India Internet Group Launches India-Focused Startup Accelerator

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The India Internet Group launches a startup accelerator in conjunction with a business plan competition to enable U.S.-based entrepreneurs to participate in the burgeoning Indian startup ecosystem

The India Internet Group (IIG), a new India-focused startup accelerator that invests in early stage internet/mobile startups, today announces its public launch. The firm’s founding partners and advisors bring vast experience in entrepreneurship, investing and management in the mobile/internet space in India and the U.S. The IIG accelerator is celebrating its public launch today with a unique India-focused business plan competition to attract U.S.-based entrepreneurs.

IIG’s founding team is led by Anirudh Suri, an experienced entrepreneur who previously worked at McKinsey & Company, and has studied at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. IIG’s advisors include Rajan Anandan, Sunjay Guleria, Gautam Gandhi, Vijay Chattha, and Anuradha Duggal, along with several other successful entrepreneurs, corporate executives and investors in India and the U.S. In addition, IIG has close relationships within the entrepreneurial and venture capital community as well as the booming tech industry in the U.S. and India.

IIG and its partners have previously invested in several successful India-based startups (i.e., Exclusively.in, Ignighter, and The Wild East Group) that are led by entrepreneurs from the U.S. such as Sunjay Guleria, Adam Sachs, and Sid Shah.

The business plan competition, targeted at such talented entrepreneurs living, working or studying in the U.S., will identify and support plans for innovative, India-focused Internet or mobile technology businesses. IIG’s founding team believes there are many skilled entrepreneurs in the U.S. (of Indian origin or otherwise) who are interested in India to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions but often face difficulties navigating the country’s regulatory and business landscape.

To identify more entrepreneurs, IIG plans to reach out to students at top business, engineering, and design schools, in addition to budding entrepreneurs currently working at professional services firms, large technology companies and startups across the U.S. To help facilitate their transition to India, IIG will provide the selected entrepreneurs or teams initial seed funding of up to $150,000, access to its vast network of relationships and mentors in India, as well as other resources such as office space and legal advisors. Interested entrepreneurs can apply here.

In addition to investing in startups, IIG is also incubating startups such as EkSMS, India’s first SMS- and Web-based personalized recommendation engine for mid- to high-end restaurants, bars and cafes. On the one hand, users get smarter recommendations and targeted deals as the system incorporates their stated and implicit preferences over time. On the other hand, local merchants are able to drive greater traffic using an easy-to-use, real-time location-based advertising and inventory management platform. EkSMS launched a few weeks ago in Mumbai, India with over 50 merchant partners, and has gained significant traction given its smart ranking algorithms, unique UI and merchant-friendly model.

“We’re super excited to help bridge the entrepreneurial ecosystems of India and the U.S., and germinate the seeds for the inevitable Internet revolution in India. Despite significant challenges, there are so many positive macro factors in India today – rising incomes, increased access to information and choices, widespread adoption of technology - which make it an attractive candidate to be a hub for innovation and disruption. Several exciting, large internet-focused businesses with innovative business models will likely be built in India in the coming years and The India Internet Group wants to play an active part in this transformation by both investing in startups and incubating innovative startups such as EkSMS,” says founding partner, Anirudh Suri.

More information about the application process for the venture competition is available on the website of The India Internet Group. This release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to sell any securities of IIG.

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