Founders of Zerodha, CRED, Udemy, and Zivame join hands to back Stoa School – India’s first online business school focussed on developing talent for the startup economy

New Delhi: Stoa School — India’s first of its kind online business school focussed towards developing talent for the startup economy — has roped in the founders of top startups such as Zerodha, CRED, Udemy, Myntra, Redbus and Zivame as its backers.


Through its flagship 6 month part-time StoaMBA program, Stoa School helps professionals join and grow in business management roles at a fraction of the cost and time of a traditional MBA. Stoa School’s proprietary weekend business case hackathon format helps professionals develop relevant skills across industry sectors and business functions while the online learning community helps learners build their professional networks.


Founded in October 2020, the flourishing institution has found its backing from veteran startup founders such as —


Nithin Kamath (Co-Founder, Zerodha)

Kunal Shah (Founder, CRED)

Gagan Biyani (Co-Founder, Udemy)

Richa Kar (Co-Founder, Zivame)

Raveen Sastry (Co-Founder, Myntra)

Phanindra Sama (Co-Founder, RedBus)

Vaibhav Domkundwar (Founder, Better Capital)

John Danner (Dunce Capital, early investor in Lambda School)

Vivekananda Hallekere (Co-Founder, Bounce)

Ankur Nagpal (Co-Founder, Teachable)

Harpreet Singh (Co-Founder, Co-Cube)

Kushal Bhagia (CEO, Firstcheque)

Pravin Jadhav (CEO, Raise, ex CEO – Paytm Money)

Packy McCormick (Founder, NotBoring Media)

Keeping Up With India Syndicate

Ganesh Rao (Founder, Suryoday Bank)


The initial investment of $1.5Mn will help the online B-School scale up its capacity to serve more learners, introduce new programs as well as build tech for running its online-first campus.


With its innovative pedagogy and strenuous application process, the initial batches for the StoaMBA saw alumni of prestigious universities such as the IITs, BITS – Pilani, Oxford and Harvard joining in. The school regularly hosts industry stalwarts such as Ankur Warikoo (Co-Founder of Nearbuy), Nithin Kamath (CEO, Zerodha), Gagan Biyani (Co-Founder, Udemy) who come in to impart their entrepreneurial experience with the learners.


Speaking on Stoa School’s model of imparting learning, Vaibhav Domkundwar (Founder, Better Capital) commented, “The key aim of Stoa School is to address the demand and skill gap existing in the country in terms of the supply of industry-ready employable professionals. More often than not, exorbitant fee structures of traditional MBA institutes act as a deterrent to deserving students pursuing their passions, even if they have the required merit, in the face of affordability and accessibility constraints. In the post-COVID times, due to the unexpected acceleration in digitisation and allied areas, new skill sets are sought after; which has created an essential need for upskilling, reskilling, networking among business professionals. Stoa School provides the benefits of doing an MBA without the heavy investment and it has within its fold, marquee founders from the Indian and US startup ecosystem.”


The year 2021 has seen Indian startups raise upwards of $25B across funding rounds. This infusion of capital has led to a talent crunch and a subsequent spike in salaries across the startup ecosystem. According to latest reports, while the headcount at startups has gone up by 30% in April – Sept, startups’ salary expenses saw a 43% jump. By imparting business professionals with startup relevant skills and experience, Stoa School is helping them capitalise on India’s fledgling startup ecosystem.


“With the recent flurry of startup mega-IPOs, it is now clear that India’s internet economy is here to stay. With the pandemic, trends such as online education and remote work have picked up, allowing ambitious youngsters from smaller Indian towns to participate in this economy by building and working at startups” said Raj Kunkolienkar, one of the co-founders of Stoa School. “We started Stoa to help people join startups, but saw strong interest in the program and community from senior professionals at MNCs and startups as well. We’re committed to building the best business school on the internet, helping people think beyond traditional 2 year MBAs” he added.


Till date, Stoa School has served over 300 students, helping people from various backgrounds get into funded startups in marketing, operations, product and finance roles. Stoa School currently has 100+ startups as hiring partners.


India currently sees over 3 lakh students graduate with an MBA every year; however, after the top 20 MBA colleges, median salary post-placement drops under 10 LPA. The high entry point and fee structure also mean that India has over 50 lac / 5 mn early career professionals in business roles without an MBA. This is why Stoa School is bullish on its key differentiators that have enabled so many professionals to transition into better-paying jobs in a matter of months:


* Transition into a startup job in 6 months, unlike 2 years for MBA

* Constantly updated curriculum, startup leaders as faculty

* 1/10th the cost of an MBA

* Part-time program – don’t have to quit the job to take up a full time MBA program

* Startup jobs have more career growth and pay

* Get lifetime access to career support