SARL partners with IIT Madras to set up €100 Million Start-up Hub

Business MInutes

French aerospace and defence firm Starburst Accelerator SARL is partnering with Indian Institute of Technology Madras(IIT Madras)to set up an innovative hub for start-ups with a funding support of €100 million (100 Million Euros). Through this collaboration, IIT Madras will enable Starburst to set up accelerator programs to boost Aviation, Space, and Defence (ASD) ecosystem in India.

Starburst Accelerator SARL is looking to create venture capital funds for ASD technology, a powerful engine to drive the transformation of India’s economy and its integration with global stakeholders. This partnership will enable export promotion and provide support for Indian ASD startups to explore international markets through the extensive network of Starburst.

An MoU towards this collaboration was signed at IIT Madras campus on Monday (25th March 2024) by Mr. François Chopard, Founder and CEO, Starburst Aerospace, Mr. Cedric Vallet, Innovation and Venture Director, Starburst Aerospace, and Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, Prof. Manu Santhanam, Dean (ICSR), IIT Madras, in the presence of representatives from IIT Madras and Starburst Aerospace.

Starburst is a global aerospace and defence accelerator, connecting startups with corporates, investors, and government. With offices in Los Angeles, Paris, Munich, Singapore, Seoul, Tel Aviv, and Madrid, the team has built an ecosystem of key players with 17,000+ startups in its network.

Starburst, known for its global network and deep industry knowledge, brings invaluable experience to the collaboration. By offering a conducive environment for innovation and entrepreneurship, the partnership aims to strengthen India's position as a hub for ASD innovation on the global stage.

Looking forward to this collaboration, Mr. François Chopard, Founder and CEO, Starburst Aerospace, said, “We believe it is the right momentum to faster emergence of pioneer boundary-pushing technological innovations in India. We're proud and honoured to collaborate with IIT-Madras and work with such prestigious institution in the country. We together aim at creating a robust ASD ecosystem that support innovation in Deeptech, and the production in India, to meet the future challenges of Aerospace, New Space and Defence worldwide players”

A key focus of this partnership will be on entrepreneurs, research parks, investors (public and private), Government, and corporate firms. Starburst Accelerator SARL will work towards achieving long-term Indian ASD program ambitions. The aim is to create innovative startups and help them grow rapidly to work in tandem with future aerospace and New Space worldwide programs.

Highlighting the benefits to India from this Startup accelerator initiative, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “Encouraging young entrepreneurs is extremely important as we embark on our journey to become a multi-trillion economy. To this effect, reputed higher educational institutions must aspire to nurture future employers than employees.  In this context, such collaborations with accelerators to nurture startups in critical and emerging sectors are crucial and timely.”

Starburst Accelerator SARL has developed strong relationships with dozens of worldwide aerospace and defence legacy players, contributing to their strategic vision and growth strategy through consulting projects. Starburst will create a consulting team that can be composed of IIT Madras alumni and experienced military officers besides ASD managers and senior consultants from Starburst offices to help start-ups scale up in their growth journey.

This program will provide access to entrepreneurs and innovators, drive new technologies, business ideas, and models, and boost the Indian aerospace and defence innovation ecosystem. It will also allow startups and entrepreneurs to explore synergies and avenues of collaboration with Industry, Government, and beyond besides guiding them towards rapid implementation and global commercialization.

Structured programs will be created by combining academic knowledge with practical startup guidance, including workshops, seminars, and mentoring sessions for Indian Start-up clusters and research and innovative projects. Starburst will provide startups with business tools to grow and scale businesses in aerospace and defence to become future suppliers.

These measures will also help start-ups attract external capital, de-risk investments and accelerate development.

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