Our Mentors

Gaurav Shrivastava

Co-Founder-Zimmber & Pensieve

Gaurav Shrivastava comes with an Entrepreneurial mindset with an aspiration to solve problems impacting at Scale. Gaurav was Co-founder of Zimmber ,India’s biggest company in Home Service Sector .He built the whole Technology and Product Ecosystem in the Company .Post Zimmber ,Gaurav went on to build ,a AI Driven Text Analytics & Linguistics Company .He went on to build breakthrough AI products such as Voice/Text Enabled Search Engine for a Govt of India Client, Document Summarizer, Analyzer etc. He is motivated by Technologies which can impact humanity on scale and hence turn into great businesses.

Mukesh Chandra Kestwal

Chief Innovation Officer at IIT Ropar

Mukesh has recently joined AWaDH, TIH (DST NM-ICPS Hub) at IIT Ropar as Chief Innovation Officer. He is having 8+ years of experience in S&T and startup ecosystem.He headed the Innovation Hub & Government Engagement at Headstart Network Foundation.

Srinidhi G S

Sr. Director – GE Healthcare Strategy | Operations | Design Thinking

Srinidhi in his role as an Senior Director at GE Healthcare beings a strong insight into converting strategy into workable action plan, streamlining the operations to enable higher productivity and design thinking to ensure that we are focusing on the right areas as a startup. Srinidhi is based out of Bengaluru and brings over 22+ years of experience of diverse expertise in the Healthcare industry encompassing Software, Product, Project management and Operations as verticals. He has considerable expertise in modernizing the software tech stack to suit the user needs and has worked with multiple healthcare products in MRI to enhance the customer experience.

Gaurav Sharma

Growth Alliance Manager- Eroute Technologies

An all-out people person, Gaurav is best at sales pitches, training, ideation, and execution. Currently leading the Growth Alliances vertical at Eroute Technologies, Gaurav has over 20 years of experience in Business Development Alliances in companies like Bertlesmann Music Group, Contests2win, Media2win, Disney UTV, Omnicom Media Group, Near.Store and QUIKAF. Gaurav also had his own Solutions company, What’s Cooking Solutions for about 4 years where he partnered with various start-ups and packaged their products as solutions for his clients. In that stint, he worked on technologies like beacons, NFC, WiFi proximity marketing, sentiment analysis, employee advocacy, and various mobile solutions (both online and offline). Gaurav is a regular visiting faculty at MICA Ahmedabad, Jaipuria Institute of Management, ITM, and IIM Kozhikode for teaching and training. Gaurav is also a Cannes Lions Winner for the Missed Call Radio platform, Kan Khajura Tesan, a flagship advertising platform of HUL.

Tathagat Varma

VP Strategy and Operations – Walmart

Tathagat has been involved with building software products for over three decades. He started his career as a Computer Scientist with Defense R&D (DRDO) where, among other things, he got a chance to represent the nation as the youngest Indian scientist to winter-over and stay at the Indian Antarctic Station “Maitri” for 16 months during 1993-95, and conduct research on data communication using HF radio. After returning from Antarctica, he moved to Bangalore to be part of the fledgling product ecosystem.  Since then, he has played key technical, product and leadership roles at companies that include Siemens Telecom (now Nokia), Huawei Technologies, McAfee, Netscout, Yahoo!, [24]7, Chinasoft and NerdWallet. Since Aug 2019, he is with Walmart as the VP Strategy and Operations. Additionally, he is also pursuing his PhD (EFPM) from the Indian School of Business in AI Businesses. He is a published author, a prolific blogger, a sought-after speaker, a startup mentor, and a thought leader in agile product development and strategic change management.

