Cisco to help develop IoT innovation hub, smart city in Gujarat

Dec 15, 2016 0

Gandhinagar– To help accelerate the digital transformation of Gujarat, global networking giant Cisco on Thursday announced to explore setting up an Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation Hub and deliver a smart city in the state.

Cisco signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with the state government which aim to establish an IoT Innovation hub with the International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology (iCreate) at iCreate’s campus near Bavla, Ahmedabad, and deliver a smart city project in Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT).

“The announcement underlines Cisco’s commitment to enable Gujarat to capitalise on digital opportunities, strengthen the vibrant innovation ecosystem in the state, enhance quality of life of citizens and accelerate the digital transformation of the state,” said Dinesh Malkani, President, Cisco India and Saarc, at the event.

The MoUs were signed in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, Deputy Chief Minister of Gujarat Nitin Bhai Patel and Dinesh Malkani, President, Cisco India and Saarc, among others.

“My vision is to digitally empower every citizen, enhance the quality of life, enable ease of doing business and become an innovation and knowledge hub for the country. We are happy to have Cisco partner with us to help build Gujarat’s economy of the future,” Rupani said.

The IoT Innovation Hub at iCreate’s campus will enable startups and entrepreneurs build smart city and IoT-based solutions.

“We are excited to partner with Cisco for the IoT innovation hub, which will be a tremendous accelerator for startups to develop digital solutions that reach global markets,” added Anupam Jalote, CEO, iCreate.

GIFT City, being developed as India’s first greenfield smart city, has many unique features like District Cooling solution – a first-of-its-kind utility tunnel and ready availability of a next-gen data centre.

Cisco and GIFT are exploring deployment of smart city applications including public Wi-Fi, smart parking, smart transport, traffic analytics, Remote Expert Government Services (REGS), smart kiosk, smart environmental sensors along with the City Digital Platform (CDP).

“GIFT is using ICT as a strategic differentiator – putting technology at the foundation of its expansive community. As India’s first operational smart city, GIFT has helped transform how cities are built, managed and experienced,” noted Ajay Pandey, MD and Group CEO of GIFT. (IANS)

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Amazon Launchpad to support Indian startups launched

Dec 5, 2016 0

New Delhi– In a move to help Indian startups launch, market and distribute their products to millions of Amazon customers across the country and globally through a dedicated store, Amazon India on Monday launched its much anticipated global programme – Amazon Launchpad in India.

To begin with, Amazon.in has partnered with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion’s (DIPP) “Start Up India” initiative, IT industry’s representative organisation Nasscom’s “10,000 Startup” initiative and Indian Angel Network (IAN), among others, to help identify and enroll startups.

“By bringing Amazon Launchpad to India, we encourage innovation from the start-up community. India has great minds which invent amazing products and we will support their growth by helping customers discover their new products not just in India but other countries around the world,” said Amit Agarwal, Vice President and Country Head, Amazon India.

The Amazon Launchpad store on Amazon.in features over 400 innovative products ranging from wearable technology, smart homes, food and beverage, health monitoring, educational toys and more.

“Nasscom is excited to support and partner with the Amazon Launchpad programme in India. The timing couldn’t have been better. The nascent but promising Indian hardware/IoT product ecosystem can now fully leverage the firepower of Amazon’s distribution and marketing capabilities.” added Dr R. Chandrashekhar, President, Nasscom.

Globally, Amazon Launchpad works with more than 100 venture capital firms, crowd-funding services, and accelerators/incubators.

“Through this programme, small entrepreneurs and innovators can go leverage the Amazon platform to increase the scale of their businesses and even get easy access to global markets,” noted Jason Feldman, Director Global Innovations, Amazon.

Even before its launch, over 25 Indian startups like Witworks, Leaf Wearables, Ducere Technologies, Seventh Sense Technologies have already joined the programme.

“The biggest roadblock for a hardware startup is not product development but finding early adopters for its product. Amazon Launchpad is just the right platform to find them,” said Paras Batra, Director Sales and Marketing, Leaf Wearables. (IANS)

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Facebook pumps $40,000 into Indian fashion start-up

Nov 30, 2016 0

Mumbai– CoutLoot, an end-to-end fashion re-commerce platform, has been selected for Facebook’s developer-focused “FbStart” programme, receiving access to $40,000 worth of credits and services from the social networking giant.

Launched last year, “FbStart” helps developers grow their startups by leveraging valuable tools and services, worldwide events and opportunities to engage with the Facebook team.

Under the programme, CoutLoot would also receive mentoring from Menlo Park-headquartered tech giant’s engineering teams, the company said in a statement on Wednesaday.

