After mentoring entrepreneurs and nurturing start-ups, TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) is planning to get into providing angel funding by creating an angel group. TiE is completing 25 years and has 21,000 members in 17 countries and 62 chapters. Many of the charter members have invested in companies but this will be a more structured approach.
Kiran Deshpande, president of TiE Pune, said the idea has been evolving over the last one year. “Some of us have been investing on our own, but now the idea is to back some audacious ideas which may not find investors easily and we could put money in these start-ups.” Angel and early-stage funding is still a problem, Deshpande said. It is not lack of money but just the ecosystem is not courageous enough for disruptive technologies.
Vishwas Mahajan, global trustee, TiE, said TiE angels are piloting in the US and will get expanded into India. Entrepreneurs from across the world will be able to pitch in and provide investments, Mahajan said. TiE offers a global view into the smaller ecosystem while start-ups get access to global opportunities as all are on the same platform. “We see young entrepreneurs through our ‘Nurture’ programme and know the pulse.”
TiE runs ‘Nurture’ programme and the number of companies graduating from this programme is growing. TiE Pune, for example, had started with six companies in its first batch and this has gone up to 25 companies in the sixth batch. The next batch will have 40 companies. This programme will soon be converted into the Nurture School of Mentoring.
Many of these companies have scaled up and gone on to get next round of funding. These companies will be showcased at `TiECoN Pune 2017′, the annual TiE Pune chapter meet on entrepreneurship development to be held on April 14 and 15.
Pune is at an inflection point and the city has the unique advantage of being the only place where software, manufacturing and education come together and we will enable them to talk to each other and take up issues that come while they are innovating, Gaurav Mehra, co-chair of TiECON Pune, said.
TiECoN Pune is also providing a platform for start-ups from smaller towns.“Start-up activity is not restricted to the metros and big town, but the ecosystem is lacking so we want to promote entrepreneurs from small towns, Gireendra Kasmalkar, TiE charter member, said.