Six Startups Selected for NetApp Excellerator
04/10/2019

A maturity curve marked for NetApp Excellerator by Futuristic Technologies

A maturity curve marked for NetApp Excellerator by Futuristic Technologies

NetApp announced the fourth batch of start-ups chosen for the NetApp Excellerator, the company’s flagship accelerator program. Six start-ups were shortlisted from over 300 applicants, following a rigorous screening process including a bootcamp for the top twelve. The NetApp Excellerator program has mentored 18 start-ups through its last three cohorts and is set to accelerate a new batch of innovative enterprises.

The start-ups that have been selected for the fourth cohort are QuNu Labs, SecurelyShare, Zappy.ai, Ecolibrium Energy, Eder AI and UniQreate. While the core technology for all these start-ups is data driven, they function in the areas of Quantum Security, Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive RPA. Following the international reach of the program in the third cohort with two Singapore-based startups, this cohort has a UK-based startup.

Commenting on the launch of the fourth Cohort, Ajeya Motaganahalli, Senior Director, Engineering Programs and Leader of the NetApp Excellerator program, said, “We have been able to influence tangible commercial success in our cohorts so far in terms of customer acquisition, raising venture capital and successful exits. With the fast-paced evolution of the start-up landscape, the selection of our fourth cohort was predominantly governed by our focus on investing in futuristic technologies in data and security. I’m very excited to welcome the gamut of start-ups working on game-changing ideas in quantum computing, AI and cognitive RPA to this four-month journey of disruptive innovation in solutions and processes. We aim to realize the innovation potential of this ecosystem in terms of transformative outcomes.”

The success of the program’s alumni has reaffirmed NetApp’s contribution in promoting the growth of the start-up ecosystem. Adya, an alumnus from NetApp’s first Cohort, recently got acquired by Qualys, a leading provider of cloud-based security and compliance solutions. LightMetrics, also an alumnus from the first Cohort, secured a new series of funding.

“Our startup accelerator program has been associated with some of the best startups in the B2B space. We have focused on companies that are paving the way towards innovation in the data management space. The market is extremely competitive and through our expert technical and business mentorship, we can help the startups scale their businesses to solve global challenges. We will strive to expose our startups to customers both in India and overseas to take advantage of relevant opportunities,” said Deepak Visweswaraiah, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, NetApp India, on the company’s vision and the program.

As the four-month program kicks off, each of these start-ups will receive technical and business mentorship and support to develop market ready products and solutions, an equity-free grant of $15,000, access to NetApp’s technologies, a co-working space and HR, legal and tech support. In addition, the start-ups will be given networking opportunities with potential investors, partners, and customers.

NetApp has also formed strategic alliances with select startups from each cohort to co-create solutions and go-to-market with them. FirstHive, Cardiotrack, ZScore, Scalend, BlobCity, SigTuple, and Nanobi are the strategic alliance partners from the previous cohorts.

Source: Eletimes, BIS Infotech

NetApp unveils the fourth batch of start-ups for Excellerator Cohort

NetApp unveils the fourth batch of start-ups for Excellerator Cohort

NetApp has announced the fourth batch of start-ups chosen for the NetApp Excellerator, the company’s flagship accelerator program. Six start-ups are shortlisted from over 300 applicants, following a rigorous screening process including a boot camp for the top twelve. The NetApp Excellerator program has mentored 18 start-ups through its last three cohorts and is set to accelerate a new batch of innovative enterprises.

The start-ups that have been selected for the fourth cohort are QuNu Labs, SecurelyShare, Zappy.ai, Ecolibrium Energy, Eder AI and UniQreate. While the core technology for all these start-ups is data driven, they function in the areas of Quantum Security, Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive RPA. Following the international reach of the program in the third cohort with two Singapore-based startups, this cohort has a UK-based startup.

Ajeya Motaganahalli, Senior Director, Engineering Programs and Leader of the NetApp Excellerator program, says,“We have been able to influence tangible commercial success in our cohorts so far in terms of customer acquisition, raising venture capital and successful exits. With the fast-paced evolution of the start-up landscape, the selection of our fourth cohort was predominantly governed by our focus on investing in futuristic technologies in data and security. I’m very excited to welcome the gamut of start-ups working on game-changing ideas in quantum computing, AI and cognitive RPA to this four-month journey of disruptive innovation in solutions and processes. We aim to realize the innovation potential of this ecosystem in terms of transformative outcomes.”

The success of the program’s alumni has reaffirmed NetApp’s contribution in promoting the growth of the start-up ecosystem. Adya, an alumnus from NetApp’s first Cohort, recently got acquired by Qualys, a leading provider of cloud-based security and compliance solutions. LightMetrics, also an alumnus from the first Cohort, secured a new series of funding.

Deepak Visweswaraiah, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, NetApp India, says, “Our startup accelerator program has been associated with some of the best startups in the B2B space.We have focused on companies that are paving the way towards innovation in the data management space. The market is extremely competitive and through our expert technical and business mentorship, we can help the startups scale their businesses to solve global challenges. We will strive to expose our startups to customers both in India and overseas to take advantage of relevant opportunities.”

As the four-month program kicks off, each of these start-ups will receive technical and business mentorship and support to develop market ready products and solutions, an equity-free grant of $15,000, access to NetApp’s technologies, a co-working space and HR, legal and tech support. In addition, the start-ups will be given networking opportunities with potential investors, partners, and customers.

NetApp has also formed strategic alliances with select startups from each cohort to co-create solutions and go-to-market with them. FirstHive, Cardiotrack, ZScore, Scalend, BlobCity, SigTuple, and Nanobi are the strategic alliance partners from the previous cohorts.

Source: DQ Channels, VAR India, CRN India

Futuristic Technologies Mark the Maturity Curve for NetApp Excellerator Cohort 4

Futuristic Technologies Mark the Maturity Curve for NetApp Excellerator Cohort 4

NetApp has also formed strategic alliances with select startups from each cohort to co-create solutions and go-to-market with them

NetApp announced the fourth batch of start-ups chosen for the NetApp Excellerator, the company’s flagship accelerator program. Six start-ups were shortlisted from over 300 applicants, following a rigorous screening process including a bootcamp for the top twelve. The NetApp Excellerator program has mentored 18 start-ups through its last three cohorts and is set to accelerate a new batch of innovative enterprises.

Commenting on the launch of the fourth Cohort, Ajeya Motaganahalli, Senior Director, Engineering Programs and Leader of the NetApp Excellerator program, said, “We have been able to influence tangible commercial success in our cohorts so far in terms of customer acquisition, raising venture capital and successful exits. With the fast-paced evolution of the start-up landscape, the selection of our fourth cohort was predominantly governed by our focus on investing in futuristic technologies in data and security. I’m very excited to welcome the gamut of start-ups working on game-changing ideas in quantum computing, AI and cognitive RPA to this four-month journey of disruptive innovation in solutions and processes. We aim to realize the innovation potential of this ecosystem in terms of transformative outcomes.”