“‘FbStart’ programme will be an immense boost to us at this phase of our evolution. Receiving mentorship from the pioneer of social networking will bring a huge opportunity for us to lead the fashion re-commerce revolution in India within the next couple of years,” said Jasmeet Thind, Co-founder, CoutLoot.

The start-up will also get a chance to get access to the exclusive community of Facebook’s developers and worldwide events.

The programme provides free access to more than 25 services including open source tools like React Native, FB Login and Account Kit and App Analytics.

India is the largest market for FbStart outside the US. According to the product partnerships team at Facebook, over 75 per cent of top-grossing apps in India get integrated with Facebook. (IANS)

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Entrepreneurs with second line of management get more revenue: report

Nov 26, 2016 0

Mumbai– Only 25 percent entrepreneurs, who have set up a strong second line of management, have 3.5 times higher average revenue size compared to companies who do not, said a report released on Saturday.

The report, prepared by ASCENT-EY, aimed at understanding entrepreneurs’ readiness for scalable growth, and also tried to find out the challenges they face in doing so across seven parameters – customer, leadership, people, operations, finance and transactions, risk management and technology.

The report, titled “How ready are entrepreneurs for the journey of scalable growth?”, found that people who invest in these seven drivers see a higher financial success as compared to others.

Commenting on the report, ASCENT’s founder and Marico Ltd’s Chairman Harsh Mariwala said: “For me, the biggest and most interesting take away is the fact that investment in different processes which support customer centricity, leadership planning and operational efficiency, has a multiplier effect on the business and provides disproportionately higher returns to the entrepreneur.”

The report also indicated that companies who have a total rewards mechanism have 15 percent higher employee productivity when compared to companies who do not have total rewards.

Similarly, companies who used technology to drive growth have registered three times higher average revenue size compared to companies that do not use technology, the report pointed out.

“Entrepreneurs need to understand that achieving growth is not enough; it also needs to be scalable for long term sustainability and success,” said Pinakiranjan Mishra, Partner and National Leader – Retail and Consumer Products, EY.

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Seven Indian start-ups to join Google’s 3rd Launchpad Accelerator

Nov 23, 2016 0

New Delhi– Seven Indian startups will join the third batch of “Launchpad Accelerator” along with startups from other countries, Google announced on Wednesday.

Google will mentor these startups for six months which will also include a two-week, all-expenses paid bootcamp set to kick off at “Launchpad Space” in San Francisco on January 30, the company said in a statement.

“Launchpad Space” is a physical platform for developers and startups to engage with Google experts to “learn how to build and grow successful companies.”

Paul Ravindranath

Paul Ravindranath

“We are delighted to help Indian startups in their journey and help them scale and find success in their endeavours,” said Paul Ravindranath G, Programme Manager, Launchpad Accelerator.

Apart from being guided by Google engineers, product managers and other mentors from top technology companies and Venture Capitals (VC) in Silicon Valley, each startup will get $50,000 in equity-free funding and work closely with Google for six months in their home countries.

Over the last one year, 13 Indian startups have participated in the programme and some of them have successfully raised funding, Ravindranath added.

Shortlisted startups include an on-demand wardrobe rentals service Flyrobe; furniture and appliances rental service Rentomojo; top tutor help service HashLearn; Curofy, a platform for doctors to discuss medical cases with peers from across the country; Indian word games for adults and kids Happy Adda Studios; Playment, a service that allows you to earn money for playing games; and Customer Relationship Management software KaptureCRM.

“Launchpad accelerator made us believe that even we could build a world-class product and the mentors helped us to understand what was needed to get there,” said Amarendra Sahu, Co-founder of Nestaway from India who was in the first batch. (IANS)

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Karnataka to set up women’s parks to facilitate entrepreneurs

Nov 14, 2016 0

Bengaluru– The Karnataka government on Monday invited women entrepreneurs to explore investment opportunities in the state, saying it will set up ‘Women’s Park’ in all 30 district to facilitate their business endeavours.

“Our government has rolled out a red carpet for women entrepreneurs to explore investment opportunities in Karnataka and make it their base,” said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at an international conclave here.

Asserting that the state’s new industrial policy gave special attention to women entrepreneurs for inclusive growth, the Chief Minister said the state government will set up ‘Women’s Park’ in each district across the state to facilitate their enterprises and industrial capacity building.

“Though we decided to set up a Women’s Park at Harohally near Bengaluru initially, we received demands for similar parks from all districts (30) across the state,” Siddaramaiah said while inaugurating the two-day ‘ThinkBig 2016’,a women entrepreneurs summit, at a convention centre here.

Organised by the state government in association with WEConnect International, Asia’s largest women entrepreneurship platform has brought 2,000 delegates, 300 industry leaders and 400 organisations from across the world on one platform to inspire more women to become entrepreneurs in diverse sectors.

