‘B2B startups in India are making inroads in enterprise space’ – Madhurima Agarwal, NetApp Excellerator
12/28/2017

‘B2B startups in India are making inroads in enterprise space’ – Madhurima Agarwal, NetApp Excellerator

NetApp accelerator’s recent demo day featured startups in AI, data security, automation, video analytics, e-health and legal workflow. The accelerator model can help them win corporate customers.

This article is part of the YourStory series Startup Hatch, about incubators, accelerators and makerspaces in the startup ecosystem. See earlier profiles of initiatives at IIT Bombay, IIM Bangalore, BITS Pilani, NCL, Tata Elxsi, Axilor, NID, IIIT-Bangalore, IIIT-Hyderabad, Vellore Institute of Technology, PSG Coimbatore, Workbench Projects, Makers Asylum, Appy Hours, Turning Ideas. Ashoka Innovators, and Startup Leadership Programme.

Madhurima Agarwal is Senior Manager at NetApp Excellerator. She has over 14 years of experience, spread across enterprises and startups. She was the Director for Corporate strategy at CommonFloor. Madhurima is an alumna of IIM, Ahmedabad.

She worked in London as well as in India with renowned financial firms such as Goldman Sachs and Fidelity Investments. She is an ex-entrepreneur and has donned the hat of a mentor, advisor and investor for various startups. NetApp’s product releases are driven by Ajeya Motaganahalli, Director, Engineering Programmes.

Madhurima joins us in this interview with updates on the journey, accomplishments and messages of NetApp Excellerator.

YS: What was the founding vision of your accelerator, and how is it supported?

MA: NetApp launched this programme with the sole intention of fostering innovation in our ecosystem. We were a startup once and we would like to give back to the ecosystem in the best way we can. We would like to shorten the innovation cycles of these startups based on the experiential journey we have undergone ourselves

YS: Which startups have graduated from your accelerator so far?

MA: We had the Demo Day for our first batch on December 12. Here are profiles of some of the startups:

Adya is a SaaS data security platform that helps companies protect their data from insider theft and from ransomware. It has a ‘cloud scale real-time learning engine’ that analyses events from data sources in real-time and provides alerts in case of abnormal behaviour.

Enclouden is focussed on automating IT infrastructure on a private cloud/VDI solution. It provides automated self-healing and self-managing properties to manage, monitor, and secure distributed IT systems.

Lightmetrics is developing software for ADAS and video analytics to make driving safer and better understand driving behaviour. Its hardware agnostic SDK enables it to work on a range of devices like smartphones, tablets, and dash cameras.

Scalend Insights Application is an AI-enabled platform that tracks customer interactions real-time across multiple channels. It cleanses and integrates data, allowing prediction of customer’s behaviour and actions.

Vaultedge automates legal workflows using artificial intelligence so that lawyers can focus on high value tasks. It can extract clauses as well as relevant data points, and provides categorisation of contracts.

VitaCloud is a digital health platform that empowers physicians to manage chronic diseases remotely, using connected technology, data and the human touch. Its ‘Internet of Medical Things’ (IoMT) platform combines variables about biometric vitals, food, physical activity, and medication, and maps the relationship between lifestyle, metabolic risk factors, and chronic diseases.

YS: What would you say are the top three opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs?

MA:

First, building world class products for the huge Indian population with a unique demography.
Second, delivering solutions to global enterprise scale challenges (I see more and more B2B startups quietly making inroads in the enterprise space).
Third, riding on the momentum that the government is creating for a digital India.

YS: What are the key challenges faced by startups in India, and how can you help bridge the gap?

MA:

1. Understanding enterprise scale: This is one of the problems most B2B startups face as they try to scale their solution from an SME to enterprise scale. NetApp helps startups on the technical and business side to build their products and strategy in such a way that they are scalable and can cater to an enterprise’s needs.
2. Access to customers: Enterprise sales can be long and getting to the right person to speak to can itself take months. NetApp partners with select startups and helps them shorten the cycle by getting access to the right person to talk to early on.

YS: What is the selection criteria for startups in your accelerator?

MA: There are multiple parameters we look at, of which the team is primary. We look at the quality of the team. The stage and idea are also important parameters. Also, we are very mindful of the fact that the startup should be in an area where NetApp can add value.

YS: How would you differentiate your accelerator from the other accelerators in the field?

MA: We provide mentoring, access to customers, investor connects, co-working space and a grant of equity-free $15,000. With NetApp’s rich history of innovation and expertise in data management, we are providing startups the right mentorship — both technical and business. Additionally, we get best-in-class global industry experts to help them define their business strategy and focus.
Our B2B accelerator programme has been designed to help startups create innovative world-class products and solutions that are market-ready. The programme enables startups to use NetApp expertise and its ecosystem of partners, subject matter experts and customers to realise the maximum potential of their innovative ideas.

YS: What would you define as success for your accelerator?

MA: I consider the NetApp Excellerator to be successful if the startups in our cohort succeed. Success for the startups can mean any or all of three things: getting customers, raising investment, and making significant improvements in their product offering.
We just completed the first cohort and are thrilled with the success the startups have achieved. In the first cohort of the six startups, I am excited to share that we have seen success across all three aspects. One of the startups has raised an angel round, another is in the middle of a VC round.
Two have pivoted and created a strong product that is finding lot of traction in the global market; almost all have had multiple customer introductions and are progressing rapidly with GTM. One startup has become a NetApp Alliance partner, which is a coveted status.

