Defined much by ‘peer-to-peer education for startup CEOs’, Startup Leadership Program(SLP) was founded in year 2006 by Anupendra Sharma & Puran Dang. Currently SLP is present in 24 chapters across 11 countries including 6 chapters in India (Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune) and applications for the next batch are open now. The program selects 25 fellows in each chapter every year to go through their 6 months curriculum focusing on simulations and walking entrepreneurs through real-life cases.The program clearly differentiates itself from any of the accelerators / incubators or similar programs in terms of their expectations & vision.
We take no equity from the startups. In return, Fellows receive a high quality education, have access to our materials, have access to our global directory of CEOs, mentor, vendor and investor databases, return to present at our demo days, reunions, and get help from the network for life.
We got in touch with past fellows of SLP to hear straight from horses mouth.
We also got in touch with the Director of India Operations at SLP, Mr. Pradeep Prabhu to know more about their plans specific to India and how will they overcome the existing challenges. He shared, “Our curriculum, structure, level and everything else has been evolving with time. To overcome the administrative challenges we had taken some interns from premier institutions like BITS Pilani and IITs. We have recently appointed a VP-Learning who will responsible for developing the curriculum tailor-made for India as the general one is made to suit US markets and the legal framework & cultures vary a lot in different geographies.”
Speaking about the selection procedure and the common trends in applications Pradeep mentioned, “ Not everyone who applies for SLP need to have a startup. There are people who are on the verge of starting up and who are about to or have just quit. They are the ones with exceptional corporate background and great ideas. SLP gives them the confidence which serves as a necessary tool to evaluate whether quitting is right or not(if it’s not premature). We consider the following parameters in the selection of fellows for a chapter:
b) Education background
c) Diversity the person is bringing to the program
d) Leadership skills
e) Contributing back to the program
In last couple of years we have seen many tech entrepreneurs making it to the program where most of them are in B2C businesses. Unfortunately, we’re unable to get many innovators from life sciences, social enterprises, clean-tech and education.”