Paytm Prepares a Startup Incubator in India

December 28, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

Most of us likely know Paytm as one of the biggest names in mobile payments in India. It’s about to be known for quite a bit more, however, as it moves to start an incubator operation for startups in the country. Part of the larger Build for India program, the new incubator is set to give tech startups a leg up in the field and help drive the next generation of India’s technical development.

The incubator program calls for Paytm to offer development support, with a particular focus on open source solutions, and in turn taking the completed solutions into the larger global tech market. The developments are set to focus on education, financial inclusion, and a range of technologies related to the digital lifestyle, including both virtual and augmented reality.

Plus, Paytm will offer up its campus for development activities like bootcamps and hackathons, as well as offering mentoring opportunities for those looking to learn more about programming and similar development tools. Interestingly, Paytm has stake no outright cash on this operation, but has promised that the best solutions will be “recognized”. This could mean anything, but some are projecting that it means scholarships for further development as well as potential job offers.

Deepak Abbot, senior vice president with Paytm, noted “In our country, we use a lot of open source projects but do not contribute back enough to the developer community. We aim at correcting this by promoting new open source projects developed from India. We will also create communities around these projects to maintain them. With the Open Source Project Incubator, Paytm aims to give back to the developer community.”

It’s not exactly a giant risk for Paytm at this point; it’s effectively offering little more than some space, a few competitions, and some free advice to help make a push in technological development, which it will subsequently be able to poach like no tomorrow with job offers for anyone who brings out anything worth developing.

In the end, if it helps drive technological development, it will be a help for the whole country. While this does look a little lopsided in Paytm’s favor—minimal investment for massive potential return—it’s still likely going to be good news for everybody who can get in on the new developments produced here.