How Can Early-Stage Founders Build their SaaS Startup with the help of Accel India?

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SaaS Startup


“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

This quote ascribed to Abraham Lincoln pretty much encapsulates the age-old wisdom that rigorous preparation is the differentiator with a successful endeavor.

While preparedness is not a sure shot formula for success, ask any marquee founder and you’ll be told how preparation helps a start-up avoid lethal mistakes and mitigate risks.

That’s the thinking behind a 10-week program for founders that Accel is launching.

Welcome to Founder Stack!

SaaS Startup

The aim of Founder Stack is simple yet potentially transformative. We are building Founder Stack to exclusively help early-stage founders gain knowledge and clarity to build their start-ups. They can do this with the help of Accel India and its network of over 140 portfolio companies — without diluting any equity.

The first cohort of Founder Stack is themed around Software as a Service (SaaS) start-ups, a sunrise industry in India with boundless promise. Let’s call this Founder Stack for SaaS or FS(SaaS)

First, some context to why we are betting the first cohort on SaaS.

  • There is a $400 bn global opportunity up for grabs around the world for SaaS startups. Indian Founders have a great potential to tap this opportunity to build large SaaS startups from India.
  • There is access to capital for good ideas, but there is a knowledge and exposure gap on how to build large venture backable SaaS companies. We meet extraordinary founders who are building startups, putting in a lot of effort. Their intent is in the right place but they face challenges in addressing the right market, getting the idea to a product-market fit (PMF), and identifying distribution channels for growth.
  • Over the last 2–3 years we have helped many founders in SaaS through our community activities. At the end of every event, we have been asked by early-stage founders to engage with them for longer than just the event, even if some of these interactions run over one or two days.
What if founders could spend 10 weeks with SaaS experts, VCs & experienced founders before spending the next 100 Weeks of uphill battle.

FS (SaaS)is designed as a deeply immersive program for SaaS founders to spend most of their time focusing on gaining knowledge and clarity on their market, revenue opportunities, and long term plans without having to worry about infrastructure, resources, and knowledge.

  • It is our way of giving a valuable leg-up to founders based on our learnings and partnerships with the ecosystem over a decade — investing & growing SaaS companies from $0Mn ARR to $100Mn ARR at Accel India. Our India portfolio has SaaS stars such as Freshworks, Chargebee, BrowserStack, Zenoti, and CleverTap among several others who have been through the seed stage to market fit to moving the flywheel stages.
  • We want to bring this knowledge & exposure back to pre-venture funding and pre- product-market fit stages of a startup with the help of founders, experts, practitioners in SaaS. This is the crux of FS (SaaS). Learn from the journey of SaaS companies, venture funds, board members and others in this fast-evolving ecosystem.
  • Most of the learnings in startup building are insights and other nuanced details that one only can get through the experience. Founder Stack wants to enable learning, support & community to early-stage SaaS founders. Therefore, we have designed and put together a 5-layer stack for founders to build SaaS startups: the FS (SaaS) program.

The power of the 5-layer stack and a 10-week program for SaaS founders with help from Accel

SaaS Startup

For a period of 10 weeks, founders meet every Thursday at Accel Launchpad building in Bangalore for MasterSessions, Roundtables and 1–1’s. The remaining days of the week are spent on building their startups.

Accountability is key in the program and constant progress is necessary.

These will be high-intensity sessions related to SaaS with truths, facts, accountability, and actual learnings from people who have seen the SaaS growth journey. Warning: there will be no sugar coating.

The program covers various outcomes like
Developing a market map
How to go about building product teams
Designing your cross border strategy
Structuring your marketing engine before PMF.
Choosing your GTM Strategy
Sales Pitch Tuning
and much more across all 5 layers. Download Program framework

What do you get from Founder Stack?

SaaS Startup

The program also provides infrastructure access to working space at Accel Launchpad (Koramangala), a financial grant of Rs 1.5 Lakhs as an allowance, compliance support, exclusive deals, special cloud support and more to build your SaaS startup.

Who are the Coaches part of FS (SaaS)?

We have over 30+ experts from the SaaS industry across all our 5 layers. Coaches will do master sessions, roundtables, dinners, 1–1 and more with you.

Check our coaches here

SaaS Startup

Why are we launching Founder Stack?

This is our community-driven initiative. We don’t take any equity for you to join and be part of Founder Stack.

SaaS is our forte and we want to help many founders with our decade of expertise. This is our effort to contribute to the founder ecosystem without any strings attached.

The more Founders benefit in the early stages, the more amazing companies are built in India — which eventually contributes to the growth story of the startup ecosystem and the country. This is what we strongly believe in at Accel.

If you are building a SaaS startup and are in pre- product-market fit stage, we would like to hear from you.
saas programme

Check the website here for more details and application form


Please reach out on mail@founderstack.in for any help.

Our team at Accel — Akhilesh Ravishankar, Shrrinesh Bala & Siddharth Ram are a part of this initiative and you can reach out to them for any queries.

Also Checkout:

How can early-stage founders in India build their consumer startup with the help of Accel?

How to Pick the Right Idea and Launch Your SaaS Startup?

We’re looking for the next generation of successful Indian marketplaces. If you’re an early-stage marketplace founder, apply now here or learn more about the #DecodingMarketplaces Startup Hunt.

We’d love to hear about your experiences with marketplaces. Let us share our learnings and build a better and stronger ecosystem. Write to us at seedtoscale@accel.com to be a part of the Accel family.

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