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Akshay Chaturvedi

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Akshay Chaturvedi
Akshay Chaturvedi at Tedx
Akshay giving a talk about "Future of Jobs" at a TEDx event in New Delhi
Born (1990-07-01) July 1, 1990 (age 29)
New Delhi, India
OccupationCEO & Founder, LeverageEdu
Known forHigher Education, Career

Akshay Chaturvedi is the co-founder and CEO of Leverage Edu, India's largest platform for higher education and career growth.[1][2] Fellow of the Silicon Valley fellowship DraperU, run by Tim Draper of DFJ Ventures (previous investments include Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, Baidu), and an MBA from Indian School of Business, Hyderabad (where he received the honorary Young Leader Award,[3] given to top one percentile of the graduating class), he conceived Leverage Edu in 2014 (while still at ISB) as a peer-to-peer mentorship marketplace, which will help students find best matched mentors (using machine learning) to help them with career advice. Leverage Edu and Akshay were selected to be a part of the Draper fellowship,[4] which Akshay attended in San Mateo, Silicon Valley, in the summer of 2015. After returning from the US, Akshay worked in multiple internet companies (Snapdeal.com, Babajob.com) and engaged in a lot of action on the sidelines, before setting up Leverage Edu operations in early 2017, joined by higher education senior executive Rajiv Ganjoo as a co-founder. The earliest version of Leverage Edu counted Anindya Ghose as a Mentor (in 2014), and since then, the company has been able to bring onboard very successful technology and education veterans on board as Mentors/on its Advisory Board.

After the Draper University incubation, Leverage Edu began operations in April 2017, and debuted with College Admissions as the first category. Since then, it has become one of the most widely known brands in the College Admission Consulting & Higher Education Mentorship space, plus also debuted other categories that help students get ready for first jobs, get the right career advice across multiple programs, and more. Leverage Edu has helped students make it to top colleges and top jobs, including Wharton, Yale, INSEAD, CEIBS, LBS, Harvard, and more. It received its first round of funding from popular names on the Indian startup scene like:[5][6][7][8] Silicon Valley-based serial entrepreneur Kashyap Deorah, UCLA Professor Bhagwan Choudhary, former American Express CFO Arjun Mehta, VRL Logistics Chairman Anand Sankeshwar, former Babajob CFO Sadashiva NT, NYU Stern Professor & author of global bestseller Tap, Anindya Ghose, and other notable individuals.  Akshay also raised a further round (seed round plus)[9][10] from serial entrepreneur Alok Mittal, Bain & Co. Senior Partner Deepak Jain, popular Silicon Valley lawyer Anil Advani, others.

Leverage Edu today helps thousands of students find the right experts for themselves, matched using artificial intelligence, to help accelerate their career journeys. The company is operational in New Delhi, Gurgaon, Bangalore and Mumbai. It boasts of a core team that has helped some of the most successful startups in the country scale before.

Widely connected in the Indian internet ecosystem, having worked with top VCs, as well as on the ground with dozens of accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces, entrepreneurship cells' as Startup Mentor, Akshay has also been called out as the Heidi Roizen of the East, after the popular venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, also a Partner at DFJ Ventures, who has a Harvard Business School Case Study written on her.[11] Heidi counts Akshay as a Mentee, and the half decade old mentorship has led to Akshay also co-teaching the class on her (and on the broader subject of Networking/Building Meaningful Relationships) at business schools. His connections/previous work across different spokes of the internet ecosystem, across investors, startups, the government, and other facilitators has led him to be invited for multiple working committees, that act as a think-tank on startup policies and innovations in the country, including by NITI Aayog, PhD Chambers of Commerce, FICCI, etc.

Early life[edit | edit source]

Born and raised in New Delhi, Akshay completed schooling at Springdales School, in Delhi, where he was the school's Sports Captain. In 2008, he joined Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, in Delhi University, to pursue B.Com (Honors). During this time, he was also a part of AIESEC, led India operations of a Lithuania-based consulting firm at 19, started a company in the space of events/retail (called Estoneage), and worked with organizations in the private equity, non-profit and political space.

Akshay's first entrepreneurial venture was at the age of 8, a membership-club he had started in the government colony he lived in, inspired by Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Secret Seven series, where he got other children/teenagers to subscribe to play his board games, read comics, watch evening cartoons and more. Post that, he tried his hand at side-gig again at the age of 18 while organising farewell/welcoming events for schools and colleges in Delhi.

