The United Kingdom-based accelerator Entrepreneur First has launched its first ever six-month program in Bengaluru. The program aims to build 50 deep tech startups in the country with a focus on advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics along with tech-focused consumer internet startups.
Entrepreneur First has a strong experience in running this kind of programs in cities like Paris, Berlin, London, Hong Kong and Singapore. The London-based accelerator has chosen Bengaluru considering its good tech infrastructure and its title as the Silicon Valley of India. Bengaluru’s startup ecosystem is valued at $19 billion with more than 2,400 active tech startups.
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Founded by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck way back in 2011, the accelerator helps entrepreneurs to fund the right co-founder, help them build and scale their startup and help them find investors as well as raise funds with tie-ups with local and global investors. Entrepreneur First is planning to invest $55,000 in the startups during its two-year programme and will help the cohort members develop ideas providing them with a monthly stipend of $2,500 for the first three months of incubation. The cohort members will also get an opportunity to present their ideas to several local and global investors to raise funds.
Commenting on investment plans, Matt Clifford, Co-Founder and CEO, Entrepreneur First, said, “We will roughly invest $20 million in India over the next three years just on the stipends and initial investment. But we could invest many millions more in the next stage of the investment and there is no geographical limit on that.”
The program is scheduled to begin on 20th January next year. The startup accelerator has helped more than 80 companies build and scale themselves and have helped them raise more than $100 million in venture capital. Entrepreneur First has raised around $200 million in venture funds and is supported by investors like Reid Hoffman’s Greylock Partners, Founders Fund, Mosaic Ventures, Lakestart Capital, and DeepMind founders Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman.