Dave McClure, the venture capitalist and the founder of 500 Startups (a seed fund and start-up accelerator headquartered in Mountain View, California), is in India this December, as a part of his ‘Geeks on a Plane’ (GOAP) trip. And he is accompanied by his team of geeks.
After visiting numerous countries across Europe, North & South America, South-east Asia and East Asia, GOAP has arrived here to make a recce of one of the fastest growing economies and country of 1.2 billion, which has witnessed a huge growth in mobile and broadband usage, in addition to an improved start-up scenario.
As part of the Indian edition, McClure and his team will visit New Delhi, Agra, Mumbai and Bangalore to tap potential markets. The Indian edition of GOAP will involve meetings with local start-ups, a geek tour of the GE Research centre and THE GE Healthcare plant, a visit to Jaaga (a start-up incubator dedicated to social, environmental, technological and artistic ventures) and attending a few events. Meetings with NGO representatives and local universities have also been lined up.
GOAP is essentially an invite-only tour for local start-ups, geeks, investors, entrepreneurs and executives to help people learn about the flourishing technology market across the globe. As claimed by the GOAP team, they travel around the world with the sole mission of uniting geeks and exploring cross-border opportunities.
As part of the initiative, they learn about recent trends in the Internet and mobile space, as well as other tech platforms, with the sole aim of gaining insights into local markets, demographics and business models.
McClure has already invested in more than 100 start-ups like Mint.com (acquired by Intuit), CreditKarma, Crowdflower, KissMetrics, Mashery, Sendgrid, Simply Hired, SlideShare, TeachStreet, Twilio and Wildfire Interactive, among others. He also runs conferences and events with focus on technology, marketing, design and entrepreneurship. There are popular events like Smash Summit and Warm Gun, to name a few.
He is also the co-founder of Startup2Startup and Finance4Founders, monthly dinner meetings for Silicon Valley start-up entrepreneurs and investors. He leads a travel group called GeeksOnaPlane to promote cultural exchange and education for tech entrepreneurs around the world. McClure has also helped co-found the StartupVisa programme to reform and improve the US immigration policy for entrepreneurs.
He is a board member for microfinance accelerator Unitus and advisor to microfinance lender Kiva, education lender Vittana and remote work platform SamaSource, in addition to being the co-founder of the Silicon Valley Microfinance Network.