The US-based WEConnect is a global network that connects women-owned businesses to qualified buyers the world over and helps women entrepreneurs to succeed in global value chains.

“As WEConnect helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chain and connects them to Indian and multinational corporations, I have approved to reimburse its fee for the next three years to encourage women entrepreneurs,” the Chief Minister said.

He said the state had the best diversity ratio in employment and entrepreneurship in the country.

“I am sure all delegates will experience the rich programmes, matchmaking and networking with corporate, government and women entrepreneurs and exhibitors showcasing brands, products and services,” Siddaramaiah said.

According to the fourth Medium, Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME) census, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have 51.9 per cent of the country’s women-owned businesses, indicating the potential for further growth.

As per a World Bank report, the US has the highest women workforce (45 per cent), followed by Britain (43 per cent), Canada (42 per cent), Indonesia (40 per cent), France (38 per cent) and Brazil 38 per cent and India (31.6 per cent).

“We have 50 per cent reservation for women in local bodies to ensure equality, promote their participation in governances even at the grass-roots level for all-round socio-economic development of the state,” added Siddaramaiah.

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After raising $1 million just with an idea, Kash Shaikh’s Besomebody set to launch Learning Paths

Nov 4, 2016 0

After raising $1 million just with an idea, Kash Shaikh’s Besomebody set to launch Learning Paths

BOSTON—Inspiring oneself is great, but inspiring others is better, and then raising $1 million just with this simple idea is probably the best thing that can happen to anyone. Well, this is what had happened to Kash Shaikh, who had traveled to 43 countries for Procter and Gamble and was thinking about what to do next.

This week IndUS Business Journal talked to Shaikh about #besomebody, a company that he founded and started out as just an inspirational hash tag and evolved into a fully funded company.

#Besomebody raised one million dollars in seed funding without having a product, just an idea of inspiring people to follow their passions. Now #besomebody has an app that is an experience marketplace where hosts (known as Passionaries) make money teaching their passions to others who share the same passion, but need to get more experience.

Kash Shaikh on Shark Tank

Kash Shaikh on Shark Tank

#Besomebody Passionaries made $100,000 from experiences in its beta. The #besomebody content reaches more than 10 million people from around the world and from all walks of life. #Besomebody was also featured on reality T.V. show Shark Tank on November fourth.

In February 2017, #besomebody will be starting a new part of the company called Learning Paths. This a vocational program to help people get the training they need to succeed.

Shaikh says that college students are graduating with loads of student debt, but not the essential skills and training they need to get the jobs they desire, and says that the Learning Paths will help them gain those skills.

Shaikh’s journey began while leading social marketing for Proctor and Gamble in developing countries, where he was on the road eighty percent of the time, traveling to 43 countries. The people he met on his travels changed the way he thought about the world, helping him realize that people are similar across cultures, and he started writing about it, and then sharing it on social media.

Shaikh needed a change of scenery so he left P&G for camera powerhouse GoPro, where Shaikh says he learned that content can build your brand for you. He became the first person to resign from GoPro leaving 75 percent of his stock on the table, to follow his passion. He went around to schools all over the country talking about #besomebody and hoping to inspire young people to follow their passions and desires.

Now based in Boston, Shaikh hopes to continue growing the #besomebody brand and helping people follow their passions.

Shaikh was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and attended the University of Texas, Austin. He says that since high school he has always enjoyed creating things. When asked who his biggest influences were he said “take advice from three people; people who love you unconditionally, people who are in the trenches with you, and people who have done what you are trying to do.”

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Indian start-ups on growth path: Nasscom

Oct 26, 2016 0

Bengaluru– Allaying fears of a slowdown, Indian IT industry’s representative body Nasscom on Wednesday said the start-up ecosystem was maturing to grow faster and stay ahead of competition from Israel and China.

“Start-ups are creating a new identity for India and defining the way the world operates, making life better and easier for people and businesses alike,” Nasscom President R. Chandrashekhar told reporters here at a tech event.

With the world’s third largest start-up base after the US and Britain, India is poised to grow 2.2 times to 10,500 start-ups by 2020 from 4,750 in 2015 despite 18-22 per cent mortality rate.

Nasscom president R. Chandrashekhar

Nasscom president R. Chandrashekhar

The US has 52,000-53,000 start-ups, Britain 4,900-5,200, Israel 4,500-4,600 and China 4,200-4,300.

“About 650 start-ups were funded up to $4 billion by angel investors, venture capital firms and corporates in 2015, with many investors looking at domains like health-tech, fin-tech and edu-tech for growth,” said Chandrashekhar on the margins of a two-day Product Conclave 2016 in this tech hub.

Though the quantum of funding has subdued 20-30 per cent this year, the number of start-ups getting funded has increased 8-10 per cent in contrast to big ticket funding in the past.

