the fast-growing tech economy and massive talent base of India. India is growing faster than any other large economy except for China; it is projected to be the world’s second-largest economy by 2050.
It’s also a startup-heavy country, with the third most startups in the world behind the U.S. and UK. The Immersion Program provides a broad introduction into this economy, including introductory meetings with mentors and corporate partners, master classes, and investor pitch events.
“This is a full immersion program for startups looking to explore India for its tech talent as well as for its market,” says Commence Mint’s co-founder Neha Bahl. “U.S. startups learn about all aspects of the Indian market — from our healthcare system to corporate accelerators operating in India to mentors from all industries.”
The program is industry-agnostic. Entrepreneurs who want to participate in the exchange program can learn more and apply here.