YS: How do you compare and contrast India’s accelerators with that of other countries such as the US and China?

MA: We looked at a lot of accelerators abroad and feel that we are at par with the global accelerators. A key difference, though, is having a fund and taking equity stakes.
The ecosystem as a whole affects the kind of exposure the startups get, and I have definitely seen huge strides being made in that space. More MNCs are opening up accelerators or innovation centres in India.

YS: What are your recommendations for Indian policymakers to make business easier for accelerators, investors, researchers and startups in India?

MA: Having a think tank that comprises leading accelerators and investors is imperative. They are the people who engage with startups at all stages and understand the long-term impact they can have on the economy. Combining enterprise experience with investment acumen is a win-win and can add a lot of value to startups.
I would suggest looking at Israel where the government has some extremely accelerator friendly policies, and invests in setting up accelerators. They also help the startups get revenues by licensing their IP or enabling exits. Such measures can be a game changer for the startup scene in India.

YS: What are your recommendations or words of inspiration to the startups and entrepreneurs in our audience?

MA: The world is changing, and the pace of change is faster than ever, and it is being driven by startups. The entrepreneurs are disrupting the world, and now is the most conducive environment to be an entrepreneur in.
It can be fairly lonely being an entrepreneur, but it is the focus and grit that keeps you going. There will be a hundred voices throwing advice at you, but listen to your heart (of course don’t leave your brain behind!) and you shall prevail.

Meet The 6 Startups That Graduated From The First Cohort Of NetApp Excellerator
12/13/2017

MEET THE 6 STARTUPS THAT GRADUATED FROM THE FIRST COHORT OF NETAPP EXCELLERATOR

The US-headquartered data storage and management company NetApp has announced the graduation of the first cohort of six startups during the NetApp Excellerator Demo Day on December 12, 2017. The six startups that graduated are LightMetrics, ADYA, Vaultedge, Vitacloud, EnCloudEn and Scalend.

Located in Bengaluru, NetApp Excellerator programme is NetApp’s first-ever startup accelerator to help enterprise startups achieve their full potential through mentorship with one of NetApp’s R&D teams. The accelerator programme provides business and technology mentorship, customer access, access to tools, investors, coworking space and funding grants of $15K. In September, out of 250 applicants, six startups were shortlisted for the four-month-long graduation programme.

Deepak Visweswaraiah, SVP & MD, NetApp India stated, “Mentoring the startups in our very first cohort was a valuable learning experience for us. It allowed us to reconnect with the startup that we remain at heart. We will continue to support the startups through the NetApp Excellerator program and provide them with the best ecosystem to achieve success.”

As the cohort’s alumni, the startups will have continued access to mentorship and go-to-market opportunities with NetApp, as well as ecosystem connects. They will also share their experiences with startups in the future cohorts.

Commenting on the NetApp Excellerator programme, Ajeya Motaganahalli, Director of NetApp Excellerator program said, “With our rich history of innovation and expertise in data management, we have been able to provide the right mentorship, both technical and sales related, to the startups in our first cohort. We leveraged expertise from across NetApp to help the six best startups selected from the 250 applications received. In addition, we got them the best-in-class global industry experts to help them qualify the target markets better and supplement their technical capabilities.”

During the course of the programme, one of the participants Adya raised an angel round of funding to the tune of $250K

NetApp Excellerator: Meet The Six Startups

ADYA: Founded by Deepak Balakrishna and Pradeep Das in 2016, ADYA provides a SaaS services to help companies protect their data in their cloud apps from overexposure and insider threats.

Scalend Technologies: Founded by ex-Paypal employees, Ravi Madhira and Srikanth Parthasarathy in 2016, the Bengaluru-based startup provides an AI-enabled data discovery and insights platform for financial companies and services.

Vaultedge: Founded by Murali Tirupati and Sajeev Aravindan in 2015, the startup helps lawyers complete contract reviews and due diligences faster using AI.

Vitacloud: Founded by Rohin Bhargava and Rahul Vinod Upputuri in 2016, Vitacloud is a digital health platform that empowers physicians to prevent, manage and reverse chronic diseases, using connected technology and data.

LightMetrics: Founded by Soumik Ukil, Mithun Uliyar, Ravi Shenoy, Gururaj Putraya, Krishna AG and Dr Pushkar Patwardhan in 2015, LightMetrics helps make driving safer. The startup helps understand driver behaviour better by providing visual context to telematics.

EnCloudEn: Founded by Satya Kishore Gontina, Abinash Saikia and Vishwa Vijoyendra Narayan in 2015, the startup delivers a proprietary zero-touch private cloud and VDI solution built on its own hyper-converged platform for enterprises.

Considering that Google, Microsoft, IBM, Intel and other leading software and hardware giants have already been providing accelerator programmes, NetApp Excellerator is a late entrant to the Indian startup ecosystem, largely due to the lack of data-centric ecosystem.

As the first NetApp Excellerator Demo Day event commemorated the completion of the first cohort, NetApp has opened lines for the applications for the second cohort. Startups based on horizontals like IOT, cloud, big data and analytics, machine learning, virtualisation and data security can apply for the accelerator programme.

News Source: Inc42

Meet the six startups graduating from NetApp’s maiden accelerator programme

MEET THE SIX STARTUPS GRADUATING FROM NETAPP’S MAIDEN ACCELERATOR PROGRAMME

US-based data storage and management company NetApp Inc. has said that six startups have graduated from its first batch of accelerator programme, ‘NetApp Excellerator’.

