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Ritesh Agarwal, founder, and CEO of Oyo Rooms will work as an advisor and mentor with Mumbai-based incubator Venture Catalysts. He will collaborate with Dr. Apoorv Sharma, founder of VCats to promote entrepreneurship across the country’s tier 1, 2, and 3 cities and help India achieve the idea of ‘Atma Nirbhar’ (self-reliance). 

While looking at this, Agarwal, along with Sharma, aims to share his entrepreneurial experience with fellow entrepreneurs. Sharma was one of the first people who had backed Agarwal when he started Oravel Stays in 2012 and established OYO in 2013. 

“I started Oyo at a very young age and at a time when the ecosystem was not fully developed. I was fortunate enough to get some great mentors like Dr. Apoorva, Bejul Somaia, and many others, who guided and supported me in my start-up journey….now that I have established myself as an entrepreneur, I think it is time to give back to society and support entrepreneurs like them,” said Agarwal.

Through this consolidation with VCats, Agarwal wants to seek out young entrepreneurs coming from the smaller towns of India and support their ideas. “I am confident that we will be able to discover the next big idea from a tier 3 or 4 town,” added Agarwal, who at the age of 19 was selected for the “20 under 20” Thiel Fellowship, established by renowned venture capitalist Peter Thiel to support innovative ideas of entrepreneurs under the age of 20.

As per ranking by Crunchbase, VCats is the world’s seventh most active early-stage investor and integrated incubator known for developing and nurturing early-stage startups. It has a strong presence in over 30 smaller Indian towns such as Jaipur; Raipur, Bhubaneswar, Vizag, Rajkot, and Ahmedabad amongst others and has discovered startups such as BharatPe, Fynd, and Coutloot among others.


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