ISB Updates

PROPERO 2012: A Platform for Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs find it daunting to raise capital. Finding and securing start-up and growth-stage capital takes careful research, good negotiating skills, and an unflagging commitment to launch and grow the business. Against the backdrop of these issues, the Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (WCED) at the ISB launched “Propero,” an initiative that aims to connect entrepreneurs with bankers, venture capitalists and angel investors. Entrepreneurs across India are given the opportunity to raise equity or debt financing.

The inaugural Propero event, held in 2010, was a resounding success. This year, in an attempt to increase its reach – 350 business proposals were received and screened. After intense scrutiny, finally 20 participants were chosen for debt financing and 35 for equity financing. Of the 55 shortlisted ventures, 10 were started by ISB alumni.

To provide the entrepreneurs with hands-on experience on how to present their funding proposals, two mentoring sessions were conducted jointly by Intellecap, Hyderabad Angels and Mumbai Angels (the knowledge partners for the event) in Mumbai and Hyderabad on 18th and 19th of February 2012 respectively. The sessions were well attended with representations from around 100 entrepreneurs

The final event was held on 24th and 25th of February 2012 at ISB, Hyderabad. IDBI Bank and Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE) were the sponsors for the event. On 24th February, which was earmarked for debt financing, the shortlisted 20 ventures presented to the gathered bankers from the State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Indian Bank, UCO Bank, IDBI Bank, ICICI Bank and HSBC Bank. The bankers were optimistic about most of the ventures and felt that 15 of the ventures would eventually get funded.

In the following day dedicated to equity financing, partners from 13 angel investors and venture capitalists (namely Mainstream Capital Fund, Epiphany Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Kae Capital, India Innovation Fund, Inventis Capital Partners, Canaan Partners, Intellecap Impact Investment Network, Ojas Venture Partners, Hyderabad Angels, India Angels Network, Bessemer Venture Partners and Song) held one-on-one discussions with the 35 shortlisted ventures. The investors echoed the optimism felt by the bankers. Details on the progression of the ventures will be available soon.