These startups, which were selected from among 250 applicants, serve clients across the financial, legal, healthcare, and transportation services sectors.

The four-month-long programme offers the selected startups access to NetApp platforms and technologies, tools, co-working space, human resources, marketing, legal and tech support. Under Excellerator, NetApp also offers an equity-free grant of $15,000 to the selected startups upon completion of the programme.

The startups will own their intellectual property and NetApp would not seek a stake in them.

“Our whole vision behind starting this program was primarily to build an ecosystem that can help innovate and solve some of the customer problems that we see. Our intention was to bring our expertise in the data management business and help build an ecosystem around it,” Ajeya Motaganahalli, director and leader of the NetApp Excellerator programme, said.

The company has opened up the application process for the next batch, which will be closed on 19 January 2018. The second cohort will commence on 21 February.

A quick look at the startups:

Scalend Technologies: Bangalore-based Scalend Technologies Pvt. Ltd was founded in 2015. The startup provides an artificial intelligence-enabled data discovery and insights platform for financial companies and services. It uses AI and machine learning to generate insights by analysing omnichannel data for the banking, financial services and insurance sector. It has built a platform that provides data-oriented insights to solve business problems. Ravi Madhira and Srikanth Parthasarathy are its two co-founders.

Adya: It operates on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model and provides a big data and machine learning stack that helps companies protect their data from employee theft and ransomware. It helps companies detect sensitive data (whether inside the enterprise or on the cloud), protect it from overexposure and alert in case of misuse or theft.
Adya Inc. was founded by Deepak Balakrishna and Pradeep Das. It raised angel investment of $250,000 during the accelerator programme. The startup was earlier part of Axilor Ventures’s fifth accelerator batch.

Enclouden: It focusses on automating IT infrastructure on a private cloud or providing a virtual desktop infrastructure solution. It helps manage, monitor and secure distributed IT systems. Enclouden is building an IT system that can run without human intervention.
The Bangalore-based startup was founded by Abinash Saikia and Satya Kishore Gontina in 2012. Enclouden is run by Invicto Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

Lightmetrics: Launched in 2015, Lightmetrics Technologies Pvt. Ltd uses computer vision and machine learning to collect and analyse data on driving quality using a smartphone. The startup was founded by Soumik Ukil, Krishna A. G., Mithun Uliyar, Ravi Shenoy, Pushkar Patwardhan and Gururaj Putraya.
The startup provides real-time traffic alerts–traffic signs, distance, lane departure, etc–to drivers.
It provides Android and iOS software development kits for the mobile device that can be used to analyse videos in real time. It also provides real-time notifications and stores driver behaviour data on the cloud.

Vaultedge: Founded in 2015 by Sajeev Aravindan and Murali Tirupati, Vaultedge Software Pvt. Ltd helps law firms and enterprises complete contract reviews and due diligences faster using artificial intelligence. Vaultedge automatically analyses contracts and highlights risks there by saving 70% of time lawyers spend in contract reviews.

Vitacloud: Bangalore-based Vitacloud Digital Health Pvt. Ltd provides a solution to physicians to prevent, manage and reduce chronic health diseases by using data and analytics. The startup was founded by Vinod Shankar, Rohin Bhargava and Rahul Vinod in 2016.
The startup has a cloud-based platform that integrates information in real time from multiple data sources such as health monitors, wearable devices, clinical records, mobile sensors, apps and public content. It aims to combine different variables to create a health baseline or a real-time smart profile for users.

News Source: VC Circle

NetApp Graduates Six Startups

NetApp Graduates Six Startups

NetApp, US-based data storage and management company, on Tuesday announced graduation of its first batch of startups as part of NetApp Excellerator programme.

The selected startups include Adya, Scalend Technologies, Vaultedge, Vitacloud, Lightmetrics and Enclouden. NetApp India Senior VP & MD Deepak Visweswaraiah said mentoring six startup as part of the very first cohort is a learning experience.

The engagement with startups will help in enhancing the credibility of them and present them jointly go to the customer.

The company also invited applications for the second cohort from Tuesday and the last day will be January 19. The programme will startup from February 21.

News Source: Deccan Herald

ACCELERATOR PROGRAM A SUCCESS : NETAPP

ACCELERATOR PROGRAM A SUCCESS : NETAPP

NetApp on Thursday announced the graduation of the first batch of its accelerator programme in India and called for applications for the second. The 5.5$-billion data management company said it was very happy with the experience from the first batch. One of the participating strartups, Scalend Technologies, an AI enabled data discovery and insights platform for financial companies & services, has become a NetApp Alliance Partner, which means the two will take their solutions jointly to the market.

Note: The coverage is secured basis the media briefing at the NetApp Excellerator Demo Day.

