With the vision to bring more ‘energy’ to the Indian startup community, Shell India is inviting all energy and IT startups to enter its pan-India programme, Shell E4 [Energizing and Enabling Energy Entrepreneurs].
Through the Shell E4 programme, Shell will be scouting for startups and businesses in early, pilot, or post-pilot stages to collaborate and work together on ideas that have the potential to impact the future of energy. Shell will work with the selected cohort for a period of six months and provide them with access to Shell’s Technology and IT labs in Bengaluru, technical and commercial mentorship from within and outside of Shell, access to potential customers through its network of partners and a fixed sum investment of USD 20,000 per startup.
The Shell E4 programme builds upon the company’s global vision to support the energy sector’s evolving ecosystem. Shell has a rich history of working with entrepreneurs across the energy value chain globally. For cleaner energy solutions, Shell also introduced Make The Future campaign, under which #makethefuture Accelerator India 2017 was concluded in March this year. The programme was a platform for millennials to showcase their bright energy ideas to build solutions for the future energy challenges both globally and in India.
Commenting on the launch of the programme, Nitin Prasad, Chairman, Shell Companies in India, said
At Shell, we believe that the answers to energy challenges lie in the power of innovation. With this programme, we aim to provide a platform to energy startups that have the potential to impact the future of energy. The Shell E4 Programme provides a platform for collaboration and conversation around valuable energy transitions, offering startups an opportunity to bring their ideas to life with Shell’s guidance and support.
Shell E4 will be located at the Shell Technology Centre Bengaluru [STCB] and, is well positioned to leverage the vibrant Bengaluru ecosystem.
Following the evaluation, the selected startups will form the 1st cohort and will be incubated with Shell for a period of 6 months at their campus in Bengaluru. As part of the incubation, the cohort will gain exposure to Shell’s advanced infrastructure and IT facilities; technical and commercial mentorship; an opportunity to pitch their ideas to other potential investors and an access to Shell’s network of partners and customers in India and abroad. In addition to this, Shell will also make a fixed amount of investment. For more details and to apply visit Shell India
Techstars announced the launch of Techstars India as a joint venture company in partnership with ANSR. Headquartered in Bengaluru, ANSR builds and operates GICs and captive centres for some of the leading global companies from the retail, fintech, healthcare and media domains.
The ANSR partnership will provide Techstars with a very strong foundation to launch its Indian operations. Having partnered with 27 leading global enterprises, ANSR is the world’s largest company for establishing and operating captive center service delivery capabilities for global enterprises in support of their growth, transformation and innovation agenda. ANSR, through its innovation arm, Kyron, also operates startup led innovation programs for its corporate partners including Target, L-Brands, Lowes and Swiss Re.
With this launch, Techstars is adding India to its international roster, bolstering India’s position as a leading global startup ecosystem. India, known for its dominant role in the IT industry and home to captive centers for over 1,000 global enterprises, is rapidly gaining traction as an entrepreneurial hub. Techstars operates worldwide and across the US, including Adelaide, Austin, Berlin, Boston, Boulder, Cape Town, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York City, London, Los Angeles, Paris, Seattle, Tel Aviv, and Toronto, and has accepted over 1000 companies globally into its programs. Collectively, these companies have raised over USD 3.8B USD and have a market cap of over USD 9.9B. The launch of Techstars India will provide Techstars access to India’s rapidly growing startup and entrepreneur network as well as global enterprises that have established captive centers and startup led corporate innovation programs with ANSR and its innovation arm, Kyron Global.
We have been watching India’s growth very closely and its emergence as the third largest global startup ecosystem in less than a decade. There’s so much great activity here and the potential for growth is huge, as one of the fastest growing economies in the world. I think in addition to that, India’s prime minister underlining the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation in giving productive outlets to the country’s talent is very positive. It’s heartening to see tech evangelists work closely with the government to lay out a digital infrastructure for the country which startups then can leverage. India is on a tech, digital and startup mission of sorts.
