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The Viridian Group
Source Name: The Viridian Group

Viridian Group Brings Entrepreneurial Spark to India

ESpark - Viridian to provide impetus to entrepreneurship in India

Jun 10, 2015   16:30 IST 
New Delhi, Delhi, India

Editor’s synopsis:

  • ESpark – Viridian offers an 18 month accelerator program to Indian entrepreneurs

  • The Viridian Group led consortium and its capital partners to invest about US$ 300Mn in a phased manner

  • Entrepreneurial Spark is among the world’s largest accelerators

  • In addition to being industry sector agnostic, the ESpark-Viridian Accelerator program is unique in its intensive engagement with the entrepreneur – guiding and sign-posting from ideation to commercialization.

  • 23 start-ups already shortlisted for the program through a national level contest during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015


The Viridian Group has brought one of the world’s largest and Europe’s Most Active accelerator (Source: Fundacity study 2015), Entrepreneurial Spark of UK to India through a joint venture company called Viridian ESpark Venture Accelerator- under the brand name Entrepreneurial Spark - Powered by Viridian (ESpark-Viridian).


Entrepreneurial Spark runs a proprietary business acceleration program- spanning upto 18 months- that has proven its mettle with over 350 companies. Closing 2015 with 10 centers in UK and a large network of mentors, advisors and investors, Entrepreneurial Spark is one of the most sought after accelerators globally.


The ESpark-Viridian joint venture aims to provide a sector agnostic, world class, sustainable and scalable platform for promoting entrepreneurship in India - from profit oriented to social impact models and small scale manufacturing to technology intensive enterprise solutions.


Commenting on the joint venture, Mr. Murali Hariharan, Global Head (Venture Strategy), Viridian Group said, “The demographics of our country demand more than a million jobs to be created every month in the next decade. We believe that Startups and SMEs are the best bet to create these additional opportunities. Despite a high rating on innovation and entrepreneurship, India still attracts barely 4% of the VC funding in the world, because of some strategic gaps- in skills, scaling and business development models that entrepreneurs follow. The ESpark-Viridian JV model focuses more on developing entrepreneurs and enabling their success. The amount of capital infrastructure, which the entrepreneurship development business is going to put together through the Viridian consortium partners is estimated at USD 300Mn. Incremental investments as dictated by the business needs will be made in a staggered manner.


Speaking about the development, Mr. Jim Duffy, Founder & CEO, Entrepreneurial Spark added We build people who build businesses, and that has a huge positive knock-on effect in terms of innovation, job creation and economic growth. We have chosen India as our first overseas expansion because of the huge potential here for entrepreneurship to make a difference. There is a growing entrepreneurial spirit in India, with a young, large and skilled population making the country uniquely placed to foster new business creation. But this raw material, or potential, is not matched with the means to make it happen however this joint venture does – it presents a clear and documented structure with a track record. The vision is to create India’s most successful accelerator and be the ‘go to’ for entrepreneurs”.


The selected startups will work with a team of global business enablers, external mentors and experts with enormous experience in their domains - on all aspects of starting and running successful companies. Startups will have access to high quality infrastructure and office space alongside international exposure, targeted events, networking sessions and pitching sessions with Investors. ESpark-Viridian will facilitate access to seed capital, subsequent funding rounds and access to markets through various other platforms. Startups can also access a wide range of service providers spanning accounting, legal, technology, HR, secretarial and marketing.


Mr. Prashant Tripathi, official spokesperson for the Viridian Group, said, “The Viridian Group offers its experience and ability in the ecosystem development space with the startups. The Group is actively involved in the SME marketplace through its NBFC business, WTC global trade services through Verbind and the upcoming World Trade Centers. Entrepreneurial Spark brings its vast experience in running a cognitive and action centered development process for early stage companies- from bootcamps and ideation, to shaping mindsets and behavior. We are confident that with this joint venture we shall be well positioned to build the most preferred destination for Entrepreneurs to grow in India.”


A Business plan contest run by the Viridian Group at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015 attracted more than 140 entries from the Indian entrepreneurs, out of which 23 have already been shortlisted for the acceleration program. The group plans to leverage its entire ecosystem in the MSME/SME space to create a force multiplier effect.


ESpark-Viridian plans to set up acceleration centers in key entrepreneurial hubs such as Delhi-NCR, Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Cochin, Chennai, Chandigarh and Kolkata. Interest is also pouring in from Tier II cities as well. Registrations are now open for Ahmedabad and Delhi-NCR centers and all entrepreneurs or ‘wannapreneurs’ can directly apply on to take advantage of the acceleration program and give wings to their dreams.


About The Viridian Group:

The Viridian Group is engaged in diverse activities across investment and development related ecosystems, and has been widely recognized for its innovation and transformational impact. With offices in Singapore, New Delhi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad, the Group presently consists of over 250 professionals across the development, manufacturing, investment management and advisory functions. The Group comprises independent and diversified businesses, and has significant strengths in the fund management and real estate development space, in addition to other ventures in the financial services and venture capital segments. The Group is a strong proponent of sustainable development across its commercial, residential and hotel developments. The Group leverages on its distinctive capabilities of deal origination, efficient capital structuring and a strong execution focus, to deliver long-term capital appreciation with compelling exit multiples. The Group is currently making a series of investments with a view to incubate business ventures across the knowledge, material and delivery ecosystems.


About Entrepreneurial Spark:

Entrepreneurial Spark is one of the world’s largest business accelerators for early stage and growing ventures - supported by top philanthropists and the Royal Bank of Scotland in the United Kingdom. The unique and proprietary ‘entrepreneurial enablement’ programme takes entrepreneurs through a cognitive and action centred development process. The Entrepreneurial Spark programme lasts for 6 months and can continue for up to 18 months. 

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