NetApp helps 6 startups using AI and machine learning achive big
12/12/2017

NetApp helps 6 startups using AI and machine learning achive big

Bengaluru, Dec 12 (UNI) IT products that could revolutionise personal healthcare, help lawyers decode voluminous agreements and ensure safe driving are among the six startups that have been successfully handled by NetApp, a data authority on hybrid cloud. These six startups have graduated from the first Excellerator
Programme of NetApp that was designed to help enterprise startups to achieve their full potential through mentorship with one of NetApp’s largest research and development teams.
One of them, Scalend, has become an alliance Partner with NetApp itself to offer software to financial sector for enhancing their business using Artificial Intelligence. Operating from India and Singapore it already has six clients and with the help of NetApp
marketing skills aim to enhance its business.
Scalend Technologies CEO Ravi Madhira told newsmen here that the programme had helped the company to focus on market research and identify the right target market and target customers.
NetApp which held the first Excelerator demo programme today also exhibited the product of Light metrics, which has come out with a software driven camera that could enable drivers of vehicles to avoid accidents and drive safely. Its product had already been picked up by a trucking company in the US.
Similarly, Valuedge, is another startup which has for the first time come up with a data based products that could help legal firms and corporate entities to scan draft agreements in least time with voluminious agreements reduced to three page summary.
NetApp Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Indian operations, Deepak Visweswaraiah said that mentoring of startups have given a valuable learning experience as it allowed the company to reconnect with the startup that remain at heart. NetApp would provide them with best ecosystem to achieve success.
The six startup were selected from more than 250 startups that had applied for the programme which not only had a cash support of USD 15,000 each but also provided necessary technical, logistic and mentoring support to these six start ups.
The second programme has kicked up and applications have been sought from prospective start ups with the last day being January 19, Mr Visweswaraiah said.
UNI CNR RS CS 1810

News Source: UNI

First 6 startups graduate from NetApp Excellerator programme

First 6 startups graduate from NetApp Excellerator programme

Data storage and management company NetApp on Tuesday announced the graduation of its first cohort of six start-ups as part of the NetApp Excellerator programme.

The programme is designed to help enterprise startups achieve their full potential through mentorship with one of NetApp’s largest R&D teams.

The six start-ups — Lightmetrics, Adya, Vaultedge, Vitacloud, Enclouden and Scalend — demonstrated their achievements and progress to venture capitalists, NetApp executives and prominent industry leaders.

“We leveraged expertise from across NetApp to help the six best start-ups selected from the 250 applications received.

In addition, we got them the best-in-class global industry experts to help them qualify the target markets better and supplement their technical capabilities,” said Ajeya Motaganahalli, Director and leader of the NetApp Excellerator programme.

Now as alumni, the startups will have continued access to mentorship and go-to-market opportunities with NetApp as well as eco-system connects.

“NetApp mentorship helped us focus our market research, and identify the right market and target customers we could go after,” said Ravi Madhira, CEO, Scalend Technologies.

Applications for the second cohort are now open, the company said.

“We will continue to support the start-ups through the NetApp Excellerator programme and provide them with the best ecosystem to achieve success,” added Deepak Visweswaraiah, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, NetApp India. –IANS na/vm

News Source: Business Standard

These startups from NetApp Excellerator’s first cohort are poised to take their innovations to a global B2B market
11/15/2017

These startups from NetApp Excellerator’s first cohort are poised to take their innovations to a global B2B market

For startups, building their business is like working on a jigsaw puzzle – a multitude of intricate pieces that need to fit into just the right place for the picture to be complete. At times, they need a helping hand to figure out the gaps and how best to address them.

The NetApp Excellerator programme helps startups realise the full potential and reach of their innovative ideas. Launched in June this year, the NetApp Excellerator has been instrumental in providing startups with knowledge and experience on various aspects of setting up and scaling up a business, giving them access to NetApp technologies, partners and mentors. In addition, the programme provides the selected startups access to potential customers and venture capitalists and helps them explore how best they can take their innovative ideas to a global market.

The programme received 260 applications in all, from which the following six startups were shortlisted for the four-month-long immersive programme. Here’s a quick look at the select six.

(The Demo Day for the first cohort of the NetApp Excellerator is scheduled to be held on December 12. Do watch this space for more details on the exciting and innovative solutions which will be showcased on the occasion.)

Adya: For any enterprise, securing their data against vulnerabilities, both internal and external, is a vital need. Adya is a SaaS-data security platform that helps companies protect their data from insider theft and ransomware. It does this by helping companies detect where their most sensitive data is (whether it’s inside the enterprise or in the cloud), protecting it from overexposure and issuing an alert in case of misuse or theft. The platform works on the premise that since the attacker since the attacker already has access to the network — either in the form of a malicious insider or an insider whose credentials have been compromised, traditional cybersecurity defences such as firewalls and VPNs would not be able to protect enterprises from these attacks.

Deepak Balakrishna, Co-founder and CEO, Adya, says “Being part of the NetApp accelerator has given us access to world-class facilities, mentoring and channels and has been a great signal to potential investors, customers and employees. As the market leader in data management solutions, their expertise, feedback and brand is very valuable as we go to market. As a B2B focused accelerator – of which there are very few in India – NetApp has the potential to help B2B startups such as Adya that are in the data security space move to the next level.”

NetApp’s Director of Engineering Programs Ajeya Motaganahalli, who also heads the accelerator, says, “Security is always a hot space, and Adya with its SaaS-based offering possesses the potential to grow into a potent security solution for companies that operate in the cloud. The founder has a lot of depth and is quick to notice success factors and capitalise on these. A case in point is their recent pivot from OnPrem to Cloud.”

EnCloudEn : A technology platform, EnCloudEn helps organisations automate their IT infrastructure at reduced costs, including setting up an internal cloud-based datacenter, consolidating IT workloads with the private cloud, deploying virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and enabling IT for users in a bring your own device (BYOD) model, among others

“NetApp Excellerator is helping us take a leap by facilitating access to expertise in various areas related to building a tech company. We really appreciate how invested the team at NetApp Excellerator is in our success,” says EnCloudEn Co-Founder Abinash Saikia

According to Ajeya, “EnCloudEn is an extremely dynamic startup with a set of hugely talented and accomplished young founders who are extremely ambitious. They are well on their way to creating a uniquely compelling offering in a crowded market by offering a cost-effective infrastructure solution.”

