Start-up funding being explored for oil, gas sector

Mar 22, 2016 0

New Delhi–State-run oil and gas companies are planning to create a venture capital fund to encourage start-ups to develop new business models and infuse innovation into India’s hydrocarbons sector, Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Tuesday.

“PSUs (public sector undertakings), in consultations with the petroleum ministry, are planning the creation of a start-up fund for the oil and gas industry,” Pradhan said at the Indian Oil Corp’s second gas conclave here.

Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

Making the case for start-ups in the hydrocarbons sector, he cited the example of the telecom sector and of industrialists like Ratan Tata who are investing in new enterprises.

Speaking to reporters later, Pradhan said the time had come to change the marketing strategy from liquid fuels to gas and encourage new business models in the sector to promote innovation and create infrastructure.

“PSUs are working on setting up a venture capital fund to encourage start-ups to develop new business models, marketing plan, technology and innovation into hydrocarbons. They should invest and join as partners for start-ups,” he said.

“Indian intellectual capacity is contributing immensely to the global oil and gas economy. We would like the Indian energy market too to benefit from that capacity.

“Any start-up needing hand-holding can seek support from the fund. Public sector companies will independently evaluate the commercial viability of the project and take a decision on their equity participation,” he added.

Pradhan said his ministry has advised public sector oil and gas companies to create a corpus that would be utilised to invest in new businesses with an innovative business model and bring efficiency.

Declaring that use of natural gas would contribute towards half of realising the target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of reducing oil imports by 10 percent by 2022, Pradhan said replacing oil by gas in this manner would contribute much towards India meeting its carbon emission commitments under COP 21.

“Gas is the future of the Indian economy,” he said, noting that in a state like Gujarat, which has been focusing on renewable energy, gas accounts for a quarter of the state’s energy basket.

“Small industry in Gujarat is supplied with domestic gas. We want to enhance our alternative energy basket, and it won’t take much time for the gas market and prices to stabilise,” he added.

In this connection, Pradhan informed the audience that the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board will on Wednesday open the bids received for building a new gas pipeline on the east coast running from Contai in West Bengal via Dattapulia to Paradip on Odisha’s coast.

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Karnataka to open four technology business incubators

Mar 18, 2016 0

Bengaluru–The Karnataka government would set up four technology business incubators across the state in 2016-17, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Friday.

“The incubators will be set up in the areas of Internet of Things (IoT), Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM) robotics, 3D printing, nanotechnology, medical devices, health technology and clean technology,” he said while presenting the budget.



Referring to the start-up policy framed to encourage innovation and building an eco-system for growth of start-ups in IT, biotech, ESDM and other knowledge sectors, he said state-run Keonics would set up the incubators and common instrumentation facilities in Bengaluru and in the IT parks of Shivamogga, Bagalkote and Kalaburgi.

“Ten incubators will also be set up in post-graduate and professional institutes across the state under the new age incubation network. An incubator will come at Bagalkote for research and development in biotech start-ups,” he said.

The budget has also proposed to set up centres of excellence and finishing schools in IT, electronics and animation sectors on the lines of Biotechnology Finishing Schools (BTFS) across the state.

“The Rs.56 crore Bengaluru bio-innovation centre ha been commissioned to provide access to high-end instrumentation and laboratory facilities to micro, small and medium enterprises,” Siddaramaiah said.

The state government has also set up the Karnataka Semiconductor Venture Fund with Rs.100 crore corpus to provide venture capital to chip companies.

“The Karnataka Geographic Information System (K-GIS) has been set up to use spatial technologies in decision-making and planning,” he said.

The budget has proposed to allot Rs.222 crore to the department of IT, BIT and S&T in the ensuing fiscal.

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Start-ups should venture in bamboo enterprise

Mar 18, 2016 0

New Delhi– Start-ups should be encouraged to take up bamboo trade and development, Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Minister Jitendra Singh said here on Friday.

Global Bamboo Summit 2016 Bamboo DayChairing a high-level coordination meeting for the upcoming Global Bamboo Summit to be held in Indore next month, he said that efforts must be made towards greater economic viability and use of bamboo.

He said that states from northeast will send their delegates and artisans and would set up stalls in the summit.

