Every metro city in India wants to be the next Silicon Valley, but it’s only happening at the scale needed in Bangalore, which is the only Asian city apart from Singapore in the world’s top 20 startup ecosystems listed by San Francisco-based Compass in their most recent Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking.
If you want factual proof of this startup clout, you just have to visit one of the Evoma Bangalore coworking spaces to see how we support and help grow these vibrant startups.
This in turn helps us further build the startup infrastructure through bigger and better business centres and tech parks, and attracts more investors, government support, and even more startups. It’s a fantastic cycle of growth that has pushed Bangalore into the world’s 20 top startup ecosystems.
The latest addition to this infrastructure network is the boom in coworking spaces in Bangalore. It’s trendy for a hot tech startup in the city to cowork in popular tech hubs such as Whitefield and HSR Layout. It fits right in with the ‘always connected’ techies and geeks in the city who work round the clock from wherever they happen to be, and switch seamlessly between their laptops and smartphones.
You start working at home when you wake up, and then continue working on your smartphone while commuting to your coworking space. You work while taking the metro or Uber or Ola cabs to multiple meetings in different corners of the city, and then go back home in the evening to continue working from home till late at night. That’s the typical schedule of a startup founder who works 24/7.
The coworking space not only enables this kind of schedule, but also makes it cheaper for new startups who can’t afford the huge monthly rentals for full-time offices in the big tech parks and business centres in Bangalore. Instead of struggling for visibility from a cheap shop or office building on the fringes of the city, a new startup founder or freelancer can now call clients for a meeting by handing out business cards that say Borewell Road or HSR Layout and make a huge first impression.
A coworking space allows you to make use of and pay only for desk space, meeting rooms, boardrooms and other shared office facilities and amenities as ad when needed. So you can buy a day pass to cowork, or even book a desk or meeting room by the hour. There are no monthly rentals, no commitments required, no maintenance charges, electricity bills, etc. Most importantly – there is no deposit amount to be paid upfront.
This is a great deal for any business, freelancer or startup that doesn’t need a full-time office space or shop. You get all the benefits of a professional office (business address, reception area, phone call and mail forwarding, cafeteria, etc.) without the attendant costs.
Now, how does this fit into the part about creating startup ecoystems? Anjli Jain, a successful female tech entrepreneur, investor and social activist, has written a great piece on how to create start-up ecosystems. In this Techstory article, she mentions creating favourable conditions for the mingling of likeminded innovators in a narrow geographical area is the best bet for the successful creation of a startup ecosystem. That’s why we’re calling startups and freelancers to come “cowork and network @ Evoma” and become a part of this increasingly larger startup ecosystem.
Let’s look at this point by point, to see how these coworking spaces in Bangalore are providing all the vital components needed to create and support startup ecosystems.
1. Talent: A skilled and talented workforce is vital for any successful business, and it is a must-have for startups.Hiring software engineers is much cheaper in Bangalore, with an average annual salary of $23,500 (Rs 15 lakh), compared with $118,000 in Silicon Valley. Employees in Bangalore also get much less equity at just 7 percent, compared to an average of 23 percent for the Valley.You can find, hire and/or collaborate on projects with top web and mobile app developers, web designers, digital marketers and freelancers in Bangalore, all already coworking on the desks and couches next to you at Evoma.
2. Mentorship: Startups in India need a lot of mentorship, right from the concept stage to securing funding (see below), prototyping, testing and commercialisation. If you are in a coworking space, you don’t have to go knocking on a mentor’s door to connect with them, and then convince them to help you out. At the Evoma cowork space, your mentors are already aware of you and they have been watching you in action. If you’re good, and you have a good idea, then you will find many successful business leaders willing to be your mentors.
3. Buyers and Business Partners: One of the key requirements of a startup ecosystem is that you need big companies who like your idea and want to give you a start by trying out your product or service. You also need suppliers, distributors and other business partners who can help you grow fast. At Evoma, we have hundreds of member businesses in all the major industry sectors spread across our coworking spaces and business centres in Bangalore. You can connect physically and virtually with all these Evoma startups, SMEs and enterprise giants from different corners of India and other parts of the world.
4. Investors and Funding: The last piece of the puzzle is access to funding. Bangalore is already the best place in India to launch a startup and seek loans and debt funding from banks, along with equity investments from VCs and angel investor networks. To make it easier still, a B2B networking platform is available for members of the Evoma coworking spaces. Members of this exclusive club simply have to fill up a single funding application, and they will be directly introduced to a list of funding partners who provide the kind of funding you need.
One last point I’d like to highlight is that one of the secrets behind the success of Silicon Valley is its cultural diversity and inclusiveness. On average, foreign employees represent 29 percent of the workforce of startups located in the top 20 ecosystems in the world. In Silicon Valley, the average is 45 percent. Namma Bengaluru is rightfully more inclusive and diverse than most any city in India, if not the world. As long as it is able to retain and nurture this diversity, we will surely see its global ranking as a startup ecosystem get better in upcoming studies.
Want a first-hand look at how the Evoma coworking space is helping create and support a new startup ecosystem? Contact us now to cowork at our Borewell Road space in Whitefield for the day – free of cost.