LightMetrics: This startup is working to make roads safer and smarter by using smartphones to collect motion insights during transportation and analysing this real-time data to better understand driver behaviour. One of their products, RideView, is a cross-platform and hardware agnostic SDK that can process a forward-facing camera video to alert the driver in real time, and ensure compliance with traffic laws. Their SDK can be integrated on devices such as smartphones, tablets and dash cameras.

“NetApp Excellerator is easily one of the better thought-out and executed startup accelerator programmes in India. Getting startup mentors and coaches from Silicon Valley has been hugely beneficial, and this exercise showed us how a startup can figure out its market segments, key value proposition, go-to-market, etc. through well-established processes and exercises. Access to key people in India and the US through the extended NetApp family is a huge benefit. During our time so far, it feels great to see how invested NetApp has been in ensuring that startups in the cohort do well in a sustainable manner,” says Krishna A.G., Co-Founder and V.P. of Sales, LightMetrics.

“I have noticed a very high degree of maturity and focus in this team of founders. Their openness to learn and their single-minded focus on customer acquisition can only be surpassed by their determination to stay the course and succeed,” says Ajeya.

Scalend Technologies: The BFSI sector has always been data-driven and when harnessed efficiently, this data derives rich insights which helps the businesses. Scalend’s solution is in the form of an AI-enabled data insights platform for financial services and fintech companies. The platform combines proprietary AI models with Big Data – Hadoop’s unlimited storage and computing power, which can generate actionable insights around omni-channel customer journeys, fraud detection and back-office optimisation, in a matter of weeks.

According to Srikanth Parthasarathy, Co-founder, Scalend Technologies, “Building a B2B product startup is hard, and most startup accelerators are focused on B2C startups. The NetApp Excellerator has been refreshingly different from others, with a very strong B2B focus – both in clearly defining the product and market, and a strong emphasis on talking to customers and iterating from there. For us, the added advantage of NetApp offering the support of its large and experienced sales machine makes the Excellerator that much more compelling.”

Ajeya’s opinion on Scalend is this: “A great combination of a compelling product; that too at a time when the financial industry is undergoing digital transformation, combined with a set of great founders. This is an ideal company to partner with”.

Vaultedge: Poring through lengthy legal contracts is a time consuming and effort-intensive exercise. Vaultedge uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to automate legal workflows so that lawyers can focus on the high value tasks. With Vaultedge’s solution, you can upload a contract and see the extracted information in seconds. Their AI platform can understand contracts the way a lawyer does, and accurately identify over 200 clauses and data points. Using their solution, companies can save 70 per cent of their time spent in reviewing contracts.

“The NetApp team has been very open and generous about connecting us to their customers, thus creating sales opportunities for us, says Murali Tirupati, Co-Founder & CEO, Vaultedge

“Vaultedge has a compelling solution for the legal space. The founders are quick to notice new opportunities and pivot quickly to address emerging needs. They are playing in a park where the addressable space is large with only a few competitors,” says Ajeya.

Vitacloud Digital Health Pvt. Ltd.

VitaCloud uses data and analytics to prevent, manage and reduce chronic health diseases through its IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) platform. The platform helps care providers and patients to collaboratively manage chronic diseases by combining connected technologies, data, and the human touch. The solution collects real time data from different health sources like wearables, in-home medical devices, laboratory reports, nutrition databases and population health studies to create a comprehensive health profile. It provides continuous patient monitoring services, Type 2 diabetes management, fitness and weight-loss coaching.

“It has been an incredible experience to be a part of NetApp’s first Excellerator cohort. We find great synergies between NetApp’s data fabric vision and VitaCloud’s data-driven approach to better health outcomes. The Excellerator programme has enabled us to access powerful business connects, technical expertise and knowledgeable mentors within the NetApp ecosystem. It has allowed us to refine our product build-out strategy and execute a structured go-to-market approach. The programme has also provided us with critical business services like IT support, IP advisory and a truly world class co-working environment that fosters collaboration and innovation. Finally, the no-strings attached USD 15,000 grant is valuable for early stage companies that are still bootstrapped or self-funded.”

“With this rich experience and visibility, we feel confident that we can scale VitaCloud to the next orbit of growth,” says Vinod Shankar, Co-Founder, VitaCloud.

In turn, Ajeya believes that VitaCloud has “highly sorted and mature founders who have a clear vision for their product with an extremely consumer-centric vision. They are playing in the healthcare space that has huge potential.”

Blog Source: YourStory

6 Startups sign up in NetApp’s First Accelerator Cohort

6 Startups sign up in NetApp’s First Accelerator Cohort

NetApp, the multinational storage and data management company, has taken in six startups as a part of its first startup accelerator cohort. The company has selected startups that have a B2B focus. The startups were selected from over 200 applications and will get a $15,000 grant from NetApp. “In India we have seen there is a lot of stress on B2C. But, we are focused on the B2B space. We believe there is long-term value creation in that space,“ said Ajeya Motaganahalli, Leader NetApp Excellerator Program. NetApp has selected companies which strive to bring in automation and data analytics capabilities across sectors. The company wants to have two cohorts, each year, going forward. Startups selected in this cohort include Adya, Lightmetrics, Enclouden, Scalend Technologies, Vaultedge and Vitacloud Digital Health.

