GSF Accelerator Announces Its 5th Batch
Selected startups will spend two months in India to refine their products, followed by trips to San Francisco and Tokyo for an immersion in global tech ecosystem and meeting with leading tech investors.
Applications open today (Monday) through July 31st for India’s leading accelerator program: GSF Accelerator. Now in its fifth iteration, GSF experience is uniquely crafted for Indian startups offering deep immersion in both Indian and international markets. Selected tech startups will get unparalleled access to not only the Indian tech community with hands-on mentorship from five of India’s leading tech founders, but also access to GSF’s global community of over 400 mentors and startup founders.
GSF has a strong track record of success with its portfolio companies: Little Eye Labs (acquired by Facebook in 2014) Pokkt (funded by Jafco, Singtel, Jungle) SilverPush (funded by IDG ventures, 500 startups) Zapr (funded by Flipkart and Svaan) Overcart (funded by JSW and Omidyar) HackerEarth (funded by Prime Venture) Flinto (funded by Globevestor and others) Browntape (funded by Seedfund and others) Timesaverz (funded by Unilazer Ventures and others) Dailyrounds (funded by Accel) Pluss App (funded by IDG and others) DocsApp (funded by Rebright and others) and Gamezop (funded by Kwan and others)
In August, GSF will welcome 5 new startups into the 3-month program. Selected startups will spend two months in India to refine their products, followed by trips to San Francisco and Tokyo for an immersion in global tech ecosystem and meeting with leading tech investors. Backed by five of India’s top founders, the accelerator offers the chance to take your startup to the next level with hands-on mentorship and access to its robust network. Typically, GSF invests in the startups in two rounds: first round of USD $50,000 in each startup, followed by co-investments in seed rounds.
“This iteration of GSF has been redesigned to be an intense and intimate experience for a small group of startups,“ says Rajesh Sawhney - founder of GSF Accelerator and co-founder of InnerChef. He says, “We would accept only 5 startups in this batch. Fundamental ethos of GSF has always been for the founders by the founders. Each startup will be assigned a chief mentor from amongst the five founders that have come together. We have also partnered with Hiro Mashita, M&S Partners of Japan who will open doors to the Japanese tech and investor ecosystem for the selected startups.”
Application Process: Apply here by July 31st. GSF is looking for Indian tech startups who have at least an initial prototype built. Selected startups must relocate to NCR for the duration of the program with accommodations provided for those living outside NCR. Shortlisted startups will complete phone screens and in-person interview with the investment team.
About GSF: Started in 2012, GSF network has three components: an accelerator, an angel network, and tech conferences. GSF is India’s leading startup accelerator program, having accelerated over 40 startups in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Among these, 5 startups have exited, about 40% have raised venture rounds, and over 80% have gone on to raise angel funding. The GSF 5.0 investment team includes: Rajesh Sawhney, Hiro Mashita, M&S Partners, Anand Chandrasekaran (ex-CPO of Snapdeal), Sumesh Menon (founder of Utopia Mobile and Woo), Dinesh Agarwal (founder of Indiamart), and Ashish Toshniwal (founder of Y Media Labs, San Francisco).
• Rajesh Sawhney, Co-founder of Innerchef and founder of GSF Accelerator: Rajesh is the cofounder of India’s fastest growing food tech platform, InnerChef. Rajesh is also the founder of GSF, India’s leading multi-city Tech-Startup Accelerator for the brightest tech startups in India. Rajesh is also known as one the most prominent angel investors in India and has made investments in over 50 startups which include Viki (acquired by Rakutan for $225M), Little Eye Labs (acquired by Facebook), Mobstac, Pokkt, Silverpush, HackerEarth, Browntape, Overcart, Flinto, Timesaverz, Flinto, Instalively, Dailyrounds, etc.
