Pune TiE gives a head start to startups

Over the past 10 years, the Pune wing of TiE, a non-profit global network of entrepreneurs, has made a mark for itself in the startup sector through its accelerator programme called ‘Nurture Program’.

The programme follows a set structure that aims to help startups get the much-needed training and grooming. Startups that undergo this rigorous six-month training programme that comprises masterclasses, bootcamps, and Gyaan sessions are looked favourably in the world of investors, said Nikhil Karkare, co-chair of the event.

As a preliminary step, the startup firms are invited and later shortlisted after a rigorous vetting process.

The programme, Karkare said, was the mentors giving back to society and is completely equity free.

Avait Kurlekar, who is the chairperson and charter member of TiE Pune, said mentors ensure they provide time and value to the mentees who are assigned to them. “This course has no hidden cost. However, the training is rigorous and we expect mentees to take it seriously,” he said.

“There are evaluations and a startup can be asked to leave in case they are found to be lax about their attitude,” Kurlekar said. Pre-revenue startups, which otherwise are yet to hit the markets to make business, can also enroll for the training.

The most important highlight was that the participants would get exposure to the titans of the industry. The tailor-made programme allows startups to hone their skills and sales pitch. “We have got the feedback from the investors that startups who have undergone this programme have managed to stand out from others,” they pointed out.

The programme, in a decade, has changed the landscape of Pune’s startup scenarios. From tech-only startups, the scene now has physical businesses with a core tech backbone as well. The proliferation of edutech, fintech startups have also started making their presence felt. The number of women startup founders has also increased recently, Karkare said.

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