Hottest 100 Tech Startups - 2018

Startups Jury

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Niren Shah


NIREN SHAH: Managing Director – Norwest Venture Partners India

Mr. Niren Shah from NVP India has more than 16 years of operational, finance, investment banking and entrepreneurial experience from leading consumer-oriented companies and global financial institutions. Niren Shah serves as an advisor on India-based investments across a wide range of sectors and across various stages.


GOPAL MODI: President, Investments – Orios Venture Partners Gopal Modi

Mr. Gopal Modi is the President for Investments at Orios Venture Partners, an early stage India technology venture capital firm, currently investing from its Fund II predominantly in consumer-focused startups. His investments include Yumlane, Country Delight, ZoRooms & Taskbob. Gopal has 20+ years of combined entrepreneurial & professional experience. Gopal holds an MBA from Loyola University, Chicago and has been a commercial art student.


DHYANESH SHAHDHYANESH SHAH: Principal – Eight Roads Ventures India

Dhyanesh is a Principal at Eight Roads Ventures, where he leads investments in financial services and fintech.
He brings in experience across private equity, management consulting and fintech, with most of his career focused on financial services. Prior to Eight Roads, he was with McKinsey & Company, where he advised large conglomerates in India and South East Asia across multiple sectors.
Dhyanesh holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (Ahmedabad) and a Bachelors degree in Engineering from the University of Mumbai.


pratik poddarPRATIK PODDAR: Investor – Nexus Venture Partners

As an entrepreneur turned VC, Pratik is excited about working alongside technology entrepreneurs to create impact in the lives of millions of people. He is most passionate about healthcare, financial services, content platforms, travel, and e-commerce enabled supply chain innovations.
Pratik graduated from IIT Bombay with a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and Engineering. After graduation, he started his career with Morgan Stanley as a quant analyst/algorithmic trader working on building mathematical models to hedge risks in Japanese Mortgages and trading US Equity ETFs. Post Morgan Stanley, Pratik worked at Blackstone Private equity where he evaluated deals in restaurant, financial technologies, education and consumer electronics products in India. Prior to joining Nexus, Pratik spent three years working on his startups in social e-commerce and content platforms where he experienced firsthand the challenges of building a company.


DeependraDEEPENDRA SINGH: Investor – JSW Ventures

Deependra Singh is a startup enthusiast and an investor with experience in both listed and private investments. At JSW Ventures, he is investing in disruptive products & solutions enabled by technology. Previously, he has worked with the investments arm of Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd., focusing on early stage investments in consumption centric themes across sectors. He has also advised large corporations on cross-border M&A and private equity fund raise while working with o3 Capital. He is inspired by Benjamin Graham’s investment philosophy which he honed while investing in listed securities at Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Deependra has an MBA from MDI, Gurgaon.


Dr. Apoorv Sharma, Venture Catalysts

DR. APOORV RANJAN SHARMA – Co-founder and President, Venture Catalysts

Dr Apoorv Ranjan is one of the top 10 angel investors in India and is known as ‘The Fund Manager with Highest Returns to Investors’. He built India’s first incubator – JSS TBI, for which he received President of India Award. He is involved in early stage investments since 2002 and has established almost dozens of incubators & accelerators. He was also actively associated in establishing Angel Networks – IAN and Venture Nursery. In his role, he is responsible for driving the strategic planning and overseeing the overall functioning of Venture Catalysts. In last 12 months, he has managed to grow the organization across 6 cities India and GCC globally, with 1800 angel investors on board. Dr. Sharma holds a PhD in Incubation with an MBA, B. Tech. from reputed institutions. He also holds credit of a Diploma in Mentoring Studies from UC Berkeley offered by Intel-DST Scholarship.


RAMIT ARORA – Vice President at Nirvana Venture Advisors

Ramit is a Vice President at Nirvana Venture Advisors. Prior to Nirvana, he was a part of the venture investment team at Mitsui Global Investments and the technology investment banking team at Avendus Capital. He is an MBA from IIM, Bangalore, and he did an exchange term at the Booth School of Business, Chicago. Prior to his MBA, Ramit was involved in hedge fund technology development at D.E. Shaw & Co.



