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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Intel mentors 17 start-ups in India

Oct 19, 2016 0

Bengaluru–By providing technology and tools, chip maker Intel Corporation mentored 17 Indian start-ups to innovate products in diverse areas, said the US-based company on Wednesday.

“Of the 17 start-ups which utilised our laboratory facilities here, nine have launched products in the market and five have products ready for customer trials, while three are at the design stage,” Intel India General Manager Nivruti Rai told reporters here.

Intel’s Indian subsidiary has set up the Maker Lab at its campus in this tech hub in January to help start-ups accelerate their hardware and systems for innovating products and solutions using its infrastructure, technology, tools and mentorship support.

“The start-ups used the lab for projects spanning education, sports, health, agriculture, BFSI (banking, financial services and insurance), and e-governance across IoT (Internet of Things), cloud and client compute,” said Rai.

The lab also supported seven start-ups incubated by the Science and Technology Department of the Indian government under the Intel’s ‘Innovate for Digital India’ challenge.

“We are focused on innovation, systems design and entrepreneurship in India. With 15 years of commitment to research and development, we continue to build a community of innovators across the country,” Rai added.

As a catalyst, Intel has associated with various programmes to foster innovation and making the government’s Digital India vision a reality.

“It’s heartening to see many products and solutions being developed by the hardware and systems start-ups using our lab as their innovations will help solve consumer and business needs and contribute to Digital India and Make in India vision,” said Intel India Director Jitendra Chadda on the occasion.

The company is collaborating with the government to encourage entrepreneurial and innovation talent as a not-for-profit initiative and is independent of its own research and development activities in India.

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IIM Calcutta’s Innovation Park plans challenge of 5,000 start-up ideas

Oct 19, 2016 0

Kolkata– The Indian Institute of Management Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) plans to launch a grand challenge targeting 5,000 start-up ideas by March next year, an official said here on Wednesday.

“We are contemplating to launch a grand challenge, an event which will run over a couple of months to target around 5,000 start-up ideas by March,” Uttam Kumar Sarkar, Dean, New Initiatives and External Relations (NIER), IIM Calcutta, told the media here.

“It could be a grand challenge in smart city ideas or any other sector. We are chalking out the details,” Sarkar said.

IIMCIP promotes entrepreneurship and innovation in research and business through industry-academia partnership and under its ‘INVENT’ initiative, plans to support more than 40 start-ups with funding of up to Rs 25 lakh.

The programme is a collaboration between the company, DFID UK and Technology Development Board, India, to aid for-profit social enterprises, in eastern India.

“The social entrepreneurs can create the biggest impact on our country,” said Saibal Chattopadhyay, Director, IIM Calcutta.

The organisation also hopes to incubate 100-plus start-ups by the year 2020 and has recently invested in six start-ups from various sectors.

Currently, the organisation has 14 incubatees. Additionally, it is in the process of onboarding another eight incubatees of which six are from Kolkata.

“The current incubatees have already raised investments amounting to Rs 6 crore. In the current financial year, the incubatees have already generated revenue of Rs 7.5 crore. During the coming financial year the incubatees are projecting revenue of Rs 18 crore,” said Chattopadhyay. (IANS)

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IBM, Indian Angel Network collaborate to boost Indian start-up ecosystem

Oct 19, 2016 0

Bengaluru– US-based technology company IBM and Indian Angel Network (IAN) on Wednesday announced a partnership to accelerate technology innovations in the start-up and entrepreneurial ecosystem in India.

Under this collaboration, the IAN portfolio companies will work with IBM to build thought leadership by leveraging workshops and “IBM IX Studios” programme and they will have access to IBM’s cognitive, cloud, analytics, IoT and mobility services.

With more than 400 investors from 10 countries, IAN is India’s largest angel network and has already made over 20 investments in the first half of 2016.

“We believe this synergistic partnership will breed innovative technologies and grow global footprint companies from India,” Padmaja Ruparel, Co-founder, President IAN, said in a statement.

IBM and IAN will organise knowledge sharing and enablement sessions on cognitive learning, analytics and product design.

“IBM will engage, influence and mentor the early stage start-up ecosystem and additionally nurture an IP-led start-up ecosystem focused on IOT, artificial intelligence, security, commerce and design thinking,” added Nipun Mehrotra, Vice President, Growth Initiatives IBM India/South Asia.

The IAN portfolio start-up companies will also have the opportunity to apply for the IBM Global Entrepreneur Programme, which provides mentoring and networking opportunities with enterprise clients. (IANS)

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14 Intel India Maker Lab startups showcase products, solutions

Oct 19, 2016 0

Bengaluru–Intel India on Wednesday hosted its first “Maker Lab Startup Conclave and Demo Showcase” at its campus here where 14 startups from the first batch of “Intel India Maker Lab” showcased their products and solutions.

Set up a year ago, the ‘Intel India Maker Lab’ is helping startups accelerate their hardware and systems innovation towards creation of new products and solutions by offering infrastructure, technology, tools and mentorship support, the company said in a statement.

The startups utilised “Intel India Maker Lab” facilities in the areas of education, sports, health, agriculture, Banking, Financial services and Insurance (BFSI), e-governance, Internet of Things (IOT), Cloud and Client Compute.

“With over 15 years of relentless commitment to research and development, we continue to build a community of innovators in India,” said Nivruti Rai, General Manager, Intel India and Vice President, Platform Engineering Group, Intel Corp.

The “Intel India Maker Lab” supported seven startups that came out from the Department of Science & Technology (DST)-Intel “Innovate For Digital India” Challenge.

The startups that showcased their products and solutions are: Aerx Labs, Avench, Green Ocean Research, Jayalaxmi Agrotech, Klassik Klonec, Parkzap, Skylark Drones, Smartron, Terrablue XT, Acceleron Lab, BrownLogic, Phoenix Robotics, SrishtiESDM and Yaw software.

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