IIT Madras Alumnus launches a non-profit Accelerator to help IIT startups in Bay Area

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Chennai: An Indian Institute of Technology 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.

Called ‘IIT STARTUPS,’ the accelerator has been founded by Mr. Monishi Sanyal, B.Tech (Mechanical) graduate from IIT Madras and the Governor’s Gold medal Recipient in 1970. It 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.

Speaking about the objectives behind launching this Accelerator, Mr. Monishi Sanyal 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.”

While the IITiians were very strong technically, their major weaknesses were in Fund Raising and Business Development. He added that in 2019 the plan is to expand the operations by collaborating with the IIT Research Parks in India.

Speaking about this initiative, Prof. R. Nagarajan, Dean (International and Alumni Relations), IIT Madras, 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.”

Mr. Monishi Sanyal is also the founder 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). “The IIT STARTUPS Accelerators will address a long felt need which will help IITians surge to greater heights, said Mr. Monishi Sanyal.

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, which 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.