In a move that will create an ecosystem for local entrepreneurs in Namma Kudla, corporate social leader TV Mohandas Pai announced the setting up of the Mangaluru Angels.
This angel fund, Pai says, will encourage Mangalureans, irrespective of caste/creed, to start entrepreneurial units in their hometown rather than go to Bengaluru or Mysuru. This will encourage startsup to build a base here before branching out elsewhere.
Vesting responsibility of overseeing the setting up of an incubator with banker Sandeep Shenoy, Pai told STOI it's high time a community of startups emerges in the coastal city. "We'll bring in investors (angels), provide budding entrepreneurs with mentors, and turn their entrepreneurial dream into reality," he said. Wannabe entrepreneurs may fail with a business idea but they should start taking risks, he said.
The incubator will encourage entrepreneurs to meet, ideate and create business models, be it on the web or in the real world. The incubator will have all the facilities to nurture their dream, he said, adding that products born in the incubator will be marketed. The idea is to ensure that the next billion dollar company in India comes from a Tier II city. "Why should Bengaluru alone give birth to such companies?" he asked.
Sandeep, also chief mentor of Prerna initiative of the World Konkani Centre, added that Mangaluru Angels is not a venture capital fund. "Once a suitable incubator space is found, we'll vet serious business ideas that youths of Mangaluru," he said, adding a viable business idea could ideally receive seed money between $50,000 and $1,00,000. "Efforts are on to set up an incubator space of 2,000 sqft with entrepreneurs paying for power and water," he said.
Observing that Gen Y is a consumer class, Sandeep said they are 'idea rich, capital deficit' and the angel funding concept will foster risk-taking attitude in this class. "We want to tell them that failure is not a bad word but the basics of a business idea should be sound and the entrepreneur should give it all," he said. "We don't want to create parasites, but set up hosts who can in turn nurture more entrepreneurs," Sandeep said.