26. November 2012–
International investors with an interest in Indian startups are heading en masse to GSF 2012 in Gurgaon this week. The two-day event – supported by Seedcamp and Dave McClure's 500 Startups – will showcase the first batch of companies from GSF Accelerator, a new incubator in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi.
GSF Accelerator, a seven-week programme launched in October 2012, seems to be setting itself up as the equivalent to TechStars in the US or Seedcamp in Europe. This year's intake of 15 companies received $30,000 in seed funding each, with the top five presenting at this week's conference to receive an extra $250,000 each.
That funding will come from the programme's main backer, the Global Superangels Forum (GSF) – a network of 20 founders and investors in India. Dave McClure's 500 Startups has signed up as the GSF Accelerator's Silicon Valley partner; Seedcamp and Ruvento are doing the same in Europe and Russia.
The accelerator may mark a new chapter for India's emerging internet scene, so far best-known for eCommerce and marketplace plays such as Flipkart and MakeMyTrip, and mobile advertising network InMobi. The up-and-comers in this year's GSF Accelerator include new tools for developers (a nod here to India's strong IT industry), Gidsy-like Tushky, education services, a taxi ride-sharing service and several B2B services.
This week's GSF 2012 follows last week's MobiSparks mobile startup conference in Bangalore, which attracted sponsors including US VC Sequoia Capital (also represented at GSF 2012) and UK Trade and Investment.
Featured image: GSF India 2011, courtesy GSF India
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