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Unitus Seed Fund, and Sylvant has recently announced a nationwide program to identify, support, and invest in the most promising early-stage education startups focussed at serving India’s 20 crore families living on under INR 20,000 per month. The program-StartEdu includes two nationwide education-sector startup competitions to be organised in 2015, with cash prizes and mentoring for the winners of each, and gives the first and second place winners of each competition the opportunity to pitch for an up to one crore seed investment from Unitus Seed Fund.

Incubators that had previously participated in Unitus’  Incubator Accelerator Program will select the participants for this competition. Education-focused accelerator Sylvant, a founding member of Unitus’ Incubator Accelerator Program would be acting as a co-convener of the competition.

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For the first competition, the startups will compete via business plan submissions, online pitches, and live Q&A sessions on 27th of March, 2015. Whereas, the date for the second competition later in 2015 is to still be announced.

The winner, besides three mentoring sessions with Unitus Seed Fund partners Srikanth Iyer (formerly CEO of Pearson India, founder HomeLane), or Will Poole (chairman of NComputing, co-founder VidyaNext), or with Sylvant partners Madan Padaki (co-founder MeritTrac, Co-founder& CEO of Head Held High), or Anand Sudarshan (founder Sylvant Advisors, director at NIIT Limited, and former Vice-Chairman & MD of Manipal Global Education Services), will receive a “technical assistance” matching grant of Rs. 5 lakh, cash, to help them further develop their business.

Also, the competition winner and runner-up in both the competitions will get the opportunity to pitch their business opportunity to Unitus Seed Fund partners in Bangalore for a potential INR 1 Cr. seed equity investment.

Founded in 2012, Bangalore and Seattle based Unitus Seed Fund is the leading venture seed fund supporting startups innovating for the masses in India. Unitus has made investments in healthcare, education, mobile commerce & value-added services, marketplaces & e-commerce, retail & distribution, agriculture, and water & energy sectors.

Bangalore based Sylvant Advisors work as growth accelerator with entrepreneurs and early stage companies. From raising funds to drafting business strategies, and from providing operational support to being a part of an entire growth lifecycle, they help startups at almost every growth stage .

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