Six Startups in the first cohort of #NetAppExcellerator
11/08/2017

Six Startups in the first cohort of #NetAppExcellerator

The first startup accelerator of NetApp – The NetApp Excellerator has selected six startups as part of its first cohort. These startups have a B2B focus and were selected from over 250 applications. NetApp will provide business and technology mentorship, customer access, technology/business support, access to tools, investor connects, co-working space and an equity free grant of USD 15,0000 to the startups. Congratulations to the selected startups for making it to the first cohort! Read more about the selected startups here.

Ajeya’s article in CIO Review
10/29/2017

Ajeya’s article in CIO Review

“As developers and creators, we can marvel at tech innovation endlessly. However, at times, our proximity to the product can blind us from understanding whether a compelling customer use case exists.” Ajeya Motaganahalli, Director – Engineering Programs provides fascinating insights into customer acquisition in his article in CIO Review. (Turn to page 22)

‘If we build great companies, global capital will flow’ – 50 quotes from TechSparks 2017
09/25/2017

‘If we build great companies, global capital will flow’ – 50 quotes from TechSparks 2017

From leadership to luck, witness the memorable journey of Indian entrepreneurship in these excerpts and stories! StoryBites is a weekly feature from YourStory, featuring notable quotable quotes in our articles of this past week (see the previous post here). Drawn from YourStory’s articles and tweets from the annual flagship TechSparks conference, here are 50 gems of insight from a star-studded lineup of speakers. Share them with your colleagues and networks, and check back to the original articles for more insights.

Boldness has magic, has genius and has power. – Nivruti Rai, Intel India

Create with freedom, nurture with passion and change with detachment. – Gopichand Katragadda, Tata Sons

India is going to be leading innovation for the world. We have a large domestic economy for startups to succeed and a large global market. – Naveen Asrani, Microsoft India

Fintech without scale is meaningless. This is not an industry where you can merely be a small innovative player without touching the lives of a meaningful section of customers. – Shashank Rishyasringa, Capital Float

We are going through a hype cycle and the media is further ahead in portraying the death of banks, but that is not really true. – Bala Parthasarathy, MoneyTap

China will go cashless in 10 years – all payments will be digital. – Kan Liu, Wosai Technology

Technology is key to building trust and dependability in the sharing economy. – Christian Freese, Uber

We want fashion to be like quiet luxury. – Sussanne Khan

From zippers to wearables, fashion has always been innovative. – Lisa Lang, ElektroCouture

CRG (Cue Routine Gratification) is how design draws people to use products. – Himanshu Khanna, Sparklin

Farmers start up almost every single day. They constitute so much of the Indian economy but so little attention is given to them. – Balz Strasser, Swissnex India

Technology now gives people access to things they do not need to own. – Smruti Parida, Nestaway Homes

India is a big market for Germany, we can benefit from its frugal mindset and entrepreneurial spirit. – Margit Hellwig-Boette, German Consul General, Bengaluru

What you can get in the domestic market, 10X of that you can get in the global economy. – Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog

All of you do matter, every single idea matters. – Priyank Kharge, IT Minister, Karnataka

The government can now be a client and startups solving real problems can scale fast. This had never happened before. – Madhurima Agarwal, NetApp Excellerator

A major challenge for innovation in India is the disconnect between industry and academic R&D. – MS Rao, IIT Madras

Debt can be complementary to equity when you raise capital; you do not lose your equity and you can use the money to scale up product or manage working capital. – Vivek Adhav, Axis Bank

If we build great companies, global capital will flow. – Vani Kola, Kalaari Capital

Startups need money for growth. And they need growth to raise money. – Rashmi Ranjan, Yappily

Taking care of health is not a standalone process. It has to be holistic across diet and fitness. – Ankit Nagori, CureFit

We often do not realise that dieting is not about losing weight; it’s about a feeling of not being good enough. – Moritz Warntjen, BodyListeners

The future is pharmaceutical companies working along with digital health. – Jannis Busch, Bayer Pharma

Like the ‘digital twin’ for engineering, the ‘digital patient’ is a powerful model in healthcare. – Gerd Hoefner, Siemens Healthineers

It takes time for AI to learn the ontology of an industry. – Nipun Mehrotra, IBM India

Your idea combined with artificial intelligence can make you revolutionise mankind. – Vishal Dhupar, Nvidia India

Fall in love with the problem not the solution. – Nikhil Rungta, QuickBooks

You can’t be complacent. There is always another guy out there who will have a better idea and that is why you need to innovate all the time. – Sunil Sood, Vodafone India

Culture drives performance in a company. – Anu Sharma, The HR Practice

Everybody can influence the culture of a team, but it is started by the leader. – TN Hari, BigBasket

There should be a balance between transparency and diplomacy in a founder. – Amitabh Mishra, GoFro.com

One in 10 startups in the US receives support from an accelerator. Among the ones that receive investment, one in three startups has an accelerator. In India the ratio is much lower. – Ganapathy Venugopal, Axilor Ventures

It is important for accelerators to think differently from a co-working space or an incubator. You have to think like an investor. – Abhishek Gupta, TLabs

In the last two years, we are seeing Indian startups moving beyond the ‘me too’ variety; they are expanding into areas like deep tech. – Amit Shah, YES Bank

I am not trying to make millions, I am trying to change the way millions think and learn. – Byju Raveendran

A perfect mentor does not exist. There are multiple mentors out there, we need to learn to be the right mentee. – Radhika Aggarwal, ShopClues

Motivation is more important than money in making partnerships work. – Eileen Trenkmann, GIZ

