Gurgaon: The building blocks of the business world often start at the business school. This place trains aspirants to master the art and science of management while helping them develop multiple skills like analytical thinking, critical decision making, and people skills. It also provides endless opportunities for networking and pursuing individual interests – creating a more than perfect blend for entrepreneurs and startup founders.
Moving forward with the same idea, MDI Gurgaon, one of India’s leading B-schools, is fostering the entrepreneurial spirit through a unique platform called Megaminds. Created in 2018 by the alumni of the institute, MDI Megaminds is a startup pitch bi-monthly event that gives entrepreneurs/founders an opportunity to showcase their venture to investors and mentors. Each Megaminds event is 2.5 hours long, where 4/5 startups pitch to investors for funding.
In the last two years, over 80 startups have presented here with many raising funds. Even those who did not get funded benefited from the mentorship, visibility as well as networking opportunities that they all received as a by-product. It is a not for profit, voluntary event organised and managed by the alumni of MDI. Startup entrepreneurs that have a proof of concept and need seed funding or have been operational for some time, register for the Megaminds event.
Talking about the vision and objective of MDI Megaminds, the team behind the initiative – Ashish Singla, Raj Chetan, Manish Verma, Sanya Duggal, Mayank Bansal, and Paramjit S. Lamba – say “The platform was formulated in November 2018 to help Indian startup ecosystem for funding, networking, and mentorship. The idea is to bolster support to the startup ecosystem that is teeming with ideas and enthusiasm. Through Megaminds, we are helping this forward-thinking generation of entrepreneurs in the country, who have the vision to support India’s ‘AatmaNirbhar mission by creating globally competitive products and services. It’s a social contribution from a group of MDI alumni to brace these talented people for many years to come.”
The faculty mentor, Prof. Nakul Gupta, who specializes in the area of Information Management and leads the institute’s entrepreneurship centre contributes, “This platform has served well to bring B-school impact on networks, guidance, and knowledge exchange to budding startups.”
As Gaurav Bahl, founder of Koolchas, a fast-growing food and beverages startup that has been associated with Megaminds, shares his experience, “MDI Megaminds is an amazing platform for the startup ecosystem as a whole. It serves as a platform for start-ups to present their idea for their funding requirements and provides them with networking opportunities as well. Additionally, for KOOLCHAS, the same has been extremely helpful to provide a great visibility to the brand.”
While MDI Megaminds initially brought professional investors (angels, accelerators, etc.) and high-potential startups into the same space, its influence grew substantially later. The platform started generating capital and new interest from non-professional investors, who have now become regular attendees and investors at the event.
While sharing his experiences and being a regular investor at Megaminds, Sorabh Agarwal, Co-Founder at AngelBay, added, “MDI Megaminds has been a good platform for us to source deals. I really liked the energy in the audience and the quality of interactions between the investors and the founders. The variety in the domains and stages of the deals helped us in picking up a few great startups for our investments along with creating some amazing connections with the fellow investors.”
So far, over 40 investors are connected via this platform, and it’s growing.
The ripple value effect that the event creates is an inspiration for how knowledge and formal networks can be leveraged to contribute to the dynamic startup ecosystem. The business school’s initiative is surely a visionary one to further empower entrepreneurship in India.