Reliance Venture Asset Management becomes exclusive India partner for MIT $100k Entrepreneurship Competition 2010


India’s first VC firm to associate with MIT’s legendary business plan competition

Mumbai, 8 March 2010: Reliance Venture Asset Management Ltd, the corporate venture capital arm of the Reliance ADA Group and India’s leading corporate VC today announced an association with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the 2010 edition of its industry leading entrepreneurship competition – the ‘MIT $100K’. This association makes Reliance Venture Asset Management, the first ever Indian VC company to work with this prestigious competition and also the exclusive India partner for the of MIT $100k Entrepreneurship Competition for the year 2010.

With a 20 year lineage, the MIT $100k is the world’s leading university entrepreneurship competition that awards over $350,000 in cash and prizes, including the $100,000 cash grand prize, to outstanding student entrepreneurs whose business plans have the potential to transform into a successful business venture.


Speaking on the association, Mr. Harshal J. Shah, Chief Executive Officer, Reliance Venture Asset Management Ltd said, “We are proud to be associated with the MIT $100K and excited about the potential of such a relationship. Reliance Venture Asset Management is one of the select breed of VC companies that recognizes the potential of collaborative Indo-US investments and thereby invests in companies formed at the cusp of both these countries. With this competition we hope to reverse the traditional entrepreneurship model by encouraging budding US entrepreneurs to look to India to develop and execute their business plans.”


“The relatively untapped bottom of the pyramid on one end of the spectrum coupled with the rise of disposable incomes and diverse consumption patterns across urban India on the other; is propelling the trend of many US based business ideas being targeted around India as a market. As part of the exclusive India arrangement, Reliance Venture Asset Management will mentor winners and offer opportunities to develop business ideas in emerging countries such as India through its incubator program.” he added.


“As the MIT $100k enhances its global reach, we are excited to work with Reliance Venture Asset Management to enable our participants to leverage entrepreneurial opportunities in the Indian market.” averred Daniel A. Vannoni, Managing Director - MIT $100k Entrepreneurship Competition.


The MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition is a year-long educational experience designed to encourage students and researchers in the MIT and greater New England community to act on their talent, ideas and energy to produce tomorrow’s leading firms. Divided into three separate contests- Elevator Pitch, Executive Summary and the Business Plan Contest, the MIT $100k competition allows students to participate in six different tracks namely Development, Energy, Life Sciences, Mobile, Products and Services and Web/IT. As the world leader among university entrepreneurship competitions, the competition has facilitated the birth of over 120 companies with aggregate exit values of over $15 billion captured. The winning companies have generated over 2,500 jobs and received $700 million dollars in venture capital funding.


This year, The Executive Summary Contest has seen an increase in applicants by 20% and the Business plan contest by 15-20%, as compared to last year.


Many of the winners over the last few years have been extremely successful. Recent IPOs have included Akamai (AKAM), net.Genesis(NTG), and C-Bridge Internet Solutions (CBIS). Recent acquisitions include Brontes Technologies (by 3M), Direct Hit (by, Silicon Spice (by Broadcom), WebLine Communications (Cisco), and Harmonix (MTV). Other success stories include Actuality Systems, Frictionless Commerce, SensAble Technologies, Stylus Innovation, Virtmed, and Virtual Ink.

About Reliance Venture Asset Management Ltd


Reliance Venture Asset Management Ltd is the corporate venture capital arm of the Reliance ADA Group. Since its inception in early 2006, the company has advised and / or invested in deals to the tune of over $4 billion. Stage, geographic and sector agnostic in its investment philosophy, Reliance Venture Asset Management has a global portfolio to its credit and has invested in promising companies such as India's largest online travel portal,, Suvidhaa Infoserve, Stoke Inc, Pelago Inc, Sequans Communications, E-Band Communications, Seedfund and two MIT-startups, Dhama Innovations and Scalable Display Technologies. Some of the transactions they had advised the Reliance ADA Group on include the $300 million all-cash acquisition of San Francisco-based, Yipes Inc. by Reliance Communications, $82 million acquisition of UK-based, Vanco plc, and eWaveWorld, a $500 million initiative to bring 3G and 4G to 50 countries around the world by 2012. Headed by Mr. Harshal J. Shah, an MBA alumnus of Wharton School of Business, a Truman Gray Scholar with dual degrees from MIT, and an Andover Scholar from Phillips Academy in Andover, USA, the company comprises of professionals who bring over 50 years of cumulative experience and a solid academic base (MBAs - Ivy League, Technologists from premier Indian & International Universities & Chartered Accountants). The company was recently ranked 30th in the Red Herring Top 100 Global Venture Capital Firms in 2009 and was the only India based corporate VC company to feature in the ranking.


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