Professional life[edit | edit source]

  • Before his MBA, Akshay worked at KPMG, which was his first professional stint, as an Analyst in their Hedge Fund Accounting team. He then went on to join Ernst & Young, in their Transfer Pricing team, where he worked for the next three years, to become a Consultant in the Technology & Telecom space, working for clients like Nortel, Nokia, Siemens, Vodafone, and the likes.
  • After Ernst & Young, Akshay worked with the Bhartiya Janta Party, as part of its team for the General Assembly Elections, which was touted to be one of the most popular global elections of its time. Post the stint, Akshay received admission offers from two popular programs, at ISB and Oxford. He went on to pursue the PGP program at Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, in 2014, where he also fought the student elections, to become a Director within its Student Board.
  • Selected as the only Indian for the DraperU fellowship in that cohort, Akshay went to the US right post finishing the MBA program at ISB. At Draper University, he won many accolades, including winning a very popular hackathon, which became the premise for pivoting Leverage from a pure play mentorship marketplace to one that will have online education as its fundamental.
  • After coming back from the US, Akshay worked with Snapdeal, as part of its Home business, responsible for account managing 13 categories in North India.
  • In December 2015, Akshay joined Babajob.com, India's largest blue and grey collar marketplace. As its Head of Partnerships, Akshay led successful deals/partnerships with Uber, Paytm, Microsoft, Amazon, India Post, Government of Karnataka, PokemonGo, and others. He went on to becoming a part of its 7-member executive leadership team in less than 12 months.

Awards and recognitions[edit | edit source]

Year Name of Award or Honor Awarding Organization
2005 Finalist Bournvita Quiz Contest
2011 Best Outgoing Student Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, University of Delhi
2011 Audit Idol/ Innovation @ KPMG KPMG
2011 LinkedIn Success Story LinkedIn
2012 EY ACP Ernst & Young LLP
2014 Global Shaper World Economic Forum
2014-15 Young Leader Award Indian School of Business
2015 Hero/Fellow Draper University
2017 Prime Minister's Champion of Change Niti Aayog, Government of India

Under Akshay's leadership,[12] LeverageEdu has been lauded by industry and media time and again, leading it to become one of the most prominent challengers in the burgeoning online education space. Akshay is a regular speaker on the topics of "Future of Work",[13] "Future of Education",[14] "Entrepreneurship",[15][16][17] "How to prepare for the Careers of Tomorrow",[18] et al. He has spoken at global stages like Shape Eurasia, World Economic Forum, in Astana, Kazakhstan; Google for Education/EdTechX Europe, in London; at startup events in San Francisco, Beijing, Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi; and also regularly speaks at dozens of schools and colleges.

Akshay has been featured in multiple international and national publications, including Voice of America,[19] The Economic Times, Outlook,[20] Mint, Business World, ANI, Bloomberg, VCCircle, The Times of India,[21] Yahoo News, etc. He also occasionally writes on a variety of topics for Entrepreneur, YourStory, Times Jobs, and prominent tech blogs.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Leverage Edu: AI Based Marketplace for Students". Bangalore Insider. 10 December 2018.
  2. "Leverage Edu: One stop shop for career making". uniindia.com. 19 July 2018.
  3. "Young Leaders and Torch Bearers". isb.edu.
  4. "Draper University Alumni Spotlight: Akshay Chaturvedi". medium.com. Draper University. 11 May 2017.
  5. "Online education start-up Leverage Edu raises seed funding from investors". Live Mint. 2 August 2017.
  6. "Ed-tech startup Leverage Edu secures seed funding". vccircle.com. 2 August 2017.
  7. "Edtech platform Leverage secures undisclosed amount in seed funding". The Economic Times. 2 August 2017.
  8. "Education-tech startup Leverage raises seed money". The Times of India. 2 August 2017.
  9. "Ed-tech Startup Leverage Edu Raises Seed Funding from Alok Mittal, Jim Schmidtke, Ritesh Malik & Others". bwdisrupt.businessworld.in. 7 November 2017.
  10. "Leverage Edu raises seed money from Alok Mittal, Ritesh Malik, others". vccircle.com. 6 November 2017.
  11. Tempest, Nicole; McGinn, Kathleen L. (2000-01-18). "Heidi Roizen".
  12. "CXO of the Week: Akshay Chaturvedi, CEO & Co-Founder, LeverageEdu". ciol.com. 30 November 2018.
  13. "The Future of Work | Akshay Chaturvedi | TEDxYouth@DPSRKPuram". TEDxYouth@DPSRKPuram – via YouTube.
  14. "Teaching sector will generate more jobs with the advent of AI". timesjobs.com. 28 January 2018.
  15. "How Can You Turn Bad Work Days Into Brilliant Ones". entrepreneur.com. 25 January 2018.
  16. "Do Startups Now Need a Chief Networking Officer?". entrepreneur.com. 5 December 2017.
  17. "Having trouble with your startup? Gurus explain how to get it right". ET Rise. 29 November 2017.
  18. "How the Lure of Foreign Education is Running the Business of Startups". entrepreneur.com. 9 October 2018.
  19. "Why Bangalore Doesn't Need Silicon Valley". VOA News.
  20. "Career Confidant". Outlook Business.
  21. "How to choose the right course and university in India or abroad". The Times of India.

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