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Entrepreneur First opens San Francisco Hub to strengthen India-US corridor and provide founders access to US investors

Newly launched San Francisco office to host the first batch of founders made up of 33 companies built in Bengaluru, London, Paris, and New York. The global immersive program is aimed to provide exceptional Indian founder talent access to US investors, market, and customers

By: Ruchi Upadhyay  Pardaphash Group
Updated:
gnews
Entrepreneur First opens San Francisco Hub to strengthen India-US corridor and provide founders access to US investors

Bengaluru, March 16, 2024: Entrepreneur First (EF), the world’s first “Talent Investor”, has launched a new office in South Park, San Francisco to connect the world’s best founder talent with the world’s best funding ecosystem. Five Indian companies built from scratch in EF’s Bangalore program will be invited to relocate to San Francisco following EF’s pre-Seed Investment Committee.

These Indian startups will have the opportunity to continue their journey in San Francisco, growing what they’ve built into an early-stage company while gaining access to US investors, customers, and markets. This immersive program further reinforces EF’s commitment to strengthening the India-US corridor, helping exceptional Indian founders build global-first companies from their very inception.

The inaugural San Francisco batch will be made up of 33 global teams who will be working on everything from non-invasive brain-computer interfaces to decode language-related thought in the brain to Figma for spatial computing. EF has also upgraded its investment terms for founders joining their programs across the globe. Teams that pass their pre-Seed Investment Committee will be offered a $125,000 investment for an 8% convertible instrument. In addition to the $125,000 investment amount per company, every founder will receive a pre-seed advance of up to $5,000 investment amount upon acceptance into one of their programs in India.

The immersive program comes as a follow-up to the graduate program launched in India in March 2023. Successful teams from the graduate program were given the tools, advisory, and required funding to launch their startup focused on rapidly growing their idea into an early-stage company. The EF India team has been mentoring 30 exceptional individuals as a part of this cohort and preparing the India teams for creating value with a global customer base from their inception. The selected teams from India comprise of:

CodeAnt AI | Amartya Jha, Chinmay Bharti | CodeAnt AI is a DevTool that helps companies find and auto-fix code issues and security vulnerabilities.

Hanomi | Marco Mascolo, Drishti Bhasin | An engineering co-pilot to slash design cycles for hardware companies by 50x.

Insight XR | Sudhanshu Heda, Akshat Khare | Building an Analytics and Insights Platform for XR Experiences to help teams build data-backed experiences.

Iterate AI | Saksham Aggarwal, Shubhram Bhattacharya | Creating infinite engineering bandwidth for product teams.

Repello AI | Aryaman Behera, Naman Mishra | Automated red-teaming tool to proactively find vulnerabilities in generative AI applications.

Unproject | Rishabh Singh, Viba Mohan | Building the Figma for spatial computing.

Alice Bentinck, co-founder and CEO of Entrepreneur First, said: “It’s well known that Europe and India have some of the world’s most talented engineers. But their path to becoming globally important founders is still too fraught with obstacles. Launching the SF hub is not just about access to the world’s best investors, but it’s about the ‘wet-ware’ mental upgrade EF founders will get from being surrounded by a dense ecosystem of ambitious peers”.

Talking about the immersion program Rahul Samat, Partner and India Head of Entrepreneur First, said, “From Bengaluru to San Francisco, our immersive program is a testament to our commitment to Indian founders, enabling them to build global companies from inception. Witnessing their growth over the past year has been inspiring, and we eagerly anticipate their global impact. As they step onto the global stage, their diverse perspectives will not only contribute to the entrepreneurial fabric of their home countries but also enrich the global startup ecosystem.”

Once founders relocate to San Francisco post funding from EF’s Investment Committee, they will be matched with a Silicon Valley advisor, attend weekly conversations with experienced founders, operators, and investors, and pitch to world-leading investors at an in-person Demo Day hosted by Reid Hoffman.

Building across a wide range of sectors, EF India’s portfolio boasts 50+ successful startups such as gamified investment and personal finance platform Fello, which has a user base of over 1,000,000 people and raised US$4M in their latest funding round, and Beatoven, which harnesses artificial intelligence to empower video and podcast content creators in composing original soundtracks without any prior music expertise.

