Reliance Venture, MIT dreams sponsor an entrepreneurship program
Friday, 26 February 2010, 02:18 Hrs | 1 Comments
The move is being seen as a concerted effort by ADAG to tap into the futuristic technologies that MIT has on offer. Harshal Shah, CEO of RVAM, said that it was a 'very strategic association' for the fund, which invests at various stages and across geographies, both from the point of thought leadership as well as for exploiting investment opportunities. MIT has been conducting the $100K entrepreneurship competition for its students for the last 20 years. Students and researchers participate with their business ideas and the winner takes home $100,000 as seed money for the venture. In the past, the competition has resulted in quite a few successful start-ups coming into the spotlight. According to the MIT, more than $15 billion in market value and 2,500 jobs have been created because of the competition till date. RVAM is the first Indian VC fund to be associated with the event.
RVAM also plans to help U.S. entrepreneurs use India as their innovation base. "We're hoping to encourage U.S.-based entrepreneurs to explore and exploit opportunities in India. India is a huge potential market for innovative products and services, especially when it comes to reaching out to the last man and customising these for target demographics. In being associated with this competition we expect to create value first for the entrepreneur, the market and consequently ourselves," Shah says.
Another objective of this association is to do something on the cusp of the world's largest economy (U.S.) and the world's fastest developing economy (India) and leverage the synergies, Shah says. A couple of innovative ventures in the telecom space that the VC arm of the group has already invested are destined to accrue good benefits for other group companies. But Shah maintains that they have a 'Chinese wall' within the group, where all the units operate separately.
A Vannoni, MD of the MIT $100k Entrepreneurship Competition said that the partnership will "enable our participants to leverage entrepreneurial opportunities in the Indian market. We are very selective in choosing our partners, but saw a synergistic fit between the expertise the Reliance partners could offer and our contestants." Other sponsors of the event include international law firms Brown Rudnick and WilmerHale, Microsoft, KPMG, and investors such as Polaris Ventures, Google Ventures and Angel Lab Ventures from Italy.
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