According a report ‘Indian Start-up Ecosystem Maturing’ prepared by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) with global consulting agency Zinnov, 1,400 new start-ups will be set up in 2016, reflecting 8-10 per cent annual growth.

“We also expect about 80 M&A (mergers and acquisitions) this year, as evident from 60 deals executed till date, with 95 per cent of them being funded by Indian start-ups, unicorns and corporates,” claimed Chandrashekhar.

As India’s IT capital, Bengaluru continues to be the country’s start-up hub, followed by NCR (National Capital Region), Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Chennai. Even Kochi, Kolkata and Jaipur are catching up with growth cities.

“The start-up landscape in the country is becoming the epitome of innovation, with companies bringing out solutions that are aimed at solving locally relevant issues. India is brimming with new ideas which need the right guidance and funding to be scalable for the market,a said Nasscom Chairman C.P. Gurnani.

Nasccoms’ 140 accelerators and incubators across the country are facilitating the start-up growth even in tier-two and tier-three cities

Among the verticals where start-ups are mushrooming and flourishing are cloud, big data, analytics, Internet of Things, machine learning, artificial intelligence, 3D printing and robotics.

“The start-up sector, which currently employs about 100,000 techies, including founders, entrepreneurs, innovators designers, developers and integrators, will have about 250,000 people by 2020, added Chandrashekhar. (IANS)

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L&T Infotech to buy analytics start-up

Oct 25, 2016 0

Bengaluru– Leading IT services provider L&T Infotech on Tuesday announced acquisition of Pune-based analytics start-up AugmentIQ Data Sciences Ltd. for an undisclosed amount.

“The acquisition will enable us to gain access to MaxIQ, the big data platform AugmentIQ developed and used by one of the world’s largest credit bureaus, lead banks and regulatory agencies,” said Infotech in a statement here.

The four-year-old start-up offers Intellectual Property (IP)-based high-end analytics to enterprises worldwide to derive business benefits from big data.

The deal will enrich the IT arm of Larson & Toubro (L&T), the Mumbai-based Indian multinational with diverse businesses, including engineering, construction, manufacturing and financial services.

MaxIQ brings the power of automation and Do-it-Yourself (DIY) to big data. Its end-to-end, self-service approach enables business users to leverage big data technologies such as Hadoop & Spark easily.

“The acquisition will also help us to build upon MaxIQ by integrating it within our Mosaic Decision Science platform for ease of data ingestion, data discovery and industry specific use cases for accelerated data-driven decision-making,” said the statement.

Powered by Microsoft Azure services in a cloud-native solution, Mosaic comes pre-packaged, with about 20 industry-specific machine learning algorithms to jump-start the analytics journey of an organization with prescriptive and predictive analytics across business functions.

“AugmentIQ is a synergistic acquisition, as our clients are seeking big data solutions for quick implementation and scaling their requirements. It also offers a versatile platform that can expand instantly and enable accelerated data monetisation,” said Infotech Chief Executive Sanjay Jalona in the statement.

AugmentIQ Founder and Chief Executive Sachin Vyas said the start-up had been working with major clients in India and overseas and growing rapidly.

“The acquisition by L&T Infotech opens up a roadmap for our innovative offerings to grow and mature, as we get an opportunity to partner with many new clients,” added Vyas.

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More tech-savvy young Indians aspire to be entrepreneurs: Survey

Oct 24, 2016 0

New Delhi–More and more tech-savvy young Indians, working in small or mid-sized organisations, wish to become entrepreneurs over the next 10 years, a new survey revealed on Monday.

According to the leading web hosting firm GoDaddy’s “The Future of Work” survey, 60 per cent of the 1,200 respondents in the country want to begin on their own.

“The emerging and newer generation of India’s entrepreneurs are embracing technology like never before,” said Andrew Low Ah Kee, Executive Vice President, GoDaddy International, in a statement.

The proportion of those wanting to start their own business is significantly higher in India when compared to Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Turkey, Singapore, the US and United Kingdom.

A remarkable 85 per cent of aspiring and current entrepreneurs in India said they are undeterred at the prospect of failure and are relentless in the pursuit of entrepreneurial success.

“Seventy per cent of respondents mentioned that they were either employed or working when they decided to start their own business versus developed economies where respondents chose entrepreneurship by choice or while they were in college and completing their graduate programmes,” the findings showed.

Forty-five per cent said work experience is most valuable while only 12 per cent believed education gets them ready to become an entrepreneur.

Seventy-nine per cent of the surveyed workforce believe that technology has made it easier for them to become an entrepreneur in today’s time.

Nearly 63 per cent of the future entrepreneurs believed in following their parents’ footsteps to start their own businesses and 62 per cent wanted their business to have global customers.(IANS)

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