How This Alumni Network Group is Building a Strong Foundation for Startups in India SA&E India showcases the enhanced interest of investors in the Indian startup space.

By Samiksha Jain

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Paula Mariwala, Founder/Co-President, Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs

"Having a big idea is just the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey," said Paula Mariwala, Founder/Co-President, Stanford Angels & Entrepreneurs who is planning to identify the unique solutions for India and fund 6-10 such ideas in the coming year.

Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs (SA&E) is a Stanford Alumni Association group that seeks to strengthen Stanford University's startup community by fostering relationships among entrepreneurs and alumni investors. The Stanford Angels & Entrepreneur group was founded in 2010 in the Bay Area (California, USA) by venture capitalists Miriam Rivera and Clint Korver. The group has funded around 20 startups to date.

SA&E India is the first SA&E group outside USA and showcases the enhanced interest of investors in the Indian startup space. The group was started in April 2015 and held its first pitch session in July 2015. Entrepreneur India caught up with Mariwala to understand what are their plans for Indian startups and on which sector they are focusing more.

Objective behind starting SA&E India

In India we have a large number of alumni from Stanford University, and many went on to become highly successful entrepreneurs and professionals in their chosen fields. Many of us felt that through our collective mentoring and networking capacity, we will be able to add a lot of value to the existing startup environment in India.

All the members registered are deeply committed to help build a stronger foundation for the startup ecosystem in India.

Sectors they will be focusing on

While we are sector agnostic, we are interested in companies in India whose value proposition is enabled by innovative software or hardware technologies. We are looking at companies that are participating in the social-mobile-analytics-cloud technology revolution, and we have received investment plans from a number of innovative products and services companies in a variety of sectors such as healthcare, fin-tech, transportation, travel and education.

We like to focus on ideas and entrepreneurs with a long term vision of growth. SA&E India will be able to handhold the entrepreneurs through various growth phases.Apart from funding, the SA&E India group also has the potential to enable collaborative partnership opportunities with the Stanford community in the Bay Area and angel investors who have an enhanced understanding of technology.

To the people who have ideas

Like to convey to entrepreneurs that having a big idea is just the beginning of the entrepreneurial journey. They must also focus on the market opportunity, building a strong team, and executing flawlessly – these are pre-requisites to success.

Samiksha Jain

Former Staff, Entrepreneur.com

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