It's amazing to see how many inspiring entrepreneurs are building innovative startups in India. As of February 2020, the department for the promotion of industry and internal trade (DPIIT) has recognised over 27,916 startups, with the numbers only set to rise further. However, on the flip-side, hundreds of startups also fail and shut their doors. Building great companies and solving big problems is not easy, and entrepreneurs need a ton of support – be it motivation, funding, exposure and connections to keep going. You can read all the books you want on entrepreneurship, but there's nothing better than learning first-hand from founders and investors who've been in the game and succeeded. To be the best, you need to learn from the best.
The Innovators Program by Chiratae Ventures is a great initiative in this direction. This program aims to create a long-lasting and engaged community of founders where shared learning can be fostered.
Keeping in mind the objective to empower homegrown startups, Chiratae Ventures has launched the seventh edition of the Innovator's Program, which is also India's longest running seed-initiative. In the last six editions, they have partnered with 14 companies, including some pioneering names in the tech industry. The seventh edition will enable seed and early-stage founders to fast-track their growth journey through mentorship, customer connects, access to capital, and more.
Commenting on the launch, Sudhir Sethi, Founder and Chairman, Chiratae Ventures said, “The Indian startup ecosystem has witnessed steady growth over the past few years, but with the ongoing pandemic, the entire ecosystem has been challenged to innovate & overcome. This has given us an opportunity to support stellar entrepreneurs and founders who are building and solving for real-world challenges using technology. With our program in its 7th edition, we aim to discover more innovative ideas and partner in their journey to scale up.”Who can apply?
All seed or early-stage companies solving real-world problems by leveraging technology in the following sectors are welcome to apply:
ConsumerTech – Commerce, gaming, mobility/EV, EdTech, digital consumer brands, retail-focused tech platforms, digital media platformsSoftware/SaaS – DevOps, cybersecurity, AI/ML driven across segments, data management; SaaSOps and vertical focusedFinTech – Insurtech across underwriting, distribution and operations, Blockchain-based disruptors and SaaS platforms, innovative purpose lending platforms, capital market techHealthTech – Digital/Point of care Diagnostics, AI platforms that look at data for populations studies, AI in preclinical and drug discovery, medical imaging, robotics, platforms for connected medical devicesDeepTech – Nanotechnology, AI, NLP, AR/VR, IoT, cloud and quantum computing, 3D printing, material science, aerospace and outer space, biotechnology and life sciences, robotics
Startups will be selected based on the following criteria – market opportunity, team, ability to scale and build a dominant brand in India with global relevance. The program will also feature experts from across the Chiratae portfolio such as Lenskart, FirstCry, Cure.Fit, PolicyBazaar, Bounce, Uniphore, among others.
What's in it for entrepreneurs?
The five-week program with modules, spread across 40 hours, will focus on the growth of startups including team building, product-market fit, product and technology, market entry, fundraising and more.
Additionally, startups will also receive:
Fast-tracked decision making for investmentWeekly sector or topic focused roundtable discussions with the Chiratae Ventures leadership teamAccess to mentors including serial entrepreneurs, industry experts, investors as part of a structured programInteractive sessions and workshops by top industry subject matter expertsIntroduction to existing Chiratae portfolio companies and corporate network to enable potential synergiesCustomer and capital connect session
That’s not all. Selected startups will also gain access to both local and global markets via Chiratae’s corporate collaboration and industry partners including Cisco, Sony Innovation Fund, Wipro Consumer Ventures, JSR Corporation (Japan) and AWS.
AWS will provide entrepreneurial support to startups through mentorship, AWS Activate credits and offers from third-party independent solutions across marketing, HR, and chatbots to help startups become cost-effective and efficient in their early scale up period.
Participate and fast-track your startup journey
Applications for the Innovators Program are open and the last date to apply is October 20, 2020. The final cohort will be announced on November 6, 2020 and the program will commence on the same day. In mid-December, startups will get the opportunity to present their solutions during the Showcase Day.
India’s most prolific entrepreneurship conference TechSparks is back! With it comes an opportunity for early-stage startups to scale and succeed. Apply for Tech30 and get a chance to get funding of up to Rs 50 lakh and pitch to top investors live online.
Read more: yourstory.com