India: Essel’s Subhash Chandra launches non-profit accelerator for media startups

Subhash Chandra. Photo: Livemint

Essel Group promoter and chairman Subhash Chandra on Tuesday launched Esselerator, a mentorship and accelerator program for start-ups in media and entertainment sector. This is the first in a string of philanthropic initiatives to be launched under the Subhash Chandra Foundation. The foundation has an investment corpus of Rs5,000 crore from Chandra’s family wealth which besides start-ups will work in areas of social impact and aim to create a self sustaining environment for businesses.

“The Esselerator program focused towards media tech and edutech will be free of cost to the entrepreneur who gets selected. Usually there is cash fee or equity that accelerator programs globally ask for, but this will be totally free of cost. We are not charging any money to the start-up. That’s why its part of the foundation,” said Amit Goenka, chief executive (International Broadcast Business) at Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd.

The program has been launched in association with the Essel Group and will be powered by TiE Mumbai, a non-profit global community.

“After mentorship and going through the program when start-ups pitch their businesses to potential investors, then those investors will fund their start-ups going forward. If it’s media and entertainment, Zee Entertainment could be a potential investor in those.We are looking to invest in start-up technologies that will help us grow our business. We are a vertically integrated media house right from production to broadcasting. So, we have the best scope in terms of providing value to these start-ups in terms of their own growth and driving value from them to grow our own business,”Goenka added.

Essel Group and its companies could also co-partner with other third party investors.

The first mentorship program of 8-12 weeks under Esselerator will start by mid January.

The program aims to give the founding teams access to Essel Group’s resources, networks and platforms to test and grow their start-ups into viable businesses. The selected teams will be mentored by the leadership of Essel Group including Subhash Chandra, the chief mentor, Punit Goenka, MD and CEO, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd and Amit Goenka, CEO – International Broadcast Business, ZEEL, and senior management of Essel Group, along with industry experts from different fields.

Incubators and accelerators continue to play an important role in the growth of the Indian start-up ecosystem. The number of incubators and accelerators have grown by 40%,with more than 40 new ones added in 2016, according to a new report by Nasscom published in May.

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This story was first published on Livemint

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.