Uber kicks off Modi’s start-up programme, to mentor budding Indian entrepreneurs

Uber. Photo: Reuters

Uber, a ride-hailing service provider, Wednesday said it has partnered with Invest India, India’s official agency dedicated to investment promotion and facilitation, to mentor entrepreneurs over the next 12 months.

Uber said it would host a series of six leadership talks by senior Uber executives on different challenges that entrepreneurs face when founding their own company such as product design, engineering and scaling up.

Uber Technologies Inc., valued at $50 billion, is the world’s most highly valued start-up. Last July, the seven-year-old firm had said it would invest $1 billion in India, its biggest market outside US in terms of the number of cities it operates in.

Uber, present in 350 cities in 60 countries, will also fly executives from 10 start-ups to San Francisco at the end of the term, where they would be introduced to global investors, other entrepreneurs and the Uber team.

“This unique mentorship program will be immensely valuable to Indian entrepreneurs and I am excited about the exchange of knowledge and ideas between the startup cultures in India and the Silicon Valley. This is just one step towards stronger ties with the international startup community, and the possibilities are limitless,” said Amitabh Kant, secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion in a statement.

Invest India is a joint venture between the DIPP, the Union ministry of commerce & industry, state governments, and the Federation of Indian Industry.

Travis Kalanick, co-founder and chief executive officer of Uber, will speak at the inauguration of the Start-up India Initiative on 16 January, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to unveil a start-up plan to help early-stage companies.

“Today, more and more people aspire to be entrepreneurs and build something themselves. It’s why Prime Minister Modi’s start-up India initiative is so important — and why we’re excited to share our experience with hundreds of startups and entrepreneurs as they begin their journey,” Kalanick said in the statement.

Kalanick previously founded Scour, the first peer-to-peer search engine and Red Swoosh, an enterprise content delivery platform, which was acquired by Akamai Technologies in 2007.

Uber launched in Bengaluru in August 2013; since then, it has expanded to 22 cities. The company, which has faced multiple regulatory hurdles over the last two years, has changed its services to suit the Indian market, by introducing low-cost services, and even accepting cash payments.

However, in terms of market share, Uber trails behind Ola, run by ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd, its domestic rival.

Also Read: Founders of Uber, SoftBank among big names to attend Modi’s Startup India event

Asia 2015: Rise of cab-hailing giants in Asia that are giving Uber a run for its money

This article was first published on Livemint.com

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.