I’ve been a raving lunatic about this, for almost the past eight months, talking to various folks in the ecosystem, listening, iterating and evolving and still realizing that there is enough evidence to point to the need of an existence of an entrepreneur-centric early stage hub and accelerator. The Startup Centre is an effort towards that.

The premise is that, today while there are close to 50+ incubation centres in the country, most of them are not fully functional, and the few that do are so because of the folks who drive it – not because of the facilities it offers. Secondly, it has a tendency to attract folks who do require a lot of handholding. And from our experience almost 90% of the kickass startups we bumped into, during our Proto.in days were out there in the wild. The question then was, as to how to support these entrepreneurs – accelerate – in any meaningful way.

Secondly, we also realize that the Indian startup landscape is all about events. We go from one event to another, and the meagre efforts that we do in terms of ecosystem building are all limited to the web, and that hasnt quite taken off.  My thought process goes back to how open source communities are built – with that live IRC channel – where people can drop by anytime to continue the conversation and to get help. TSC is an offline equivalent of that in a way.

We are planning to launch in a few cities. We are kickstarting the effort in Chennai – we’ve gotten a 2500sq ft office out of Alsa Mall, which will be home to most of the startup related events in Chennai, and will also become a hub to access resources etc. There is also a membership model for founding teams (only) to work out of – launching in May.  Entrepreneurship can be a bit lonely quitting that job and starting off and this could be a way to tacke that.

None of this would be possible without the amazing support that the community at large has been showing. We technically go live this weekend – by one of the first initiatives to build prototypes out of ideas folks might be having with our event – in50Hrs – More at http://in50hrs.thestartupcentre.com

Looking forward to what lies ahead.

PS: There is a plan for an accelerator in TSC, scheduled to launch in the June/July timeframe.