Zone Startups, a global network for founders, investors and corporate innovators, has raised $28 million fund to invest in 15-20 companies in the next year. The firm offers a custom accelerator program for technology companies, providing seed capital to help them in their growth.
Zone provides work space, mentorship, market development & business development support, networking & branding opportunities, funding opportunity, access to North American market and peer-to-peer mentoring. Ajay Ramasubramaniam is the director of Zone Startups. He said, the fund will invest the amount over a 2-3 year time horizon and its preferences will only be towards business-to-business (B2B) companies.
The average investment amount will be $45K – $75K (Rs.30-50 lakh). So far, Zone Startups have invested in about 63 startups out of which around 10 have failed. Housed in the Bombay Stock Exchange tower in Mumbai, Zone Startups is collaboration between BSE Institute (a subsidiary of the Bombay Stock Exchange), Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (incubator), Ryerson Futures Inc and Simon Fraser University (SFU).
Talking about the fund’s differentiation from other technology incubators & accelerators in the country, Ajay said, “Our programs in Toronto and India are focused on market validation and customer acquisition. We do not operate on a cohort basis and take a longer term view when developing companies – average term in our program is one year.”