In conversation with Nirupa Shankar
What was the founding vision of Brigade’s accelerator program and how is it supported?
Brigade Real Estate Accelerator Program (REAP) was set up with a vision to leveraging cutting-edge technology to bring in operational efficiencies to the industry. Our mission is to help young entrepreneurs and innovators to create sustainable businesses from India.
Innovation being one of Brigade’s core values, Brigade REAP was set up to nurture pioneering initiatives. Since we at Brigade are present in all asset classes of real estate, it makes perfect sense to provide startups with proof of concept (PoC) opportunities.
What are the key challenges faced by startups in India, and how are you helping bridge the gap?
Product-market fit, market access, the hiring of right team members, proof of concept (PoC) opportunity, and investor access are some of the common challenges. Brigade REAP helps startups overcome these challenges at every stage of their entrepreneurial journey.
Brigade REAP inducted its first cohort in October 2016 and has successfully graduated three cohorts. A total of 18 startups have gained value from the program so far.
What support and services do startups receive in your accelerator?
Brigade REAP engages with the startups in 6 critical areas:
- Product - Help draw out a product roadmap that can solve relevant problems
- Technology - Help develop a technology that is relevant to global business trends
- Business Model - Validate and modify business models based on market insights
- People - Help in hiring the right team for the startups
- GTM - Leverage well-established channels, partners and choose the path of least resistance & low cost but with high impact
- Scale - Constant monitoring and focus on key metrics
How would you differentiate your accelerator from the other accelerators in the field?
For starters, we are Asia’s First Real Estate Focused Startup Accelerator and were recently ranked among the top 5 Real Estate accelerators in the world. At Brigade REAP, we are deeply entrenched with the startups.
We accompany them to customer pitches, help them in their hiring, sort out investor/mentor issues if any, with a focus on unlocking value. With lots of effort using personal networks, Brigade REAP has been able to help startups achieve these goals. While there are no written guarantees, our success ratio has been quite high in this regard.
What are your recommendations or words of inspiration to the startups and entrepreneurs out there?
At Brigade REAP, one of the most important mantras is to create a ‘Must have’ product over a ‘good to have’ one. As Russell Simmons, founder of Def Jam rightly states, “You just have to pay attention to what people need and what has not been done.” Creating a product in need will be the first step to success.