Funding Insights

IIT Madras and Starburst Accelerator Join Forces to Boost India’s Aerospace and Defense Ecosystem

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has partnered with French aerospace and defense firm Starburst Accelerator SARL to establish a €100 million startup hub. This collaboration aims to bolster India’s aviation, space, and defense (ASD) ecosystem by nurturing innovative startups and providing them with access to global markets.

Accelerating India’s ASD Ecosystem

Through this partnership, Starburst will set up accelerator programs tailored to the unique needs of India’s ASD startups. With a funding commitment of €100 million, this initiative will provide vital resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to help these startups scale up and compete on a global stage. Starburst brings a wealth of experience and a vast network of industry players to the table, with offices in key locations worldwide, including Los Angeles, Paris, Munich, and Singapore. The firm has built an ecosystem of over 17,000 startups and has fostered deep relationships with dozens of global aerospace and defense legacy players.

Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The collaboration between IIT Madras and Starburst will focus on nurturing entrepreneurs, facilitating collaborations between industry stakeholders, and driving the growth of cutting-edge startups in the ASD domain. By combining the academic expertise of IIT Madras with the practical guidance and global reach of Starburst, this initiative aims to create a thriving ecosystem that supports innovation and deep-tech production in India.François Chopard, Founder and CEO of Starburst Aerospace, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, emphasizing its potential to catalyze technological breakthroughs and support India’s ambitious goals in the ASD sector. Meanwhile, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras, highlighted the importance of such collaborations in nurturing future employers and fostering critical sectors.

Empowering Startups and Attracting Investment

Through this program, ASD startups will gain access to a wide range of resources, including market analysis, technology scouting, international expansion strategies, and investment opportunities. Starburst will create a dedicated consulting team comprising IIT Madras alumni, experienced military officers, and senior consultants to guide startups in their growth journey.Moreover, the initiative aims to attract external capital, mitigate investment risks, and accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative technologies in the ASD sector. By providing startups with the necessary tools and support to scale their businesses, this partnership seeks to position India as a global leader in aerospace and defense innovation.

Key Focus Areas and Projects

The partnership will focus on several key areas, including:

  • Entrepreneurs, research parks, investors (public and private), government, and corporate firms
  • Creating innovative startups and helping them grow rapidly to work in tandem with future aerospace and new space worldwide programs
  • Market analysis and scouting of identified technology for aerospace or defense players (disruptive market)
  • International expansion strategy for SMEs and Go-to-Market Strategy
  • Design and structuration of labs for government or corporate entities
  • Investment/M&A due diligence (buy-side and sell-side)

Structured programs will be created by combining academic knowledge with practical startup guidance, including workshops, seminars, and mentoring sessions for Indian startup clusters and research and innovative projects. Starburst will provide startups with business tools to grow and scale their businesses in aerospace and defense, helping them become future suppliers.


A Catalyst for Open Innovation

The collaboration between IIT Madras and Starburst Accelerator SARL marks a significant milestone in India’s efforts to strengthen its aerospace, defense, and space capabilities. By fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem and facilitating international collaborations, this initiative is poised to drive technological advancements, create high-skilled jobs, and attract substantial investments to the country.As India continues to prioritize indigenous production and reduce its reliance on imports in the defense sector, partnerships like this one will play a crucial role in nurturing homegrown talent and propelling the nation towards self-reliance. With the combined expertise of IIT Madras and Starburst Accelerator SARL, India’s ASD startups are set to soar to new heights, contributing to the country’s economic growth and global competitiveness.