Entrepreneur Story: Not a Fund But a Nursery for Startups; Angel-backed Accelerator “VentureNursery” Launches in this month

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VentureNursery to focus more on mentorship than money
Mumbai witnessed the launch of a Startup Accelerator today based on the belief that the angel eco-system must focus primarily on maximizing the success potential of startups. Venture Nursery now aims to undertake an intensive and immersive coaching and mentoring role in the chosen startups and help each startup with end-to-end infrastructural and learning support.
Name: VentureNursery
Founded: March, 2012
Philosophy of the Accelerator: VentureNursery aims at mentoring and accelerating up to a dozen startups in one year. Following a unique Angel-in-Residence model, in addition to providing business and infrastructural support, VentureNursery will offer intensive and immersive mentoring to a batch of entrepreneurs by active angel investors, throughout the acceleration process. Participating companies that graduate successfully will be considered for seed funding by the Angels.
Founding Team:
ShravanRavi Kiran, a career business builder, an angel investor and a venture mentor, is the co-founder of VentureNursery. He is also the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Friends of Ambition.
Shravan Shroff, a young, enthusiastic and dynamic businessman is currently the Managing Partner of South Yarra Holdings, is also the co-founder at Venture Nursery. He is looking at investments in various sectors, with the aim of creating shareholder value and at the same time providing his management input in the companies that South Yarra invests in.
Apoorv Ranjan Sharma leads the core team at VentureNursery as Executive Vice President. In his previous roles in other firms, he has established many incubators and, grown angel networks and has mentored over 100 startups on fund raising basics, many of whom have secured angel and VC financing. He recently exited Indian Angel Network (IAN) where he led Western Region Investments and Technology Incubator.
In addition to the Angels-in-Residence and Charter Angels, the accelerator will work with a group of Advisors-in-Residence and Executives-in-Residence to complete the support to the startups.
Sectors of Interest: Media & Entertainment, Retail, E-commerce, Consumer Technology, Education and Clean-tech.
The accelerator will have a strong preference for socially inspired businesses, including triple bottom-line enterprises.
ApoorvRoadmap for 2012: VentureNursery intends to conduct a minimum of two boot camps in a year in Mumbai and targets to accommodate up to 8 startups in each program. At the end of each boot camp, successfully graduating startups will be evaluated for investment by a group of angel investors. In addition to the Boot Camp method, VentureNursery also accepts startups for acceleration through its ParallelTrack process.
Typical Deal Size: Ravi believes VentureNursery is not a fund and therefore aims to provide more value and mentorship than just monetary support. However, one can expect an investment of INR 5 lakhs to INR 10 lakhs. Adds Ravi Kiran, “As active members of Mumbai Angels and Indian Angel Network, we often find that entrepreneurs approach the network in an under-prepared state. Without the right building blocks, they take too long to raise funds, when they should be using their energy to build the business. That’s where VentureNursery comes in.”
The Hybrid Model, Mentorship Matters:
Comments Shravan Shroff, “Today’s startup scenario is different from when I started Fame Cinemas. On one hand, there is an abundance of ideas and passionate people. On the other, the market is rather harsh and passion alone is not enough to build a successful business. An entrepreneur needs the whole ecosystem working like a well-oiled machine for the business to get off the ground. That’s why Ravi and I thought of creating VentureNursery – to give smart idea owners a fighting chance to take off.”
VentureNursery will run on a hybrid model. Its primary method will be through the boot camps it will run twice a year. The founding team of each chosen startup will be invited to work in their Mumbai office and support of basic business building infrastructure such as office space, operational infrastructure, and access to a pool of expert service providers such as law firms, company secretary, branding and design firms, PR companies, printers, travel agents, web design and hosting firms, finance and accounting professionals.
RaviIn addition, each startup will be given on-premise guidance by industry experts as well as other professionals through lectures and workshops and off-premise one-on-one mentoring by the advisors-in-residence.
On completion of the boot camp, Pitch Day will give each startup an opportunity to make a presentation to the Angels-in-Residence and the Charter Angels.
Over the 13 weeks program, their Angels-in-Residence and Charter Angels will work closely with the startups on their gap areas to ensure that each startup evolves as a team and the business proposition.
Besides the Boot Camps, VentureNursery will also adopt the ParallelTrack model where they will explore accelerating a few startups in a year outside the boot camp program. These will typically be companies that have been funded minimally by their founders or through friends and family money and which cannot wait until the next boot camp.
In addition, under their ParallelTrack program, they will accept relevant applications from a few startups every year outside the boot camp as well.
Applications for the first BootCamp will be accepted starting April 1, 2012.

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