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Keiretsu Forum Partners with IIMB/NSRCEL to Support Innovation, Entrepreneurship

The U.S-based angel investornetworkKeiretsuForum, that has 39 chaptersaround the world and more than 1500 investors and members, signed an exclusive partnership with the NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL) at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB). The association will help facilitateinnovation and entrepreneurshipwith an emphasis on educatingentrepreneurs,investors and venturefundingecosystemparticipants on business formation, new technologyplatforms and global best practices.

“NSRCEL at IIMB has been constantly striving to create a network that its mentees and incubatees can benefit from. Angel investors have an important part to play in facilitating the growth of entrepreneurship. A global forum like Keiretsu can make a huge positive difference to the funding phenomenon. IIMB and NSRCEL are happy to partner with Keiretsu to launch a joint endeavor to augment the availability of early stage funding. IIMB is also pleased with the opportunity to partner with Keiretsu for the potential academic benefits it hopes to realize such as a closer understanding of the phenomenon of early stage funding of enterprises and opportunities for its students to intern with Keiretsu forum in its investment activities. All of these anticipated outcomes are in line with the overall intensified emphasis on and encouragement to entrepreneurship at IIM under the leadership of Dr. Sushil Vachani, Director,” said Dr G Sabarinathan, Chairperson, NSRCEL.

“We wanttobringangel funding within the reachofeverystart-upwith a commerciallyviablebusiness model,” saidRandyWilliams,FounderandCEO of KeiretsuForumwho is in town to launch the BangaloreChapter. Keiretsu Forum Bangalore will be formally launched on Friday.

“We wanttoensurethat investorswho are lookingforopportunitiesareprovided a steadyflow of quality deals and the opportunity to meaningfullyengagewiththeirinvesteecompanies,he said.

“There are people here trying to address uniquely Indian problems and opportunities from agriculture and rural needs to cutting-edge innovations in space travel. These ideas and innovations must be nurtured and these entrepreneurs mentored to ensure they achieve full potential. That takes more than money. It takes committed, serious investors who are willing to be patient, and capable of leveraging their networks to help,” Mr. Williams added.

Founded in 2000 in the U.S, KeiretsuForum is a global investornetwork that brings together angel investors and the entrepreneurcommunity. It workswith similar networks,leadingacademic institutions and otherstakeholders to develop and grow the entrepreneurecosystem in hostcountries. Unlike the bigger venturecapitalfunds and corporateinvestors, KeiretsuForum members focus on very early stageinvestments in companieswhich they personallymentor and grow beforetaking to biggerinvestors or the IPO market.

While on the one hand, Indian start-ups looking forearlystagefundingwill appear on the radarofinternationalinvestorsthroughKeiretsuForum’s global chapternetwork, on the other, Indian investorslooking for early- stageopportunitieswillgetaccesstoglobaldealsthrough the samenetwork.“Therewill be global dealflow as wellasvaluecreation,” said Denny Kurien, President &CEOof KeiretsuForumBangalore, who was present at IIM Bangalore on Thursday.

“In today’sworld,every technology and product is international.Theresourcesrequired to create a winningcompanycan’t be supplied by one or twopeople.Theresourcesmoney, people, partnerships,channels,access to customersetc. are diverseanddistributed,”saidRobinBisarya,Co-President of KeiretsuForumBangalore.

Bisarya,whowill be based in San Diego,U.S,as the Bangalorechapter’smainlinkbetweeninvestor and entrepreneurcommunitiesin the twocountries, said unless the start-up is located in a well-known hub where the community is used to supplyingtheseresources in a manner that can be consumed and afforded by early-stagecompanies,start-upshaveto pay for theseservices.

“Thestart-upsmost likely to succeed are thosethat address this need from the very beginning and prepare their corporatestructure,intellectualstructure and personalpoliciesaccordingly, and wewill help them dothat,”Bisarya added.

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