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USC Viterbi-Axilor Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lecture Series launches in Bengaluru, India

New lecture series unites successful entrepreneurs, VCs with Indian Trojans
By: Sudha Kumar
June 08, 2016 —
Dr. Gopichand Katragadda, CTO, Tata Group interacting with Srinath Batni, Co-Founder, Axilor Ventures, Chairman of the USC Viterbi India Board and a USC parent and the audience. Photo by Sudha Kumar

With a record $20 billion in private equity and venture capital funds invested in India in 2015, per VCCedge data, the startup scene in Indian cities like Bengaluru and Mumbai is a new and exciting phenomena. Sixty percent of the USC Viterbi alumni in India either have family businesses or have become entrepreneurs over the past few years. Recognizing the need and interest, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering launched the USC Viterbi-Axilor Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lecture Series in Bengaluru, India on April 26, 2016.    

The speakers for the inaugural session were:
  • Sandeep Tandon, co-founder, Freecharge; chairman, Tandon Group: “Confession of Startup Junkies”
  • Dr. Gopichand Katragadda, CTO, Tata Group: “How Do You Look Around The Corners On Technology?”
  • Greg Moran, co-founder and CEO, Zoomcar: “What Are The Secrets To Scale?” 
“I was fortunate to find great speakers for our inaugural event," said Sudha Kumar, director of the USC Viterbi India office, "and I look forward to growing this series over the next few years. We will host three events each year, with the next one scheduled for August 2016."

“The lecture series, which started as a concept during the visit of Dean Yannis Yortsos, became a reality on April 26, 2016," said Srinath Batni, chairman of the USC Viterbi India Board, a Trojan parent and co-founder of Axilor Ventures Pvt. Ltd., a startup incubator. "The enthusiastic participation by entrepreneurs, USC alumni and the speakers in an informal atmosphere was very encouraging. This has brought the Viterbi School and Axilor closer to creating a sustainable platform to connect the alumni.”

“India is on the cusp of huge startup growth," said Dr. Ranjit Nair, CEO, Germin8 and president of the USC Alumni chapter of Mumbai, "with many budding entrepreneurs with great ideas. What they lack is the wisdom and experience of those who have led successful startups themselves. It is this gap that the USC Viterbi-Axilor lecture series bridges, by bringing forth successful entrepreneurs, VCs and others in the startup ecosystem to share their experiences and inspire the next generation of India's entrepreneurs.”  
(L to R) Ganapathy Venugopal, CEO Axilor Ventures, Sudha Kumar, Director, India Office, USC Viterbi School of Engineering; Srinath Batni and Dr. Ranjit Nair, CEO, Germin8 Solutions,  President, USC Alumni Association of Mumbai. Photo by Sudha Kumar