Uber to mentor start-ups under “UberExchange” programme


In sync with ‘Startup India’ initiative, Uber, the app-based taxi-hailing service provider, recently said that it would mentor and help 10 start-ups with funding under “UberExchange” programme. As many as 750 start-ups are participating in the programme. The company will host six leadership talks by senior executives, including from their headquarters in San Francisco. The programme addresses issues like fund-raising product design and scaling up. At the end of the programme, the top 10 start-ups will travel to San Francisco where they will be introduced to global investors, fellow entrepreneurs and the Uber team. Out of 750 start-ups, 20 will be short-listed by the end of the year. Finally, 10 will be selected for mentorship by Uber.

The company, however, said ‘UberExchange’ will not act as an incubator. “It is not an incubator. There are no plans right now of funding any of these start-ups. But we never say never. We are doing it in partnership with Invest India and the idea is to mentor start-ups,” said a senior Uber official.

The start-ups in the race are from diverse sectors including health, pharma, mobile apps, and are in different stages of development. The companies would be short-listed according to product relevance and expansion plans among other things. The company said the initiative will enable students, entrepreneurs and industry leaders to learn from each other, helping create a culture that celebrates risk-taking and views failure as an opportunity to learn.
“Today, more and more people aspire to be entrepreneurs. That’s why Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Startup India initiative is so important, and that’s why we’re excited to share our experience with hundreds of start-ups and entrepreneurs as they begin their journey,” Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick said in January. Bus aggregator Shuttl on recently stated that Suryansh Kumar, who was general manager at Uber India, has joined them as vice-president, growth. At Uber, Kumar was responsible for operations and marketing. In the past, he worked with Bharat Matrimony and Bharti-Walmart. Shuttl was founded in April 2015 and has led the way in app-based bus service category in India.

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