History, Culture, and Startups: Indore

State: Madhya Pradesh
Language: Malawi, Hindi, English
Population: 25,90,000 (2011)
Weather: Subtropical
Food: Poha, Jalebi
Places to Visit: Rajwada palace, central museum, Lal Bagh palace, Annapurna Temple, Kamla Nehru Prani Sangrahalaya
Industry Specialisation: Software, Technology, Food


Apart from being a beautiful tourist destination, the lifestyle of Indore is one of a kind. From the way people eat to the way they dress; it is all worth watching! It is not only one of the most developed cities of Madhya Pradesh but its magnificent monuments and breathtaking forts definitely stand out.

Indore, The Ecosystem

After decades of being the snacks capital of India, Indore is exploring new avenues. Between 2012-2015, the city saw 359 startups being founded. 250+ of those startups began operations in the 2015-2019 period. With four minicorns, Indore becomes an attractive place for entrepreneurs. A lot of the entrepreneurs in the city are good candidates for early-stage investments due to their potential to thrive in a big market or make great execution in small ones.

The past few years have seen the quantity and quality of startups in Indore rise like never before- WittyFeed, RackBank, ShopKirana, Gramophone, and Securitybulls are a few of the startups that are paving the way for startups in Indore.

Read more about why Indore is attracting entrepreneurs from all across –


Indore is known as the financial capital of Madhya Pradesh. However, the city doesn’t see “great” rounds of funding but gathers enough to set an example for all budding startup ecosystems in the country. The best examples for which would be- ShopKirana (USD $10 Mn) and Gramophone (USD $3.5 Mn).

2014- early 2019, 27 startups based in Indore received funding of over USD $38 Mn, according to DataLabs. One could easily say that this is due to the presence of large VC firms like Sequoia Capital, AngelList, Akatsuki, and LetsVenture in the city. However, that having been said, the city is also home to 6000+ angel investors. Swan Angel Network is a network of angel investors, it has 30+ HNIs, all of whom support local ventures.

Incubators, Accelerators, and Stakeholders

Indore’s development has been made possible through the instrumental work done by enablers and stakeholders in the ecosystem. One such enabler is Headstart Indore- a collective that works toward building ecosystems and helping entrepreneurs. They have impacted 225+ entrepreneurs in the year 2018 alone through their Startup Saturdays- a platform that’s perfect for networking and knowledge. If you’d like to reach out to our team in Indore, write to us at indore@headstart.in

Read more about how Indore is making a mark in the Startup ecosystem –

Incubators like the Atal Incubation Centre, Clique @ IIM-Indore, CIE @ IIT-Indore, and the ISCDL incubators are prime examples of how incubators in the city are leading growth for the ecosystem. All three are academic/governmental incubators, this begs the question- is the ecosystem being aided by the government?

The Government

Yes, the Madhya Pradesh government has been extremely supportive of the startups in its state. The state government launched their VC fund in 2014, effectively setting aside USD $15.4 Mn for incubators and promoting startup culture within the state, for the IT and MSME industries. Soon after, they separated another USD $15.4 Mn for aspiring entrepreneurs at the Global Investors Summit in 2016.


The Indore ecosystem has undoubtedly taken a leap in the last few years and it has been one of the wisest decisions of all. Apart from the other factors that startups need, what Indore has is the will to hustle unconditionally. The city ecosystem has a set of values and all these values help it to succeed and rise to the top. With that in mind, Indore has plans to leave a mark in the startup world and it seems like they are well on their way.

Contributed by:

Anoushka Chopra & Sanskriti Bhatnagar
Headstart Network Foundation