Lightspeed Selected 17 Startups For Extreme Entrepreneurs 2021 Winter Cohort
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Multi-stage venture capital firm Lightspeed which focuses on accelerating disruptive innovations and trends in the enterprise and consumer sectors, on Thursday announced a line-up of 17 high potential startups as part of the third edition of its Extreme Entrepreneurs (EE) program which is a learning program designed to inspire and help take the blinders off for high potential startups – even if they may have begun their journey as ‘outsiders’ to the startup ecosystem.
This year, the program received over 1,200 applications for the winter 2021 cohort. Over 200 of these applications came from Southeast Asia, which was opened up for EE program for the first time.
Launched in 2018, with a mission to ‘bring outsiders, in’, the program charges zero-equity and zero-fee for participation. The firm said the only selection criteria for EE is, whether the founders will benefit from, and make the most of the opportunity.
Over a grueling process including applications and 3 rounds of evaluation by the platform’s investment team, 17 startups were selected from the large pool of over 1200 startups who applied. These finalists include 4 startups from Southeast Asia that are Bukugaji, Supermomos, Nano, BuzzBreak and the rest are from India that counts Aavaz/Enterpret, Avalon Meta, BharatX, BizzTM, Doto, Economize, Evo Foods, FarMart, Fitbee, Let’sDressUp, Vavepay, OxfordCaps, and Electorq with six of the finalists as women co-founders. The cohort is balanced between business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) startups, across sectors as diverse as fintech, agritech, gaming, healthtech, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and enterprise value (EV) and social.
"Over 1200 teams applied from across India, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia, and the finalists were chosen across 4 grueling rounds by our investment team. In particular, we are delighted that 6 teams have at least one woman co-founder. EE 2021 is bigger and better. It is 100 per cent online, which eliminates geo boundaries completely and allows the program to expand to founders anywhere; and packs more one to one clinics on functional areas like product, engineering that 'take the blinders off' for EE founders. I was a doctor-turned-founder in 2008, and I wish something like this existed back then," shared Vaibhav Agrawal, partner, Lightspeed.
Tony Fadell of Apple, founder of Nest – acquired by Google), Ming Maa of Grab, Ryan Roslansky of LinkedIn, and Balaji Srinivasan of Coinbase are the top global tech leaders who will share their journeys and learning with the EE batch.
Among top Indian leaders – Ashwini Asokan of Vue.ai, Byju Raveendran of Byju’s, Sujeet Kumar of Udaan, Rajesh Yabaji of Blackbuck, Abhiraj Bhal of Urban Company, and Abhinav Shashank of InnovAccer will help unlock vision and possibilities for the selected EE teams, the report said.
In past EE editions, leaders like Max Levchin of PayPal, Alex Chung of Giphy, Vaibhav Gupta of Udaan, and John Thompson of Microsoft have been the mentors. In addition, industry experts will host clinics where EE founders get to sharpen their chops on areas such as product-market fit, growth marketing, sales, hiring, product design, and fundraising.
Lightspeed has backed companies including Snap, OYO, Nutanix, Byju’s, Udaan, and Sharechat and currently affiliates more than $10 billion across its platform, with investment professionals and advisors in India, Southeast Asia, Silicon Valley, Israel, China, and Europe.