Article: Pitch perfect: Meet the investors of TechHR Startup Program 2019


Pitch perfect: Meet the investors of TechHR Startup Program 2019

The panel of mentors of People Matters TechHR Startup Program 2019 includes investors from VC firms like GREE Ventures, Lumis Partners, Accenture Ventures and Open Innovation, and Blume Ventures, among others.
Pitch perfect: Meet the investors of TechHR Startup Program 2019

“One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination.” — John C. Maxwell

Behind every great leader is a suite of great mentors and advisors. According to an analysis conducted by Endeavor, companies whose founders have been mentored by a top-performing entrepreneur are three times more likely to go on to become top performers themselves.

As the startups in the HR tech space also evolve and grow, they need the right people from the very beginning to guide them for the journey they are soon going to take. 

In the early days, mentors and advisors help the startups in finding their footing. Their advice and guidance help founders in building a strong foundation. In addition, having strong mentors also leads to building a strong network and creating relationships in the markets. 

Keeping the importance of Mentors in mind, People Matters TechHR Startup Program 2019 gives an opportunity to the early-stage startups in the HR technology space to interact with investors and mentors and learn from them. This year the panel of mentors include investors and leaders like Manu Rikhye, Managing Director, GrowX Ventures; Girish Shivani, ED and Fund Manager, YourNest India VC Fund; Arpit Agarwal, Principal PartnerBlume Ventures and Hidekazu Ito, Managing DirectorMynavi Solutions India Pvt. Ltd. 

Here’s a brief about some of the People Matters TechHR Startup Program 2019 mentors:

“There is a need for more Seed investments mostly to help foster an experimental market where entrepreneurs are encouraged to take risk and iterate. There are two ways of doing that, one by involving more and more angel investors in the ecosystem and two by launching targeted micro-funds,” shares Nikhil. 

Nikhil Kapur is associated with GREE Ventures, which specializes in investing in Internet and mobile companies in Japan and Southeast Asia. Kapur's investment focus so far has been on consumer and enterprise startups covering financial inclusion, health, sustainability, and skills development. 

He is on the lookout for solutions that can be taken to solve the problems of the masses in the region. 

In an interaction with People Matters earlier, Nikhil advised the emerging startups, “Build your business well, with the right fundamentals and the best possible team to target a meaningful and large problem in the industry. The rest will follow on its own.”

A year back Manu a former EVP & Managing Director, Encore India, joined GrowX ventures, an early-stage investment firm, as a full-time partner. Since then he has been involved across all aspects of the fund, with a focus on driving thought leadership for GrowX and business development across the portfolio companies.

Besides being an angel investor, adviser, and consultant, Manu has worked for several years in the Financial Services business and has extensive experience in the offshoring industry and distressed debt management space – with expertise in core business strategy, M&A and inspirational leadership. 

Founded by Ashish Taneja and Sheetal Bahl, GrowX is a B2B and Deep Tech focused seed and Series A-stage fund investor firm. The team believes, “It doesn’t matter what sector your belongs to as long as your idea is brilliant.”

GrowX has invested in startups like ZipLoan, Fynd, Aus and Locus, among others. 

Sandeep began his professional career with Technology Management Leadership program at GE.  He took quality and technology leadership roles across various businesses of GE and held senior operating positions at 3Com.

With an entrepreneurial spirit, hands-on investing experience in India, and over fifteen years of global operating experience, Sandeep now leads Lumis Partners with a focus on building portfolio across higher education segment and human capital services in emerging markets. 

He is not just the Managing Partner but also the co-founder of Lumis Partners, which has invested in various startups like PeopleStrong, Wheebox, and Sheroes. Sandeep is passionate about HR Tech solutions is also an active member in this sector and leads several activities across various public/private organizations in this ecosystem. 

From tyres to Insurance, Digvijay helped build the Distribution Network for companies like Apollo Tyres and  ICICI Lombard GIC Ltd. Later, held the retail network of brokers in the NCR area for Magic and soon after he decided to swivel his career and joined Indian Angel Network (IAN), as National Manager in 2015. 

Within a year, Digvijay moved to the helm of IAN as COO (Chief Operating Officer). In addition to building the deal flow engine, he is now responsible for investor/member engagement, shortlisting and curation process, building robust processes and frameworks, portfolio management and brand building. 

IAN’s network includes startups from Box8, Wow Momos, WedMeGood to Loginext and OrangeScape. 

Girish, a co-founder of YourNest, is a pro-active executive with strong experience of fund management and equity research. With experience in telecom, media, IT consulting, and financial services, he is a tech-savant and has in-depth knowledge of emerging technologies. 

He is passionate about seeking out disruptive technologies and great innovators. Currently, Girish works with YourNest Venture Capital, a VC firm sharply focused 'Pre-Series A'​ fund house that was established in 2011 to nurture global market leaders from India. It invests in technology-led, enterprise-driven (B2B) and DeepTech (IoT, SaaS) start-ups. 

Girish believes, “Speed and focus are of the essence during the initial stages of a start-up.”

YourNest Venture Capital’s portfolios include names like Emotix, CredRight, Simpli5d, Uniphore, and SmartQ

In his current role at Accenture in India, Avnish is responsible for designing and leading the Open Innovation program for India including collaborating with start-ups, VCs, PEs, Accelerators, Incubators, Industry bodies like Nasscom and iSprit as well as academia. He also takes care of investments and acquisitions - building a deal pipeline for making strategic minority investments as well as identifying and selecting potential acquisition targets. 

Prior to Accenture, Avnish has worked with IBM's Global Business Services in India and the United Kingdom for almost a decade in various leadership roles. 

Avnish says, “Our partnerships are about discovery. We help our clients understand where the next disruption is going to happen.” 

Arpit manages a portfolio of startups such as Cashify, RailYatri, MilkBasket, MechMocha, Tricog, and SpinnyAt Blume Ventures. As an investor, Arpit is always on the lookout for solutions in the technology space. At Blume, he is responsible for scouting science-led and hardware startups.  

Arpit has been actively engaged with the promotion of startups in India for more than a decade. In 2007, he had joined hands with a few friends to start Headstart Network which is now one of the largest startup networks in India, with over 20 city chapters, impacting more than 50,000 entrepreneurs annually. He has several years of experience working with entrepreneurs in India.  

As far as Blume Ventures is concerned, it has invested in HR tech firms like Mettl, Belong, Skillenza and Squad. Even the University of Tokyo Edge Capital (UTEC), which invests in deep science and deep tech startups forayed into the Indian market with Blume Ventures. 

The early stage startups that are looking for building mentorship relationships can take part in the People Matters TechHR Startup Program and make the most of this opportunity. Click here to know more. 

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Topics: Technology, #TechHRIN

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