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The eve of India’s Independence Day seems to be a perfect day to celebrate entrepreneurs who have made it big without any external support. It’s with this thought that software product think tank iSPIRT (Indian Software Product Industry Round Table) today launched BootUpINDIA, an initiative to recognise bootstrapped software product startups and mentor them for a year.

The mentorship will involve at least six tailor-made sessions over a year based on the need of the each participating startup.

BootUpINDIA companies will get group mentoring from expert entrepreneurs, media coverage through customer impact stories, access to certified performance warrants for deeper customer relationships, among other help.

Startups can nominate themselves or can be nominated by anyone else on or before September 15, 2014 and the selected applications will be announced on October 2, 2014. BootUpINDIA will shortlist eight to 12 Indian startups selling to the Indian SMBs with an annual revenue of INR 25 lakh (US$41,138).

The startups will get access to other iSPIRT programmes such as M&A connect, software adoption initiative and CIO connect/InTech50. In addition, they will get access to co-working spaces and discounts from partners including Amazon Web Services, FreshDesk and Zoho CRM.

Also Read: How to bootstrap: Bootstrap your company to profitability!

Bootstrapped startups form a distinct and important category within the Indian software product industry. Companies like FusionCharts, RateGain, Kayako, BrowserStack, Cosmic Circuits and HappyFox have shown that bootstrapping can lead to successful companies. It is a different pathway to growth that needs to be nurtured. These entrepreneurs need to be celebrated, encouraged, treated as success stories and not as second-class citizens because they haven’t raised funding. Yet, the reality is that media and incubators in India tend to overplay the venture funding pathway, which results in bootstrapped companies being disadvantaged. BootUpINDIA has been designed to redress the ecosystem bias against bootstrapping, stated an official note.