Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has joined hands with French aerospace and defence start-up accelerator Starburst to set up an innovative hub for start-ups with a funding support of 100 million euros. Through this collaboration, IIT Madras will enable Starburst to set up an accelerator programme to boost the aviation, space, and defence (ASD) ecosystem in India.

As part of the programme, Starburst Accelerator will look to create venture capital funds for ASD technology. The partnership will enable export promotion and provide support for Indian ASD start-ups to explore international markets through the extensive network of Starburst.

“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 a prestigious institution in the country. We together aim at creating a robust ASD ecosystem that supports innovation in deep-tech, and the production in India, to meet the future challenges of aerospace, new space and defence players,” François Chopard, founder and CEO, Starburst Aerospace, says.

The focus of the partnership will be on entrepreneurs, research parks, investors (public and private), government, and corporate firms.

“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 start ups in critical and emerging sectors are crucial and timely”, V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT-Madras, says.

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.

Some of the projects that could be taken up in India through this partnership include market analysis and scouting of identified technology for aerospace or defence players (disruptive market), innovation transformation of a market leader in a particular domain, international expansion strategy for SMEs & Go-to-Market Strategy, product-market-fit analysis, investment/M&A due diligence (Buy-side & Sell-side).

Starburst has offices in Los Angeles, Paris, Munich, Singapore, Seoul, Tel Aviv, and Madrid, and has built an ecosystem of key players with over 17,000 startups in its network.

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