With an aim to build India’s first business school focused on creating startup leaders, Indian education services provider Mesa School of Business (Mesa), has raised INR 34 Crores ($4.1 milllion) from Elevation Capital and notable angel investors.

Mesa said in a statement on Thursday that the notable angel investors including Kunal Shah (Cred), Vidit Aatrey (Meesho), Abhiraj Bahl, and others who continue to join each week.

With the help of these funds, Mesa Founders Ankit Agarwal and Varun Limaye aim to build a cutting-edge, hands-on, and application-based curriculum, designed and delivered in partnership with startup leaders and potential future employers for a founding cohort of just 60 hand-picked students.

This comes in contrast to traditional MBAs that focus on teaching theoretical topics and focus on equipping their students for careers in consulting and other similar traditional roles and industries.

The founders are leveraging their deep industry networks to design a unique learning system with a heavy focus on learning-by-doing, industry exposure and 1:1 industry mentorship.

This will be a 12 months, full time PG program in Startup Leadership, based out of Bangalore.

At the end of the program, students will get access to opportunities for leadership roles at top startups and technology companies in the country.

“We believe startups will be responsible for creating the bulk of the new aspirational jobs in India, and yet there isn’t a b-school focused on preparing candidates to be successful in these leadership roles. This gap inspired us to start Mesa School,” said the Mesa founding team.

They said they have kept ‘learning by doing’ as the core principle of the program where every candidate will get to learn business directly from startup CXOs and practitioners, build startup businesses from scratch as part of coursework and deeply immerse themselves into Bangalore’s startup ecosystem.

“We have kept our inaugural cohort small at only 60 exceptional students to keep the experience personal, deliver an unparalleled learning experience and ensure strong outcomes for our students,” they added.

The program will also focus on individual leadership growth for students with 200+ hours of leadership workshops with army veterans, communication & stage presence hackathons with coaches & theatre artists and 1:1 industry mentorship.

The campus is strategically located in Bangalore with 500+ startup offices within a 5 km radius, providing unprecedented access for students to the startup ecosystem and its prominent leaders.

Additionally, the campus will offer a state-of-the-art, immersive learning and living space for students to build lifelong peer and industry connections through 20+ boot camps & hackathons to learn, get feedback from and network with top startup chief executive officers in new-age industries and skill areas like electric vehicle (EV), business to business (B2B) software as a service (SAAS), Open-artificial intelligence (AI) applications, Design Thinking & UI/UX for leaders, Product & Growth Hacking, Agritech, Building for Bharat, etc.

“We believe there is a clear opportunity to build new age, outcome-focused higher-ed institutes in India,

“Therefore we could immediately relate to Ankit and Varun’s vision of building a business school of the future, focussed on entrepreneurship and the start-up ecosystem,” said Mukul Arora, Managing Partner, Elevation Capital.

“Their long term orientation, and their focus on creating very high quality experience and outcome for students really stood out for us,” he added.

According to the statement, seasoned startup founders, practitioners and senior leaders have been involved in designing the curriculum and program, out of which many have agreed to come onboard as faculty and mentors.

The Mesa School of Business program promises to give better return on investment (ROI) for working professionals over traditional 2-year MBAs.

The founding cohort for the one-year PG program in Startup Leadership is set to commence in September this year.

To ensure that the student peer group is of exceptional quality, the founding cohort is being kept very exclusive and limited to only 60 students.

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