India’s top young entrepreneurs can now hope to visit and connect with like minded counterparts,mentors and seed investors in the Silicon Valley,California,with the creation of a ‘Startup Corridor’ between India and US.
The ‘Startup Corridor’ is the brain child of Silicon Valley venture capitalist Asha Jadeja Motwani,wife of late Stanford Professor Rajeev Motwani,a mentor to the likes of Larry Page and Sergey Brin and a key architect of the algorithms that power Google today.
According to Asha,an investor in over 75 start ups in Silicon Valley,who has just begun seed investing in Indian start ups,the idea for a corridor came when she met several bright young entrepreneurs in India pursuing excellent ideas but without the kind of mentoring available in US.
Reading and talking about mentoring in abstract can take one forward only so much. ‘Unless the entrepreneurs understand the culture,the walk,and the talk of Silicon Valley,serious dialogue is unlikely to emerge,’ she said.
And thus was born the Rajeev Circle Fellowship programme under which a dozen or so true entrepreneurs in India would be identified and flown as a group to Silicon Valley on a two-week visit. All expenses paid. Any expectations of returns? Nope says Asha – “just pay it forward”.
If the visiting Fellows help and encourage the batches that will visit after them,”that’s reward enough”,she says.
The first batch,which included incubatees from IIM-A,IIT,Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design (NID) and Startup Village here,is back after the visit to the valley.
The Fellows,including Sanjay Vijayakumar,the Chairman of the Startup Village Board of Governors,met celebrated tech wizards and angel investors,including Jack Dorsey,founder of Twitter and Square and Marc Andreessen the whizkid creator of the browser!,a press release said here last evening.