Wadhwani Foundation Launches Business Accelerator for growth-stage Startups, “WF Venture ScaleUp” with a view to open-source the model for nationwide replication

By January 8, 2018 No Comments

A three-month accelerator program aimed at hyper-growth oriented startups, followed by life-long support through the global entrepreneur networking platform.

~Applies Ash Maurya’s Scaling Lean approach to drive hyper-growth for startups~
~Investor and customer connects are a key program benefit ~
~A zero-equity and no-fee program~
~Launched simultaneously in 2-cities, Hyderabad and Pune~

3rd Jan, 2017: Wadhwani Foundation’s flagship initiative, the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) announced the launch of its business accelerator for growth stage startups, “WF Venture ScaleUp” in two cities – Pune and Hyderabad. WF Venture ScaleUp is a three-month accelerator program aimed at hyper-growth oriented startups and applies Ash Maurya’s Scaling Lean approach.

WF Venture ScaleUp is a zero equity and no fees program, and is focused on investor and customer connects as a key benefit to startups. The program provides focused coaching and consulting on three growth levers – CUSTOMER, CASH, and CAPACITY (3-Cs) using SCALING LEAN principles. During this program, NEN growth coaches, domain experts and mentors will work with participating entrepreneurs one-on-one to help achieve tangible growth with focus on the right ‘Traction Metrics’.

U.S based Ash Maurya will be interacting directly with the startups on benefits of “Scaling Lean” either through video conference or in person. Ash is the author of the international bestseller “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”. He is known for offering some of the best and most practical advice for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs all over the world and has developed a systematic methodology for raising the odds of success built upon Lean Startup, Customer Development, and Bootstrapping techniques.

Commenting on launch of the hyper-growth business accelerator, ‘WF Venture ScaleUp’, Dr Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation said, “With over a million-youth turning 18 every month, India needs thousands of accelerators that drive job creation. India today has only 140 accelerators, most of which are not producing the goods. In comparison, China has over 1500 Incubators/Accelerators. Our goal is to create models for scalable and sustainable high-quality accelerators, build online platform for entrepreneur connect and open-source these models, platforms and tools for private organization and Govt. to achieve national scale. We have nurtured entrepreneurship in colleges at a national level in India for 14 years and are now focusing on helping startups, and SMEs accelerate their growth.

Startups can register for the WF Venture ScaleUp program at venturescaleup.wfnen.org on or before 8th January 2018 which is the closing date for applications. Eligibility criteria include (a) startups who have a running venture with paying customers and who have already demonstrated product-market fit, (b) Ideas and business models that have potential for hyper-growth (c) angel to Series A funding (or bootstrapped with similar levels of traction).

In addition, Wadhwani Foundation recently launched WF Venture Fastrack, an accelerator program which also applies Ash Maurya’s running lean approach to help transform validated ideas into ventures. This program is aimed at supporting very early stage startups, and offers three-month immersive accelerator program, 12 months of progress check and consultation, and lifetime of networking/ business support. Twelve startups with diverse cross-sector profiles are currently part of the WF Venture Fastrack program, which is also zero-equity and no-fees program.

About Wadhwani Foundation:
Wadhwani Foundation was founded in 2000 by Dr Romesh Wadhwani with the primary mission of accelerating economic development in emerging economies through large-scale job creation. The Foundation is present in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, East Africa and Latin America operating in association with governments, corporates, mentors, investors and educational institutes. Its four Initiatives are driving job creation through entrepreneurship, skills development and innovation.

National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) inspires, educates, and supports student entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs for creating high-value jobs. NEN has also ventured into creating city-based entrepreneurial ecosystems consisting of mentors, investors, and incubators supporting startups and SMEs.

Global Innovation Network (GIN) aims to create world-class research institutes addressing challenges in emerging economies that also lead to the creation of global organizations.

Global Skills Network (GSN) aims to equip non-college-bound high school graduates with sufficient work-skills to command family-supporting wages.

Policy Research Network (PRN) provides data-driven research inputs for informed policy action focused on innovation, entrepreneurship, skills development and employment aimed at accelerating economic growth.

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