In a move that promises to be a giant leap for the Indian entrepreneurial landscape, Venture Catalysts, India’s first seed investment and innovation platform, has announced its launch of its services in the city of Surat. The news will delight entrepreneurs and start-ups from the region, as the expansion will unlock access to Venture Catalysts’ proprietary start-up enablement platform to promising ventures and investors from Surat and nearby locales. This will also enable investors in Surat to now get access and invest in National and Global ideas that come from the VCats platform. Experienced C.A. and serial entrepreneur Gaurav Singhvi founder of The Financial Supermarket Group will oversee VCats’s Surat operations as the Managing Partner.

What makes the development extremely exciting for the Indian entrepreneurial community, however, is the fact that it underlines VCats’ commitment to develop a comprehensive, end-to-end start-up support and investment ecosystem within the country. The Surat foray marks the first of planned strategic expansions into tier-2 and tier-3 cities by Venture Catalysts and highlights the platform’s long-term strategy to mobiliselocally-based entrepreneurs and investors onto a national level. VCats will also be providing other services such as mentoring, networking, co-working facility and technological expertise to start-upsin addition to enabling investments throughits strategic partnerships with leading industry players such as Cox and Kings, HDFCBank, Plug and Play etc.

Speaking on the launch, Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder, Venture Catalysts, said, “Venture Catalysts was established with an aim of fostering innovation and entrepreneurship within India and to nurture the country’s start-up landscape with comprehensive investment and support infrastructure. Our launch in the city of Surat, widely regarded as a local business hub, is meant to further that aim by extending our services to the region’s start-ups and entrepreneurs. We are confident that we will be able to nurture a start-up centric culture within Surat and its surrounding areasby enabling greater access to investmentsand other high-quality start-up support facilities such as business networking, incubation services, events/workshops and pitch days.“

But why was Surat chosen ahead of other emerging start-up hubs, such as Ahmedabad, Coimbatore, Bhubaneswar or Hyderabad? The reason lies behind the entrepreneurial mindset that is a part of the region’s cultural fabric, according to Anuj Golecha, Co-founder, Venture Catalysts. “Renowned as the city of businesspersons, Surat is fast emerging as a favourable venue for start-ups owing to its focus on entrepreneurship. The launch of our services in the city is aimed at nurturing and mobilising local start-ups, mentors and investors and integrating them in the larger start-up landscape. In our endeavour to develop more catalysts for the ecosystem and ensure that investors across the country get access to invest and work with the best start ups through the VCats innovation platform. The Government of Gujarat has already rolled out several schemes to assist start-ups, our entry into the city will ensure better opportunities of growth and success for both start-ups and investors and will serve to further our aim of developing a holistic start-up ecosystem within the country. We will also be looking at co-investment opportunities and bringing in about 100 investors to be a part of the VCats ANGEL network.

The short-term goal is to achieve around 20 investments in a year, which will increase as VCats  grows in strength and footprint,” he said.

Mr. Gaurav Singhvi, Managing Partner, Venture Catalysts - Surat, added, “Surat is a place with immense opportunity for start-ups. The entry of a leading early-stage growth facilitator and investment enabler such as Venture Catalysts will definitely give a massive lift to the nascent start-up industry in the region and will increase the chance of success of local start-ups. We are confident of establishing a self-sufficient start-up ecosystem that will create value not only for entrepreneurs and investors, but also for the region’s consumers.”

Having enabled over seven investments worth more than $3 million in less than six months of its operations, VCats has already established its credentials as the fastest growing early-stage platform in the country. Its co-working space in Mumbai is already operating at 100% occupancy. The company is looking to follow up its expansion in Surat by opening other branches in more such geographies in the near future in order to facilitate the creation of a country-wide nexus of start-ups, investors, enablers and growth facilitators.

About Venture Catalysts 

Venture Catalysts invests $100K – $250K in very early stage startups that has potential to create enduring value for over a long period of time. In less than 5 month’s time, Venture Catalysts successfully added 7 companies to its kitty and is looking to add more innovative ventures to its portfolio in the coming months.

"Even though we are open to all sectors, we prefer companies in IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Ad Tech, Education, E Commerce and Retail. The start-ups that we fund get most benefited from our mentoring, investor & industry network.

Venture Catalyst is a platform for founders. We provide the funding, space, community, and services you need to create a great company," the firm mentioned in a press release.

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