Providing ‘conducive policy environment’ for success of start-ups: Minister

Feb 27, 2018 0

New Delhi– Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said the central government is providing a “conducive policy environment and a favourable investment climate” to ensure the success of the start-up movement in India.

Speaking at the National Stock Exchange of India’s Tech Conclave here, the Minister said: “India’s startup ecosystem may not be as old as that of some developed economies of the world, but as a power house of IT and IT-enabled services, we are steadily outpacing all of them. This transformation also provides an opportunity to all our young entrepreneurs, who should look to develop solutions to problems that the common man faces.”

“They should innovate to deliver health solutions to the poor, to provide clean drinking water to the marginalised and to provide education to all — that’s when we will succeed as Team India. At its end, the government of India is providing a conducive policy environment and a favourable investment climate to ensure the success of the startup movement in India.”

According to the NSE, the idea behind the conclave was to create a conducive capital market ecosystem and “address the opportunities and challenges that these new-age companies may face in future”.

NSE’s MD and CEO Vikram Limaye said: “The next wave of start-ups funding requirements should be channelised through the Indian capital market.”

“As the torch bearers of Indian capital market, NSE is taking government’s initiative forward, with the NSE Tech Conclave. NSE is committed to supporting innovation by providing a robust fundraising ecosystem. NSE cannot only address start-ups funding requirements across phases but also allow mature start-ups to unlock value and scale their businesses.” (IANS)

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Microsoft commits $500 mn for new startup initiative

Feb 15, 2018 0

San Francisco– Microsoft has committed $500 million for a new programme to help nurture start-ups, offering resources such as Azure credits and sales support.

“Microsoft for Startups” will deliver access to technology, go-to-market and community benefits to help startups grow their customer and revenue base.

“We are committing $500 million over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to our technology and new community spaces,” Charlotte Yarkoni, Corporate Vice President, Growth and Ecosystems at Microsoft, said in a blog post late on Wednesday.

Microsoft has over 40,000 sales representatives and hundreds of thousands of partners.

The programme provides dedicated resources to prepare startup marketing and sales teams to effectively sell their Cloud solutions to enterprise organisations in partnership with Microsoft’s global sales organisation and partner ecosystem.

The programme provides startups with up to $120,000 in free Azure credits, enterprise grade technical support and development tools – supporting the languages of their choice.

“In addition, qualified startups also get access to productivity and business applications, including Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365,” the post said.

Microsoft “Reactorsa are physical spaces where entrepreneurs, developers, investors and the business community can come together to interact, learn and share.

“Over the next month (March), we will open the doors on new Microsoft Reactor spaces in London, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Shanghai and Beijing,” Yarkoni said. (IANS)

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Ratan Tata invests in medtech startup Axio

Jan 26, 2018 0

New Delhi– Axio Biosolutions has raised $7.4 million in a Series B funding round led by Ratan Tata’s RNT Capital along with existing investors Accel Partners and IDG Ventures India, a company statement said here on Friday.

The company plans to use the funds for expansion to new markets, while continuing to work on high-impact medical products.

Masterkey Holdings was the advisor for the transaction.

Axio had earlier launched an emergency haemostat for trauma care.

Headquartered in Boston, Axio Biosolutions has its corporate office in Bengaluru and GMP certified manufacturing facility in Gujarat. (IANS)

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Student-run start-ups win TiE competition

Dec 18, 2017 0

Hyderabad–¬† Two student-run start-ups have won the inaugural edition of TiE GRAD business plan competition, a statement said on Monday.

Law School 101 from NALSAR-Hyderabad and WCB from BITS Pilani-Hyderabad, won the competition organised by The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).

Students from 9 prestigious colleges of Telangana participated in TiE GRAD: Education to Entrepreneurship.

Pradeep Mittal, President of TiE Hyderabad and Kali Prasad Gadiraju, Vice President, TiE Hyderabad, presented awards to the winning teams. Each winner was presented with a cheque of Rs 2,50,000 to translate their idea into a rewarding business model, TiE said in a statement.

The winning team from BITS Pilani Hyderabad intends to make the next generation of robots to clean the facade of tall skyscrapers while avoiding any risk to human life. The other startup from Nalsar University was Law School 101, focused on making law education accessible to everyone. (IANS)

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Government invites start-ups to solve agrarian challenges

Dec 15, 2017 0

New Delhi– The Union Agriculture Ministry on Friday launched an initiative that aims at solving 12 key challenges in the farm sector by partnering with starts-up, along with doubling farmers’ income.

