Venture Nursery, an angel-backed start-up accelerator has announced its second Acceleration Program which will be starting from 2nd Dec, 2012. Having attracted over 120 applications from seventeen cities in its first Boot Camp, VentureNursery will now accept applications for the second boot camp upto 8th November, 2012.Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Executive Vice President, VentureNursery said, “This time around, we are looking for quality, rather than volume. Both idea stage entrepreneurs as well as ongoing businesses are welcome, across all six of our sector preferences.”
The customised mentoring program, lasting between six and thirteen weeks works in a structured format. The first week of the program begins with identification of the key gaps and challenge areas in each of the participating start-ups by the Angels-in-Residence. These challenge areas are then addressed through multiple mentoring sessions by an elite group of serial entrepreneurs, Charter Angels, VCs, technologists and senior corporate managers. The feedback given by each advisor and investor is then collated and incorporated into the business plan of the participating start-up.
Oravel and Shopveg graduated from the first batch and we got in touch with co-founders -Shravan Shroff, Founder and former MD, Fame Cinemas and Ravi Kiran, former CEO-South East & South Asia, Starcom MediaVest Group to know more about the program and expectations from the new batch.
YS: How was the experience from the first batch? Any changes to the program?
VN: We will continue to keep the intensity of mentoring by angels-in-residence and our advisors, that was really useful in the first batch. Several other senior professionals have asked to become advisors and that's good news for us. While we have to be a bit choosy, we will be happy to expand the base of advisors-in-residence.
We want to incorporate a stronger subject matter expert [SME] component. Last time, some of the best lessons came to our start-ups from experts who are not formally advisors with us.
If we get strong applications, we certainly want to take a few idea stage entrepreneurs as part of our residnetial programme.
YS: Oravel recently got funded. What’s up with Shopveg?
VN: ShopVeg team was given valuable feedback by our angels and advised to review their business and decide whether they really want to go ahead with it or pause and re-think. They are in the middle of that re-think. It's a difficult business and the smart promoter team needs to think hard if they are really up to it.
YS: What are you expecting from applicants this time around?
VN: Strong execution focus, preferably some execution experience. We’d like some strong applications from consumer technology, clean tech and media & entertainment.
YS: How big a risk do you think one takes when one accepts an idea stage company? How do you determine the team has the execution power?
VN: The risk is significant, but worth taking in order to build a proper ecosystem. Idea stage start-ups need mentoring more than anything else, that's when their thoughts are getting crystallized and that's when they are most open.
Execution power isn’t easy to determine, but career history, family background, personality, references and temperament are some of the things we look at to make an informed decision. We also get co-founders with the right chemistry for a start-up, if we find execution experience lacking.
YS: Which sectors do you think will do really well in the near future?
VN: We have chosen our six sectors with care and we believe all of them would do well. It's just that strong ideas in many of them - specifically media & entertainment, clean tech and consumer tech - are rare.
YS: What would your advise be to entrepreneurs?
VN: Think business first, find a way to create some real value for customers and then worry about money. Do not be valuation fixated. And certainly do not think entrepreneurship is all glamour.
Website: Venture Nursery