The Circle has launched a new business accelerator Founders Club (F.C.), for early-stage startups., an iteration of its successful innovation space, The Circle.Work. On the occasion, Ambassador of Israel in India H.E. Dr. Ron Malka said, “Israel is a Start-up Nation and we are keen to share our advanced technologies and innovations with entrepreneurs in India.
The true strength of our growing partnership is the people to people bonds. So we are proud to partner with The Circle in boosting the startup ecosystem in India.” Elucidating further about the launch, Karanpal Singh, MD, Hunch Ventures said “The Circle work is based on the philosophy of prioritizing the entrepreneur and building a community around them. Now Founders Club is the iteration of that platform to leverage the best of The Circle’s community, and source it out to entrepreneurs.”
F.C is a community-driven ecosystem, where synergistic teams of entrepreneurs will work on their solutions in a strategic model tailored to the opportunities in the current market. F.C will address some of the biggest challenges for startups today – market access, mentorship, funding, corporate connections, education, space, and the necessary partnerships so critical to scale early-stage companies. F.C. will be led by Nemesisa Ujjain,; a former head of India’s largest industry-backed partner programs at NASSCOM (NIPP). An Entrepreneur, Open Innovation Consultant, Mentor at Startup India; Nemesisa will be front running The Circle’s Innovation Program for startups and corporate engagement . Rajiv Bathla, who is the Business Head at The Circle, and former VP Operations with 20+ years at American Express, will help and guide Nemissisa for running the operations of the program.
Commenting on the timing and purpose of the Founder’s Club, Nemesisa adds , “We know what it takes to create great startups and scale successful companies. The F.C. is the sum of knowledge of all stakeholders; from our partners to the mentors from various fields, and the investment expertise. We have put this together so that in these tough times, India’s entrepreneurs don’t have to go it alone.”
F.C’s mission is to provide focused attention to select teams of early-stage entrepreneurs, who have a product with some traction and are now looking to scale. At a time when many incubators and accelerators are being launched with a wide variety of scopes and missions, the team at F.C.will aim to execute on a specific set of deliverables for their entrepreneurs oriented toward their fundraising, and mentoring goals.
With support from our strategic partners like The Confederation of Indian Industry, Amazon Web Services, Freshworks and The Embassy of Israel, F.C. founders will get access to coaches who will help them think global from Day 1. Our startups will get the opportunity for pitching to our exclusive investor network called the "Circle of Angels" for the purpose of fundraising.
Building on this, Rajat Tandon, President of the Indian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (IVCA) says “Accelerators like The Founders Club can play an important role to support budding entrepreneurs, especially in these tough times, providing support on niche specialisations, meaningful mentoring, connects & bringing experience on the board of new startups.”
Along with Rajat, F.C. has many other great partners. From serial entrepreneurs, mentors and angel investors like Madhumita Ramanathan (India Head of Strategy and M&A, Experian), Mahavir Sharma (Chairman TiE Global & Chairman Rajasthan Angels (RAIN)), Vishal Gupta (Founder, Kabeela Life), Gaurav Kachru (VC and Entrepreneur) , Amit Dutta (Serial Entrepreneur and Former Head of Marketing at Unilever), Biten Kathrani (APAC Head of R&D, Johnson&Johnson), Zohare Haidar (Founder, Digital Street Dubai), Seetharaman Venkatraman (ED, Nomura India), and many more; to SaaS unicorn Freshworks, Agnii (Invest India), NVIDIA, NVIDIA, Segment, Amazon’s AWS, SAP Labs, PayU and other technology partners. The Circle F.C.’s International partners in Israel, UAE, Singapore, Europe and the U.K., will greatly help startups looking to expand. Early Stage Start-ups across all industries are eligible to apply (for an upto 6 Month program). Applications for the same are now open.