Reliance Industries Limited’s (RIL) startup focused programme JioGenNext has supported 170 startups that collectively raised over ₹2,600 crore in early-stage venture capital since 2014, the company said in its annual report. JioGenNext, backed by RIL & Jio Platforms, was founded by RIL chairman Mukesh D. Ambani to promote young India's entrepreneurial zeal as well as to encourage, support and enable ventures that solve new age challenges.
“Since its inception in 2014, JioGenNext has been instrumental in catalysing the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem and has assisted numerous startups to achieve scale by launching them in the Reliance ecosystem,” RIL said in the report.
As per the report, JioGenNext is backed by RIL’s rich mentor pool, which include B. Srinivasan, president & chief of staff, Rohit Bansal, group head of communications and Shailesh Kumar, chief data Scientist at Jio.. Other mentors include startup founders of RIL investee companies such as Aakrit Vaish (Haptik), Arvind Pani (Reverie), Harsh Shah (Fynd) and Jasminder Singh Gulati (NowFloats), and other established entrepreneurs and subject matter experts.
In the financial year 2021-22, JioGenNext launched its Market Access Program (MAP ‘21) with 11 high potential startups. The list includes healthtech company Aarca Research, AI fashion-tech firm Bigthinx, mouth cancer detection smartphone app Atom, fintech platform Farm, agritech business Farmonaut, and others.
“MAP currently operates on an annual cohort model, with entrepreneurs being accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year. JioGenNext intends to use MAP to increase its value addition to entrepreneurs and develop win-win collaborations in the startup ecosystem,” the report noted.
As per the report, MAP focuses on providing advice and opportunities to startups to build bridges for founders in the RIL/Jio ecosystem; establish and accelerate interactions for startups with internal stakeholders to explore partnerships and opportunities that can help them scale fast. The programme also intends to advise startups on product innovation, go-to-market strategy, hiring, marketing, fundraising and product-market fit, which decides a firm’s overall progress as a business.
“MAP now works on an annual cohort, where the program brings in startups on a rolling basis throughout the year. With MAP, JioGenNext aims to further strengthen its value-add to startups and build win-win partnerships in the startup ecosystem,” it added.
In a bid to strengthen the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem, the company aims to expand its efforts to empower budding entrepreneurs through JioGenNext. Last year, JioGenNext was recognised by Startup Reseau at the NEXTT Summit 2021 as one of the top five innovation and corporate venture capital programs in India.
RIL is the first Indian company to be a partner in an Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) sponsored incubator jointly with OurCrowd, Yissum (Hebrew University) and Ben-Gurion University for faster access to global innovation while supporting strong founders turn early stage ideas into market leaders.