Anirudha Modak

Founder & Principal Consultant – Guru on Tap Consulting

Anirudha founded & got a successful exit from his Fintech startup, in 16’. He was last the COO with a listed IT Services Company in 13’. He has worked with Reliance, Airtel, BPL Mobile, SHL, Ford, Godrej & Boyce, Kirloskar etc. in India and Overseas. While he has been in CEO/CXO roles for the last decade or so, his core competence lies in Sales/Mktg. Anirudha is an Engr. with a MDP from IIM-A. His core mentorship focus areas are Organizational Strategy, Growth/Sales/Mktg/BD Consulting and Fund Raise readiness & investor connect. Anirudha has clients in India as well as The US

Ajay Kamath

Commercial Director – Bambu | Product

Ajay is currently leading the Markit Digital business for S&P Global Asia – including sales, business development and product strategy. He comes with with deep knowledge of wealth tech, B2B SAAS and expertise in scaling startup businesses in Asia. He is well placed to help early stage firms build their product and growth strategies and share his priceless lessons from his start-up and corporate careers.     

Mabel Chacko

Co-founder & COO, Open Financial Technologies Pvt. Ltd

Mabel is a fintech innovator and a serial entrepreneur who believes that the way SME’s work is going to change forever in a few years. She is the co-founder of the neo banking platform Open that offers a business banking platform to SMEs and startups. She has also been recognized as one of the ‘Top 20 women in the fintech industry’ in India at Fintegrate 2019 and as one of the ‘Wonder Women in Fintech in India’ by Medici.

Pankin Bhagat

CFA, Portfolio Manager at Lombard Odier Investment Managers

Pankin is a wealth management and asset allocation expert in London specializing in multi-asset portfolio constructions.  As a Portfolio Manager at Lombard Odier Investment Managers, Pankin is responsible for managing its Swiss employee pension fund portfolio. Previously, Pankin served as the head Product Strategy for LOIM, and prior to that, he spent six years in New York working for Deloitte Consulting in their investment management practice.

Cade Scroggins

Product Design & Development

Software should solve problems, not create them. It should ultimately make your life easier and more enjoyable. Cade has over 6 years of experience taking products from paper to production. He is currently working with Spraoi to bring next-gen experiences to insurance consumers, agents, and carriers.

Mamta Chaurdia

Product growth | Spraoi. Program and Account Management. Insurance

Mamta is the head of product development at Spraoi, a technology solutions provider that brings disruptive capabilities to Insurance consumers, agents, and carriers.
Mamta started her career at Deloitte Consulting in the Technology Integration practice. While she worked on several projects spanning a variety of industries, her roles allowed her to enjoy the client-facing interaction she thrived on. At the time of her transition from Deloitte Consulting to Cognizant, she had spent the majority of her time on projects within the insurance industry in a Program and Account Management capacity.

Tim McLaughlin

Partner at Craft | User experience design.

Tim is currently a Partner at Craft, a Strategic User Experience Design and Research firm. With decades of leadership in the UX design industry, he brings deep experience in defining the research, design, and development phases of user experience engagements for clients across multiple verticals. He has worked extensively with different engagement models and project delivery methodologies throughout each step of the design process. Prior to joining Craft, Tim partnered in another UX firm, Intuitive Company, a full-service UX studio that EY purchased in 2015.

Aman Zaidi

Strengths Coaching | Leadership Development | Business Storytelling

As Founder of Fortius Aman combines his experiences on the business side with applied learning theory, neuroscience, strengths discovery and development into a unique mix that broadens his facilitation and coaching, and leads to fresh insights for learners.
Aman has extensive work experience that is spread over Learning and Development, Service Delivery Operations, Sales & Marketing.
Aman believes great organizations can be created through tools and is helping Afthonia’s startups by bolstering workforce engagement and human endeavor.

Suhas Baliga

Legal consultancy

Suhas has graduated from the National Law School of India and is the founder of Innove Law.

He has more than a decade of experience of working with businesses and providing them consultancy services. His practice area is venture capital, private equity, foreign investment, general, corporate and commercial contracts and he focuses on new and growth stage businesses.