Anything that is connected to the Internet is hackable. – Vineet Kumar, Cyber Peace Foundation

Data is no longer locked away in hidden devices and firewalls. – Deepak Visweswaraiah, NetApp

Data is more powerful than oil. When you sell a barrel of oil, it’s gone, but data you can sell again and again. – Ajeya Motaganahalli, NetApp

The inter-connected society is driven by the ‘3 Ss’ – sensors, software and services. – Ramakrishna Donakonda, Bosch India

Like Industry 4.0, we also need to look at Employment 4.0 – what kinds of skills and jobs will be there in the connected world? – Jurgen Lehmann, Hof University

India should look at technology to increase efficiency, not to replace workers. – Srikanth Gopalakrishnan, SAP

Scale has been the problem of our country, and today’s ecosystem allows us to scale brilliantly. – Alok Nanda, GE India

Technology is not the solution, it’s just the empowering tool. – Rajendran Dandapani, Zoho

This is the most phenomenal time to be a startup in India. – Naveen Asrani, Microsoft India

Every country needs push and pull for growth. – Sheelika Ravishankar, TeamIndus

Big stories come from small towns. – Pankaj Dubey, ‘What a Loser’

Storytelling is not a formatted business and it can be very hard for a VC to understand. – Rana Daggubati

In the creative business, we have more flops than hits. There is no assurance of success in publishing. – Chiki Sarkar, Juggernaut

Online readers are very different from traditional book readers; they are much more demanding and discerning. They have access to global material. – Sagarika Ghose, ‘Indira’

Commit to understanding what your strengths are. Don’t let others decide who you are. – Meeta Malhotra, Varana Design

Life doesn’t happen to you, you are the creator of every moment of your life. You just have to choose. – Samara Mahindra, CARER Program

While luck is a factor, at some level you need to manufacture your own luck. – Kumar Rangarajan, Slang Labs

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

(Watch out for a bigger and better TechSparks 2018. Sign up for updates now.)

Blog Source: YourStory

What does it take for an accelerator to succeed in India?
09/23/2017

What does it take for an accelerator to succeed in India?

Accelerators play a major role in supporting, grooming, and mentoring startups. While accelerator support for startups in the developed world is quite common, the trend is slowly catching up in India.

“One in 10 startups in the US receives support from an accelerator. Among the ones that receive investment, one in three startups has an accelerator. In India the ratio is much lower,” Ganapathy Venugopal, Co-founder and CEO, Axilor Ventures, said at TechSparks 2017, the eighth edition of YourStory’s flagship event.

During a panel discussion on what it takes for accelerators to succeed in India, leaders representing top accelerators discussed the parameters which define success, the current trends among startups, and the misconceptions surrounding accelerators in India.

Defining success

“It is important for accelerators to think differently from a co-working space or an incubator. You have to think like an investor,” Abhishek Gupta, COO, TLabs, said. He also laid emphasis on why accelerators need to be true in their selection process.

“Work with the startups and entrepreneurs you can truly help.”

Venugopal stressed the need for accelerators to measure their success on three parameters. “We need to assess the success of an accelerator programme by looking at it as a product itself. It should be good enough to attract talent. It should also lead to customers’ success, and investors’ success,” he added.

Naveen Asrani, Director, Startups, Microsoft Corporation India, emphasised the need for accelerators to define their role and build greater cohesion with startups. “The bottom line is to ensure that startups succeed. We are a custodian of their business but not the businesses themselves. We should either help and enable them or get out of their way,” he said.

Driving mindset change is another important parameter for defining the success of an accelerator. Amit Shah, Senior President and Country Head, Yes Bank, discussed how accelerators are leading to increased seriousness among entrepreneurs and driving change in the larger business mindset.

Discussing further on the value accelerators add to the startup ecosystem, Madhurima Agarwal, Senior Manager, NetApp Excellerator, said, “We look at three parameters when deciding the success of our accelerator programme. These are building good tech products which receive acceptance from the industry, access to market, and access to investors as and when required.”

Misconceptions and hype surrounding accelerators

Focusing on how accelerators, due to their constant engagement with startups, develop greater understanding of macro trends, Naveen asked startups how much they are willing to be coached as some entrepreneurs resist it. “Startups should choose their accelerators carefully. It is a long-term engagement, so the startup and the accelerator should be aligned on their values and larger goals,” he said.

Abhishek debunked the popular myth that accelerators are a stepping stone to investors. “Startups should focus on building better products before aiming for monetisation. Every accelerator has its strength and weakness. Startups need to decide well,” he stressed.

Siddharth Balachandran from Airbus BizLab laid emphasis on the many ways startup accelerators can help. He said, “Being an aerospace accelerator, our biggest success story is that of a data analytics startup. There is a misconception that that being an aerospace accelerator we work with only aerospace startups, which is not true.”

Trends among startups and accelerators

Amit described how, over the past few years, a trend of deeper tech innovation has been setting in.

“Money is not going to be easy and hence innovation is important.”

Discussing how large startups and accelerators are changing India’s startup scenario, Naveen added, “India is going to be leading innovation for the world. We have a large domestic economy for startups to succeed and a large global market. Pain for India will become universal pain.”

Madhurima described the rise in B2B startups as a welcome change. Adding to this, Siddharth shared how the government is increasingly willing to work with startups. “Each public department is opening up to working with startups. So the government can now be a client and startups solving real problems can scale fast. This had never happened before.”

