Sequoia

Spark Fellowship

The Sequoia Spark Fellowship aims to inspire more women in India and Southeast Asia to build companies by increasing their access to capital, mentorship, knowledge and network.
We offer fifteen $100,000 fellowships every year, 1:1 mentorship with a Sequoia investment advisor and founder every month, access to select Sequoia events and hands-on support from our specialists.
#SparkTheFlame

Meet Your Mentors

Founder mentors

Ashwini Asokan

Founder & CEO, Mad Street Den

Divya Gokulnath

Co-founder, BYJU'S

Hande Cilingir

Co-founder & CEO, Insider

Jitendra Gupta

Founder & CEO, Jupiter

Julian Artopé

Founder & CEO, Zenyum

Kunal Shah

Founder, CRED

Lalit Keshre

Co-founder & CEO, Groww

Prukalpa Sankar

Co-founder, Atlan

Rohit Chennamaneni

Co-founder, Darwinbox

Shinta Nurfauzia

Co-founder & Co-CEO, Lemonilo

Siu Rui Quek

Co-founder & CEO, Carousell

Tanushree Nagori

Co-Founder, Doubtnut

Upasana Taku

Chairperson, Cofounder & COO, Mobikwik

Vidita Aatrey

Founder & CEO, Meesho

Winnie Lee

COO, Appier

Sequoia Mentors

Aakash Kapoor

Vice President

Abheek Anand

Managing Director

Anandamoy Roychowdhary

Principal

Anni Cai

Associate

Ashish Agrawal

Managing Director

GV Ravishankar

Managing Director

Ishaan Mittal

Managing Director

Johan Surani

Vice President

Kriti Gupta

Associate

Mayank Porwal

Vice President

Mohit Bhatnagar

Managing Director

Pieter Kemps

Principal

Prachi Pawar

Associate

Rajan Anandan

Managing Director

Rohit Agarwal

Principal

Sakshi Chopra

Managing Director

Shailendra Singh

Managing Director

Shailesh Lakhani

Managing Director

Shraeyansh Thakur

Principal

Tejeshwi Sharma

Managing Director

Sequoia Specialists

Ajey Gore

Operating Partner, Technology

Andrew Lee

Vice President, Growth Marketing

Anirudh Bose Mullick

Director, Human Capital

Gayatri Yadav

Chief Marketing Officer

Oliver Lo

Vice President, Surge Marketing

Payal Banerjee

Director & Head of Communications

Sahiba Gambhir

Vice President, Portfolio Finance

Sandeep Kher

Director, Portfolio Finance

Shivani Maira Shankar

Vice President, Human Capital

Shweta Rajpal Kohli

Chief Public Policy Officer

Suraj Laungani

Associate Vice President, Human Capital

Common Questions

Spark is a program for female founders in India and Southeast Asia designed to help more women to build and lead from the front.

Our new initiatives include a fellowship program offering a USD 100K grant supported by deep, immersive mentorship – and a broader set of sessions and events that are open to women across the region.

Our goal is to encourage more women to build companies. And to inspire more women to become entrepreneurs.

To read more about the program, please click here.

In addition to the USD 100K in grant, as a Spark founder, you will get access to one-on-one mentorship sessions with a dedicated Sequoia India investment team member as well as a founder. You will also be mentored by Sequoia India specialists across marketing, product, technology, hiring and more. To ensure that you can benefit and learn from Sequoia’s wider network, you will also get access to founder talks and deep-dive studio sessions that are part of the Spark program, as well as select Sequoia India events.

If selected for the program, you will spend structured 1:1 time with both your founder-mentor as well as the Sequoia investment advisor mentor to help you as you work on your product and business for the next 12 months. You will also work with Sequoia specialists across different disciplines from time to time.

You will also have access to select Surge and Sequoia talks that are meant for portfolio founders only.

This will be a one-year fellowship program that includes regular check-ins and hands-on mentoring as you continue to build your startup in parallel.

The applications for the fellowship are now open and will remain open until September 15th. The first cohort will start in November 2021.

In addition to the fellowship, we have a series of events for a wider audience –  Sequoia Spark Studios Sessions, Coffee Chats and Spark Talks segments will go live in August.

Yes. Like, Surge, the Spark Fellowship is open-architecture and we aim to collaborate with partners across the ecosystem. Seed funds, angels, VCs are welcome to participate.

As part of the fellowship grant, Sequoia Capital India will not take a stake/ownership in the company. We do expect the selected founders to commit to spending time and attending the sessions to make the best of the program.

While each cohort is for 12 months, the Sequoia Spark community is for life. You can continue to stay connected to your Spark network, attend events and benefit from peer/community learnings after the fellowship ends.

Selection to the Spark program does not guarantee follow-on funding from Sequoia Capital India or Surge.

You can apply for the Spark Fellowship program here. Applications close by 15 September, 2021.

We are looking for women founders who are leading pre-launch or recently-launched startups. You may be bootstrapped or raising a seed round. Spark is sector agnostic, but your startup should ideally have some kind of technology play.

We’re currently accepting applications for the first cohort of Spark. The application deadline is 15th September, 2021 and the cohort launches in November 2021.

However, even if you miss the deadline, you can apply at any point to be considered for a place in our next cohort.

The Spark program is specifically designed for pre-seed stage startups and focused on helping founders work towards their launch and Product-Market Fit. We would love to see a business plan and your product/service details and thinking around Go-To-Market, even if you are yet to launch.

We are only accepting applications from full-time founders, or those about to start up, at this point.

As of now, we are accepting applications from full-time founders only. However, if you can commit to running your startup full time by the time the cohort starts in November 2021, then you are welcome to apply.

Your application will be reviewed by a group of investment advisors. If shortlisted, we will set up a virtual meeting with you (the founder), your co-founders if any and members of the Sequoia India team. We will select our final 15 founders post the meetings.

Not right away. But if you are selected for the Sequoia Spark fellowship, your company will have to be registered in order to receive the grant.

You can apply if you are building for India and/or Southeast Asia markets. You are not required to be based out of these regions at present.

Yes, you definitely can. However, you need to be an equal (or majority) shareholder in the business. Please note that if selected, the program will only be open to you.

A single application is sufficient for the both of you since the form has provision to share details of your co-founder. Please go through the fields carefully and share all the relevant details of your co-founder.

You don’t need to have a co-founder to apply to Sequoia Spark. We hope that you will get to meet like-minded people through the Spark community so that you can learn and grow together.

Sequoia Spark does not charge any program fees. Given this is a grant, we don’t take any ownership/stake in the company either.

At Sequoia India, community is at the heart of everything we do. We have the privilege of learning from 49 years of global tribal knowledge and we are keen to share those insights with the larger founder ecosystem.

We welcome you to attend our public events and talks, hear from global leaders, founders and team Sequoia. Follow us on TwitterLinkedinInstagram or sign up here to watch out for Spark TalksSpark Studios, and Coffee Chats, as well other events from Sequoia India.