Organized by Madhya Pradesh government with National Bamboo Mission and Indian Federation of Green Energy (IFGE), the three-day summit will begin on April 8.

The summit will focus on Make in India with bamboo, mainstreaming bamboo in government programmes, promoting research and development, streamlining policy and legal framework and bamboo as a change agent in poverty alleviation, employment generation and climate change, an official statement said.

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TiE Boston Gets Ready for TiE StartupCon 2016

Mar 17, 2016 0

CAMBRIDGE, MA– Pallavi Singh and Shaloo Savla, two of the chairs of last year’s TiE StartupCon, are back as Co-Chairs of TIE StartupCon 2016 as they hope to make this conference on April 15 even bigger and better than last year.

TiE StartupCon is organized by TiE-Boston, the second largest TiE Chapter in the world.

Last year’s conference focused on rebranding TiECon to TiE StartupCon to put startups at the core of the conference and to bring the focus to young entrepreneurs.

“Our panels focus on topics relating to the ideation and innovation stages for a startup and the execution and scaling of a company,” said Singh, founder and CEO of Beacon Innovation Group, an intellectual property and innovation firm which provides support to entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

TIE StartupCon 2016, which is known as the biggest conference for entrepreneurs on the East Coast, will be held on April 15 at Boston Marriott Copley Place Hotel, which is located at 110 Huntington Ave in Boston.

The conference has three tracks this year: (1) Ideate & Innovate, (2) Scale and (3) What is trending in Tech, Healthcare and Pharma.

The three keynote speakers are: Clayton Christensen, Desh Deshpande and Bob Langer.

Clayton M. Christensen

Clayton M. Christensen

Clayton M. Christensen

Christensen is the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School; and is regarded as one of the world’s top experts on innovation and growth. Christensen has served as a director of many companies, and has advised the executives of scores of the world’s major corporations. These companies generate tens of billions of dollars in revenues every year from product and service innovations that were inspired by his research.

Christensen, an experienced entrepreneur, has started four successful companies. Prior to joining the HBS faculty, in 1984 he and three MIT professors founded CPS Technologies, which has become a leading developer and manufacturer of products from high-technology materials. He is the best-selling author of eight books and more than a hundred articles.

Desh Deshpande


Desh Deshpande

Gururaj “Desh” Deshpande is the President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC, a family investment office and is also the Chairman of Tejas Networks. He has pursued an entrepreneurial career for the last three decades. He is involved either as the founder, a founding investor or chairman of several companies including Cascade Communications, Sycamore Networks, Coral Networks, Tejas Networks, Cimaron, Webdialogs, Airvana, Sandstone Capital, A123 Systems and Curata.

Deshpande serves as a life-member of the MIT Corporation, and his support has made possible MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation. Leveraging the experience gained at the MIT Center, the Deshpande Foundation has facilitated the set up of three other centers; Deshpande Center for Social Entrepreneurship in India, Merrimack Valley Sandbox in Lowell/Lawrence Massachusetts and Pond-Deshpande Center at the University of New Brunswick in Canada. Deshpande co-chairs a National Council to support President Obama’s innovation and entrepreneurship strategy.

Bob Langer

Bob Langer

Bob Langer

Robert S. Langer is the David H. Koch Institute Professor (there are 11 Institute Professors at MIT; being an Institute Professor is the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member). Dr. Langer has written over 1,300 articles. He also has over 1,080 patents worldwide. Dr. Langer’s patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 300 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies. He is the most cited engineer in history.

He served as a member of the United States Food and Drug Administration’s SCIENCE Board, the FDA’s highest advisory board, from 1995–2002 and as its Chairman from 1999-2002.

Singh said that about 1,000 entrepreneurs, investors, business executives and professionals are expected to attend the event.

Pallavi Singh

Pallavi Singh

“Last year, we had the largest number of attendees since our 2005 conference, a great lineup of panelists and keynotes, including the Forbes 30 under 30 panel and a great TiE Sharks program,” said Singh. “This year, we are excited to showcase 50 of the hottest startups in New England as part of the Startup Expo, a new program for StartupCon. We have had an incredible amount of interest from companies wanting to participate.”