Abhishek shared how startups are now catering to the tier-2 and tier-3 audience. “Not a single product tailored just for English-speaking customers is going to work. Many new startups are catering to the vernacular population and might do well,” he added.

According to Venugopal, the biggest trend among startups is an increased seriousness. “More and more advanced startups are coming up. These are startups that have spent enough time researching and understanding the problem, and are a welcome trend,” he said.

(Watch out for a bigger and better TechSparks 2018. Sign up for updates now.)

Blog Source: YourStory

The NetApp Excellerator shines bright at Yourstory Techsparks 2017
09/22/2017

The NetApp Excellerator shines bright at Yourstory Techsparks 2017

Yourstory TechSparks 2017 – A platform that showcased and connected the leaders of India’s startup ecosystem with those set to create disruption was abuzz with excitement. And why should it not be? From young innovative startups to leaders from the corporate fraternity were set to speak to the hundreds that gathered to make the dream of digitally empowered India a reality.
On September 22 and 23, NetApp leaders and the startups from our first cohort of NetApp Excellerator participated in the event.
Two of the startups in our accelerator cohort made it to the Tech30 list – a group of carefully curated startups from 2500 applications across a wide range of sectors and from all parts of the country. A huge shout out to VitaCloud and EncloudEn for making it to the top 30!

What does it take for an accelerator to succeed in India?

“We look at three parameters when deciding the success of our accelerator program. These are building good tech products which receive acceptance from the industry, access to market, and access to investors as and when required.” Madhurima Agarwal, Senior Manager, NetApp Excellerator opined when asked about the value accelerators add to the startup ecosystem.

Read the full article on Yourstory.

“Data is no longer locked away hidden behind firewalls, it has become distributed, dynamic & disruptive.” Deepak Visweswaraiah, SVP and MD, NetApp India said during his talk on Why large companies need to think like startups.
“Data is more powerful than oil. When you sell a barrel of oil, it’s gone, but data you can sell again and again.” – Ajeya Motaganahalli, Director, Engineering Programs said during a panel discussion on the topic: Future of innovation from India to the world.

The NetApp Excellerator booth had a good footfall and saw increased engagement as the event progressed.

Data Growth Creating New Opportunities for Organizations: NetApp
09/21/2017

Data Growth Creating New Opportunities for Organizations: NetApp

NetApp has been involved in helping startups create world-class products and innovative solutions via the NetApp Excellarator program. Deepak Visweswariah, SVP and MD at NetApp India, speaks about the program and introduces the start-ups involved. Excerpts from an interview here.

NetApp selects six Indian startups for first accelerator batch VCCircle
09/11/2017

NetApp selects six Indian startups for first accelerator batch VCCircle

US-based data storage and management company NetApp Inc. has selected six Indian startups for its first accelerator programme in the country.

The startups are Adya, Enclouden, Lightmetrics, Scalend Technologies, Vaultedge and Vitacloud Digital Health, the company told VCCircle.

Deepak Visweswaraiah, senior vice president and managing director at NetApp India, said that there is a huge scope for long-term value creation with a focus on delivering value to enterprises in the data domain with business-to-business startups.

The company had, in June, launched its ‘NetApp Excellerator’ programme in Bangalore. The
programme was open to startups working in areas such as Internet of Things, cloud, big data and analytics, machine learning, virtualisation, data security, data management and storage. Read the full story here.

Why India is seeing a fresh wave of Global Innovation Centres
08/23/2017

Why India is seeing a fresh wave of Global Innovation Centres

Deepak Visweswaraiah, MD at data management firm NetApp, sums it up well: “The R&D landscape in India has attained a mature credibility on two aspects. One is the ability to drive ecosystem connects. The second is its ability to influence and lead global product charters.” Visweswaraiah wears two hats, one as a India GIC leader and another as one of the global senior vice presidents leading a global team. GICs are also revving up the startup ecosystem with their accelerator programs. Accelerators of many like Microsoft, SAP, NetApp, Target are mentoring young startups.

NetApp unveils Startup Accelerator Program in Bangalore – PCQuest
08/02/2017

NetApp unveils Startup Accelerator Program in Bangalore – PCQuest

NetApp has unveiled the NetApp Excellerator program in Bangalore in the presence of Mohandas Pai, Guest of Honour and Keynote speaker , partners , venture capitalists , startups , and customers. Through this program , the company wants to share its unique perspective and experience around data with startup , and invest in solutions that will help enterprises through this era of digital transformation. Applications for the four- month-long program are now open for startups . Selected startups will receive technology and business mentorship as well as access to markets and investors to realize the full potential of their ideas and products in the global market place.

Zinnov Confluence Awards 2017
07/22/2017

Zinnov Confluence Awards 2017

It is with immense pride we announce that NetApp has won the Enterprise Digital Transformation award and the Agents for Change HR award at Zinnov Confluence 2017 held in Bangalore on June 22-23. We are thrilled to congratulate Dnyaneshwar Pawar for winning the Best Technical role Model award.

Ajeya Motaganahalli on start-ups and innovation at an Economic Times event
03/07/2017

Ajeya Motaganahalli on start-ups and innovation at an Economic Times event

One way for start-ups to flourish is to be open to the idea of constantly evolving. “You shouldn’t resist the change but adapt to it and innovate so that you can take advantage of the change.” – Ajeya Motaganahalli, NetApp’s Director for Engineering Programs opined at the launch of #TheIgniters, a coffee table book by The Economic Times that features the story of seven growing startups in India.
Read the full article here.