The success of the program’s alumni has reaffirmed NetApp’s contribution in promoting the growth of the start-up ecosystem. Adya, an alumnus from NetApp’s first Cohort, recently got acquired by Qualys, a leading provider of cloud-based security and compliance solutions. LightMetrics, also an alumnus from the first Cohort, secured a new series of funding.

“Our startup accelerator program has been associated with some of the best startups in the B2B space. We have focused on companies that are paving the way towards innovation in the data management space. The market is extremely competitive and through our expert technical and business mentorship, we can help the startups scale their businesses to solve global challenges. We will strive to expose our startups to customers both in India and overseas to take advantage of relevant opportunities,” said Deepak Visweswaraiah, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, NetApp India, on the company’s vision and the program.

As the four-month program kicks off, each of these start-ups will receive technical and business mentorship and support to develop market ready products and solutions, an equity-free grant of $15,000, access to NetApp’s technologies, a co-working space and HR, legal and tech support. In addition, the start-ups will be given networking opportunities with potential investors, partners, and customers.

NetApp has also formed strategic alliances with select startups from each cohort to co-create solutions and go-to-market with them. FirstHive, Cardiotrack, ZScore, Scalend, BlobCity, SigTuple, and Nanobi are the strategic alliance partners from the previous cohorts.

Source: Dataquest India, IT Voice, This Week India, Gadgets and Innovations

Will AI reshape the Indian Healthcare industry in 2019?
03/22/2019

Will AI reshape the Indian Healthcare industry in 2019?

The emergence of AI in the healthcare experience will augment the sector and will enable all stakeholders in the ecosystem to collaborate and provide real-time solutions

India is battling the ever-perpetual healthcare challenges of affordability and accessibility. While there are talks and many initiatives by the government, like the ambitious Ayushmaan Bharat scheme, the mammoth task of implementation still hovers given the scale of India’s population.

The Current Health Care

To bridge this gap, the current breed of health-tech players has come up with various solutions using technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Even though these piecemeal solutions bring relief to some of the existing challenges in the healthcare system, there is still a lot of ground to cover.

The current healthcare system is heavily dependent on tertiary care providers to deliver the most basic facilities and services. The ecosystem demands one comprehensive technology solution that will help make primary care more accurate and dependable, thereby also reducing the burden on the tertiary care segment.

Indian Ecosystem

The grim doctor to patient ratio adds to the woes of the Indian medical industry. According to a report, by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the healthcare delivery system will require an investment of around USD245 billion by 2034 and will need to pump in around 3.6 million doctors and 6 million nurses in the next 20 years. At present, there are only 1.1 hospital beds, 0.7 doctor and 1.3 nurses per 1,000 people.

To address this, new age companies are using AI to transform healthcare experience and to enable all stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem to collaborate and provide real-time solutions. The technology infrastructure present has shown some promise and relief, but there remains a broader need for a comprehensive solution that caters to both aspects of the spectrum – patients and care providers.

Benefits of the New Innovation

Healthcare practitioners are recognizing the positive impacts of the use of emerging healthcare tech and are taking a step to adopt advanced technologies to reach more patients at a given time. In fact, some of these organizations are at par even with their Western counterparts. However, this digitization is yet to make its way through the government entities. When you go to the rural ends of the country, technology as a word is not even used in their healthcare operations.

The first step of this advancement is unifying and automating the patient data across hospitals. As a practice, this has already been implemented in advanced sectors such as finance and retail. Healthcare and technology as we see in 2019, are already going hand in hand with wearables generating technology and hospitals digitizing their mode of patient entry. But with petabytes of data being generated every day, albeit, in silos, the challenge is to make sense of this data and use it for improving patient outcomes.

Artificial Intelligence

Slowly, but interestingly –AI is making inroads into the Indian healthcare system and is breaking the silos by using the huge amount of data generated to create digital health records of individuals to provide real-time and targeted mobile health solutions.

New solutions such as ours, which is a virtual AI assistant, are helping hospitals manage their patient interactions and care delivery both pre, in between and post consultations. These solutions help manage and streamline the frontline operations at enterprise scale hospitals and help them improve their profitability. They not only save cost with intelligent interactions but also help doctors and other staff to be more productive while improving the patient experience.

These interactions start from the very first step when patients call the hospital/clinic for the first time and they have to wait for 10 minutes before they can even get through to the receptionist. It is a practice by hospitals to call patients about upcoming appointments that they have booked in advance which they are likely to forget. This is where AI steps in as it supports the non-clinical staff resolve all the queries or concerns the patients have. Scores of such activities are what makes a patient engagement truly worth remembering and the word of mouth generated from this patient experience is what can increase the revenue of the hospital.

India Leading the Revolution

India is one of the key AI services providers in various industries especially e-commerce, analytics services, etc. AI in healthcare is also seen in the form of image processing for lab diagnosis or radiology or skin images processing. But AI driven automation of hospital processes is not seen as such and has immense potential. We see that with digitization in the patient records and the patient data capturing formalizations, there is immense potential in bringing in operational effectiveness.

As a country, India should definitely look at investing in such technologies. And with the start-up ecosystem getting stronger, the future will see new disruptive innovations and experiences driving this change.

Source: Entrepreneur India

Artificial Intelligence: The New Life Jacket of the Healthcare Space

Artificial Intelligence: The New Life Jacket of the Healthcare Space

AI will streamline the decision-making process in the healthcare sector and will also enhance the productivity of the doctors

India has two contrast images when it comes to the healthcare sector. While one faction is able to avail the advancement of technologies in the healthcare space, another faction can at the most only avail the basic healthcare treatments. But this spectrum is altering now. Starting from making the basic healthcare services available to the needy, several innovative technologies are disrupting the space and taking them to an altogether different standard. The private healthcare sector in close association with startups has been seeing the innovation that has amazed everyone and spend the industry up. The feather in the hat that the sector could earn from its tech innovation is the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to treat patients suffering from Cancer. The distinguished growth in the healthcare space has made many vouches that this will be one of the most promising segments for 2019.

“Over the course of last few years, we have seen a rise in startups in the healthcare sector. Part of the reason could be the ability to innovate in that sector. It is one of the most promising fields for a startup to scale and meet the needs of populous nations like ours,” says Ajeya Motaganahalli, Senior Director, Engineering and Leader of NetApp Excellerator, NetApp shares his outlook about the sector.

He also points out the several diagnostic tests that are getting carried out through the help of AI led startups. There are Machine Learning and analytics, which are helping hospitals achieve the required level of productivity so that they can service patients better.

