A program to discover, nurture, and accelerate
XR technology startups across India.
About the program
XR Startup Program is a collaboration between Meta and MeitY Startup Hub (MSH). The program aims to accelerate India’s contribution towards building the foundations of the metaverse and nurturing the development of Extended Reality (XR) technologies in India.
The metaverse is the next generation of the internet. It will be a set of digital spaces, including 3D experiences that are all interconnected so people can easily move between them and will let people do things they could not do in the physical world. While the defining quality of the metaverse will be a feeling of presence, the defining technologies of the metaverse will be Extended Reality (XR), including Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR).
India is uniquely placed to shape the contours of the metaverse – a large talent pool of creators, developers and a vibrant technology startup ecosystem in the country are all contributing to it.
A recent study by Analysis Group estimates that the metaverse could contribute 4.6% or equivalent of $240 billion to India’s GDP by 2031 if adoption of the metaverse was to begin today and grow in a similar way as mobile technology in India. This finding articulates the potential to have substantial, beneficial economic impacts including contributing to GDP growth, creating jobs, and increasing productivity in India. Just as India became the hub for software development in the ’90s, India’s talent pool of developers and creators, entrepreneurs and startups will play a critical role in shaping the future of the metaverse.
The program includes an Accelerator and a Grand Challenge, and will be run and managed by the AIC-SMU Technology Business Incubation Foundation (AIC-SMUTBI).
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The Accelerator will nurture and foster 10 early stage startups working with XR technologies through a well-designed 6-month program. Startups will get access to a number of benefits such as a grant of ₹ 20,00,000, mentorship by industry experts and researchers, access to a network of potential strategic partners and investors, technology and infrastructure support, and opportunities to participate and present at industry events.
The Grand Challenge is aimed at supporting early-stage innovators to upscale from the R&D phase to developing workable prototypes and Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) for the Agritech and Climate Action, Tourism and Sustainability sector. A total of 20 innovators will be shortlisted and receive a grant of ₹ 50,000 and an opportunity to attend the bootcamp. Of the 20 shortlisted innovators, 4 innovators will be supported with grants worth ₹ 20,00,000 to help them develop MVP(s)/ prototypes. The other benefits include mentorship by industry experts and researchers, access to a network of potential strategic partners and investors, technology and infrastructure support, and opportunities to participate and present at industry events, demo days.
AIC-SMU Technology Business Incubation Foundation nurtures and incubates early stage entrepreneurial ventures based on technology and innovation by providing infrastructure, mentorship and seed grants to promising young entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams of starting their own venture. AIC-SMUTBI persistently encourages young entrepreneurs to hone their skills in generating valued human resources rather than the traditional manpower that feeds need of the industry.