RAMESH SOMANI – Founder and CEO – Exhibit Group

Counted among the youngest and most successful entrepreneurs in the country, Ramesh Somani is the founder of Exhibit Group. He is also the man behind the concept and foundation of associated names like,,, along with various IPs like Exhibit Tech Awards, Tech fashion Tour, Hottest 100 Tech Startups and Leader in Tech Dinner which he has initiated and grown over the years. With a keen interest in everything about technology and a sharp eye on marketing strategies, he has gained 13 years of experience with cars, technology and watches to name a few.



Venkatesh Peddi
ANANYA BIRLA – Musician, Entrepreneur & Mental Health Campaigner

Ananya Birla is an entrepreneur and an artist. The daughter of Kumar Mangalam Birla and wife Neerja Birla started her first entrepreneurial venture in her teens. She foresees herself as an angel investor as startup ventures excite her. Ananya started Svatantra Microfin Pvt Ltd, a microfinance institution in 2013. She is also the founder of CuroCarte and cofounder of Mpower. Birla has received awards for her work and entrepreneurship, including the ET Panache Trendsetters of 2016 award for Young Business Person. In 2016, Birla made her music debut with the international release of her single ‘Livin The Life’.


Manasi KirloskarMANASI KIRLOSKAR – Executive Director, Kirloskar Systems Ltd

Manasi Kirloskar is the sole heir scion of industrialist Vikram Kirloskar’s business empire (Toyota Kirloskar Motor and others) who’s been taking forward the 150 year Kirloskar Legacy forward. Trained at Toyota Kirloskar Motor and working there, she also has her own Real Estate projects as an entrepreneur. Including an innovation for rural healthcare, Manasi is also a social entrepreneur having set up her non-profit trust ‘Caring with Colours’ for Education through Art to lesser privileged children. Manasi is an exceptional painter and a graduate of the world reputed Rhode Island School of Design USA. She loves deep sea diving, mountaineering, food, travel and music.


G V Keshav ReddyG V KESHAV REDDY – Co-Founder, Reddy Futures Fund

Keshav is a third generation family member of the infrastructure major, GVK. Keshav works in the corporate finance division of GVK Airports. He started an early stage family office fund called Reddy Futures Fund in 2015 and has invested successfully in over 10 companies through various group companies. He has led investments into companies such as RKSV, Algorial, Deal on Trip, DocPlexus, The Indian Brand, and InvestRealty.



Rehan Yar KhanREHAN YAR KHAN – Co-founder & Managing Partner, Orios Venture Partners

Rehan Yar Khan is Co-founder & Managing Partner of Orios Venture Partners, an early stage India technology venture capital firm, currently investing from its Fund II predominantly in consumer focused startups. Orios’ portfolio includes Yumist, PrettySecrets, IntelligenceNode, PharmEasy and ZipGo. Rehan has previously led investments in OlaCabs and Druva. Rehan has been an entrepreneur since 1992 building 3 companies and was also closely involved in the establishment of Indian Angel Network and Harvard Angels. He is a TiE Charter Member and on India Venture Capitals Association’s executive committee.

Taranjeet SapraTARANJEET SAPRA –  Partner, Quarizon Fund

With a dream in her mind and originality in her thoughts, an entrepreneur at heart – Taranjeet  Sapra – started her first outdoor advertising venture 15 years back.  Henceforth, she has grown varied interests   in OOH, media /event planning and hospitality. She started angel investing two years back in QSR & Event planning. And now she is the youngest partner at Quarizon, an early stage investment fund. She mentors the startups and helps source and executes investment opportunities.  Taranjeet holds Master’s degree in International Marketing and has travelled worldwide to cater to international clients.



Mohit GulatiMohit Gulati – Founder, Altius Ventures

Mohit Gulati is the Founder of Altius Ventures, a soon to be AIF Cat 2 VC fund. He’s a self-taught investor who has come a long way from being just another engineering graduate. He started his career at age 19 and stayed along with listed equity markets until 24. Post that he co-founded Oliphans Capital; where he spearheaded first round cheques and helped build marquee co’s such as ECom Express,,, Hugefly Tech, Wigzo Tech, TarusaWorld, Tangerine ORM and many more. Mohit is a Startup Builder/Serial investor, Full-time CVO (Chief vigilant Officer) for his portfolio companies and enjoys diving(CMAS), reading and writing his mind out on anything under the sun.