Prevention is Better than Cure

‘Cancer’ – a word that startles everyone, needs more attention. Considered to be the most fatal of all diseases, the emergence of AI has got the detection of the disease easier and more streamlined than before.
Talking about AI disrupting the space, Vishwas Mudagal, the CEO of Good work Labs, pertaining to his AI works in the healthcare space says, “We are helping companies to determine how to detect cancer. For Cancer detection, you need an algorithm where you are going to predict if someone is going to have cancer or not. Looking at blood samples you can predict whether certain patients will have cancer in the future or not.” He also believes that this will even get better to a point where Deep Learning will even suggest the diagnosis of the disease.

Simplified Process with Minimum Pocket Pinch

Although the process sounds complicated and exorbitant, digitizing healthcare will actually help to make it more affordable and accessible. Adding to this, India has a disparity in the ratio of doctors to patients. Here AI comes to the forefront and helps to reduce the time that a doctor in the traditional treatment model has to offer to a patient, increasing the scope of treating more number of patients in the same timeframe. Thus, a doctor’s productivity enhances.

AI has the power to enhance skills, Dr Geetha Manjunath, CEO, Niramai points out, “Cities have provisions to offer to the sick. But the rural areas are far behind. There are certain villages, where doctors come once in three months. But there are help workers, who know certain medical aspects but need more skills. Here AI can help them with decision-making skills.” Simplifying it further she says that AI will simplify the process to an extent where the help workers will be shown red, yellow and green lights to determine critically sick, lesser unhealthy and perfectly fine individuals respectively.

Source: Entrepreneur India

Qualys Acquires Software Assets of Cloud Application Management Company Adya
02/15/2019

Qualys Acquires Software Assets of Cloud Application Management Company Adya

Acquisition extends the power of the Qualys Cloud Platform to commercial SaaS applications

FOSTER CITY, Calif., Feb. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Qualys, Inc. (NASDAQ: QLYS), a pioneer and leading provider of cloud-based security and compliance solutions, today announced it has acquired the software assets of Adya, Inc.

The acquisition enables Qualys to provide companies of all sizes with the ability to consolidate administration of their Software as a Service (SaaS) applications into one console, manage license costs across SaaS applications, set and enforce security policies in one place and report and audit on all activity with a single tool.

“Enabling security and compliance audits of SaaS applications is becoming critically important as enterprises increasingly rely on cloud-based software to accelerate their digital transformations,” said Philippe Courtot, chairman and CEO, Qualys, Inc. “Adya has built an impressive solution that addresses this issue by bringing SaaS application administration, licensing, security and compliance into a single-pane view, and delivering comprehensive reports for auditors and stakeholders. We welcome them to the Qualys family.”

“Adya has helped us get visibility into how data from our cloud applications is being shared and what applications are installed by our employees and our partners,” said Saurabh Tandon, COO, Betterplace. “We are excited to see Adya become part of Qualys, and we look forward to its solutions being integrated into a larger platform.”

Adya’s security, compliance and administration capabilities include:

  • • Security and Compliance – Central visibility into data exposure and dangerous apps for all SaaS applications.
  • • Administration – A single console to administer all SaaS apps, limiting access to apps based on role and providing critical administrative functionality.
  • • License Management – A single console to monitor usage of SaaS apps and manage costs by finding and re-allocating dormant licenses.
  • • Auditing and Reporting – Pre-built and custom reports for audit, compliance and other needs.

As with all Qualys acquisitions, key Adya employees have joined Qualys, including co-founders Deepak Balakrishna as Chief Technology Officer, SaaS Security and Amit Agarwal as VP Engineering, SaaS Security.

“Qualys is a pioneer that saw the market move to cloud-based subscription services over 15 years ago,” said Balakrishna. “We are excited to be part of this great company, and to scale the efficiencies of Cloud Application Management by integrating Adya’s solutions into the Qualys Cloud Platform.”

Qualys is working on fully integrating Adya’s solutions with the Qualys Cloud Platform. Qualys currently expects this solution to be commercially available in Q3 2019.

The Qualys Cloud Platform
The Qualys Cloud Platform is a quantum leap in enterprise and cloud security, offering customers a unified view of IT, security and compliance across on- and off-premises assets, endpoints, clouds, containers and web applications, drastically reducing the cost and complexity of managing multiple security vendors.

The Qualys platform delivers nearly 20 fully integrated, centrally managed and self-updating best-of-breed security and compliance solutions. By automatically gathering and analyzing security and compliance data from IT assets anywhere in one single-pane view, the Qualys Cloud Platform gives customers the scalability, visibility, accuracy and breadth of capabilities to fight cyber-attacks and build security into their digital transformation initiatives.

Additional Resources:

About Qualys
Qualys, Inc. (NASDAQ: QLYS) is a pioneer and leading provider of cloud-based security and compliance solutions with over 12,200 customers and active users in more than 130 countries, including a majority of each of the Forbes Global 100 and Fortune 100. Qualys helps organizations streamline and consolidate their security and compliance solutions in a single platform and build security into digital transformation initiatives for greater agility, better business outcomes and substantial cost savings. The Qualys Cloud Platform and its integrated Cloud Apps deliver businesses critical security intelligence continuously, enabling them to automate the full spectrum of auditing, compliance and protection for IT systems and web applications on premises, on endpoints and elastic clouds. Founded in 1999 as one of the first SaaS security companies, Qualys has established strategic partnerships with leading managed service providers and consulting organizations including Accenture, BT, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Deutsche Telekom, DXC Technology, Fujitsu, HCL Technologies, IBM, Infosys, NTT, Optiv, SecureWorks, Tata Communications, Verizon and Wipro. The company is also a founding member of the Cloud Security Alliance. For more information, please visit www.qualys.com.

Qualys and the Qualys logo are proprietary trademarks of Qualys, Inc. All other products or names may be trademarks of their respective companies.

About Adya
Adya is a pioneer in the nascent Cloud Applications Management domain. Adya helps enterprises manage and secure their SaaS applications. To know more, go to https://www.adya.io/

Legal Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements generally relate to future events or our future financial or operating performance. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements related to: the potential benefits of the acquisition; expectations regarding the ability to add capabilities to Qualys’ current Qualys Cloud Platform and to fully integrate Adya’s solutions into the Qualys Cloud Platform; the ability to scale the efficiencies of Cloud Application Management by integrating Adya’s solutions into the Qualys Cloud Platform; plans to offer a fully integrated solution by Q3 2019; and statements made by Qualys’ CEO. Our expectations and beliefs regarding these matters may not materialize, and actual results in future periods are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These risks include our ability to continue to develop platform capabilities and solutions; the ability of our platform and solutions to perform as intended; the effects of the highly competitive market in which we operate, including competition from much larger technology companies; any inability to successfully develop and introduce new products, features, and services or enhance existing products and services; real or perceived defects, errors or vulnerabilities in our products or services; and general market, political, economic and business conditions in the United States as well as globally. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are also subject to other risks and uncertainties, including those more fully described in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2018, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on November 5, 2018.

