[Funding alert] 9Unicorns launches student fund, to invest upto $75K per startup

Students at premier institutes such as IITs and IIMs would have a second option to launch their startup in the coming campus placement season even before passing out of the college, according to a press statement.
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9Unicorns, India’s first accelerator VC firm, on Friday announced that it is launching a student-focused VC fund known as campus fund, university fund, or student capital.

Students at premier institutes such as IITs and IIMs would have a second option to launch their startup in the coming campus placement season even before passing out of the college, according to a press statement.

Inspired by the model of US-based Dorm Room, a fund launched by First Round Capital, the sector-agnostic fund plans to write cheque sizes ranging from $50,000 to $75,000 each in about 20-odd startups every year. 

Talking about this emerging concept in India, Dr. Apoorva Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder and President at 9Unicorns, said,

“Colleges are the hotbed of innovations. The idea is to sensitise the students about the startup ecosystem and enable them to be a part of it right from the beginning. Besides, several institutes these days have started entrepreneurship-focused courses, proving that India is fast emerging as the land of startups. We are targeting concept-stage startups, which we will mentor and nurture further.”

Dr Apoorva Rajan

Dr. Sharma further added that taping institutes such as IITs and IIMs come solely because IITs have created the maximum number of Unicorns in the country and have a ready talent pool. However, we will move to second-rung institutes and those in the Tier 2 cities.

“These students now have options to whether to sit for campus placement and dropout and start their ventures,” Dr. Sharma said, adding that this idea emerged from his personal experience of writing the first cheque to Ritesh Agarwal, Founder of OYO, who was a college dropout then.

While many students come up with exciting ideas and concepts while studying, they are clueless about giving shape to those ideas. To help identify such students, 9Unicorns will be appointing “scouts” across all 23 top institutes and evaluate their ideas before writing their first cheque, stated the VC firm.

Edited by Anju Narayanan