Kumar Shiralagi

Kumar Shiralagi has been managing high-performance investments and exits in technology companies for more than a decade. He has been a part of the Indian venture capital ecosystem since 2003 and has nurtured over 25 companies-serving on their board, helping them grow and managing exits. When evaluating prospective investments, he looks for crucial elements of a promising opportunity and analyzes current realities and proof in detail.Kumar currently serves on the board of 10 companies. He has a PhD and an MBA from Arizona State University and holds 23 US patents.

Portfolio: NanohealVakilsearchVisionary RCMVyomeGerminaitBasizUnilog  and Robosoft


BL25_IT_NASSCOM_GU_2025719eRavi Gururaj: Managing Director – Nasscom

Ravi Gururaj is a serial entrepreneur with 5 ventures and 2 public exits, an angel investor, a mentor to numerous entrepreneurs, technology executive, and ecosystem evangelist. Ravi is a member of the NASSCOM Executive Council, chairs the NASSCOM Product Council and co-hosts the NASSCOM Product Conclave. Ravi Gururaj has over twenty four years of technology product development, management and marketing experience. Ravi is a mentor to numerous startup founders across all stages, and is an active community member across a range of industry and community forums and associations.


Neeraj 3

Neeraj Gupta: Co-founder and Director

Neeraj is Founder & CEO at FormulateIP based in India and USA. Applying his business and echnical background, Neeraj assists clients in protecting and expanding their domestic and international knowledge-based businesses using IP protection, licensing and strategic planning.

Neeraj is Co-founder and Director at Excubator which provides guidance and support needed to entrepreneurs for building a successful entrepreneurial practice. Neeraj is CEO at IIT Roorkee’s startup incubator called TIDES. Neeraj is Co-founder of PanIIT Mentors which is a Nation Building Initiative under PanIIT. Neeraj is Executive Council member and Treasurer for IIT Alumni Centre Bangalore . Neeraj is founding EC member of Federation of Indo-Israeli Chamber of Commerce (South).

Neeraj holds Bachelors of Technology degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Metallurgical and Material Sciences. Neeraj completed his M.S. in Mathematics from KTH in the year 2004. Neeraj is Chairman for KTH Alumni India Chapter. Neeraj is senior mentor and visiting faculty in several engineering and MBA colleges. Neeraj also serves on the board of advisors of several organizations.


2d9edeaRajinder Balaraman: Early Stage VC – Matrix Partners

At Matrix, Rajinder aspires to enable entrepreneurs to create valuable companies. Rajinder has worked with some fantastic entrepreneurs and business leaders over the last decade at Matrix, Unilever and Booz. In addition to his operating experience, he brings humility and intuition to support founders in turning their vision into reality. He strongly believes that the Indian digital opportunity has just begun, and that the next few years will see multiple billion dollar companies being created.



Ruchir Lahoty: Director – NEA India

Ruchir joined NEA’s India office in 2008 and is a MD based in Mumbai. Ruchir co-manages NEA’s investment in FSS, Naaptol, MEdRC EduTech, Naaptol, RezNext, IDfy, ValueFirst, GOQii etc. Prior to joining NEA, Ruchir was with ICICI Venture where he covered sectors such as retail, consumer, FMCG, media, telecom services, payment services, technology products/services and education. Ruchir has worked with Thomas Weisel in India as a lead equity research analyst and with TATA Consulting Services (TCS) in delivery roles as well as in their in-house M&A group. Ruchir has an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmedabad and a B.Com (Honours) from Delhi University.

Dr-srikanth-Sundarajan1Dr. Srikanth Sundararajan: Venture Partner

Dr. Srikanth Sundararajan has 25+ years of international experience in the software product and services space. He has worked at HP, Informix, and was part of the executive leadership team at HCL, the world wide CTO at Cognizant and the COO at Persistent. He had also successfully founded his own start up, Pretzel Logic Software Inc., which was subsumed into BEA, now Oracle. He is also a visiting faculty of computer science at IIT Bhubaneswar and has taught at several US universities. He also serves on national committees on technical education, an initiative of MHRD, India. He has several publications and is the holder of patents, jointly with HP and BEA.


Vinod Keni

Mr. Vinod Keni
Founder/CEO of Peachtree
Management Advisors
Zeus Associates.



Mr. Niren Shah
MD, NVP India


Rahul Chowdhri

Mr. Rahul Chowdhri
Director, Helion Venture Partners



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