The ‘Startup Corridor’ is the brain child of Silicon Valley venture capitalist Asha Jadeja Motwani, wife of late Stanford Professor Rajeev Motwani, a mentor to the likes of Larry Page and Sergey Brin and a key architect of the algorithms that power Google today.
And thus was born the Rajeev Circle Fellowship programme under which a dozen or so entrepreneurs in India would be identified and flown as a group to Silicon Valley on a two-week visit. All expenses paid. Any expectations of returns? Nope says Asha – “just pay it forward”. If the visiting Fellows help and encourage the batches that will visit after them, “that’s reward enough”, she says.
“Asha wants to build and continue the Fellowship programme for at least 10 entrepreneurs every year for next few years and we will be helping her team every step of the way” said Vijayakumar, on his return from Silicon Valley. Lauding the initiative, Infosys co-founder and Startup Village chief mentor Kris Gopalakrishnan said: “Asha is helping us set up the Rajeev Circle corridor for startups to move to and fro from India to the heart of Silicon Valley.”It will give exposure to young startups in our country to the best in the Valley, besides access to angel investors and their perspectives on how to build global product startups.” Gopalakrishnan said he would work closely with Startup Village to set up a strong base for the corridor in India. “I am confident this will help kick-start the birth of a truly global and world class technology startup ecosystem in India.” During their visit, the entrepreneurs met a host of IT wizards who shared some exciting insights with them.