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Entrepreneur First brings startups and investors together digitally amid COVID-19 crisis

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Entrepreneur First (EF), a UK-based global talent investor announced 100+ startup meetings booked by 35 VCs since the Online Demo Day a week back. Entrepreneur First reiterated its commitment to Indian founders and reached out to the investor community to facilitate investments, amidst the global crisis. The second Demo Day of Entrepreneur First India involved an online presentation of five startups to investors:  Healium Digital Healthcare, Real Analytics, Recreate AI, Unbox Robotics and Qzense. The common thread through all these companies was the use of new age technologies such as AI, IoT and computer vision.

According to Esha Tiwary, General Manager – India at Entrepreneur First, “Covid-19 pandemic is impacting economic activity of startups and is likely to elongate funding cycles of seed stage companies. Having said that, most of the 35+ early stage VCs that we are in touch with have expressed interest in our startups and are open to new investments. We will see a new normal emerging over the next 2-3 months, and innovators as well as entrepreneurs, can use the situation to their advantage. The best entrepreneurs will emerge from these times of adversity”.

EF’s program invests time and money in aspiring entrepreneurs, helping them to find a credible co-founder, develop an idea and create a highly scalable technology company from scratch. Every year EF announces 2 cohorts in each location and invites applications. This is followed by interviewing, shortlisting applicants, and finally announcing a cohort. Of those who register, about 50 to 100 promising individuals are selected to form a cohort. These individuals go on to select their co-founders from the cohort and build companies under the guidance of mentors at EF. Selected companies get funded by EF and are also showcased to the larger investor community to raise seed funding.

According to Biju Jacob, CEO of Healium Digital Health, an Entrepreneur First Startup, “Though we have entered an economic slowdown, we see a surge in digital healthcare and are expecting big investments in this space globally. COVID-19 times could be the beginning of the trend of hospitals becoming predominantly used for critical care, procedures and chronic disease management, with primary care moving digital. We are optimistic because for first-time entrepreneurs like us, EF provides much-needed handholding through the fundraising process. The EF approach of organising and managing office hours with investors efficiently gives a fillip to entrepreneurs like us in such challenging times.”

Rubal Chib – CEO, Qzense, an Entrepreneur First startup says, “We are adapting to these challenging times. We have a hardware-based product and are using this time to improve our product especially its software. Additionally, we have implemented over-the-air software update features on our devices, and it helps the whole team sitting at various locations to get updates on their devices and test updated features. We have moved our client meetings online and are doing product demonstrations as well. Entrepreneur First is a big help in securing appointments with investors who have shown a great interest in our product.”

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