Kuberan's House Gurukul will mentor 100 startups to be pitch-ready for India's top investors
When the world came to a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sanjeev K Kumar (CEO and Co-founder), Ram Gowda (MD and Co-founder)and Ranjith Royal (Co-founder) got together to create an entity that could help the country turn its ‘Make in India’ mantra a reality and, thus launched Kuberan's House.
Kuberan's House is a first and one-of-its-kind platform for entrepreneurs in India to showcase innovative startup ideas and get investments from the best panel of investors and venture capitalists. A reality television show featuring Sonu Sood, it simplifies the process of getting an idea funded by turning it into invigorating primetime content. Aspiring entrepreneurs get a chance to be featured in one of the most-watched reality shows and receive various perks, along with an investment of up to Rs 10 crore per pitch.
The platform has so far received more than 17,000 applications and is looking to connect talented entrepreneurs from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, especially from unique sectors like Deep Tech, SAAS, Health Tech, to India's most proactive investors. Kuberan’s House (KH) is organising a three-day holistic workshop in early March to train and groom startups to face the Kuberas. Post the workshop and one-on-one mentoring by the KH team, the final 60 startups will be selected to be part of India’s biggest startup reality show. A special in-house team of domain experts, business valuators, chartered accountants, etc. is formed for screening. 9XV plays an integral part in this process and provides training, mentoring, business model defining and evaluation, network support, incubation, and acceleration services. The final 60 startups will be selected post a thorough screening which involves a three-stage filtering process, inclusive of background checks, tech specs, financial investment, business model, innovation, and the feasibility of the idea pitched by the participants.
An expert-led workshop to get your pitch right
In mid-February, the top 500 startups will be selected. Of these, the list will be narrowed down to the top 100 based on their novelty, business ideas, problem-solving abilities, revenue and market competition.
In early March, these 100 startups will get to participate in a three-day holistic and exhaustive workshop called 'Kuberan's House Gurukul', which will be organised in Bengaluru. The workshop will bring together an exclusive panel of experts from various incubation centres, accelerators and institutions, including IIT Kharagpur E-cell, Bits Pilani Technology Business Incubator Hyderabad, EntIISC, 100 Open Startups, TiE Hyderabad, VIT, Rabvik Innovations, Telangana State Innovation Cell, NASSCOM 10,000 Startups, T-Hub, We-Hub, YourStory, Creativery, Startup Times, Startup Story, Startup Grind, India Network, among others. They will explore every aspect that helps the startups become pitch-ready and mentor them on corporate connect, finances, strategy, chartered accounting, fund management, legal and public speaking.
Among the 100 startups, the final 60 are chosen based on the following criteria —ideation, problem-solving ability, clear revenue model, investable products, contribution to the betterment of the country and sustainability in the long run. They will be groomed for presentation and pitching skills, given international exposure in ‘The Open Innovation Week’ which takes place in Silicon Valley (USA), Singapore and Israel, in collaboration with The 100 Open Startups. The startups will also be featured on national television where they will get a chance to pitch and convince top investors (Kuberas) in the country and get funding of up to Rs 10 crore. The startups will be matched with the Kuberas, based on their sectors and common interests.
All the shortlisted applicants will also get other benefits in terms of startup credits, perks and value-additions.
The first Kubera: Anirudh A Damani
The show has four Kuberas, who are among India's most prominent and sector-agnostic investors from the startup community. Last week, Kuberan's House announced the first Kubera, Anirudh A Damani, Managing Partner, Artha Venture Fund, who is presently counted among the most sought-after investors in the Indian startup space today.
Anirudh says, "I'm glad to be a part of Kuberan's House. The show's structure includes a holistic workshop that prepares startups to be pitch-ready, which is unique and impressive. I am looking for startups in digital debt collection, SME credit ratings based on their payment behaviour, and facilitating individuals to file and resolve consumer complaints. Such ideas will most definitely have my rapt attention. I look forward to working with the winners and helping them scale their business, provide strategic guidance and play the role of an active VC investor."
The second Kubera: Mahavir Pratap Sharma
Mahavir Pratap Sharma is the Co-founder of RAIN (Rajasthan Angel Innovators Network) and Chairman of TiE Global Board of Trustees for the year 2020. He is also the founding member of four companies and has his presence across industries ranging from organic products to carpets and silver jewellery, to event management. He has invested a total of Rs 7.48 million in companies like Blue Box Media, MEngage, Whispering Woods Technologies, among others.
Expressing his excitement, Mahavir says, "The name Kuberan, is inspired by the name of Lord Kuber and the fact that there will be early-stage startups is the reason why I chose to be a part of the platform. In the early stages of the startup journey, true innovation takes place and true handholding is needed. Backing these companies gives me the right stimulus and enables me to use my abilities of branding, marketing and networking in the true sense."
The third Kubera: Girish Shivani
Girish Shivani is the Co-founder, Executive Director, and Fund Manager at YourNest. A thought leader, trend spotter and trusted advisor, Girish is deeply passionate about emerging technology. With diverse experience in telecom, media, IT and finance, he has assessed over 17,000 companies. Some of the companies he's invested in include Uniphore, Momspresso, MIKO, CronAI, pCloudy, among others.
He is specifically looking for founders who are passionate about creating world-class, innovative products from within India to address a large global market. "Kuberan's House has been conceptualised to give Indian entrepreneurs a platform for showcasing their business and commercial acumen. I chose to be a Kubera essentially to provide participants with the insights that I bring to the table by virtue of having seen more than 17,000 opportunities over the last eight years and helping India’s top-notch talent with not only access to capital, but also the entire philosophy of ‘Nurture Capital’ that we follow at YourNest. This includes a long list of support systems we offer, including opening doors from a revenue perspective, access to talent, service provider partners who help with day-to-day operations like finance, HR and compliances, to name a few," says Girish.
The fourth Kubera: Sanjay Mehta
Sanjay Mehta is the Founder and Partner at 100X.VC. A technology evangelist and entrepreneur-turned-VC, he is known as the 100X investor with the Midas touch. He has invested in several companies including Oyo Rooms, Block.One, Box8, CoinDCX, Unbxd, FabAlley, LogiNext, WowMomo, Coolberg, Zippr, among others. He was honoured with TiE Hall of Fame in 2020 for his outstanding contribution in angel investing. Besides investing, Sanjay is also a partner at CORE Media, India's largest IT-Media company.
For any founder, Sanjay is first a friend, second an advisor, and finally an investor. He says, "I'm excited to be part of Kuberan’s House. The show has lots of elements of surprise, innovation and entrepreneurship stories. It is going to be exciting to see curated startups pitching, where I can invest and close a deal with instant gratification. I am sector-agnostic and an opportunistic investor looking to invest in moonshot ideas with 100X potential exit outcomes."
Sanjay looks at three things in a pitch — whether there is money to be made, if these are people who can make him money, and how much money can they help him make. "Venture capital is a business and not charity, which entrepreneurs should understand when they pitch to any VC for funding," he adds.