Founders of Zerodha, CRED, Udemy, and Zivame join hands to back Stoa School


Stoa School — India’s first of its kind online business school focussed on developing talent for the startup economy — has roped in the founders of top startups such as Zerodha, CRED, Udemy, Myntra, Redbus and Zivame as its backers.

Through its flagship 6-month part-time StoaMBA program, Stoa School helps professionals join and grow in business management roles at a fraction of the cost and time of a traditional MBA. Stoa School’s proprietary weekend business case hackathon format helps professionals develop relevant skills across industry sectors and business functions while the online learning community helps learners build their professional networks.

Founded in October 2020, the flourishing institution has found its backing from veteran startup founders such as —

Nithin Kamath (Co-Founder, Zerodha)
Kunal Shah (Founder, CRED)
Gagan Biyani (Co-Founder, Udemy)
Richa Kar (Co-Founder, Zivame)
Raveen Sastry (Co-Founder, Myntra)
Phanindra Sama (Co-Founder, RedBus)
Vaibhav Domkundwar (Founder, Better Capital)
John Danner (Dunce Capital, early investor in Lambda School)
Vivekananda Hallekere (Co-Founder, Bounce)
Ankur Nagpal (Co-Founder, Teachable)
Harpreet Singh (Co-Founder, Co-Cube)
Kushal Bhagia (CEO, Firstcheque)
Mekin Maheshwari (ex CPO, Flipkart)
Pravin Jadhav (CEO, Raise, ex CEO – Paytm Money)
Packy McCormick (Founder, NotBoring Media)
Keeping Up With India Syndicate
Ganesh Rao (Co-founder, Suryoday Bank)

The initial investment of $1.5Mn will help the online B-School scale up its capacity to serve more learners, introduce new programs as well as build tech for running its online-first campus.

With its innovative pedagogy and strenuous application process, the initial batches for the StoaMBA saw alumni of prestigious universities such as the IITs, BITS – Pilani, Oxford and Harvard joining in. The school regularly hosts industry stalwarts such as Ankur Warikoo (Co-Founder of Nearbuy), Nithin Kamath (CEO, Zerodha), Gagan Biyani (Co-Founder, Udemy) who come in to impart their entrepreneurial experience with the learners.

Speaking on Stoa School’s model of imparting learning, Vaibhav Domkundwar (Founder, Better Capital) commented, “Learning communities has quickly evolved as the format for upskilling and Stoa has been at the forefront of this in India and I’ve been fortunate to have seen it all come together from just an idea over the last 18 months. Stoa is a true alternative MBA for Indian professionals who are looking to add what I call the “business brain” to their experience and become a “full-stack business gal/guy” which is a massive need across large organisations as well as fast-growing startups.”

The year 2021 has seen Indian startups raise upwards of $25B across funding rounds. This infusion of capital has led to a talent crunch and a subsequent spike in salaries across the startup ecosystem. According to the latest reports, while the headcount at startups has gone up by 30% in April – Sept, startups’ salary expenses saw a 43% jump. By imparting business professionals with startup relevant skills and experience, Stoa School is helping them capitalise on India’s fledgling startup ecosystem.

“With the recent flurry of startup mega-IPOs, it is now clear that India’s internet economy is here to stay. With the pandemic, trends such as online education and remote work have picked up, allowing ambitious youngsters from smaller Indian towns to participate in this economy by building and working at startups” said Raj Kunkolienkar, one of the co-founders of Stoa School. “We started Stoa to help people join startups, but saw strong interest in the program and community from senior professionals at MNCs and startups as well. We’re committed to building the best business school on the internet, helping people think beyond traditional 2 year MBAs” he added.

Till date, Stoa School has served over 300 students, helping people from various backgrounds get into funded startups in marketing, operations, product and finance roles. Stoa School currently has 100+ startups as hiring partners.

Stoa School is bullish on its key differentiators that have enabled so many professionals to transition into better-paying jobs in a matter of months:

* Transition into a startup job in 6 months, unlike 2 years for MBA

* Constantly updated curriculum, startup leaders as faculty

* 1/10th the cost of a top tier MBA

* Part-time program – don’t have to quit the job to take up a full time MBA program

* Startup jobs have more career growth and pay

* Get lifetime access to career support

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