Entrepreneur First (EF), a pioneering UK based global talent investor has entered India with $25 million committed from its larger fund, to promote tech startups in the country. EF also announced its first-ever Indian cohort of 50 founders who were selected from a pool of 900 applicants. Of the selected cohort 30% are PhDs across various science and technology streams like aerospace, neuroscience, machine learning, electrical engineering etc. EF has a unique model of selecting individuals who could be strong founders and helping them find co-founders, work on ideas and build startups. Uniquely, each cohort member will be paid a monthly stipend of $2000 during the process of finding a co-founder and developing startup ideas in the first three months. EF has created over 200 companies globally and has helped raise $350 million from investors for its incubated companies. EF has an alumni base of 1200 people across London, Paris, Berlin, Hong Kong, Singapore. India is its new sixth location.
According to Esha Tiwary, General Manager of Entrepreneur First in India, “We have remarkable talent available in India. Through Entrepreneur First, we are trying to change the narrative for ambitious people in India who have thus far hesitated to start companies due to several reasons such as lack of a co-founder, no big idea, job security.”
As part of its pledge, EF will invest in each of the companies developed during its bi-annual Bangalore programme that clear the Investment Committee, apart from the monthly stipend paid to cohort members. EF focuses on deep tech companies that build on defensible technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing, AR/VR, Robotics etc and in the past has funded companies across a broad spectrum of industries including space, satellites, medical devices, logistics, marine technologies, insurance, banking, fintech, education, agriculture and many more. Finalized startups from EF Bangalore will pitch to well-recognized regional and global investors at Investor Demo Day in Asia this July. Also present on the Investor Demo Day will be startup counterparts from EF’s Hong Kong and Singapore programmes.
About the Programme
EF’s unique programme invests time and money in aspiring entrepreneurs, helping them to find a credible co-founder, develop an idea and create a highly scalable technology company from scratch. Each year EF announces 2 cohorts in each location and invites applications. This is followed by interviewing, shortlisting applicants, and finally announcing a cohort. Of those who register, about 50 to 100 promising individuals form a cohort and are paid a stipend for the duration of the programme. These founders then go on to select co-founders and build companies with the support of EF. Selected companies get funded by EF and are also showcased to the larger investor community to raise seed funding.