The forward-looking statements in this press release are based on information available to Qualys as of the date hereof, and Qualys disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

Source: PR Newswire

Startups Showcase Impact Centric Innovations – January 22nd, 2019
02/05/2019

Startups Showcase Impact Centric Innovations – January 22nd, 2019

Source: The Hindu (Metro Plus)

NetApp Mentors 3rd Startup Cohort – January 19th, 2019

NetApp Mentors 3rd Startup Cohort – January 19th, 2019

Source: The Hindu Business Line (Bangalore and Delhi Edition)

NetApp Graduates Its Third Startup Cohort – January 18th, 2019

NetApp Graduates Its Third Startup Cohort – January 18th, 2019

Source: The Times of India

Companies That Don’t Partner With Startups Will Become Irrelevant, Says John Chambers
02/04/2019

Companies That Don’t Partner With Startups Will Become Irrelevant, Says John Chambers

Around 40 percent of the Fortune 500 companies will become irrelevant or shut down in the next 10 years as they failed to partner with startups to drive innovation, according to John Chambers.

The former Cisco Systems chief executive-turned-venture capitalist said these companies kept doing the “right thing” for too long and have not partnered with startups to get ahead.

“America learnt a long time ago that accelerating these startups will actually enable you to innovate even faster,” he told BloombergQuint in an interview. “Large companies will have to reinvent themselves and partner or acquire smaller companies for the innovation combination. It is a work of art how you do both together.”

A technology-enabled business model, according to Chambers, is important to survive in the world which churns out hundreds of startups each day. “If you don’t get ahead of that, you get left behind and get disrupted very quickly.”

Chambers said a majority of the graduates from the Indian Institutes of Technology, Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology prefer aligning themselves with startups instead of larger companies since that is where the innovation is going to happen. “The large companies should know that this is a market transition that’s going on and they can’t keep doing things the way they used to,” he said.

But It’s Not Going To Lead To More Jobs

While startups will be the job creators for the next decade, the large companies in India, Europe and the U.S. will not expand their headcount because artificial intelligence and automation will probably decrease it, said Chambers, adding that Indians must understand startups don’t add dramatic headcount until they get to the third or fourth fundraising round.

John Chambers, however, lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts with respect to the ease of doing business, changes in the bankruptcy code and for getting the “startup engine” going in the country.

Click Here to Watch the interview

Source: BloombergQuint

Startups in NetApp Excellerator’s 3rd cohort have innovative solutions to improve healthcare outcomes, prevent losses due to bad data, and deliver robust data security
11/16/2018

Startups in NetApp Excellerator’s 3rd cohort have innovative solutions to improve healthcare outcomes, prevent losses due to bad data, and deliver robust data security

After two successful cohorts of its accelerator programme for B2B startups, global data management giant NetApp launched the third batch of the NetApp Excellerator in September this year.

From over 300+ applications received from startups working across diverse areas such as Cloud, IoT, Big Data and Analytics, Machine Learning, virtualisation, data security, data management, storage, and other related subjects, six startups were chosen to be a part of the third cohort. During the four-month programme, these six will receive technical and business mentorship and support to develop market-ready products and solutions, an equity-free grant of $15,000, access to NetApp’s technologies, access to a co-working space, assistance in HR, and legal and tech support.

“We see tremendous opportunity for the startups as the tech space evolves rapidly and businesses today have an unprecedented opportunity to take advantage of these innovations. Bringing in a business context to technology and helping with go to market forays is a top value add we have tried to deliver though this programme,” says Ajeya Motaganahalli, Senior Director and leader for NetApp Startup Accelerator.

Here are the six startups that make up the third cohort of the NetApp Excellerator programme:

1) CloudOptimo

Pune-based CloudOptimo started in April 2016 as a consulting company that helps Deep Tech companies reduce their infrastructure cost by helping them focus their energies on their core problems rather than cost optimisation.

What they do – Running out of money is one of the major reasons startups fail. “We started CloudOptimo because we have seen many companies spending lots of money on infrastructure – sometimes 10 to 15 percent of their revenue. CloudOptimo is an Intelligent Cloud Costs Optimization Platform, which reduces costs upto 80 percent while ensuring high availability and consistent performance. Our solution also helps many companies improve their architecture and adopt industry standard code deployment methodologies,” says Vaibhav Kamble, Founder and CEO.

The team – Co-founders Vaibhav and Tushar Chakote had been working together for six years before starting up CloudOptimo. Both have extensive experience in the AdTech and Payments domains.

The NetApp Excellerator experience – According to Vaibhav and Tushar, their participation in the programme will help them grow stronger and improve. “As a startup, we made many mistakes. NetApp brought in mentors and industry experts who helped us improve our perspective and way of doing things. They also helped a lot in terms of connecting us with the ecosystem. We are sure that NetApp Excellerator will help us meet our business and technology goals faster than we had envisioned.”

2) InstaSafe

With experts predicting that there will be 200 billion connected things by 2020, the need for efficient cyber security solutions is becoming paramount. InstaSafe, a software-defined perimeter-based cybersecurity provider, helps secure organisations, users and applications through an innovative Zero Trust Model. The startup is headquartered at Bengaluru and has offices in the US, Mumbai, and Delhi.

What they do – In an era where the world is moving from traditional on-premise data centers to cloud data centers, hardware-based legacy security solutions are limiting in terms of scalability and failover. Instasafe’s robust and secure cloud-based solutions don’t require any hardware infrastructure, are easy to use and don’t require too much technical/networking know-how to be managed. They work on the principles of Software Defined Perimeter wherein they extend an organization’s perimeter, ensuring tightened security to remote users as well. They work across sectors from retail, manufacturing to power, logistics, education, BFSI etc.

“Our clients use InstaSafe Solutions to connect multiple data centers and endpoint devices securely over a network ensuring complete infrastructure security. Our product acts as an alternative to many cost intensive legacy security solutions that are hardware based and difficult to manage,” says InstaSafe Co-founder and CEO, Sandip Kumar Panda.

The team – Instasafe was founded in December 2012 by Sandip, Biju George, Prashanth Guruswamy, Ravikumar Govindrao, and Deepak Panigrahi. Ravikumar and Deepak later moved out. All the founders have experience of over a decade across various levels and roles at organisations like Blue Coat, Sify, Wipro, Symantec, Quantum, Tasman Networks, Nortel, Radware, Pravegha and GapBridge.

The NetApp Excellerator experience – “The experience has been great so far. Various sessions on technical and business aspects were of great help as they bring the best instructors from Silicon Valley and other leading organisations. We are trying to leverage NetApp’s connections for various go-to-market strategies for domestic and global markets. We are also working closely with NetApp to create a world-class product demo for our existing and prospective customers to explain our product in a simplified manner, as the cybersecurity domain is difficult to apprehend,” says Sandip.

