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Lodha Group and Zone Startups India launch Palava Accelerator

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Lodha Group and Zone Startups India launch Palava Accelerator

Considering the growing startup ecosystem in the country, another startup accelerator not only makes sense but might also be the need of the hour. According to a report in Economic Times (ET), real estate developer Lodha Group has joined hands with Zone Startups India (ZSI) to announce the launch of the Palava Accelerator.

The accelerator will be selecting 30 startups will be identifying every year through an application process. The chosen startups will be going through a four-month long acceleration program.

The program, which will be working on a non-cohort based model, will be providing a testing field for startups working with emerging technologies to conduct their pilots at Palava, which is a privately-developed greenfield smart city located in Mumbai Metropolitan Region. Out of the 30 selected startups, 8 to 10 will get to work out of Palava’s center at any given time.

The accelerator, which is being operated by Toronto-based Ryerson Futures, will announce the first set of companies in mid-November.

For the uninitiated, Zone Startups India is the Mumbai location of the famous Toronto-based Ryerson Futures Inc. – the technology accelerator and investment arm of Ryerson University. Zone Startups India is a collaboration between BSE Institute (a subsidiary of the Bombay Stock Exchange), Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (incubator), Ryerson Futures Inc and Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada.

Commenting on his firm’s newest association with Lodha Group, Ajay Ramasubramaniam, Director (India), Zone Startups spoke to ET, “Partnering with Lodha Group on the Palava Accelerator is an exciting opportunity for us. It helps us expand our corporate accelerator and innovation work in India beyond FinTech, and further strengthens our presence within the Indian startup ecosystem. We strongly believe that a thriving startup hub helps build cities ground-up, as we have seen globally. More so, such a program, co-located with a growing, new-age city, acts as a solid test bed for numerous consumer tech startups.”

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Lodha Group has decided to invest in the Palava Accelerator from its flagship Startup Investment Fund for Real Estate and Smart Cities. The fund has a corpus of a whopping Rs. 50 crore.

Shaishav Dharia, Regional CEO, LodhaGroup also spoke to ET about the newly formed accelerator that they have founded with ZSI. Dharia shared that the one of the aims of Palava Accelerator is to invigorate economic growth of Palava and bring in the first set of jobs within the city.

He further added, “Through the program, Palava would provide entrepreneurs an opportunity to work in the city and with the city management body, provide mentorship with reputed mentors in these fields, provide access to investors and a stimulating environment to work in. We are hopeful that this initiative will encourage startups to create disruptive ideas, technologies for the real estate sector and take government’s smart city mission a notch higher.”

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