Singh said that the organizing team of the conference is refining the mentor component into the mentor breakfast this year and that will allow new entrepreneurs to connect in a more focused way with serial entrepreneurs and investors.

Mentorship is one of the things that differentiates TiE from other groups in Boston and TieBoston is excited to showcase it the conference, said Singh, adding that the organizers have recruited a diverse range of panelists, including many women entrepreneurs such as Bettina Hein from Pixability, Diane Hessan from the Startup Institute, Jana Eggers from NaraLogic, and Liz Powers from Artlifting.

“We look forward to seeing you at TiE StartupCon! We are so excited by the lineup of keynotes and speakers and expect to sell out,” Savla said. “In particular, I am excited to hear the Shared Economy Keynote which has some of the Northeast’s hottest shared economy startups, such as Handy, Hourly Nerd, Spot and Fasten.”

Singh is the Founder and CEO of Beacon Innovation Group, an intellectual property and innovation firm which provides support to entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs at world-class organizations like Anaqua (raised over $125M from Bessemer and private equity), J&J, Georgia Tech, and Red Hat.   She received a B.S. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. She has been an active member of TIE since 2011, and a Charter Member of TiE Boston since January 2015.

As a Charter Member, she has been active in strengthening many of TIE-Boston’s flagship programs, including serving as Co-Chair of TiE StartupCon (f/k/a TiECon East), the largest startup conference in the Northeast, for two years, 2016 Chair of TYE (a powerful mentoring program for our high school entrepreneurs) and has performed due diligence for TiE Angels (TiE’s impactful investment arm).

Shaloo Savla

Shaloo Savla

Savla is a research analyst with Fidelity Investments in the Fixed Income Division of Fidelity Management & Research Company (FMRCo), the investment arm of Fidelity Investments. Prior to joining Fidelity in the Boston area, Savla worked at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in its Toronto office, where he specialized in business transformation projects, most notably with clients in the financial services and industrial goods practices.

Outside of these experiences, Savla has lived and worked in regions around the world including Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia.   Savla received his MBA and MPP degrees from Harvard Business School and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2013. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Savla received an HBA in Business Administration and a BSc in Health Sciences, which he received in 2006, both from the University of Western Ontario. In 2015, Savla was selected as a “40 under 40” recipient by the New Hampshire Union Leader. He is a charter member of TiE-Boston and has been Co-Chair of TiE StartupCon in 2016.

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India’s action plan to handhold new entrepreneurs

Mar 14, 2016 0

New Delhi– The government has prepared an action plan for 22 sectors under ‘Make in India’ initiative to promote new entrepreneurs in the country, parliament was told on Monday/

“An investor facilitation cell has been created in Invest India to assist and handhold investors,” Commerce and Industry Minister

Nirmala Sitharaman

Nirmala Sitharaman

told the Lok Sabhain a written reply.

She also said that the central government rolled out a start-up action plan to create a conducive environment for budding entrepreneurs (start-ups) in the country.

The start-up action plan includes simple compliance regime for them based on their self-certification. A mobile app and portal for compliance and information exchange was also launched.

Sitharaman said that a Start-up India Hub was set up to handhold new entrepreneurs during various phases of their development along with legal support and fast-tracking patent examination at reduced costs. The government relaxed norms of public procurement and faster exit for startups.

The minister said start-ups would be provided funding support through a fund of funds with a corpus of Rs.10,000 crore. Tax exemption will also be allowed on capital gains invested in fund of funds.

She also said there will be credit guarantee fund available for start-ups and they will be allowed to enjoy tax exemption for three years.

Apart from this, the central government will be organising start-up fests to showcase innovations and providing collaboration platforms, the minister said.

The commerce minister also sought harnessing private sector expertise for setting up incubators.

Seven new research parks modeled on the Research Park at IIT Madras have been set up, she said.

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Fintech start-ups win HDFC Bank Digital Innovation Summit

Mar 10, 2016 0

Mumbai– Five fintech start-ups in artificial intelligence, quality assurance, mobile, and biometric payments domains were selected as winners of HDFC Bank Digital Innovation Summit, a company statement said here on Thursday.

The winners are Senseforth Technologies, Tagnpin, Net Vigil Software, Bugclipper Technologies and Tapits Technologies.

