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.

Apply for the Sequoia Spark Fellowship
and #SparkYourNextMove

Meet Your Mentors

Founder Mentors

  • Ashwini Asokan

    Ashwini Asokan

    Founder & CEO, Mad Street Den

  • Divya Gokulnath

    Divya Gokulnath

    Co-founder, BYJU'S

  • Hande Cilingir

    Hande Cilingir

    Co-founder & CEO, Insider

  • Jitendra Gupta

    Jitendra Gupta

    Founder & CEO, Jupiter

  • Julian Artopé

    Julian Artopé

    Founder & CEO, Zenyum

  • Kunal Shah

    Kunal Shah

    Founder, CRED

  • Lalit Keshre

    Lalit Keshre

    Co-founder & CEO, Groww

  • Prukalpa Sankar

    Prukalpa Sankar

    Co-founder, Atlan

  • Rohit Chennamaneni

    Rohit Chennamaneni

    Co-founder, Darwinbox

  • Shinta Nurfauzia

    Shinta Nurfauzia

    Co-founder & Co-CEO, Lemonilo

  • Siu Rui Quek

    Siu Rui Quek

    Co-founder & CEO, Carousell

  • Tanushree Nagori

    Tanushree Nagori

    Co-founder, Doubtnut

  • Upasana Taku

    Upasana Taku

    Co-founder, MobiKwik

  • Vidit Aatrey

    Vidit Aatrey

    Founder & CEO, Meesho

  • Winnie Lee

    Winnie Lee

    COO, Appier

Sequoia Mentors

  • Aakash Kapoor

    Aakash Kapoor

    VP, Sequoia India

  • Abheek Anand

    Abheek Anand

    MD, Sequoia India

  • Amit Jain

    Amit Jain

    MD, Sequoia India

  • Anandamoy Roychowdhary

    Anandamoy Roychowdhary

    Principal, Sequoia India

  • Anni Cai

    Anni Cai

    Associate, Sequoia India

  • Ashish Agrawal

    Ashish Agrawal

    MD, Sequoia India

  • GV Ravishankar

    GV Ravishankar

    MD, Sequoia India

  • Ishaan Mittal

    Ishaan Mittal

    MD, Sequoia India

  • Johan Surani

    Johan Surani

    VP, Sequoia India

  • Kriti Gupta

    Kriti Gupta

    Associate, Sequoia India

  • Mayank Porwal

    Mayank Porwal

    Associate, Sequoia India

  • Mohit Bhatnagar

    Mohit Bhatnagar

    MD, Sequoia India

  • Pieter Kemps

    Pieter Kemps

    Principal, Sequoia India

  • Prachi Pawar

    Prachi Pawar

    Associate, Sequoia India

  • Rajan Anandan

    Rajan Anandan

    MD, Sequoia India

  • Rohit Agarwal

    Rohit Agarwal

    Principal, Sequoia India

  • Sakshi Chopra

    Sakshi Chopra

    MD, Sequoia India

  • Shailendra Singh

    Shailendra Singh

    MD, Sequoia India

  • Shailesh Lakhani

    Shailesh Lakhani

    MD, Sequoia India

  • Shraeyansh Thakur

    Shraeyansh Thakur

    VP, Sequoia India

  • Tejeshwi Sharma

    Tejeshwi Sharma

    MD, Sequoia India

Sequoia Specialists

  • Ajey Gore

    Ajey Gore

    Operating Partner - Technology, Sequoia India

  • Andrew Lee

    Andrew Lee

    VP - Digital & Growth Marketing, Sequoia India

  • Anirudh Bose Mullick

    Anirudh Bose Mullick

    Director - Human Capital, Sequoia India

  • Gayatri Yadav

    Gayatri Yadav

    CMO, Sequoia India

  • Joylita Saldanha

    Joylita Saldanha

    VP & Head - Product, Programs & Community, Sequoia India

  • Oliver Lo

    Oliver Lo

    VP - Marketing, Sequoia India

  • Payal Banerjee

    Payal Banerjee

    VP & Head - Communications, Sequoia India

  • Sahiba Gambhir

    Sahiba Gambhir

    Manager - Portfolio Finance, Sequoia India

  • Sandeep Kher

    Sandeep Kher

    Director & Head - Portfolio Finance, Sequoia India

  • Shivani Shankar

    Shivani Shankar

    AVP - Human Capital, Sequoia India

  • Shweta Rajpal Kohli

    Shweta Rajpal Kohli

    Chief Public Policy Officer, Sequoia India

  • Suraj Laungani

    Suraj Laungani

    AVP - Human Capital, Sequoia India

Frequently asked questions

  • About Program
  • About Application
What's Sequoia Spark?

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.

What do I get access to as a Sequoia Spark Fellowship founder?

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.

What happens if I get selected for the program?

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. 

What's the duration of the fellowship program?

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.

When does Spark kick off?

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.

I would love to apply for the grant - but I also have interest from various investors. Can they invest/ fund my startup alongside Spark's grant?

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.

What stake does Sequoia Capital India take in the company in return for the grant?

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.

What happens after the one-year program is over? Will Sequoia India continue to help the 15 companies that are a part of the cohort?

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.

Will there be follow-on funding from Sequoia Capital India or Surge?

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

How do I apply for a grant?

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

What criteria do you look for in the Spark Fellowship applicants?

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.

Is there a timeline/deadline for applications?

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.

Can I apply if I only have an idea?/ At what stage can founders apply?

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.

Do I need to be a full-time founder to apply for the program? What if I’m working somewhere and trying out my startup on the sidelines?

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

Can I be a student and apply?

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.

What happens after I 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.

Do I need a registered company?

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.

I'm not based in India or Southeast Asia. Am I still eligible to apply for the fellowship?

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.

I am a female founder but my co-founder is male. Can I still apply?

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.

We are two female co-founders. Do we each need to submit a separate application for the fellowship?

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.

Can I be a solo founder without a team?

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.

Is there a program fee?

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

If I'm not selected for/not interested in the fellowship, what are the other ways Sequoia Spark can help me as a founder?

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 Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram or sign up here to watch out for Spark Talks, Spark Studios, and Coffee Chats, as well other events from Sequoia India. 

    Keep that Spark alive, join our community
    on LinkedIn and email.

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