3) FirstHive

Bengaluru-based FirstHive acts as a marketing efficiency engine for consumer enterprises. It went live with its alpha launch in January 2016, with a subsequent global Beta release by August- September 2016.

What they do – FirstHive was born as a central marketing brain that connected all marketing interaction channels (online and offline) of an organisation and all their tools – to deliver a single unified customer view with comprehensive interaction context. With this identity unlocked, the marketer can deliver consistent journeys focused on every unique consumer, across all channels from a single platform.

“FirstHive’s approach is unique and fundamental to the marketing challenge – we believe this puts us in the league of global innovative products in MarTech. We work with some of the largest consumer brands across India and SouthEast Asia today and are aggressively looking to expand. We have delivered incremental business of over $2 billion to our customers over the last 24 months,” says Aditya Bhamidipaty, Founder & CEO of FirstHive.

According to the founders, FirstHive is a horizontal product and can potentially enable marketing objectives for any large consumer enterprise or digital-only business.

The team – Aditya holds a PGBDM degree from IIM Ahmedabad and prior to starting up he was responsible for iGate’s sales in Europe. He has worked with P&G in India as well. Birendra Kumar Sahu is VP – Technology for the platform and brings over 18 years of combined experience across Big Data, ML & AI. He has over seven patents and 85 Invention Disclosure Reports to his credit. Vishal Sukheja leads the product management and marketing functions for FirstHive and brings over 12 years of cross-functional experience in the space.

The NetApp Excellerator experience – Aditya says, “For us, this opportunity came at the right time as we were embarking on a revamp of our technical architecture, and this enables us to validate our assumptions better. We have also had an opportunity to interact with experts which helped us simplify our business pitch, to make it more relatable. Our participation at YourStory’s TechSparks event, which NetApp enabled, was also appreciated as that enabled us to generate few leads and get recognition this year as a Tech30 company.”

He believes the NetApp Excellerator experience will add value in two key areas — technology mentorship and go-to-market based on mutual synergy.

4) Praktice.ai

Started in 2017, Praktice.ai is a Singapore-based company headquartered in Singapore with a team based in Bengaluru as well. Praktice.ai automates patient interactions at hospitals, saving operational costs and increasing revenue for hospitals.

What they do – Hospitals spend millions on frontline operations. Not only do they need to hire more staff to manage the increase in number of patients they treat, they also lose revenue due to missed leads as the staff are often busy with other patients.

Praktice.ai automates patient interactions through speech and chat mediums, enabling hospital staff to handle almost 10x the number of patients. It also enhances the patient experience while increasing hospitals’ topline by qualifying more leads

Explaining their solution, co-founders Srinath Akula and Akhila Srinath say, “On an average, a human interaction with say, a receptionist, would earlier take 12 minutes. With Praktice.ai’s solution, a complex statement like: ‘My dad underwent bypass surgery last year and needs angiography to see if it’s ok now’ can be understood easily by the AI engine, who then connects the caller to the cardiologist specialised in coronary angiography procedures. This takes just four minutes with almost zero wait times at hospitals, whereas earlier, the average waiting time over phone was six minutes.”

According to them, their AI system not only reduces the waiting times over phones and at the hospital but also improves productivity by enabling patients to get treated by the right doctor at the right time, thereby improving outcomes and experience. Also, automating the medical transactions lowers the burden for the operational staff and doctors saving millions in cost and time.

They see potential for implementation across other healthcare sectors like insurance or diagnostics or pharmacy.

The team – Srinath, CEO of Praktice.ai is a data scientist with an MBA from IIM Indore, while Akhila, the COO, is a medical professional.

The NetApp Excellerator experience – “NetApp Excellerator provides advanced mentoring for growth phase startups in scaling up the sales and enterprise level solutions. We hope to get mentored on data security from NetApp on integrations as they have been handling the data systems and integrations with EMR systems for some of the biggest hospitals in the world. We also hope to get mentorship on the enterprise scale applications and system stability which are essential to reach to the next level,” say the duo.

5) CardioTrack

Cardiotrack was founded in 2014 by Ashim Roy and Avin Agarwal and is based in Bengaluru. The parent company of Cardiotrack, Uber Diagnostics is registered in Singapore.

Cardiotrack is working towards alleviating pain points in the Indian healthcare system through its AI-based healthcare platform.

What they do – The Cardiotrack platform is designed to fulfil all the basic requirements of a primary care clinic. Doctors can detect heart health problems accurately, consult specialists, refer and track patients, maintain medical history and start the intervention process. The platform includes multi-parameter, light weight healthcare IoT devices and mobile health software that helps to screen illnesses such as cardiovascular diseases and hypertension and helps doctors to perform diagnosis and then safely store the patient records.

The device is sturdy and can handle tough Indian climate conditions. Cardiotrack can also do up to 100 scans on one charge, a definite advantage in power starved areas.

The device also has AI capability which provides diagnosis at the primary care clinic level which can be verified by a cardiologist at a different location.

The founders share how their device helped save the life of a farmer in a remote village in Karnataka. “When he arrived at the clinic, he was sweating and complained of chest pain. The doctor immediately hooked him up to the Cardiotrack ECG monitor. The AI component in the device immediately and accurately diagnosed the problem as inferior wall myocardial infarction, and the patient was immediately taken to a speciality hospital in Hubli where he was treated successfully. There are several such stories that we have.”

The founders believe that only when preventive cardiac care becomes institutionalized in all district level primary care centres will India’s cardiac health epidemic be tackled.

“With this in mind, Cardiotrack wants to build an ecosystem via academia, cardiologists and public health officials to ensure that the matter of preventive cardiac care remains topmost on the agenda of all major decision makers,” says the duo.

The team – Ashim has about 35 years of work experience primarily in the telecom industry. He has worked in Australia, Canada, USA and now in India and holds several patents. He has a BE (Hons) from BITS Pilani, an M.Tech from IIT Delhi and he completed his PhD from University of Adelaide in Australia.

Avin Agarwal has a BE in medical electronics from VTU, Bangalore and has worked for several years at Oracle in the Netherlands. He has also received a grant from the Gates Foundation for diagnostic research and holds a patent.

The NetApp Excellerator experience – According to them, the NetApp Excellerator has improved their clarity in thinking and forecasting. It has helped the Cardiotrack senior management to sharpen its understanding of processes and most importantly, improve technology competencies.

6) ZScore

Started in 2016, ZScore is an AI analytics company based in Bengaluru with their own platform that could be deployed on top of existing business intelligence systems. ZScore’s mission is to ensure that organisations have trustworthy data that they can use to make decisions confidently.

What they do – While executing analytics projects in their previous roles, the founders realised that one area no one focused on was the quality and accuracy of data being fed into various analytics initiatives. Existing IT systems looked at data from a metadata perspective but no one was checking the business context of the data and if it was sufficient enough to drive processes or aid in decision-making.

