Silicon Valley Angel opens corridor for Indian Start-ups


Kochi: India’s top young entrepreneurs can now hope to visit and connect with like minded entrepreneurs, mentors and seed investors in Silicon Valley, California with the creation of Startup Corridor between India and the US.

The Startup Corridor is the brain child of Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Asha Jadeja Motwani, wife of late Stanford Professor Rajeev Motwani, one of the world’s most highly respected computer scientists. Asha is an investor in over 75 start ups in Silicon Valley and has just begun seed investing in Indian start-ups.

The idea for a corridor sparked off when “I met several bright young entrepreneurs in India pursuing excellent ideas and experiments but without the kind of mentoring horsepower that is so common and abundant in Silicon Valley. Unless the entrepreneurs understand the culture, the walk, and the talk of Silicon Valley, serious dialogue was unlikely to emerge” says Asha.

And thus was born the Rajeev Circle Fellowship programme. As part of the fellowship, the selected entrepreneurs were invited for an intense two-week plunge into the heart of Silicon Valley. The Fellows got to meet with celebrated tech wizards and angel investors, including Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter & Square, and Marc Andreessen the whiz-kid creator of the browser! They also visited and had in depth discussions with the Stanford Design School, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Jaw Bone, AirBnb and TechCrunch Disrupt winner Get Around. Outside of formal meetings, the Fellows were encouraged to ‘hang out and work’ at Silicon Valley’s famous cafes on University Ave in Palo Alto.

The entrepreneurs for the first round of this prestigious fellowship included incubatees from IIM-A, IIT, NID and Kochi based Startup Village. Sanjay Vijayakumar, Chairman, Startup Village; Sijo Kuruvilla George, CEO, Startup Village & Co-founder, MobME; Deepak Ravindran, CEO, Innoz Technologies and Mohammed Hisamuddin, CIO, Innoz were from Kerala.

This first batch of the Fellows is what Ms Jadeja wants to designate as her ‘core entrepreneurial helping team’ in India. This batch will be instrumental in identifying, selecting and grooming the next set of Fellows that will be visiting the Silicon Valley next year.

The Startup Corridor will also provide a momentum to the Kerala Government’s SV Square (Startup Village to Silicon Valley) initiative, under which five Kerala students / entrepreneurs selected by Startup Village will be sent for a stint in Silicon Valley.

Kerala IT News