Antler India unveils programme for student entrepreneurs with $20,000 grant

Antler India is keen to nurture the startups or ideas founded by student entrepreneurs both through funding and mentorship guidance.
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Antler India, an early-stage VC fund has launched a fellowship programme targeted at student entrepreneurs which provides an equity-free grant of $20,000.

According to a statement, the Antler India Fellowship will be a 16-week programme designed to enable students to turn their startup ideas into a business. The fellowship aims to fuel the growing entrepreneurial talent in Indian colleges and universities by providing a platform for experimentation, building and scaling with the support of equity-free capital, mentors and a peer network.

Rajiv Srivatsa, Partner, Antler India

As the student entrepreneurs face numerous barriers, Nandini Vishwanath, Programme Director, Antler India said, “Our programme is designed to solve for all these barriers and facilitate a platform for students to build on their idea and convert it into a startup.”

Antler India noted that the $20,000 equity-free grant can be used by the student entrepreneurs to scale their startup idea. The fellowship also gives the students access to a hands-on programme, facilitated by domain experts and founders, spanning idea validation, user research, product, engineering and marketing. Fellows will also be able to leverage the peer community to network and brainstorm as they build on their ideas, the VC firm said.

Post the 16-week-long programme, fellows are provided with an opportunity to raise pre-seed funding from Antler India and will receive support in raising subsequent funding rounds thereon.

Rajiv Srivatsa, Partner, Antler India said, “We don’t just want to enable existing founders, but create new founders. In several western countries the percentage of student founders is much higher than in India. We want to change this. We believe it’s the students of today who will build to address some of the toughest problems affecting us.”

The fellowship is not limited only to student founders who have working prototypes of their idea or a product with traction. Students who have strong ideas are also encouraged to apply. The pan-India programme is open to students from any university. Additionally, students who have deferred placements to actively work on a startup idea are encouraged to apply.

Edited by Kanishk Singh