Former Reliance Entertainment exec Rajesh Sawhney launches GSF Accelerator for startups, focuses on tech space


Rajesh Sawhney, former president of Reliance Entertainment and founder of GSF Superangels in India, has announced the launch of GSF Accelerator for startups in the country. The programme has also got backing from 30 entrepreneurs and five venture funds, including Dave McClure's 500 Startups, among others.

The startup accelerator programme will kick off on October 15 and operate in three cities – Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. The platform will mentor 12 startups, provide them initial capital and get them connected to funding and business networks. The accelerator is designed to support product-oriented technology startups in areas like mobile, social networking and cloud.

GSF Accelerator has got backing from 30 leading entrepreneurs including Naveen Tewari (CEO and founder of InMobi), Avnish Bajaj (founder of venture fund Matrix Partners and the Indian auction site Bazee.com, which was later acquired by eBay), Sharad Sanghi (founder of Netmagic) and Atsushi San of Softbank, among others, and five VC funds such as Kae Capital, Blume Venture, Dave McClure's 500 Startup and Seedcamp of Europe.


Speaking exclusively to Techcircle.in, Sawhney said, "GSF Accelerator is built around three unique values – intensity of mentorship, deep collaboration with the startup ecosystem and creation of a global springboard for the next generation of Indian startups."

GSF Accelerator will run simultaneously in all three cities during October 15-November 24, with each location hosting four startups. Talking about the screening process, Sawhney said, "We have been meeting startups for the last one-and-a-half years through my Founders Forum India network. We have been shortlisting companies and by the second week of October, we will have 10 startups in each city which will further be cut down to four."

After finalising the startups, extensive coaching will be provided to each of the 12 GSF startups over a period of seven weeks by a mentor pool including over 200 leading co-founders and digital masterminds from across the world. The startups will also attend 25 intensive and proprietary workshops conducted by global experts.


According to Dave McClure, founder of 500 Startups, "India is booming with innovation and 500 Startups is excited to be partnering with GSF Accelerator in one of the world's most exciting entrepreneurial ecosystems. We have already made several investments in India and we plan to do more in the future."

All 12 startups will receive initial funding from GSF Superangels and will also showcase themselves at the Second Global Superangels Forum during November 26-27, where 400 early-stage investors from across the globe will be present.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)


Sign up for Newsletter

Select your Newsletter frequency