Shipra Bhansali

Brand Strategist

Shipra holds an MBA degree from Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. she has an experience of 17 years in Brand Management and Marketing Communication across industries such as Telecom, Fintech, e-commerce, and Food.
She Most recently sold and exited a food e-commerce start-up that she and a co-founder you know well (Tanul, CEO Afthonia) built from scratch and ran for 6 years. 

Jay Kulkarni

Director – Financial Services Advisory (PwC US)
| Digital Transformation | Program Management

Jay is a seasoned & trusted Management Consultant with 12 years of experience in delivering value to Financial Services clients and helping build PwC’s Advisory practice.
Jay is primarily focused on the Insurance sector and has worked with a wide range of Insurance clients, in terms of size (regional, national and international carriers), lines of business (Commercial & Personal), and domains (Property & Casualty, Life & Annuities, Brokers & Reinsurance carriers).

Shreyans Bhansali

Founder and CTO | SocraticTechnology | Product | Growth

Shreyans was the 1st employee and VP of Engineering at Venmo – a leading peer-to-peer payments platform in the US – where he was deeply involved in all aspects of early product and technology development. Venmo was acquired by Braintree in 2012, and subsequently by PayPal in 2013.
Following Venmo, Shreyans was the Founder and CTO of Socratic, a top-ranking, award-winning education app. He currently leads an education team at Google and lives in San Francisco.

Trent Landes

Assistant Director of Operations | Fidelity Life. Insurance Influencer

As Assistant Director of Operations at Fidelity Life, Trent supervises the daily operations of the SIU, New Business, Policy Administration, Claims, Commissions, Agent Licensing and Contracting and Distribution Services. Trent has spent over 18 years in the industry, handling diverse portfolios in group and individual life, annuity, disability, and reinsurance.
Prior to joining Fidelity Life, Trent was Associate Director of Technical Claims at RGA Reinsurance Company. Earlier in his career, he was with CNO Financial (formerly Conseco).

Gaurav Rane

Guest Speaker | Indian Institute of Technology. Thought Guru. Mind Igniter. Maven Planner.

As a Guest Speaker at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Gaurav infuses offline and online marketing genius into young, impressionable minds.
Prior to setting off on his speaking career, Gaurav was Managing Director for Digitree Digital, specializing in advising, planning, and implementing holistic digital-marketing solutions.

Kruti Arora

Founder | Vivaa Consulting
Master Marketeer. Ace Communicator. Creative Ideator.

As Founder of Vivaa Consulting, Kruti brings with her over 14 years of experience in Marketing, Communications, Public Relations, and Content Development.
She has worn many hats over the years. She has fuelled growth at Aether Marketing as a Managing Partner; handled client management and acquisition at 20:20 Media Pvt. Ltd. and been wordsmith extraordinaire as a features writer with the Pune edition of The Indian Express and content writer with a dot-com.

Asha Chaudhry

Founder & Chief Community Officer | Kids Book Café
Community Builder | Engagement Consultant |User Generated Content Curator

Asha is one of the pioneers of community building in India. She is a communications professional with two decades of experience across advertising, filmmaking & marcomm and is currently building a reading community to help parents raise readers together through peer to peer recommendations and shared experiences.
She has co-founded TheRodinhoods – one of India’s first startup communities and constantly connects entrepreneurs with compatible collaborators. Asha is passionate about building inclusive communities, keeping them engaged & purposeful, and consults for startup communities in these areas. She also mentors younger community builders in India.

Catherine Lynk

Senior Digital Strategist | One North Interactive
UI/UX|Digital Strategy

Cathy is a Senior Digital Strategist at One North Interactive, a full-service digital agency based in Chicago. Her background in User Experience design drives her to stay close to the needs and behaviors of target audiences through user research and testing. Cathy brings new ideas and data-driven insights to the strategic marketing programs she helps create and execute. Prior to joining One North, she was a consultant in Deloitte’s technology practice.
Cathy earned bachelor’s degrees in Marketing and Information Systems from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is currently pursuing a masters in Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University.

