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Village Capital and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Conclude a Mentoring Program for College and Career Readiness Startups

NEW DELHI – November 03, 2016 — Village Capital, a leading global venture development organization, has concluded its three-month venture development program—Education India 2016—aimed at making early-stage Indian education startups more investment ready. Funded by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the Education India 2016 program identified 10 innovative, high-quality, early-stage enterprises that are helping to increase underserved students’ chances of accessing college education and improving their job prospects.

The 10 teams went through Village Capital’s award-winning venture development curriculum, which included one-on-one mentorship from leaders in the field and curated interactions with potential customers, strategic partners and investors. The outcome was the creation of a national cohort of startups that is committed to ensuring college and career readiness for the underprivileged across India. Two participants, Simulanis and nhance, were selected by their peer teams to receive US$ 50,000 from VilCap Investments. Simulanis develops augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications to train engineers through interactive lessons, nhance is a mobile app that uses short games to help working professionals learn and improve job-related skills.

The entire cohort will also be evaluated by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation for a potential investment of up to US$ 500,000 each.  The other companies in the Education India 2016 cohort include:

Navriti, a skilling startup that develops and delivers employability assessments for blue and grey collared workers.

TweakSkills focuses on upskilling core engineers through technology.

Innolat offers a blended learning platform tailored to engineering students in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.

StudyBud delivers company-specific learning, assessment and recruitment solutions for higher education students.

Talerang offers a unique experiential curriculum and career-relevant internship placement.

CareerGuide is a marketplace of career experts and helps students seeking career advice in real-time.

Kings Learning address the diverse challenges of providing education through a mobile app to directly provide individuals with access to high-quality, employability-focused English training.

uLektz engages with universities to provide an end-to-end platform for online learning, skilling and professional placement.

Ross Baird, CEO & Founder, Village Capital said, “I am in awe of the work and caliber of these entrepreneurs who are helping to bridge this critical gap in education. At Village Capital, we pride ourselves in our ability to bring together the most talented entrepreneurs and give them the tools they need to become investment ready, and because they themselves are the experts and know their business more than any investor does, we put the decision-making power in their hands to determine which one of their peers is ready to scale through VilCap Investments. We are looking forward to expanding our support to not only the entrepreneurs who become portfolio companies, but also to those who have participated in our program. Building an entrepreneurial ecosystem that addresses critical social needs leads to prosperity for all.”

Prachi Windlass, Director, India Education, Michael & Susan Foundation said, “This program has been able to catalyse a national cohort of early stage entrepreneurs who are now ready to solve the challenges faced by underprivileged students in college entrance and career readiness. We look forward to partnering with many of them to scale their solutions.”



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