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Antler India Announces Its Inaugural Antler India Fellowship Cohort

We’re building one of India’s largest platforms for students who want to build great companies - and over the next decade, we want to support thousands of student founders through our program.”

The India arm of global early-stage venture capital firm, Antler, has announced 19 student entrepreneurs as a part of its inaugural Antler India Fellowship cohort. Antler India Fellowship, announced in November 2021, aims to promote entrepreneurship at the university level and as a viable career option. It offers an equity-free grant of $20,000 and mentorship to India’s brightest students to turn their startup ideas into a business. Through a 16-week program, it provides a platform for experimentation, building and scaling with the support of equity-free capital, mentors and a peer network.

It received 2400+ applications from students across the country, covering 375+ cities and 700+ colleges. Of all the applications received, 8 teams were chosen (0.3% acceptance rate) to be a part of the cohort.

Nandini Vishwanath, Program Director at Antler India said - “We were blown away by the application quality and the volume of applications. It was difficult to narrow the selection down to 8 ideas. These students have shown incredible drive and a bias towards action as they have thought through, validated and started building on these ideas on the side, all while juggling academics and the pandemic itself. During the program, we have planned fortnightly cycles with sessions tailored to the cohort, alongside hands-on problem solving with the Antler India team.”

The chosen student entrepreneurs gain access to a hands-on program, facilitated by domain experts and founders, spanning idea validation, user research, product, engineering and marketing. Mentors include Suchita Salwan (Founder, LBB), Varun Khona (Founder, HeadOut) and Ankit Gupta (Founder, Quizizz) among others.

Rajiv Srivatsa, Partner at Antler India said - “We don’t just want to enable existing founders, but create new founders. We believe it’s the students of today who will build to address some of the toughest problems affecting us in the spaces of climate change, unlocking human potential, energy efficiency and upcoming spaces such as metaverse, blockchain and web3. While students across the country are dreaming of ideas and solutions, they face fundamental challenges such as access to the right networks and mentorship, and someone to bet on them at the earliest stages - and that’s where we come in. Along with the equity-free grant, the Antler India Fellowship is designed as a safe space for students to ideate, experiment, or even pivot, as they build their startups. We want more and more students to seriously consider the path of entrepreneurship, and help them as they take it.

We’re building one of India’s largest platforms for students who want to build great companies - and over the next decade, we want to support thousands of student founders through our program.”

The inaugural Antler India Fellowship cohort includes:

1. Keerthan S, Monica Kumar: Mysore Medical College and Research Institute, Bangalore Blood51 - blood testing kits that enable patients to get their blood tests results in under 10 minutes.

2. Akash Anand, Prajwal Prakash, Abhinav Hampiholi, & Gaurav Vaidya: IIT Madras, Chennai Desklamp - an all-in-one platform that enhances digital reading experience through note-making, document management and the ability to collaborate across teams

3. Vivek Kumar, Dayitva Goel & Dev Churiwala: Hansraj College, Delhi Liquibrium - the first and largest stablecoin exchange on Tezos blockchain

4. Ameya Deshmukh, Simon Butler, Karan Parsnani: BITS Pilani, Aurangabad NFTPhysicals - cross-chain platform and marketplace for NFTs

5. Apoorva Singh: Sir M Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology, Bangalore Qube - a platform to optimize energy consumption for homes and businesses

6. Gaurav Panwar, Avinash Kumar: Delhi Technological University, Jhajjar Tezz - last mile delivery of food bags for cattle, cows, & other domestic animals.

7. Yuvan Arvind Sayeeshwar Kumar & Varun Sathyanarayanan: SSN College of Engineering, Chennai TickEth - seamless NFT ticketing platform for the entertainment industry

8. Arshia Mal: Ashoka University, Gurgaon [Unnamed] - online platform for social media influencers to create customised virtual store-fronts to sell their pre-loved apparel, footwear, and accessories.

Global early-stage VC firm Antler is one of the fastest growing VC firms in the world and plans to deploy $100M to $150M in 100+ Indian startups over the next 3 years.


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