The Ministry said the initiative, Agriculture Grand Alliance, offered an opportunity to agri-tech start-ups to solve the problems, which ranged from providing a fair price to the farmer to creation of yield estimation models which can be used by farmers, as per a release.

The 12 problem areas identified are simplified soil testing methods, assaying and grading solution, development of e-marketplace, price forecasting during sowing, last mile information dissemination, yield estimation, sorting and grading of produce, adulteration testing, customer hiring centres, crop residue disposal, prevent pre-harvest and post harvest losses, and enhancing agricultural productivity.

Agriculture Secretary S.K. Pattanayak said the government was “very open” for use of technology to find solutions to the problems.

The Ministry has partnered with Invest India, which is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency that acts as the first point of reference for investors in the country.

Two solutions — at idea stage and ready market stage — for each problem will be shortlisted under the programme, the Ministry said.

“The idea stage start-ups will get incubation support to go from idea to prototype while the ready market solutions will get to be part of a market access programme, aimed at easy adoption of their innovation,” read the release.

Also, Villgro and Qualcomm have collaborated to be the strategic partners of the initiative. (IANS)

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Facebook, Startup Village Collective launch VR programme for students

Dec 13, 2017 0

New Delhi– Facebook on Wednesday announced a virtual reality (VR) programme in partnership with Bengaluru-based Startup Village Collective (SV.CO) to help students in the country build their ideas into globally marketable products and services.

The new VR programme under SV.CO’s School of Innovation will provide a platform for nearly four million engineering students across 3,300 colleges to learn how to build innovative products while they are in college and get polished under the guidance of the industry experts.

“India is host to one of the largest community of developers and is also one of the fastest growing regions for start-ups. The School of Innovation programme is our investment into skill for tomorrow. We want to make sure, that we have invested in not only helping the communities in building products today, but also in building a world for tomorrow,” Satyajeet Singh, Head of Platform Partnerships, Facebook India and South Asia, told reporters here.

“The new programme is a step forward, in realising our vision of building an ecosystem that inspires innovation and empowers young talent to build products using emerging technologies such as VR that will shape the future of businesses,” Singh added.

As part of the new VR-based programme, top 10 student teams from across 3,300 engineering colleges in India will be selected to build a next generation VR product idea they have.

The selected teams will be on-board the SV.CO Online Learning Platform for a six-month programme that includes online and in-person learning to progress their idea, build a low and high-fidelity prototype and finally launch to customers.

The successful teams will be selected and given an opportunity to represent their product in front of a leadership panel on demo day, to be organised at Facebook India office in January 2019.

“Startup ecosystem in India is plagued by the notion that they are copycats of the US models. We need to change this perception that our startups only hop into the bandwagon while others blaze the trail,” said Sanjay Vijayakumar, Chairman at SV.CO — India’s first digital incubator for students.

“The VR platform, in throwing open uncharted areas, provides us just that opportunity. And we are a happy partner with Facebook which recognises the potential of bright 18-22 year olds in Indian colleges in working wonders with the new technology,” Vijayakumar said. (IANS)

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Mobycy launches dockless bike-sharing service app

Dec 7, 2017 0

Gurugram– Taking on ride-hailing platform Ola, Gurugram-based Green Tech startup Mobycy on Thursday launched dockless bicycle sharing app on Google Play Store.

Ola introduced its own dockless bike-sharing service earlier this month.

“We are excited to announce that Mobycy is now live on Google Play Store. It presents users with a greener, healthier means of commute with complete last-mile connectivity, in the form of smart, dockless bikes,” Akash Gupta, Co-Founder, Mobycy, said in a statement.

The app will be live on Apple App Store in next few days, the company said.

Launching its operations with a fleet of 5,000 “Smart Bikes”, the company plans to increase the number to 50,000 in the next six months.

“Smart Bikes” are currently available across Delhi-NCR region, including Noida, Gurugram, Faridabad and Chandigarh.

Users can sign up on the Mobycy app with Aadhaar identification and pay a security deposit of Rs 999, which is refundable.

The security deposit for students is Rs 499.

The app allows users to discover a smart bike in their vicinity, unlock it via QR Code and commute shorter distances faster.

The user can pay Rs 10 for a single ride or buy the monthly subscription to avail two rides daily for an hour each.

Using the app, these bikes can be found around public places like metro stations, markets and popular places like North Campus, Cyber City etc.

The “Smart Bikes” will be available across several colleges and universities, such as Amity Noida and MDI Gurgaon.