Invariably, data of low accuracy (60-70%) was being fed to decisions-makers which greatly reduced their data-based decision-making abilities. Furthermore, various analytics initiatives were failing to realise ROI and adoption targets because the results they generated were always suspect from a business perspective.

According to the Zscore founders, after using their solution, clients have already seen a reduction in adverse financial impact due to bad data.

“We have identified around $1 – $16 million worth of bad data that could cause them losses. The clients are from the insurance domain so the possible issues we have identified are duplicate hospital names, wrong premium, coverage and claim amounts, wrong claims paid out and claims paid out multiple times to the same policy holder,”

The team – The founding members include Deleep Murali, Rohit Kalro and Ayush Banka. Deleep and Rohit met as students at the Katz School of Business, University of Pittsburgh. Deleep and Ayush also previously worked together in an analytics startup called DSquare.

The NetApp Excellerator experience – “We have great support from the team running the programme and from stakeholders in NetApp. In the short time we have been here the mentors and coaches brought in have helped change our perspective and helped us improve our execution. We hope that with NetApp’s background in the data and storage market and its being a global player will give us the exposure we need to help raise us to the next level,” say the founders.

Source: YourStory

Companies and startups can together build successful partnerships – here’s how
10/06/2018

Companies and startups can together build successful partnerships – here’s how

Corporates were once startups. In the technology ecosystem, both play a complementary role. In this scenario, how can startups ensure they get the best bargain while engaging with a corporate entity?

Sharing answers to this and similar other questions on the do’s and don’ts of engagement between corporates and startups was Ajeya Motaganahalli, Senior Director – Engineering Programs & Leader of NetApp Excellerator, at TechSparks 2018.

According to Ajeya, successful partnerships have three distinctive pillars – leadership, innovation and culture. When people come up with a startup idea, they usually think about the outcomes. A corporate firm wonders what it would get out of an engagement with a startup, and that’s something NetApp thought about too.

They realised the startup ecosystem was a vital one, with a number of great startups with wonderful ideas which needed mentoring and guidance to build a great product or solution. That’s what inspired them to nurture startups in the ecosystem, he said.

Startups need assurance from corporates

“The NetApp Excellerator was started with the objective of enabling startups in the ecosystem to help them climb to the next level. We thought of many reasons why we should do this, but always arrived at the same answer – we were doing it purely out of the joy that we got out of it. That’s why we started this programme,” said Ajeya.

Today, NetApp Excellerator helps startups create innovative, market-ready products and solutions in the areas of hybrid cloud, storage and data management. So far, 80 startups have been part of the programme and a number of them have gone on to become successful in the market.

He says they also wanted to do away with unnecessary minuscule goals that weighed startups down. These could be KRAs, KPIs or dashboards to analyse how much the programme is progressing, and so on. Pressurising startups in the cohort into doing something they didn’t need to was off the table.

Surprisingly, in the first cohort, we spent the maximum amount of time convincing startups that they will be taken care of,” said Ajeya, adding that corporates also need to be mindful of the fact that most startups are used to a protocol kind of environment, which is why they need assured security.

Encouraging startups to be focussed and relentless

When it comes to technology, startups usually spend a lot of time talking about the various tools they want to use, for example, AI, ML, AR/VR. Instead, what they should be concentrating on is what the customer is doing, and what should their focus area be, said Ajeya. He added that it was important for corporates to look at the focus areas of these startups and then decide whether to work with them.

According to Ajeya, their philosophy is to only work with startups that they are sure they can work with, whose needs they can fulfil.

If you have the right kind of companies in your cohort, the programme will be a huge success.

The NetApp Excellerator works with startups specialising in cloud, IoT, big data and analytics, machine learning, virtualisation, data security, data management, storage, and other related subjects. Applications for the next cohort will open in January 2019.

Blog Source: YourStory

Six New Startups For ‘NetApp Excellerator’ Programme : NetApp
09/18/2018

Six New Startups For ‘NetApp Excellerator’ Programme : NetApp

Print Coverage

Source: The Hindu(Metro Plus), The New Indian Express, The Hindu

NetApp launches cohort 3 of the NetApp Excellerator program, selects six startups
09/12/2018

NetApp launches cohort 3 of the NetApp Excellerator program, selects six startups

NetApp today announced the third batch of startups chosen for NetApp Excellerator. Six startups were selected from over 300 applicants from across the continent through a rigorous iterative selection process focused on product capability, depth in technology, performance in the boot camp and their alignment with the program’s objectives.

With 12 startups graduating from the last two cohorts of the program, the stage is set for another batch of startups to accelerate their journey. This cohort has seen an increased interest in technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and the cloud.

The startups selected for the third cohort are CloudOptimo, FirstHive, InstaSafe, Praktice.ai, Uber Diagnostics, and ZScore Technologies.

Each of these startups will now receive access to collaboration and productivity tools, co-working space out of the NetApp’s global center of excellence in Bangalore as well as networking opportunities with potential investors, partners, and customers. These companies will also have access to NetApp platforms and technologies, tools, HR, marketing, legal and tech support. NetApp will provide an equity free grant of USD 15,000 to these startups upon completion of the program. In the past, NetApp has forged ties with startups offering them a future relationship opportunity with the company. Past participants of the program include Scalend, BlobCity, SigTuple, and Nanobi, all of whom now are NetApp Strategic Alliance partners.

Ajeya Motaganahalli, Senior Director, Engineering Programs and Leader of the NetApp Excellerator program said, “We are seeing a steady rise in the quality and maturity of startups, making the selection process tougher. A great problem to have! I’m delighted to welcome the startups that are participating in the third cohort. We are applying our learning from the first two cohorts and the program is maturing as a result of the same. We find that there is a bigger need for startup mentoring, especially on the technical side, which NetApp is uniquely positioned to offer.”

Deepak Visweswaraiah, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, NetApp India said, “The NetApp Excellerator is focused on the development and growth of data-driven startups, thereby enabling an ecosystem that can help our customers realise the potential of their data. A strong focus on go-to-market efforts with our sales team makes the startups market-ready and helps improve their financial viability. The biggest boost in a competitive technology landscape that a startup can hope to receive is technical and business mentoring. We are putting our best foot forward on both fronts.”

NetApp Excellerator is NetApp’s flagship accelerator program dedicated to helping startups operating in the data space.

In Cohort 2, SigTuple, Nanobi, ArchSaber, Anlyz, Dataken and BlobCity were selected.

Let’s take a look at the startups which are selected for Cohort 3.

CloudOptimo is an intelligent cloud-cost-optimization platform that reduces the cost up to 80% while ensuring high availability and consistent performance.

FirstHive is a customer-data platform that builds unique customer identities by aggregating data from across all sources of customer interactions and customer transactions.

InstaSafe is a cloud-based Security-as-a-Service solution provider delivering comprehensive and uncompromising protection to mobile and remote workers enabling them to safely and securely access enterprise apps, email, and web from anywhere on any network.

