A doyenne in the field of early stage investment and start-up incubation, Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma is the Co-Founder of Venture Catalysts, India’s first Seed Investment & Innovation platform. In his role, he is responsible for driving the strategic planning and overseeing the overall functioning of the organisation. Dr. Apoorv holds an Electrical Engineering degree from Harcourt Butler Technological Institute, Kanpur, and an MBA from Asia Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi along with a Diploma in Mentoring Start-ups from University of California, Berkeley. He also holds a PhD in Management, Role of Business Incubators in Economic Growth of India, and is one of the very few professionals with academic certification in Incubation and Early Stage Investment currently active in the start-up field. Having been involved in early stage investment since 2002, Dr. Apoorv has a series of professional accomplishments to his name. He was the Project Manager of the JSS Technology Incubator/JSS SEED Fund, which was the first Government-sponsored SEED Fund in India. He then took over the task of establishing Amity Innovation Incubator and was responsible for developing its Amity Family Office Fund as its General Manager. Dr. Apoorv has also led the Indian Angel Network (IAN), India’s first and largest angel network at present, as the Vice President of its Western Region Investments and Technology Incubator. He has also been involved as the Executive Vice President of VentureNursery, a start-up accelerator. Venture Catalysts, his latest venture, distils his years of experience and proficiency with various fundamental start-up related concerns into a unique, integrated platform providing solutions to all early stage start-up requirements. Having been associated with the Indian start-up industry since it came into being, Dr. Apoorv has gained vital insights and practical, in-depth understanding of the Indian start-up ecosystem. He has led several investment drives into becoming thriving ventures, and has a portfolio including more than 10 companies with more than 100 crore valuation. Moreover, in his capacity as a start-up mentor, he has also guided several investee companies into securing angel as well as VC funding. Dr. Apoorv has, over his career, fostered several close connections within the start-up industry, which he leverages in order to facilitate growth and add value for all key stakeholders in an investee venture. His aim is to lead Venture Catalysts as the foremost single-point start-up solutions platform by revitalising and revolutionising the early stage investment industry backed by his strong industry connections and sourcing capability. Dr. Apoorv is planning to onboard seasoned angels as well as HNIs onto the VCats platform, and will be looking to raise INR 100 crore from multiple investors to drive 15-20 annual early stage investments.