Subhash Dhar, a former Infosys global sales head has partnered with other IT industry executives and California-based Accel Partners, to form an early-stage fund and startup incubator named Commence Mint, reports ET.
The new early-stage fund is formed with an aim to incubate about two dozen startup ideas every year from the graduates of top engineering schools. According to ET’s report, Accel Partners has acquired a minority stake in the incubator for around $500K.
Along with Subhash Dhar, other former Infosys executives Sanjay Dutt and financial markets veteran Arun Singh, have also joined in. It aims to incubate at least 20 early-stage startup ideas and fully fund each idea for 12 months.
The new fund will offer a one-year programme for startups which will help early-stage ideas reach the stage of proper ventures along with a special mentorship programmes for the founders. It will also offer to incubate ideas from other angel investors, high net-worth individuals and family offices.
Subhash describes the new venture as a “pre-incubator” and he indicated that the initial corpus of the incubator fund will remain extremely small, at around $1-2 million. Each startup idea will receive funding that will be enough to last the course of the programme. He further stated:
It’s become clear to most people that startups are an important part of our economic future. India needs hundreds of problem solvers with ideas that can blossom into sustainable business ventures. To avoid unproductive struggles that they see in front of them, most aspiring entrepreneurs end up taking up regular jobs after graduating from top colleges. That is slowing down our entrepreneurship cycles.
Along with the required fund, Commence Mint also provides support for accounting, contracts, infrastructure, marketing, etc. It also helps in building network where you can meet potential co-founders, key-employees, mentors and collaborators.
Throughout the program, you work with your assigned venture advisor, who is your goto resource for any help you or your venture needs. Your advisor also helps you to set goals and achieve them to qualify for investor showcases and the house fund.
Mahendran Balachandran, senior partner at Accel Partners India, said,
The quantum of very young entrepreneurs has increased dramatically over the past few years. And VCs alone can’t manage that.