These start-ups get a chance to deploy their products in the Bank, post further evaluation on technical, business, security, and compliance parameters.

The summit received more than 100 entries from start-ups all over India. Thirty start-ups were shortlisted to make a presentation to the jury comprising senior management from digital banking, branch banking, marketing, IT, e-commerce and cards.

These start-ups presented their ideas to the jury on March 3-4, 2016, in Mumbai and were evaluated on parameters like uniqueness and innovation, business potential, usability and scalability, compatibility with HDFC Bank’s business and technology platforms.

The initiative is part of the bank’s strategic focus on customer convenience, access and delight, using technology as an enabler, the statement added.

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Google, TechHub join hands to boost Startup India initiative

Feb 24, 2016 0

New Delhi–Internet giant Google and global community for tech entrepreneurs TechHub on Wednesday announced their global partnership that will benefit startups from India for the first time.

The partnership with Google for Entrepreneurs will bring more opportunities to TechHub’s 700-plus tech startups around the world including India, said a statement released here.

Google supports TechHub’s work to help hundreds of tech companies scale up their businesses.

“In Bengaluru, we see a huge variety of startups creating innovative products, and we want to help them succeed both in India and all around the world. TechHub and Google for Entrepreneurs is a strong partnership that will empower Indian entrepreneurs to go global from the very beginning,” Elizabeth Varley, TechHub’s global co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.

Now TechHub members in Bengaluru and other TechHub locations in Riga, Bucharest, Madrid, Warsaw and London will have access to programmes and assistance from Google.

“TechHub’s ‘community first’ values and their focus on supporting founders and startups with education and programs align perfectly with the goals of Google for Entrepreneurs,” added David Grunwald, Google for Entrepreneurs’ head of EMEA Partnerships.

TechHub members hail from over 60 countries and every member can access Google in six international cities.

TechHub membership gives each entrepreneur access to every TechHub in the world and all the programmes and opportunities available there.

TechHub’s programme helped startups face the challenges of building and growing a global tech company, the statement said.

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Start-ups initiative new hope for India: Sunil Mittal

Feb 6, 2016 0

GURGAON–The ‘Start-up India’ initiative will help the youth in building a strong India, Sunil Bharti Mittal, founder and chairman, Bharti Enterprises, said here on Saturday.

Sunil Bharti Mittal

Sunil Bharti Mittal

Addressing students at the convocation ceremony at Amity University Gurgaon after being conferred an honorary doctorate degree, Mittal said that when he completed his education in 1976, there were very little options of help and hope in the business arena.

At that time, everything, every policy was decided by the central government, he said.

“What to produce, how to produce, when to produce, in what quantity. They were all decided by the government in Delhi,” Mittal said, adding that now the time has completely changed, and one can imagine and come forward with ideas and start working.

Options and capital are now available for people who really want to do something, he said, hoping that the Start-ups initiative will help youth make a new India.

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US leads the world with 65 percent of the $1 billion-plus startups, followed by China with 14 percent and India 4 percent

Feb 5, 2016 0

LOS ANGELES—The U.S. continues to be a global magnet for innovative startup companies as measured by the number with valuations in excess of $1 billion and by the total valuation during the past two years, according to a new study released by the USC Marshall Center for Global Innovation.

Between January 2014 and the end of 2015, the U.S. minted nearly two-thirds (65%) of the world’s “Unicorns” – defined as ground-breaking startup companies that achieve a financial valuation of $1 billion or more in any month of the two-year period – according to the “2016 Unicorn Index by Nation: Startups Valued at $1 Billion or More.”

Gerard J. Tellis

Gerard J. Tellis

That was almost five times as many as second-ranked China (14%). Rounding out the list of countries with the highest percentage of Unicorns were India (4%), United Kingdom (3%), Singapore, Sweden, Germany and Canada (all with 2%), South Korea (1.5%), and Russia and Czech Republic (with 1%). The U.S. also captured a 63 percent share of total global Unicorn valuation, followed by China (22%), India (5%), Sweden (2%), Germany (1.5%), and Singapore and United Kingdom (about 1%).

