Ever since I left my corporate life behind in 1994 I have been engaged with great entrepreneurs as a mentor, angel investor and venture capitalist.

Under the TiE tutelage I’ve mentored thousands of entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and India. I engaged with my alma maters IIT-Bombay & Michigan Tech and preached the gospel of entrepreneurship.  At IIT, I help set up SINE to encourage entrepreneurship which has spawned many great startups.  For the last 15 years, I travel to Michigan Tech twice a year to engage with students and faculty, and Tech is now producing startups also.

As an angel investor I invested in 54 startups, mostly in Silicon Valley.  It has been my good fortune to work with people like BV Jagadeesh, KB Chandrasekhar, Raju Reddy, Manish Chandra and many others. 23 successful outcomes including six public companies came from those investments.

As I engaged with India more, it became necessary to build a VC platform.  Inventus Capital started as a cross-border franchise that invested in India and in Indian-American startups in Silicon Valley. Inventus Fund I and Fund II invested in 40 companies, about half of them in Silicon Valley. These included market leading companies like redBus, Policy Bazaar and Power2SME in India; and Poshmark, Credit Sesame and Sierra Atlantic in Silicon Valley.

As we move forward, we are simplifying and expanding Inventus with a pure play India fund and a pure play Silicon Valley fund. This will allow me to personally focus more on Silicon Valley where I’ve had great success.  I will still work with our India team, mostly as an adviser and mentor.

Our new structure allows investors to pick and choose the geographies they are interested in. We’ve always welcomed individuals and family office LPs, not just institutions, as they bring unique insights and refer great entrepreneurs. Our new structure also now offers Indian investors a way to participate in our Indian-American successes in Silicon Valley, without any issues related to round-tripping.

 

-Kanwal