Zerodha Co-Founder Launches Funding and Mentorship Program for Young Entrepreneurs

Nikhil Kamath
Preeti Bali / 11:56 am / April 16, 2024

Nikhil Kamath, co-founder of the popular online brokerage firm Zerodha, has unveiled a novel initiative to empower young entrepreneurs. The program, titled WTFund, provides comprehensive support to budding business owners aged 25 and under, without taking any equity stake in their ventures.

WTFund Offers Financial and Strategic Resources

The cornerstone of WTFund is a non-dilutive grant of Rs 20 lakh for each selected entrepreneur. This crucial financial aid allows young founders to retain complete ownership of their companies while pursuing their growth ambitions. Beyond financial backing, WTFund offers a holistic package of resources designed to propel these young ventures forward. This includes access to:

  • Operator-First Mentorship Pods: WTFund connects entrepreneurs with experienced industry veterans who can provide valuable guidance and mentorship based on their own entrepreneurial journeys.
  • Thriving Community: The program fosters a dynamic community within the WTF ecosystem, enabling young founders to connect, collaborate, and learn from each other’s experiences.
  • Regular Feedback and Support: WTFund prioritizes ongoing feedback and support mechanisms to ensure the selected entrepreneurs receive the necessary guidance to navigate challenges and optimize their ventures for success.

Focus on Long-Term Growth for Young Businesses

The program meticulously selects 40 promising entrepreneurs aged 25 or below each year. These chosen founders receive a year of funding and mentorship, extending their support until they secure their first round of institutional funding. This ensures they have the resources and guidance needed to build a strong foundation for their businesses and attract further investment for long-term growth.

Applications Open Now

Aspiring entrepreneurs can apply for the WTFund program through the organization’s website starting from April 15th. Shortlisted candidates will undergo a comprehensive selection process before being chosen for the year-long program.

Kamath first introduced the concept of WTFund during a podcast appearance in October 2023. The program boasts an impressive roster of mentors, including industry veterans like Ananth Narayanan (founder of Mensa Brands), content creator Raj Shamani, Kishore Biyani (founder of Future Group), and Kamath himself. This diverse pool of mentors brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, providing invaluable guidance to the young entrepreneurs participating in the program.

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