Praktice.ai It provides a medical artificial intelligence engine for tertiary care hospitals to autonomously drive hospital operations.

Uber Diagnostics provides Cardiotrack, which is a complete IoT and AI solution for cardiac patients with patients, primary care and tertiary care on the same platform.

ZScore Technologies is a data quality and management company with its own proprietary platform and algorithms that help users of AI/ML in enterprises with the cleansing of data and usage of that for deriving analytics.

Source: Tech Story

Meet the six startups selected for NetApp’s third accelerator batch

Meet the six startups selected for NetApp’s third accelerator batch

US-based data storage and management company NetApp Inc. has selected six startups for the third batch of its accelerator programme ‘NetApp Excellerator,’ based out of Bengaluru, a company statement said.

The startups were selected from over 300 applicants based on their product capability, depth in technology, performance in the boot camp and alignment with the programme’s objectives, the statement added.

The selected startups will now receive access to collaboration and productivity tools, co-working space out of NetApp’s global centre of excellence in Bengaluru as well as networking opportunities with potential investors, partners and customers.

These companies can leverage NetApp’s platforms and technologies, tools, HR, marketing, legal and tech support. NetApp will provide an equity-free grant of $15,000 to these startups upon completion of the programme.

NetApp launched its first accelerator programme in June 2017 and in December 2017, six startups graduated from the first batch. The startups who underwent the programme then were Scalend Technologies, Adya, Enclouden, Lightmetrics, Vaultedge and Vitacloud.

In February this year, six startups ArchSaber, SigTuple, Nanobi, BlobCity, Anlyz, and DataKen had graduated from the second cohort.

“The NetApp Excellerator is focused on the development and growth of data-driven startups, thereby enabling an ecosystem that can help our customers realise the potential of their data. A strong focus on go-to-market efforts with our sales team makes the startups market-ready and helps improve their financial viability,” Deepak Visweswaraiah, senior vice president and managing director, NetApp India, said.

NetApp has forged strategic alliances with some of these startups including Scalend, BlobCity, SigTuple, and Nanobi.

Here’s a quick look at the startups selected for the third batch:

CloudOptimo: This startup claims to reduce the costs of cloud infrastructure by up to 80% while also ensuring consistent performance.

FirstHive: It is a customer-data platform that builds unique customer identities by aggregating data from different sources of customer interactions and transactions.

InstaSafe: It is a cloud-based security-as-a-service solution provider delivering protection to mobile and remote workers, enabling them to safely and securely access enterprise apps, email and web from anywhere on any network.

Praktice.ai: The startup provides a medical artificial intelligence (AI) engine to tertiary care hospitals to autonomously drive hospital operations.

Uber Diagnostics: Its flagship product, Cardiotrack, an Internet of Things (IoT) and AI solution for cardiac patients, offers a slew of services including patient care, primary care and tertiary care on the same platform.

ZScore Technologies: This data quality and management company helps AI and machine learning users in enterprises to clean their data and also provides analytics.

Source: Tech Circle

NetApp chooses six startups in emerging tech for its Excellerator Program

NetApp chooses six startups in emerging tech for its Excellerator Program

NetApp selects six startups in the emerging tech areas such as data analytics, IoT, cyber security, for the third batch of NetApp Excellerator Program. These data-driven startups – which focus on areas ranging from detecting cardiovascular diseases to cyber security – include CloudOptimo, FirstHive, InstaSafe, Praktice.ai, Uber Diagnostics, and ZScore Technologies.

For instance, Uber Diagnostics provides Cardiotrack, which is a complete internet of things and artificial intelligence solution for cardiac patients with primary care and tertiary care on the same platform.

Each of these six startups, selected from more than 300 applicants, would receive access to collaboration and productivity tools, co-working space out of the NetApp’s global centre of excellence in Bengaluru as well as networking opportunities with potential investors, partners, and customers, said the company in a statement. These firms would also have access to NetApp platforms and technologies, tools, HR, marketing, legal and tech support.

NetApp said it would provide an equity free grant of $15,000 to these startups upon completion of the programme. So far, the company has forged ties with startups such as Scalend, BlobCity, SigTuple, and Nanobi offering them a future relationship opportunity with the company and all of them are now NetApp Strategic Alliance partners.

“The NetApp Excellerator is focused on the development and growth of data-driven startups, thereby enabling an ecosystem that can help our customers realise the potential of their data. A strong focus on go-to-market efforts with our sales team makes the startups market-ready and helps improve their financial viability. The biggest boost in a competitive technology landscape that a startup can hope to receive is technical and business mentoring. We are putting our best foot forward on both front,” Deepak Visweswaraiah, managing director, NetApp India, was quoted in the statement.

Source: ET Rise, Corporate Bytes, Latest khabar

NetApp continues to accelerate data-driven startups, launches cohort 3 of the NetApp Excellerator program

NetApp continues to accelerate data-driven startups, launches cohort 3 of the NetApp Excellerator program

NetApp today announced the third batch of startups chosen for NetApp Excellerator – the company’s flagship accelerator program dedicated to helping startups operating in the data space. Six startups were selected from over 300 applicants from across the continent through a rigorous iterative selection process focused on product capability, depth in technology, performance in the boot camp and their alignment with the program’s objectives. With 12 startups graduating from the last two cohorts of the program, the stage is set for another batch of startups to accelerate their journey. This cohort has seen an increased interest in technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and the cloud.

The startups selected for the third cohort are CloudOptimo, FirstHive, InstaSafe, Praktice.ai, Uber Diagnostics, and ZScore Technologies.

Ajeya Motaganahalli, Senior Director, Engineering Programs and Leader of the NetApp Excellerator program said, “We are seeing a steady rise in the quality and maturity of startups, making the selection process tougher. A great problem to have! I’m delighted to welcome the startups that are participating in the third cohort. We are applying our learning from the first two cohorts and the program is maturing as a result of the same. We find that there is a bigger need for startup mentoring, especially on the technical side, which NetApp is uniquely positioned to offer.”

Talking about the company’s vision and the program, Deepak Visweswaraiah, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, NetApp India said, “The NetApp Excellerator is focused on the development and growth of data-driven startups, thereby enabling an ecosystem that can help our customers realise the potential of their data. A strong focus on go-to-market efforts with our sales team makes the startups market-ready and helps improve their financial viability. The biggest boost in a competitive technology landscape that a startup can hope to receive is technical and business mentoring. We are putting our best foot forward on both fronts.”

Each of these startups will now receive access to collaboration and productivity tools, co-working space out of the NetApp’s global center of excellence in Bangalore as well as networking opportunities with potential investors, partners, and customers. These companies will also have access to NetApp platforms and technologies, tools, HR, marketing, legal and tech support. NetApp will provide an equity free grant of USD 15,000 to these startups upon completion of the program. In the past, NetApp has forged ties with startups offering them a future relationship opportunity with the company. Past participants of the program include Scalend, BlobCity, SigTuple, and Nanobi, all of whom now are NetApp Strategic Alliance partners.

