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Entrepreneur First allocates $25 M to promote deep tech startups in India

Debolina Biswas
6th Feb 2019
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Following its entry in India, Entrepreneur First has committed $25 million to promote deep tech startups in the world's second largest startup hub. The UK-based global talent investor also announced its Indian cohort of 50 entrepreneurs who were selected from a pool of 900 applicants.

Entrepreneur First launched in India on January 31, by appointing Esha Tiwary as its General Manager. On the same day, the company announced its cohort in Bengaluru, its sixth global location.

Esha Tiwary said:
"We have remarkable talent available in India. Through Entrepreneur First, we are trying to change the narrative for ambitious people in India who have thus far hesitated to start companies due to several reasons such as lack of co-founder, no big idea (and) job security."
Entrepreneur First
(L-R) Esha Tiwary, General Manager, India; Matt Clifford, Chief Executive and Co-Founder and Anne Marie Droste, Global Expansion Director.

Guiding ambitious entrepreneurs

Each year, Entrepreneur First announces two cohorts in each location and invites applicants to select future founders. Entrepreneur First helps the selected candidates, find a co-founder, work on ideas and ultimately, help them build a startup, showcase their ideas to investors and raise seed funding.

Presently, the model has in operation in London, Paris, Berlin, Hong Kong, and Singapore and has an alumni base of 1,200 people.

Each of the companies that are developed during the bi-annual Bengaluru programme, after clearing the Investment Committee, will receive investment from Entrepreneur First.

Selected cohort members will also receive a monthly stipend of $2,000 during the first three months of finding the co-founder and developing the startup idea.

The finalised startups from the programme will be able to pitch to regional and global investors at the Investor Demo Day in Asia, to be held in July. Startups from Entrepreneur First's Hong Kong and Singapore programmes will also be present on the Investor Demo Day.

Anne Marie Droste, Global Expansion Director of Entrepreneur First said:

“Launching in India was never in doubt. The quality of applicants even in our very first batch has been very impressive. This tech city (Bengaluru) offers a very dynamic startup environment. Bengaluru was the obvious choice for EF’s entry into the Indian market, and I am looking forward to seeing the companies that our first batch of founders in India will build!”

Entrepreneur First was founded by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck in 2011. The talent investor focuses mostly on deep tech companies that are built on technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI). Quantum Computing, Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Robotics. So far, Entrepreneur First has created over 200 companies globally and helped raised $350 million from investors for its incubated companies.

The talent investor has previously invested in companies in the space, satellites, medical device, logistics, marine technologies, insurance, banking, fintech, education, and the agriculture sector.

Entrepreneur First itself is backed by founders of LinkedIn, DeepMind and PayPal. Their major exits include Magic Pony, which was solf to Twitter for $150 million, reportedly.

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