For more information, please visit our website https://www.joinef.com/

About Entrepreneur First

Founded in 2011 by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck, Entrepreneur First is a category-defining investor in entrepreneurial talent. EF’s portfolio companies have been backed by world-leading investors, including Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Softbank and GV (formerly Google Ventures). The startups cofounded on their programs are now worth over $10B, and include Tractable, Magic Pony Technology, Cleo, La Vie, Aztec, Sonantic, and many more. They have offices in London, Paris, Bangalore and San Francisco. Sharing their expertise, Matt and Alice have co-authored the book “How to be a Founder” (Bloomsbury Publishing), which was released in August 2022.

Entrepreneur First, the world’s first “Talent Investor” finds and funds the world’s best early-career, technical founder talent pre-team and pre-idea. Since 2014, they’ve built a portfolio worth >$10bn with this unique approach to company creation and are backed by founders including Patrick and John Collison, Reid Hoffman, Taavet Hinrikus and Matt Mullenweg.

EF’s impressive global roster of backers includes John and Patrick Collison (co-founders of Stripe), Taavet Hinrikus (co-founder of Wise), Reid Hoffman (co-founder of LinkedIn), Matt Mullenweg (co-founder of WordPress), Tom Blomfield (co-founder of Monzo and GoCardless), Nat Friedman (former CEO of Github), Sara Clemens (former COO of Twitch and Pandora), Matt Robinson (co-founder of Nested and GoCardless), Patrick O’Shaughnessy (Positive Sum), Demis Hassabis and Mustafa Suleyman (co-founders of Deepmind), Claire Hughes Johnson, Sten Tamkivi, Elad Gil and Lachy Groom.

Appendix: Details of companies from India in the inaugural batch

CodeAnt AI | Amartya Jha, Chinmay Bharti | CodeAnt AI is a DevTool that helps companies find and auto-fix code issues and security vulnerabilities. Amartya led the DevOps and Infrastructure teams at unicorns like Zeta and ShareChat, scaling their infrastructures and applications to handle hundreds of millions of requests. Chinmay was the founding engineer at Zevi AI and built search infrastructure for the biggest D2C brands to handle millions of requests.

Hanomi | Marco Mascolo, Drishti Bhasin | An engineering co-pilot to slash design cycles for hardware companies by 50x. Marco was awarded Best Student in Imperial College’s Engineering Department, with an MSc in Fluid Dynamics, and hands-on experience from NASA to Formula 1, building 3D printers and robotic arms since age 12. Drishti has a mechanical engineering background, from top IIT, combined with 5 years of AI expertise, and key roles at Microsoft, NannyML, Quansight, and multiple publications in top conferences.

Insight XR | Sudhanshu Heda, Akshat Khare | Building an Analytics and Insights Platform for XR Experiences to help teams build data-backed experiences. Sudhanshu was a Founding Member in a Series A funded XR Startup where he developed a platform to deploy AR/VR/MR Experiences for more than a dozen Fortune-500 Enterprises. These experiences garnered more than 50M users. Akshat graduated from IIT Delhi with a Computer Science Degree. He was a Senior AI Researcher developing cutting-edge AI solutions leveraging LLMs and LVMs for US State Governments and Pharmaceutical companies.

Iterate AI | Saksham Aggarwal, Shubhram Bhattacharya | Creating infinite engineering bandwidth for product teams. Shubhram was a product manager and built India’s first book-keeping app for truck owners and scaled it to 1.2 million users. Saksham is a CS senior from BITS Pilani. He worked as a full-stack developer at pyor.xyz, building the interpretation layer for digital assets which led to scaling the waitlist to 120k+ users.

Repello AI |Aryaman Behera, Naman Mishra | Automated red-teaming tool to proactively find vulnerabilities in generative AI applications. Aryaman, with his 5 years of security research background, graduated from IIT Roorkee, was a part of Azure Red team at Microsoft. Naman is a software developer and ML Engineer who has built products used by more than half a million users and has worked with big companies like American Express. With research publications in ML Security, he brings deep-tech expertise to the team.

Unproject | Rishabh Singh, Viba Mohan | Building the Figma for spatial computing. Unproject is currently working closely with design partners from Unity, Microsoft and Gravity Sketch to build the perfect tool for spatial designers. Viba was previously listed by Adobe as one of the 10 most promising designers of 2019. Rishabh previously worked at the Intel 3D research lab at Santa Clara with a focus on XR.

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