• Anand Chandrasekaran, Former Chief Product Officer of Snapdeal: Anand was most recently Chief Product Officer @ Snapdeal, one of India's pre-eminent e-commerce players. Previously, he served as CPO at Bharti Airtel, the #3 mobile operator globally with 300M subscribers, as Senior Director of Search and Mobile for Yahoo, and as Director of Product at Openwave. He co-founded Aeroprise Inc, which became the most-deployed solution worldwide for mobile service management, raised $7M in funding and was acquired by BMC Software. Anand holds a M.S. from Stanford University. In 2010, he was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Anand served as Venture Advisor at Storm Ventures, a $500M VC firm and is an angel investor in over 15 private companies with investments in about 20 companies across consumer internet, marketplaces, security, SaaS and hardware.
• Sumesh Menon, Founder of Utopia Mobile (Matrix funded) and Woo: Sumesh is an innovator in mobile applications that focuses on growth and monetization for social networks. His career spans over a decade in marketing with a keen affinity for technology – both mobile and internet. With a strong conviction of using technology to address consumer and market needs, he has dedicated a major part of his career to telecom value added services. Over the years, he has built strong links in the telecom industry across the globe. He has a proven record of turning around stagnant products and services and putting them on a dynamic growth path.
• Dinesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO of IndiaMART.com: Dinesh is the founder and CEO of IndiaMART.com, the world's second largest B2B marketplace. He is credited with leading IndiaMART.com to profitability during the dotcom bust, 9/11 and economic turmoil. A vigorous advocate of Indian SMEs, Dinesh has changed the way companies of small and medium sizes conduct business. He has been featured by The Economic Times, CNBC, and BusinessWorld magazine. Prior totaking a plunge into entrepreneurship, this Computer Engineer from HBTI, Kanpur worked with industry leaders such as HCL Technologies (America), Center for Development of Telematics (C-Dot) and CMC Limited before returning to India.
• Ashish Toshniwal, co-founder, CEO of Y Media Labs: Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Ashish sets the strategic direction of Y Media Labs, which now has more than 210 employees across six offices. Y Media Labs was recognized by Forbes as one of the Top 50 Most Promising Companies in 2015. He is very passionate about technology and is an early adopter of all things tech. He has helped companies like Apple, Paypal, Facebook, Home Depot amongst other Fortune 500 companies, develop innovative solutions with a mobile first outlook. Ashish graduated from Purdue University as an electrical engineer and lives in the Bay Area with his wife and son.
• Hiro Mashita, Director and Founder of M&S Growth Partners: Based in Singapore and known as the “Super Angel from Japan”, Hiro is an active investor in the mobile internet space in the U.S, China, India, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Africa. He advises companies on everything from management, operations, marketing and global expansion, to IPOs, mergers and acquisitions. In the past year, he invested in 30+ companies in India. Previously, he spent 16 years working in various senior roles for Hikari and served as a Vice President of Nomura Securities. Hiro holds a B.A from Keio University and an MBA from Duke University.
GSF 5.0 Team
• Rajat Harlalka- GSF Operating Partner, founder of Bellurbis Technologies, 10+ years of tech experience.
• Jagdish Repaswal- GSF Entrepreneur-in-Residence, founder of MangoReader, 13+ years of tech experience in product and tech leadership roles in India, New York, and Europe.
• Deepa Talwar- GSF Entrepreneur-in-Residence, founder of Asha Market, early employee at Uber and Thumbtack, specializing in growth and operations.
Some of GSF Accelerator’s portfolio companies:
• Little Eye Labs acquired by Facebook and Facebook’s first acquisition in India
• Pokkt raised capital from Jafco, Singtel and Jungle
• Silverpush raised capital from IDG, 500 Startups and others
• Dailyrounds raised series A from Accel, Kae Capital and others
• Docsapp raised series A from Rebright Capital and others
• Browntape raised series A from Seed Fund, Growthstory and others
• Flinto raised series A from Globevestor, People Group, and others
• HackerEarth raised series A from Prime Venture and others
• Pluss raised series A from IDG, M&Y and others
• Timesavarz raised series A from Unilazer and others
• Zapr raised series A from Flipkart, Saavn, and others
• Gamezop raised funding from Kwan and leading angels
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