Esha Tiwary, general manager, Entrepreneur First (EF), India, in an exclusive conversation with EFY’s Mukul Yudhveer Singh, sheds light on how venture capital and private equity companies function. Unlike many mentorship cohort programmes, the company focuses on individuals who are capable enough for creating startups.
Q. What is the company vision with respect to innovation and helping startups in India?
A. Entrepreneur First has been present globally for around eight years. In India, we started last year in January 2019. Since then, we have had two startup cohorts. The third one is in progress right now. Our vision has always been about helping tech founders form companies. We invest in talent, which means we take in individuals who are aspiring founders but don’t have a company.
We take fifty such individuals in a cohort every six months. In the cohort, they work very closely with their co-founders, and we mentor them. For three months, they work on building the company. After that, we decide which one of these companies to invest in. Ultimately, EF is a way for individuals to find co-founders and build companies.
Q. Can someone approach you without having an idea in mind?
A. Absolutely. We evaluate people for their skills and focus on talents required to build tech companies. These tech companies need technical and business talents.
To start a company, you need a CEO and CTO. We take a whole gamut of skill sets on the go. These include individuals holding a PhD degree with niche technical skills, hackers who can build any sort of product quickly, domain experts who are business oriented with deep expertise in an industry and some general business leaders as well.
And in the cohort, we have a lot of frameworks that help them evaluate the best areas they can work on, the best co-founders for them, etc.