NetApp Excellerator cohort 7 propels cloud-led innovations to the forefront

NetApp has announced the completion of its seventh demo day for NetApp Excellerator, the company’s flagship startup accelerator program. The seven graduating startups are BlinkIn, Litmus Automation, CloudHedge, SynctacticAI, BrainSightAI, Arintra, and Sn126. These startups are set to disrupt technology in the areas of clinical AI, mental health, data management, edge computing, and remote customer service.

In keeping with the times, the cohort was managed virtually, which allowed four startups from around the globe to participate, giving this cohort a unique international flavour. Litmus Automation, CloudHedge, Arintra, and Sn126 are headquartered in the United States. A cloud specialist with a 27-year legacy of data, NetApp focuses on helping these startups pivot their technology and business models to benefit customers today as well as in the future.

Recent NetApp-Zinnov report highlighted the fact that 63% of the 4,200 Indian B2B technology startups work on enterprise technology for sectors like banking, financial services, and insurance (BFSI), healthcare, retail, and automotive. SynctacticAI, a graduating startup, is a compelling testimony to the same fact. The company’s smart data science platform extracts insights from structured and unstructured data for verticals like fintech and retail. Similarly, CloudHedge uses artificial intelligence and machine learning, coupled with DevOps and cloud, to achieve enterprise-wide IT automation. The demo day offered the seven graduating startups the opportunity to showcase all these exciting technology solutions to their primary audiences – investors, customers, venture capitalists, and prominent leaders of the industry.

Speaking on the occasion, Ravi Chhabria, managing director, NetApp India, said, “This work with B2B startups applies our industry-leading expertise in data management to provide solutions that will help rewrite India’s economic roadmap, particularly as we emerge from the pandemic. This is an opportunity to develop new partnerships, new solutions, and new ways of working that are accelerating digital transformation. With access to our technology and business experience in hybrid cloud data management, the startups are better prepared to create a robust homegrown technology ecosystem. This is our inaugural batch of the initiative ExcellerateHER with two of our startups, Arintra and BrainSightAI, being led by women entrepreneurs. Both of these startups are highly relevant, with AI solutions applied to healthcare. From reducing clinical overload to providing advanced imaging and improving brain health, these women entrepreneurs are breaking into high impact areas.”

“This cohort is unique in multiple ways,” said Madhurima Agarwal, leader, NetApp Excellerator and director of Engineering Programs, NetApp. “After the success of a completely virtual program for the last cohort, we rode on the momentum for this batch as well. This has enabled participation from international startups, which has further validated the global outlook of the program. Our alumni partnerships continue to reap rewards. An alumnus startup, Kubesafe, is using our SnapMirror technology in the cloud to deliver Kubernetes backup and business continuity on AWS Marketplace and for on-premises deployments.”

The success of the alumni startups is a definite marker of the program’s effectiveness. Startups SecurelyShare, CloudSEK, Myelin Foundry, and Lightwing received the Emerge 50 awards for the most innovative software product companies. SecurelyShare also won the stage 2 of the Nasscom DSCI grand challenge for development of automated systems. InstaSafe was recognized by Gartner as a representative vendor for Zero Trust Network Access, and Senseforth was named as a Gartner Cool Vendor in Conversational AI Platforms 2020.

BlinkIn from the current cohort won the Global AI Startup Pitch contest at the Ignite Conference, Sweden. The startup was one among nine that participated in the contest during the Sweden Innovation Days.

Registration for the eighth cohort is now open for a 4-month program that offers a fully paid PoC, or an equity-free grant of $15,000. B2B technology startups with products in the areas of cloud, AI, IoT, DevOps, Kubernetes, and data management are invited to apply.

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