Located in the heart of Bangalore’s technology neighborhood at its 15-acre campus, the four-month-long Excellerator program is NetApp’s first-ever startup accelerator, designed to help enterprise startups to achieve their full potential through mentorship with one of NetApp’s largest R&D teams.

Source: CRN India, IT Voice, VAR India, Digital Terminal, Biz Infotech, ELE Times, The Hindu, Telangana Today, BW CIO, Tech Herald, Express Computer, PC Quest, Enterprise IT World

6 new start-ups selected for ‘NetApp Excellerator’ programme

6 new start-ups selected for ‘NetApp Excellerator’ programme

Data storage and management company NetApp on Wednesday announced the names of six start-ups for its “NetApp Excellerator” programme, which is designed to help new enterprises achieve their full potential through mentorship with one of its largest R&D teams.

The third batch of start-ups include CloudOptimo, FirstHive, InstaSafe, Praktice.ai, Uber Diagnostics and ZScore Technologies — were selected based on their product capability, in-depth technology, performance in the boot camp and alignment with the programme objectives.

“We find that there is a bigger need for startup mentoring, especially on the technical side, which NetApp is uniquely positioned to offer,” Ajeya Motaganahalli, Senior Director, Engineering Programmes and Leader, NetApp Excellerator Programme, said in a statement.

Each of these start-ups would now receive access to collaboration and productivity tools, co-working space out of the NetApp’s global centre of excellence in Bengaluru along with networking opportunities with potential investors, partners and customers.

NetApp would also provide an equity free grant of $15,000 to these start-ups upon completion of the programme.

“A strong focus on go-to-market efforts with our sales team makes the startups market-ready and helps improve their financial viability,” said Deepak Visweswaraiah, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, NetApp India.

From the last two cohorts of the programme, 12 start-ups have graduated and this cohort has seen an increased interest in technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and the Cloud.

Source: Business Standard, Outlook, The Weekend Leader, News Heads, Daily World, Devdiscourse

NetApp Excellerator mentors team up with mentee founders to achieve common goal of improved product experience for a global market
05/31/2018

NetApp Excellerator mentors team up with mentee founders to achieve common goal of improved product experience for a global market

The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own. – Benjamin Disraeli (British statesman)

As the number of startups increases, so does the number of incubator and accelerator programmes nurturing them. According to a report by NASSCOM and Zinnov, with over 140 accelerators and incubators, India is now ranked third globally, after China and the US, when it comes to such programmes.

Mentorship is a key component of any accelerator programme, not just on an individual level, but also at an organisational level. Since June 2017, global data storage and management giant NetApp has been helping a number of young B2B startups find their feet in the bustling, competitive startup space. With each cohort, the NetApp Excellerator has been forthcoming with business and technical mentorship and forging connects with investors and potential clients.

“The NetApp Excellerator is a pioneering programme that looks to break new ground and provide newer and greater possibilities for data-driven startups. If I have to pick one thing that sets aside NetApp’s accelerator programme from the rest, it is the quality of the mentors and its world-class mentorship,” says Ajeya Motaganahalli, Sr. Director and leader for NetApp Startup Accelerator. “With NetApp’s rich history of innovation and expertise in data management, we are providing startups working in this area with 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.”

We spoke to the mentors for the six startups from the 2nd cohort of the NetApp Excellerator – Anlyz, ArchSaber, Blobcity, Dataken, Nanobi, Sigtuple – who shared their experiences with us.

Quote: A mentor is not coming with any biases towards the business and has an outside-in perspective. Understanding and communicating each other’s perspective is the biggest challenge. I am sure right decisions are taken as soon as the clarity emerges: Parag Deshmukh, Archsaber mentor.

They say it took a combination of gentle persuasion, tough love and constructive criticism, to guide their mentees. Combined with the fact that establishing mutual trust took time, and some of the mentees were not on the same page as the mentors when it came to the issues at hand, it was a tough road. Girish BK, mentor for Blobcity, says, “The Blobcity team is trying to solve a very large-scale and difficult problem in the industry today. I wanted to help them solve some of their technical challenges. But first, I needed to take the initiative to articulate the problem scenario that my mentees were facing on their behalf.”

But for everyone, their collective efforts are being validated today, with improved and better versions of the solution in terms of design and usability, cost-savings due to process improvements, and a host of other benefits.

What helped was that they all shared the same value set, with a long-term vision to improve the product experience offered by the startups and worked with that goal in mind.

Some of the startups they were working with were a very early stage, with passion, enthusiasm, and agility in droves. In fact, both Girish and Parag reiterate that the scale and magnitude of the problems that their young mentee startups had taken on the onus to solve had not been cracked even by larger existing players. As mentors, they had to nudge them in the right direction where necessary. “We felt that we are asking them to slow down; however, q it was important so that they can re-channelise their energies so as to position themselves for success,” said Parag.

The practical advice ranged from how to rationalise their portfolio and focus on one or two niche capabilities, which helped them to better segment their customers and prioritise, to how to approach product design to provide an intuitive and differentiated product experience and moving old records and reports to low cost/cold tier storage, resulting in significant improvement in storage costs.

The learning was not one-sided. The mentors say they also in turn, learnt from the startups. “I learnt a lot in terms of the workflows in healthcare and the various insights they provide through their AI platform. What also really impressed me (and is usually lacking in most startups) is their willingness to publish their work in external conferences,” says Priya Sehgal, mentor for Sigtuple.

Quote: Often, the expectations between the mentor and mentee is not well-communicated or misunderstood. That’s the time the relationship falls apart: Priya Sehgal, Sigtuple mentor.

“As mentors, we ought to be true in our views so that startups can get the best suggestions, solutions from us. I agree it’s sometimes difficult to say things that we believe are not correct, especially when the startups are really passionate. But again, there are ways to communicate the message and make them realise the path they are taking may be wrong,” says Sunil Gopal, mentor for NanoBI.

In turn, the startups have been extremely receptive to suggestions to improve their current product experience. “I believe they realise the need to have a differentiated product experience to scale higher, and hence I believe they have been very receptive. Of course, the implementation prioritisation challenges exist,” adds Sunil. Priya says that the Sigtuple team has been meticulous in taking up action items that were suggested to them and coming back in later weeks with how they have made progress on the suggestions.

How different is mentoring a business versus mentoring founders? “Calling a consultant to evaluate a business and him putting in an elaborate report on the changes that need to be made to make the business successful and handing it over to founders for executing it, is very different from going along with the founders as a team on the path to realisation of their goal,” says Parag.

And the success of startups that have been a part of the earlier cohorts of the NetApp Excellerator are a validation of this approach.

Source: YourStory