Contribute to the GTB Memorial Startup Fellowship

Hello, I'm Rahul from Ahmedabad, India, an entrepreneur and a startup enabler. I co-founded my first venture, Youth Connect, at 17, weeks before I started my engineering school. I chair Youth Connect Foundation (YCF), and I am also the Acting Chief Executive Officer of Gujarat University Startup and Entrepreneurship Council (GUSEC).

I'm running this crowdfunding campaign to build on the funds for the GTB Memorial Startup Fellowship, a fellowship celebrating the centennial birth anniversary of my grandfather. 

A brief about this fellowship:
The GTB Memorial Startup Fellowship is a fellowship by Youth Connect Foundation (YCF) celebrating the centennial birth anniversary of a legend entrepreneur, Shri Gopaldas Tahilram Bhagchandani. Selected young and lesser privileged fellows will get funding of up to Rs. 2.5 lakhs as seed fund, waiver for cost of education, living sustenance; along with access to investors, mentors and networks.

YCF and the S&GB Family are committed to support at least two fellows for the first year and we hope that additional fellows shall be supported through this Crowdfunding campaign.


The long story - The inspiration behind this fellowship
Since my childhood, I have always had a strong sense of giving back. It seems that I may have gotten that from my grandmother, the kindest woman who ever lived, and somewhere along the line, I inspired my startup team to institutionalise Youth Connect Foundation, a small, low-profile non-profit, to do good in the world.

While my grandmother inspired me to give back, my grandfather inspired me to be an entrepreneur. Gopaldas Tahilram Bhagchandani, or 'Baba', as we lovingly called him, was born on July 18, 1917, in a small little town near Karachi. He lost his father at the tender age of one, barely beginning to walk, he now had to shoulder responsibilities of his siblings as they all grew up.

In 1947, when the road and rail borders were burning, he ensured a safe passage for the family to present-day India via a steamer from the Port of Karachi to Bombay. Once the family was safe in India, he went back to present-day Pakistan, got himself a makeover, changed his name, and lived there for almost a year, selling off family’s assets.

Following spiritual superiors, the family shifted to Vrindavan, Mathura, while Baba took a couple of years to find his new corner. He eventually settled down with the trade of Sivakasi (Tamil Nadu) based firecrackers, becoming one of the pioneers in Western India to introduce southern made pyrotechs.

He used to spend around 10 months of his time touring for business, until 1969, when he decided that the entire family must move to a larger city for a better future of his coming generations. The family chose Ahmedabad, it being the prime epicentre for the family’s business.

His entrepreneurial vision, determination and skills, helped him script a stable future for three generations and more. He had extraordinary discipline, and he always followed his own rules and systems.

He was actively involved in the family business until the ripe old age of 83, and left us for heavenly abode in 2005. His memory however still stays strong with us; his ways, his ethics, and even his antics, continue to be cherished upon till date.

Introducing this fellowship, on his centennial birth anniversary, perhaps is as fitting as a tribute can be as he was one of the most legendary entrepreneurs - one who knew how to create value and wealth. 

What would it mean to be a Fellow?
Each fellow shall receive a grant of up to Rs. 2.5 lakhs for a 12-month period for a seed fund as well as for personal sustenance, along side a waiver for cost of education. Fellows shall also receive access to business incubation support, facilitation of government funds and schemes, as well as a networking support to grow their idea into a sustainable business.

Who will coordinate for the Fellowship?
The Fellowship will be managed by Youth Connect Foundation, a non-profit organisation based in Ahmedabad, having a very rich experience in the domain of startup ecosystem, entrepreneurship development and innovation management.

The Bhagchandani family (S&GB Family) shall contribute towards supporting at least two fellows, and the amount raised through crowdfunding will further support additional fellows.

How will the Fellows be selected?
Fellows shall be handpicked by a competent panels of experts through a comprehensive, multi-layered, application procedure, beginning November 2017. The application shall be popularised by:

  • Outreach via the educational machinery through public and private universities and institutes
  • Digital outreach via social media

Why Crowdfunding?
To provide an opportunity to individuals who believe in the power of startups, entrepreneurship and innovation, to contribute to this noble cause, and help us support more deserving, lesser privileged aspiring young entrepreneurs.

How will the funds be utilised?
  • Rs. 5,00,000 - Supporting two fellows
  • Rs. 30,000 - Crowdfunding platform fee
  • Rs. 25,000 - Outreach for the fellowship
  • Rs. 10,000 - Other misc. expenditure
Ask for an update
19th January 2018
Dear Supporters,

Thank you, everyone, who contributed to the fundraiser. The funds raised in the campaign shall add to the existing funds with the Youth Connect Foundation for running the fellowship, and it appears we have enough to support at least two fellows in the first year.

We are looking at making the fellowship operational by mid 2018 once the new academic term starts. The fellowship as proposed shall look to support early stage, student ideas, and the fellowship shall run nationwide through our existing relationships with educational institutions and organizations.

Once again, thanks a lot for your support to this fellowship and I look forward to your suggestions, comments and advice going forward.

Content Disclaimer: The facts and opinions, expressed in this fundraiser page are those of the campaign organiser or users, and not Milaap.
raised of Rs.565,000 goal

28 Supporters

Beneficiary: Youth Connect F... info_outline

Supporters (28)

Dhara donated Rs.1,000
11 months ago
Smit donated Rs.500
12 months ago

For something great ... :)

Milaap Impact Partner donated US $3.17
12 months ago

Matching payment towards Ekta’s contribution

Ekta donated Rs.1,000
12 months ago
Milaap Impact Partner donated US $3.17
12 months ago

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Anonymous donated Rs.1,000
12 months ago