Mumbai, April 5, 2019: Venture Catalysts, India’s first integrated incubator, has expanded further into the Northern Indian region, by joining forces with one of the oldest and most active investor networks in the country, Kanpur Angel Network (KAN). Venture Catalysts, which features amongst the top 5 investor networks and has proven its credibility as a transformer of nascent start-up ecosystems across 22 cities, decided to enter Kanpur considering the huge entrepreneurial potential present in the city. Arguably India’s first industrial hub, Kanpur was nicknamed as ‘Manchester of the East’ and more recently, is known as ‘the Leather City’ and also ‘the Biscuit Factory of India. The collaboration between VCats and KAN is the ideal way to bring the spotlight back to the city and its region, considering KAN was formed by some of the foremost and renowned industrialists of Kanpur and VCats co-founder Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma also belongs from the city.

VCats UP started its chapter in Kanpur in September 2018 and today it works closely with IIT Kanpur, HBTU, CSM Kanpur University and CSA Kanpur Agriculture University through their incubators to empower start-up activity in the region. This initiative has been boosted through the association with KAN, which since its inception, has provided a platform to cater to the needs of funding support and mentoring required by local startups in Kanpur and surrounding areas. Investors get to mentor and engage with businesses that are chosen for angel investments based on a robust and detailed selection process. The angel network has a large number of investors comprising successful entrepreneurs, senior executives and highly skilled professionals from the city, such as -Amit Tiwari, Gopal Sutwala, R K Agarwal, Rakesh Suri, Rajeev Manasharamani, who are experts in their fields. These investors enable KAN to handhold young entrepreneurs and their startups through the fundraising lifecycle from start to finish.

From a larger perspective, this move presents a significant window of opportunity to the startup ecosystem of Kanpur and UP, with entrepreneurs ensured of access to a huge number of prominent institutional and individual investors from all over the country and foreign shores. As a direct result of this tie-up, entrepreneurs from Kanpur will now have easy access to the 360 degree start-up assistance framework developed under Venture Catalysts’ global infrastructure.

Speaking about the partnership with KAN, Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder and President, Venture Catalysts said, “I have grown up in the city and since my childhood, was enamoured by the immense entrepreneurial spirit that existed in Kanpur. During the recent years, this spirit has simmered a bit and the current initiative is aimed at reigniting the same.Venture Catalysts aims to bring international level support, opportunities and resources to local businesses by enabling local entrepreneurs with structured assistance. We are extremely happy to partner with Kanpur Angel Network, who share the same mission with us. Kanpur, and the entire Uttar Pradesh is thriving with viable business ideas, and KAN, through their years of expertise, helps us identify the best of the lot. The partnership has a single-minded vision to help young homegrown businesses grow to create great value for the long term with the help of our expert community and services.”

Speaking about the partnership with KAN, Mr. Vinayak Nath- Managing Partner UP, Venture Catalysts said, “We have been working in Kanpur since 2018 and what we have seen that its commercially a vibrant city with natural inclination towards identifying business ideas and nurturing them. What I felt was the people of Kanpur need a strong facilitation framework that helps their business to scale up and reach the optimum potential. With this in mind the current association steps in, bridging the gap between global business ecosystem of VCats and the local entrepreneurial community. Now, local businesses too can stand to gain from our experiences by adding onto our network and hone it to gain unimaginable heights.”

Commenting on the same, Amit Tiwari, Co-founder, Kanpur Angel Network said, “At Kanpur Angel Network, it is our mission to identify and nurture local businesses with immense growth potential. The network brings together like-minded people, and our partnership with Venture Catalysts is testament to that. It is a key addition to the premier networks, accelerators and institutes that we have been associated with. With this partnership, our investees will have a wider range of funds, mentorship and exposure to a global community to help their businesses thrive.”

The partnership with Kanpur Angel Network, is a strategic move for Venture Catalysts to secure a strong footing in the UP region in India. The market in the northern state is thriving with scalable business ideas, and the combined expertise in the field from both Venture Catalysts, with its wide geographical spread and KAN, at a local level, will further the endeavour of both firms to give these businesses the guidance they need when they are starting out, and a boost for steady growth in the long term.

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