GSF M-Accelerator

Rajesh Sawhney’s GSF Accelerator will be launching a mobile accelerator program dubbed the GSF M-Accelerator, in February next year, to mentor and fund 10 mobile-first startups in the country.

Interestingly, Sawhney told TOI that the company will discontinue its internet and generic startups focused accelerator, and will instead concentrate on launching more specialized mobile-internet focused accelerators. GSF has previously incubated mobile first startups like mobile analytics platform Little Eye Labs, which was acquired by Facebook in January this year, alternate mobile wallet Pokkt, mobile advertising platform Silverpush, mobile app for doctors Daily Rounds, TV viewing and analytics app Zapr, home service marketplace Timesaverz, platform for field service agents Customize & mobile streaming and sharing app Airstream.

GSF said its M-Accelerator will be spread over 4 months, with startups spending two months (Feb-April) in Delhi and Bangalore, one month (April-May) in Silicon Valley and New York, and one week in May in Singapore. The exact dates will be announced in January 2015. The startups inducted, will have access to GSF’s proprietary networks and alliances, like the DreamPlus alliance which consists of 11 Asian accelerators, and the H2 platform which consists of 300 business leaders from various global tech companies.

GSF also mentioned that the accelerator will consist of three key elements:

– Mentor Hours – where startups meet 3-5 mentors in one-on-one setting for a day.

– Workshops – which will be held twice a week.

– Visits – where startups visit two to three organizations focused on building marketing or funding mobile ventures every week.

The conducted workshops will center around five themes, including product strategy, technology, marketing, business & people strategy, and seed & venture funding.

Funding: According to GSF, the M-Accelerator will invest $40-$50k at 8-9% equity into inducted startups. The company will also do a follow-on round of funding up to $500,000 in a few select startups, after the program.

Cross-Border Accelerator program: GSF had launched a cross-border accelerator program in February this year. The program would select twelve tech startups, of which eight startups would be from India and the remaining four from its strategic alliances in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa. This program follows a similar global itinerary to the M-Accelerator, although lasts only for 12 weeks.

Launched in September 2012, GSF Accelerator is run simultaneously in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore, with each location hosting 4-5 startups per batch. The company has funded 33 startups through three batches since its launch, of which 2/3rd startups have apparently raised further investment and three of them have been acquired.