The company has also partnered with Paytm to ensure easy digital payments via the app and will partner with more digital payment providers soon.

Mobycy’s “Smart Bikes” come with Internet of Things (IoT) locks and GPS tracking, enabling remote management and traceability.

“These dockless bikes can be rented and parked anywhere, with the only exception of gated communities and private compounds,” the company said. (IANS)

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India’s secondary cities spawn more start-ups: Nasscom

Dec 5, 2017 0

Bengaluru– Incubators and accelerators in tier-2 and tier-3 (secondary) cities across India are spawning more technology start-ups than ever before, said the IT industry apex body Nasscom on Tuesday.

“Secondary cities are emerging as new hubs for start-ups across the country as they are driven by growing number of incubators and accelerators,” said a joint survey report Nasscom prepared with the city-based management and strategic consulting firm Zinnov.

Out of about 5,200 total technology start-ups present in India as of 2017, nearly 20 per cent (1,040) start-ups are present in the secondary cities, the report found.

About 40 per cent (76) of the total 190 active business incubators and accelerators are located in secondary cities such as Ahmedabad, Pune, Jaipur, Lucknow and Chandigarh, it said.

“Traditionally, many tier-2 and tier-3 cities of India have been educational hubs, which makes them ideal and plausible destinations for start-up incubators and accelerators,” the report said.

Out of the 190 business incubators and accelerators in India, 90 are academic, while the rest are government-supported or private-run.

India has witnessed a “phenomenal” progress of technology start-ups in the last decade, the study noted.

“Indian start-up ecosystem continued to remain attractive for investors with almost $6.4 billion funding in the first half of 2017, nearly 167 per cent growth over the first half of last year.”

Start-ups in the country have also been working on India-centric grass root level problems, the study added.

Over 325 start-ups in the country are currently working on solving the challenges in the fields of healthcare, education inclusion, financial inclusion, clean energy and agriculture. (IANS)

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Amazon India launches startup challenge

Nov 27, 2017 0

Bengaluru– Amazon India on Monday collaborated with hardware accelerator “HAX” and crowd-funding community “Kickstarter” to announce “Startup C-Cube” — a multi-level challenge for the startups that will commence in Bengaluru on December 5.

“We are happy to bring ‘Kickstarter’ and ‘HAX’ to give Indian startups an opportunity to get their ideas noticed at the global stage and arm them with resources to convert these into real business opportunities”, said Manish Tiwary, Vice President, Category Management, Amazon India, in a statement.

The move is expected to bring companies together to work towards building the product startup ecosystem.

The announcement marks the first anniversary of Amazon’s flagship programme “Launchpad”.

“In the past one year, we have been overwhelmed by the response that Amazon ‘Launchpad’ has received from the start-up ecosystem in India. Business growth of some of the startups on Amazon ‘Launchpad’ has elicited interest from VCs as well as other funding agencies in the last one year,” Tiwary added. (IANS)


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Facebook to launch accelerator programmes for start-ups

Nov 27, 2017 0

Hyderabad– Facebook on Monday announced accelerator programmes that will help tech start-ups, developers and students in India build products using emerging technologies.

These programmes are designed to help unlock the potential of advanced technologies, including Virtual Reality (VR).

In partnership with T-Hub, the India Innovation Hub will work with 10 VR focused startups to accelerate their businesses in new and innovative ways, Facebook said in a statement here on the eve of Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) beginning on Tuesday.

Each start-up will get access to training, mentors, workshops, research and Facebook’s VR Innovation lab as part of the six-month accelerator programme. Applications for the Innovation Hub programme will be open from January 2018, and the first programme will begin in early 2018.

Facebook is also introducing the School of Innovation programme in partnership with Startup Village Collective. 10 engineering student teams will be selected from across the country to build a next generation product idea they have using VR. The teams will participate in a 20-week program that includes online and in-person learning to progress their idea, build a low and high-fidelity prototype and finally launch to customers.

“At Facebook, we are committed to investing in the future of the India’s digital economy. We know from experience how fast great ideas can thrive when startups are given the opportunity to grow and learn from each other,” said Satyajeet Singh, Head of Platform Partnerships, Facebook India and South Asia.

“The partnership will drive radical change in the start-up ecosystem. We encourage Facebook’s efforts to support and mentor start-ups to explore the possibilities of future technologies such as VR. As the VR ecosystem in India takes shape, we are committed to working towards accelerating its success and help startups in this space solve India’s challenges,” said Jay Krishnan, Chief Executive Officer, T-Hub. (IANS)

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