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Founder Institute handpicks a select FI portfolio companies and upgrades them to an Elite group called "Select Portfolio". This selection is based on a strong demonstration of early traction and utmost potential to quickly scale and grow into an enduring, global business. Only 2% of the FI portfolio companies among the 5,500 companies across six continents are chosen for this select portfolio.

In a recent update from the FI HQ, FI Chennai portfolio company, nicheBrains has been upgraded to the Select Portfolio. nicheBrains is cofounded by Lakshmi Moorthy, John, and Rehanesh. These three co-founders graduated from the Chennai Virtual 2021 cohort. It is also to be noted that nicheBrains becomes the first Indian FI startup to be upgraded to Select Portfolio.

These graduates will now get assistance and increased support from the experts at FI HQ in Silicon Valley to accelerate their growth. further. This assistance will include fundraising assistance, strategic advisory help, office hours, access to special events and partnerships, and more.

To assist these select graduates in fundraising, FI will provide access to FI’s Founder Angels email lists, enable them to participate in private Virtual Demo Days, and receive introductions to angels in the FI network.

Getting the right kind of mentors and advisors early in the startup journey helps the startup to focus on the essentials. As a part of the select portfolio, these founders will get an opportunity to work with FI HQ staff to identify potential partners, advisors, and mentors from the global network, and receive introductions.

Having the appropriate tools and resources will help the founders to accelerate growth. To assist in this, these select portfolio companies, get access to private offers from some of the world's top service providers, available exclusively for the best Graduates from FI.

They also get free access to all global FI events (like FounderX) and Virtual Advisory Programs and receive one-to-one office hours with Adeo and other senior FI staff. This will help the select portfolio graduates to expand their network and get advice from the best brains in the global startup ecosystem.
Not only these, but they also receive assistance on PR strategy, get access to media lists, and leverage the FI's massive email and social reach to promote their initiatives.
It is to be noted that nicheBrains is among the earliest startups to be upgraded to the elite support among the Founder Institute India portfolio companies. 
On being upgraded to the elite support, an elated Lakshmi Narasimha Moorthy, Cofounder and CEO, nicheBrains says, “ Being recognized as Founder institute (FI) select portfolio is the first milestone and proud moment for us. I thank FI for the recognition wholeheartedly. Its key validation that we are solving critical problem faced by leaders of small and mediums enterprises in India and across the world. SMEs are the backbone of the Indian economy, However lack of internal talent, not having access to right industry experts limit the ability of SME leaders to realize the full growth potential. nicheBrains makes it easy for SMEs to find and engage right experts and engage them through a short burst of engagements with predictable outcomes."
On what nicheBrians intends to do for the SME sector, Lakshmi adds, "We are looking forward to helping more SME Leaders go through transformation successfully and create new opportunities for freelance industry experts in the coming months."
This year seems to be a great start for the nicheBrains team. At the beginning of this year, they secured their first round of funding from a Virginia-based Angel Investor. 
They were also accepted into the funding lab, a three month virtual FI postgraduate program to assist FI graduates in raising funds for their startups. Lakshmi Moorthy is currently undergoing this program and getting help in improve their pitch materials, build an investor pipeline, pitch to angels, negotiate terms, and generate strong investor interest. On this part, Lakshmi has an ask, "Currently we are raising funds to accelerate platform development and market development."
Lakshmi can be reached at Lakshmi.karimanikkam@nichebrains.ai.

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