Matthew O’Mara

Insurance Advisor | Co-Founder Spraoi

Matthew Co-founded Spraoi, it brings disruptive solutions to Insurance consumers, agents, and carriers, and continues to explore and ideate concepts with clients through their Innovation as a Service (IaaS) framework.
Matthew has over 20 years of experience working in and advising the insurance industry. Matthew’s perspectives and solutions are informed by broad business and technology strategy development, as well as hands-on leadership of transformational global programs.
At Afthonia, Matthew mentors our startups and is heavily involved in the evaluation process before incubation, and also helps determine if their solutions can be explored in the US market.

Santoash Rajaram

Seasoned Technologist | Co-Founder Spraoi

Santoash is an ex-apple Senior Engineering Leader,and Co-Founder of Spraoi as a team of Big Four Insurance Consulting leaders and Silicon Valley technologists to bring disruptive solutions to Insurance consumers, agents and carriers. Spraoi’s solutions include Barrel, their machine learning platform, and KwikcoverTM, their insurance portal infrastructure,
Santoash has extensive Tech background which is why he’s part of every tech evaluation call with Afthonia’s startups and gauges their Tech strength.

Chad Gordon

CEO | GreenStar Advisors Strategic Advisory | Investment Management

Chad is the CEO of GreenStar Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm in Centennial, CO. His firm advises high net worth families and individuals with comprehensive wealth planning and disciplined investment management.
Before starting GreenStar, he worked with multinational banks, insurance companies, and brokerage firms. As a businessman, his continual focus is on leveraging technology in new ways that can improve client experience, sharpen a company’s competitive edge, and reduce stress within a firm.

Gary Casement

Advisor. Strategic Planning | Insurance Domain Expert

Gary is an Insurance Industry veteran who has held multiple leadership roles in various US Insurance companies. In his last role, he was the VP, Strategic Planning at Lincoln Group
In his career spanning more than 4 decades in the Insurance sector, he has extensive experience in everything from Insurance Operations Management to Robotic process Automation. He has now been working with Insuretech startups to fine-tune their offerings and to make the right business decisions

Kapil Kaul

Chief Executive Officer-IIT Kanpur Development Office
Fundraising | Outreach

Kapil leads IIT Kanpur Development Foundation (IIT Kanpur’s Development Office) as the Chief Executive Officer. IITK DF supports the Institute’s drive for excellence in Education, Research and Innovation. IITK DF is a not for profit company established by IIT Kanpur to engage with stakeholders like alumni, corporates, philanthropists, and other well-wishers and to raise resources to meet the Institute’s growth aspirations. He joined IIT Kanpur in February 2021 from IIT Bombay, where he the Vice President Development and Relations. He is a seasoned professional with over 20 years of proven leadership and rich experience of working with diverse stakeholders and organizations across; Higher Education, Non-Profit and Banking sectors. His professional journey has seen him work with brands like HDFC Bank, ABN AMRO, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Save the Children, and Indian Institute for Human Settlements. Kapil is a management graduate from University of Mumbai and completed his undergraduate degree in commerce from Hindu College, Delhi University.

Ranjith Kota

Associate Director- E&Y
Information Management Design | Strateg

Ranjith in his role as an Associate Director at EY beings a strong insight into the global FRAC (Financial Regulatory & Accounting changes) & Insurance sector. Ranjith is based out of Bengaluru and brings over 20+ years of experience of diverse expertise in the Insurance industry encompassing P&C, Life, Annuity, and HealthCare. He has considerable expertise in modernizing Insurance systems and has worked with products such as Guidewire, Fast, Fadata, Activus, FIS Prophet, SAS, Aptitude, etc to enhance the customer experience.

We are super excited to hear from you. You can apply to our incubation program through our partner F6S. Here


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