Two Infosys co-founders float new venture

Infosys’ co-founders S. Gopalakrishnan and S.D. Shibulal have come together again to set up Axilor Ventures, a business incubator to help entrepreneurs and early-stage firms succeed in diverse verticals.

“Axilor aims at energising the start-up ecosystem in the country by incubating ventures operating in the e-commerce, healthcare, life sciences, sustainability and clean technology space,” Gopalakrishnan and Shibulal said in a joint statement here Tuesday.
S D Shibulal
After an illustrious career at the global software major spanning over three decades, Gopalakrishnan retired as Infosys executive vice-chairman Oct 8, while Shibulal resigned July 31 as the company’s chief executive seven months before superannuation.

“Axilor will focus on scalable, disruptive and technology-led business ideas from budding entrepreneurs and experienced professionals with entrepreneurial aspirations,” the statement said.

In its initial launch stage, Axilor will run three programmes — Accelerator, Entrepreneur-in-Residence and Early Stage Funding.

“We will also assist entrepreneurs and early-stage firms in raising funds and advise them on infrastructure, mentorship, market access and talent,” the founders said.
For the selected start-ups, the duo founders will co-invest through individual funds ranging from Rs.30 lakh ($50,000) in the accelerator programme to Rs.6 crore ($1 million) in early-stage companies.

“Through the three programmes, we will build a platform for innovation and entrepreneurship to benefit entrepreneurs and help them connect with innovation ecosystems outside India through partnerships.”

Besides Gopalakrishnan and Shibulal, the new venture’s founding team has Srinath Batni, former Infosys board member Tarun Khanna, Jorge Paulo Lemann, professor at Harvard Business School and director of South Institute at Harvard, and Ganapathy Venugopal, former head of strategy and planning at Infosys.

Venugopal will be the chief executive of Axilor and spearhead the venture.

The first batch of the accelerator programme will commence in the first quarter of 2015.

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