The results provide evidence that the U.S. “has not lost its startup mojo,” and that smaller or emerging countries and regions may be benefitting by making it easier for new businesses to incubate and begin the journey toward a $1 billion valuation, said Gerard J. Tellis, director of the Center for Global Innovation at the USC Marshall School of Business, who developed the index.

“These results may help quiet those who have – perhaps prematurely – bemoaned the decline of the U.S. as a technology innovator and economic power,” Tellis said. “The presence of Unicorns in a country or region signals the creation of new wealth, represents the embodiment of radical innovation, and reminds us that true innovators have the potential to become disruptive market changers, as we’ve seen in the past with startups like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Uber.”

On a regional basis, Silicon Valley accounted for 39 percent of Unicorns, followed by New York (9%), Beijing (6%), Los Angeles (5%), Boston (4%) and Shanghai (3%). London, Singapore, Stockholm, Provo (UT), Berlin, Hangzhou and New Delhi each had 2 percent shares, while Seoul had 1.5 percent and Shenzhen/Hong Kong, Mumbai, Guangzhou, Chicago, Jacksonville (FL), Bangalore, Moscow and Prague each had about a 1 percent share of the Unicorn population.

Silicon Valley again accounted for the highest percentage regional share of Unicorn valuation (45%), followed by Beijing (15%), Los Angeles (8%), New York (5%), Bangalore and Shanghai (both 3%), and Stockholm, Boston, Shenzhen/Hong Kong and Berlin (all 2%). Singapore, London, Jacksonville and New Delhi each accounted for a 1 percent share of the total Unicorn valuation.

Notably absent from the rankings were Japan and Italy, regions such as Tokyo and Rome, and – in the U.S. – Austin, TX.

“What policy-makers should ponder is why Beijing and Bangalore rank high, but Tokyo and Rome do not,” said Tellis. “Factors such as ease of starting a business or starting a competing enterprise, how welcoming a country or region is to new immigrants, and other economic and cultural variables may well play an important role in driving the establishment of new Unicorns.”

Companies were included in the study results if they exceeded a value of $1 billion during any month between January 2014 and the end of 2015 according to source data primarily from The Wall Street Journal and CB Insights, a private venture capital data base. Valuations were not limited to high technology companies. Country and regional rankings were calculated based on shares in terms of numbers and valuations of each Unicorn.

The Center for Global Innovation conducts research based on hard market data and is continuing to research factors behind trends in the Unicorn rankings. It is anticipated that the report will be updated on a regular basis and that academic research will be available for publication after 2017.

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NASSCOM inaugurates startup warehouse in Hyderabad

Jan 18, 2016 0

HYDERABAD– Nasscom on Monday said it has partnered with the Telangana government and other entities to create a “startup warehouse” here that will provide an affordable co-working space to the young entrepreneurs.

T-Hub Nasscom Startup Warehouse would take care of young entrepreneurs’ concerns of building right product in the market and give them a platform to emerge as stronger players, said Nasscom chairman B.V.R. Mohan Reddy in a statement.

B.V.R. Mohan Reddy

B.V.R. Mohan Reddy

T-Hub is a public private partnership (PPP) between Telangana government and Indian School of Business (ISB), International Institute of Information Technology-Hyderabad (IIIT-H) and National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) along with other private sector leaders.

Aiming to create a micro ecosystem where startups and entrepreneurs can work together and share experiences, ‘NASSCOM 10,000 Startups’ is setting up ‘warehouses’ across Indian states.

The first startup warehouse was set up in Bengaluru in 2013, followed Kolkata, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Kochi, and Gurgaon.

“Nasscom 10,000 startup programme is now looking to launch this facility in other emerging cities in partnership with their respective governments,” said the Nasscom statement.

Bengaluru warehouse has recently been expanded from 10,000 sq ft to 40,000 sq ft in keeping up with the response the warehouse elicited from budding entrepreneurs.

According to Nasscom report ‘Start-up India – Momentous Rise of the Indian Start-up Ecosystem’, Hyderabad is one of the emerging cities.

T-Hub in collaboration with ISB, NALSAR and IIIT-H announced a $100 million venture capital fund, the statement said.

Telangana IT and Panchayat Raj Minister T. Rama Rao also attended the inauguration.

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