Monishi Sanyal, an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras alumnus has launched a non-profit Accelerator in the Bay Area (San Francisco, U.S.) to provide mentorship, incubation and other necessary support to the budding entrepreneurs and to connect the IIT Alumni in the Silicon Valley, the community hold over 11,000 IITians in the Valley. The accelerator, called ‘IIT Startups’, founded by Monishi Sanyal was recently launched at the Computer History Museum, Mountain View, California. The event was attended by over 400 IIT Startups, Angels, Venture Capitals and Mentors. Monishi Sanyal is a recipient of Governor’s Gold medal in 1970. Monishi Sanyal speaking about the objectives behind launching this Accelerator said, “ “This is the first step in our journey to build a World Class Accelerator. Our next steps are to run Workshops, provide Mentorship, Incubation and connectivity to the 11,000+ IIT Community, Advisors, Angels and VCs in the Silicon Valley.”
Monishi further added that though IITiians were very strong technically, their major weaknesses were in Fund Raising and Business Development. Monishi in 2019 plans to to expand the operations by collaborating with the IIT Research Parks in India. Prof. R. Nagarajan, Dean (International and Alumni Relations), IIT Madras, commenting on the accelerator project said, “Alumni such as Mr. Sanyal have been instrumental in shaping the best-of-breed entrepreneurial ecosystem that thrives in Silicon Valley. IITs have benefited as well from the branding and networking opportunities.”
Monishi emphasising on the need for IIT Startups said that the project will address a long felt need which will help IITians surge to greater heights. IITian Monishi Sanyal is also the founder of Pan IIT Alumni Association in the U.S., which has over 45,000 members and was the Past President of IIT Madras Alumni Association of North America (IITMAANA), the umbrella organization of all IITM alumni in the USA. He is also an Advisor and Member of the IIT Madras Research Park. IITs are currently ranked Fourth after Stanford University, Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley in Unicorn Startups (valuation over US$1 Billion).
Those who spoke on the occasion included Mr. Vinod Khosla, Founder of Sun Microsystems and Khosla Ventures, and Mr. Umang Gupta, Founder of Gupta Technologies. A panel discussion followed with the current generation of Unicorns, Mr. Dheeraj Pandey, Founder of Nutanix and Mr. Bipul Sinha, Founder of Rubriks, was moderated by Mr. Ravi Mhatre, Founding Partner, Lightspeed Ventures. Mr. Aman Walia, President of IIT Bay Area under whose umbrella the event was organized proposed a vote of thanks.