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Wadhwani Foundation floats accelerator programme

National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), an initiative of Wadhwani Foundation, has launched an accelerator programme for growth-stage startups. The three-month programme, christened WF Venture ScaleUp, will be conducted in Pune and Hyderabad.

The zero-equity, ‘no-fee’ programme is aimed at startups that apply Ash Maurya’s Scaling Lean approach, NEN said in a statement.

US-based Ash Maurya will interact with the startup founders and provide insights on the Scaling Lean approach.

Maurya is the author of ‘Running Lean: How to Iterate from Plan A to a Plan that Works’ and the creator of the one-page business modeling tool ‘Lean Canvas’.

During the programme, NEN’s domain experts and mentors will work with entrepreneurs to help achieve growth with a focus on the right ‘traction metrics’.

“With over a million youth turning 18 every month, India needs thousands of accelerators that drive job creation. The country today has only 140 accelerators,” said Ajay Kela, president and CEO of Wadhwani Foundation.

“Our goal is to create models for scalable and sustainable high-quality accelerators and build an online platform for entrepreneur connect,” Kela said.

Wadhwani Foundation recently launched WF Venture Fastrack, an accelerator programme which also applies Maurya’s Scaling Lean approach to help transform validated ideas into ventures. Twelve startups are currently part of the WF Venture Fastrack programme.

Wadhwani Foundation, which was founded in 2000 by Romesh Wadhwani, is present in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, East Africa and Latin America. It operates in association with governments, corporates, mentors, investors and educational institutes.

NEN is aimed at educating and supporting student entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs for creating jobs.

A number of accelerator programmes have been launched in India recently. In November 2017, Gurgaon-based mentorship-driven incubator India Accelerator made seed investment worth around $150,000 in six startups operating across sectors such as fin-tech, artificial intelligence, transport and e-commerce.

In October 2017, oil and energy major Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Indian arm launched its pan-India accelerator programme for energy startups.

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