A group of 35 entrepreneurs hailing from a diverse range of industries that include financial services, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), apparels, travel, furnishing and more have come together to launch an early stage startup accelerator — Risers.
The Delhi-based accelerator will shortlist 200 startups in a year and will provide support in the form of infrastructure, funding and mentorship. The ticket size of the seed capital will be between INR 10 Lakh ($14.387) to INR 50 Lakh ($71.935) for each shortlisted startup. The accelerator programme will focus on nascent stage startups to begin with and going all the way to the stage where they have generated their very first revenue.
Commenting on the programme’s industry focus, Director of Risers Accelerator, Rachit Chawla told Inc42, “What we are focusing on are the entrepreneurs and not the industry. We have the expertise in a diverse set of industries so we can mentor startups in multiple industries. For us, entrepreneurs have to be aspiring and should have a globally scalable product. Another very important element for us is to add a positive social impact to the society.”
The number of startups inducted by the programme will vary for each month but on average around 25 startups will be selected per month, he added. The accelerator has access to over 370 infrastructure facilities across the country, given to its wide network of promoters and hence startups will get access to infrastructure wherever they find feasible.
Talking about the duration of the accelerator programme, Rachit said, “Once we handhold a startup, we will support them throughout their journey. Most startups fail because they run out of cash. In our case, we understand that money is only one prerequisite of a successful business, the business model has to be viable. So, we plan to mentor startups to not burn money but to build sustainable businesses. If the business is not sustainable then we might pass on that startup.”
The board of directors of Risers include Ajay Kapur, chairman of Shubham Group; Rachit Chawla, CEO Finway; Ankit Rakheja, international marketing director of Classic Experts; Pravin Khandelwal, founder of Pranay Impex pvt. Ltd., and Manoj Agrawal, founder of Better Deli Foods. The founding group of 35 entrepreneurs claim to have a total net worth of INR 3K Cr.
“We are not focusing on creating one or two unicorns, rather we want to create 1K multi-million dollar businesses. We believe that’s what a youth dominated country like India needs,” shared Rachit.
Recently in January, Venture capital firm Sequoia Capital India has introduced its startup accelerator and incubation programme called Surge. Later in February, Entrepreneur First’s foray into India was announced with the London-based accelerator setting up its sixth global headquarter in Bengaluru.
According to Inc42’s The State of Indian Startup Ecosystem 2018‘ report, India currently has over 250 startup incubators and accelerators. In the past couple of years, the sector-specific and partnership-driven incubators and accelerators are gaining more traction in the Indian startup ecosystem in comparison to others. Besides, private and government backed incubators and accelerators India has also seen rise of corporates participation in the space.