IIM-Ahmedabad - Sparklehood is an online startup school for working professionals, which means it does not ask the founders in its cohort to quit their job until they have market validation. It is sector and stage-agnostic and it launched its first cohort with 18 startups on November 22.
Sparklehood founders, Anchal Taatya and Giulia Piona, wanted to create a program for those who have brilliant ideas on problems identified in their surroundings and willingness to solve them, but are stopped by family constraints, financial constraints, risk aversion, career risk, lack of motivation and accountability etc. The mission is to help working professionals fulfil their entrepreneurial dreams in a de-risked way. Sparklehood provides its startups with a very hands on support and becomes a non operational co-founder for them. The focus is solely on execution.
Sparklehood believes that every startup is unique and needs specific support and advice. For this reason, each startup has access to one hour session per week with the successful entrepreneurs in our mentor board, whose startups are valued at an average of USD 200 million. Among them there are Mikhil Innani, co-founder of Pharmeasy and now founder of Apollo Finvest, Vijay Lakshmanan, co-founder of CloudCherry, Radhika Ghai, co-founder of ShopClues and first woman entrepreneur entering the unicorn club, Saurabh Dayal, co-founder of Cleardekho. Each startup is assigned a lead mentor who becomes personally involved in its success.
For everyday support, a coach is 24*7 available. Coaches are entrepreneurs with strong early stage experience and mild exits and help startups with connections, introductions, brainstorming, idea refinement and fundraise. Support and advice are given by people who have done the startups journey at least once and know its challenges and how to address them. Sparklehood also helps startups with fundraising through introductions to investors in its network.
The first cohort started with 18 startups in different sectors: DeepTech, FinTech, SaaS, EdTech, Consumer etc. and are at different stages. Some are at the idea stage, some are post MVP. Among them there are IgenPod, EdTech platform to teach kids life skills, Verifipay, offering an escrow based payment solution, Chronoisseur, India’s first luxury rental platform, Shopmycar, a digital conversational sales platform for the car dealerships, QuickSilicon, revolutionizing the way semiconductor industry hires, Woodbuzz, affordable environment friendly furniture, LingoCad, simplifying language learning for school kids, Lokaso, your photo friend in Goa and Humalect, ML/AI experiment tracking tool.
Sparklehood believes that startups are not born as per calendar and this is why the selection process is always ongoing. Sparklehood is looking for hungry, motivated and driven entrepreneurs to join.