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2015-01-05

Unitus Seed Fund, Sylvant launch \'StartEdu\' Competition

Unitus and Sylvant have committed funds and mentoring support for two nationwide competitions in 2015.

Unitus Seed Fund, country's leading venture fund supporting startups innovating for masses, along with Bangalore-based Sylvant Advisors recently announced the launch of 'StartEdu Competition', a nationwide programme looking to identify, mentor, incubate, and ultimately invest in the most promising early-stage education startups.   

To attract the best emerging education entrepreneurs in India, Unitus and Sylvant have committed funds and mentoring support for two nationwide competitions in 2015. The first will be held in March 2015. The second competition date for later in 2015 is to still be announced.

Starting on March 27 - 2015, StartEdu includes Rs 10 lakh of cash prize, expert mentoring for the winners, and gives the first and second place winners of each competition the opportunity to pitch for an up to Rs 1 crore seed investment from Unitus Seed Fund. Unitus has reserved up to Rs 3 crore to invest in competition winners in 2015.

Participants for the competition will be selected by incubators participating in Unitus’ previously announced Incubator Accelerator Program. Startups will compete via business plan submissions, online pitches, and live Q&A sessions.

Education-focused accelerator Sylvant is a co-convener of the competition, a preferred provider of expert mentoring and incubation services for participants in the competition, and is a founding member of Unitus’ Incubator Accelerator Program.

“We’re incredibly excited about the growth and profitability we’re seeing in for-profit education startups that are serving the masses in India today,” said Will Poole, Managing Partner, Unitus Seed Fund. “However, despite the phenomenal consumer demand, not enough new entrepreneurs are capitalising on this Rs 6 lakh crore ($100 billion) market opportunity. To trigger momentum, we are partnering with some of India’s best incubators to identify, support and develop new companies in this rapidly growing market.”

“India is at a unique point in human history with an extraordinary size & proportion of youth,” added Anand Sudarshan, Founder & Director, Sylvant Advisors. “We are seeking the best of entrepreneurial energy and commitment to participate in this opportunity. Given the complexities & challenges of the education sector in India, we believe these entrepreneurs would benefitsignificantly from our experience and mentoring. We are delighted to partner with Unitus Seed Fund in this effort.”

Unitus Seed Fund has already invested in four education companies namely - Hippocampus Learning Centres, iSTAR, Curiositi, and Cue Learn. Sylvant has incubated and advised education companies including LodeStar, Guru-G, Littlemore Innovation Labs and others.
 

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