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T-Hub & Facebook launches “India Innovation Hub Accelerator Program” for AR/VR Startups




Facebook in collaboration with Hyderabad-based incubator T-Hub has launched its India Innovation Hub Accelerator Program from today that will identify 8-10 start-ups in the augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) space to mentor and help scale up their businesses.

The program will accept applications till February-end and the accelerator program will start in April. Also, the qualified start-ups will be directly accepted to the Fb Start program and could access T-Hub’s network of mentors, industry experts, investors, service providers, and community.

Starting today, registrations will be open until February 28. Startups, which are in the space of AR/VR application to Healthtech, Industrial Manufacturing, Education, Corporate Learning & Development, Hardware and Accessories Positioning, Gesture and Eye tracking, mobile hardware and enablement, video processing, developer tools, camera, capture technology, can participate in this program.

However, Facebook is looking for startups that are in the growth stage, meaning those who have seen some amount of traction and are not still in an idea stage.
Eight to Ten startups will be selected as part of this program and will have an opportunity to work and scale up under the aegis of Facebook. The startups will be given an opportunity to develop Proof of Concept (PoC) on the prioritized solution and showcase their PoC to key executives of Facebook and T-Hub during the ‘Demo Day’ at T-Hub Hyderabad.

Satyajeet Singh, head of platform partnerships, Facebook India and South Asia, said, “We will mentor the start-ups over a period of time. From Facebook, we’ll bring our expertise in technology and try to get the right mentors from industry as well who could help them in the kind of problems they are looking to solve”. He was in Hyderabad to announce the launch of the program.

AR/VR Growth And Funding In India

As mentioned by the Facebook and T-Hub authorities in an official statement, India has barely 170 AR/VR startups, while according to GrowthEnabler’s estimates, there are close to 1,500 startups in the AR/VR segment worldwide. Here, the US accounts for nearly 45%, followed by the UK, Israel and Canada. Globally, from 2013 to 2017, the AR segment has received $2.5 Bn while VR has taken in $2.7 Bn in funding.

Jay Krishnan, CEO, T-Hub, said, “The Indian AR/VR market yet nascent is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 76% over the next five years, fuelled by demand from business and consumer sectors. Our intent, as an ecosystem enabler is to partner with pioneers like Facebook and explore new frontiers that are relevant for India like Healthcare, education etc with AR/ VR and XR.”

He further added that in India, of the 100 AR startups, only 5% have received any form of capital investment of $1 Mn-1.5 Mn. Of the 70 VR startups, only a handful have raised any seed/angel capital. Even the top 15 AR/VR startups that are said to be growth enabler, identified based on over 50 parameters, have collectively raised under $3 Mn in funding.

Backed by the Telangana state government, Hyderabad-based T-Hub has already been running a host of incubation and acceleration programmes in collaboration with various organisations such as YES Bank, Uber, TiE Silicon Valley, ICRISAT, UTC, CASHe. Recently it collaborated with Blockchain Hyper Hub, and also set up T-Bridge centres across the globe to attract investments for startups and businesses in Hyderabad.

Notably, Telangana has been emerging as a hub of startups operating in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, deep learning and Big Data. It remains to be seen what comes next for T-Hub in its collaboration with Facebook.

To know more details, visit https://t-hub.co/innovation-hub/



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Ashok Kumar

Dr. Ashok Kumar is Chemistry Professor, Blogger, Film maker, Writer and Traveler.

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