Published: 27th May 2021
GradCapital to fund 20 start-ups by college students next year, launch student-focused VC fund
In order to identify the start-ups, gradCapital has hired associates across the country. They have also partnered with student communities across campuses to scout for the best talent
College graduates who aspire to be entrepreneurs now have more opportunities to convert their start-up ideas into reality. GradCapital, a Bengaluru-based start-up is launching a pan-India student-focused venture capitalist that will help the graduates realise their ideas. Over the next year, 20 start-up ideas will be selected by gradCapital and they will each receive $25,000 in funds. Applications are now open for interested graduates to submit their start-up ideas for the programme.
GradCapital has collaborated with The Innovation Continuum, which is based out of IIM Ahmedabad, for this purpose. The start-up was founded by IIM Ahmedabad alum Abhishek Sethi and BITS Pilani alum Prateek Behera. In order to identify the start-ups, gradCapital has hired associates across the country. They have also partnered with student communities across campuses to scout for the best talent.
As part of the programme, gradCapital will conduct an eight-week, intensive training programme for the start-ups run by college students and graduates. This will feature weekly keynotes, one-on-one mentorship, office hours with experts and, in the end, an investor-focused demo day. The duo state that they aim to bring out the next generation of unicorns started by founders out of colleges and plan to invest in 100 start-ups over the next three years.
Commenting on the venture capitalist programme, Sethi said, "Historically, major societal transformations have emerged from university campuses. The LGBTQ+ movement, the microprocessor that runs our phones, immunotherapy for Cancer — all have their roots in just one college campus. Students have been at the origins of these radical ideas. And our vision is to cultivate these academic spaces." Behara added, "These companies often are missed by larger venture capitalists due to a gap in the understanding of emerging technologies, millennial consumers or new kinds of economies."
Prior to announcing this programme, Abhishek and Prateek successfully ran a pilot to test their hypothesis. They ended up with a thriving cohort of eight companies, including KiranaKart, Humit, Codedamn, Valerio Electric, and Neuralastic. Interested start-ups can apply at gradcapital.in.