IIIT-Hyderabad has announced the creation of a seed fund network to invest in tech startups in the IIIT-Hyderabad incubator and elsewhere. The fund will be from a network of investors comprising tech professionals and successful entrepreneurs.

It will invest in early stage tech startups involved in technologies like machine learning, computer vision, robotics, AR/VR, natural language processing and other sub-domains of artificial intelligence among others.

The seed fund is being started in conjunction with five leading investors who will help structure and govern the fund. These include Viiveck Verma, Vikrant Varshney, Ajay Jain, AnuragGarg and VVSN Raju.

"As mentors and key players in the startup ecosystem, we found that the lack of resources, mentoring, market reach and early stage funding seriously impedes and limits many startup founders with great ideas. As a group, we want to address this through the mentor intensive fund we are launching along with IIIT Foundation" said Viiveck Verma, Co Founder DiSRUPPt Thinking.

The primary source of startups will be the various accelerator programs run by CIE@IIITH, and domain specific startups and seeding initiatives that will be taken up by CIE@IITH. Additionally, regular investment pitch days will be organised to scout for interesting early stage tech startups.

The seedfund will comprise professionals and entrepreneurs who will mentor the investee startups. The venture capitalists who are senior industry leaders with extensive domain knowledge and peer networks will assist in creating a structure to support start-ups and further enhance IIIT-H’s startup ecosystem.

This guidance and investment mentoring model is expected to help startups leverage the expertise of individual investors who will be joining this initiative and sharing their expertise in Sales & Marketing, Finance, Systems and Technology, Risk, legal & Compliance, Tax & Legal, Human Resources & Training.

Commenting on this initiative, Prof Ramesh Loganathan, Head of Research/Innovation Outreach, said, “We are proud to be recipients of this unique seed fund network. It’s a great opportunity for early stage investee tech startups to leverage the mentorship of Hyderabad’s captains of industry”.