This has been a big year for Techstars. We’re 10 years old and have now seen over 1,000 companies in Techstars’ mentorship-driven accelerator programs worldwide. We are excited to announce the addition of Techstars India to the Techstars Worldwide Network.
ANSR is very excited to partner with Techstars to launch Techstars India. We believe that this is an event of national importance and a huge validation of India’s position as a leading global hub for entrepreneurial activity. The launch of Techstars India will provide an impetus to the rapidly growing startup ecosystem and the emergence of India as a dominant entrepreneurial network. This launch brings to fruition ANSR and Kyron’s pioneering efforts to successfully create a startup corporate engagement corridor towards the emergence of India’s largest startup led corporate innovation platform.
Speaking at the event, Priyank Kharge, Minister of IT, BT & Tourism said
The Government of Karnataka is focused on building a bolder and structured ecosystem and the collaboration with Techstars is exactly what the Government requires and is the right step forward. Karnataka is India’s second largest technology hub and this is validated by the fact that we have all the Fortune 500 companies. Propelled by government policies in the last 3 months, more than 3200 startups have registered with the government. We are also coming up with numerous Centres of Excellence and by the end of August we will have India’s first Centre of Excellence for Artificial Intelligence. Karnataka today has reached its maturity as a services industry and now moving forward to R&D and innovation.
Techstars helps entrepreneurs succeed. Through the Techstars Worldwide Entrepreneur Network, founders and their teams connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporate partners who will help their companies grow. Techstars operates four divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships, and the Techstars Venture Capital Fund. Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Program supercharges success and Techstars Startup Programs inspire, educate and connect entrepreneurs. For more information, please visit Techstars
Backed by Accel Partners and Infosys and headquartered in Dallas, TX, ANSR is a global leader in establishing, operating and optimizing Global In-House Centers ‘GICs’ and provides end-to-end solutions to enterprises across the GIC life-cycle. Through Kyron, its innovation arm, ANSR also operates Innovation/Corporate Accelerator Programs. For more information, please visit ANSR
Fin-tech is having a huge impact on the financial services in India. It has been largely dominated by the lending and payments companies in India. Initiatives like the India Stack [UPI, e-KYC, Aadhar] by National Payments Corporation Of India [NPCI] have been instrumental in leading the Fin-tech revolution.
There are several companies in the Fin-tech sector that have innovative business models in the areas like Wealth Management [WealthApp], Digital Payments & other services [Paytm, Freecharge, etc.], Payment Banks [Paytm, Airtel, FINO], P2P Lending [i2iFunding, Lendbox, i-lend, etc.], Personal Finance Services [BankBazaar, Capital Float, etc.], Alternate/Unsecured Lending [Qbera, Loan Frame, etc.], Lending based on Credit-Line [MoneyTap], etc. Many of the fin-tech companies are leveraging Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Social Data Intelligence, Blockchain, etc. in order to solve critical business problems. For example, with the help of AI, contextual data and transaction data, your wealth managers can now come up with a ‘more relevant’ financial plan that suits your requirements.
With the rising interest in fin-tech, there is a constant debate on whether Fin-tech would kill banks, but the fact of the matter is that mainstream financial institutions are also embracing change by inking partnerships with these players in order to utilize their services. Even after eKYC, there are significant challenges [that add up to delay] in customer onboarding, a problem that is being solved by few fin-tech start-ups. There is been a rising investor interest in this sector, with fin-tech topping the funding charts of H1 2017. Traditional banking institutions are utilizing this opportunity to co-create innovative solutions with entrepreneurs for building breakthrough banking products and solutions.
Last July, Axis Bank launched its flagship Accelerator Program for start-ups, the very first Indian Bank to do so. The program is run from Thought Factory, Axis Bank’s co-innovation Lab, which is located in the city of Bengaluru. Axis Bank has partnered with Amazon Internet Services, Payments product company VISA and Singapore based Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation for co-innovating in the rapidly evolving fin-tech space. The core ideology of the lab is #UnimaginedIsUndone. The ThinkTank for Thought Factory comprises of thought leaders, change agents, serial entrepreneurs, namely Sharad Sharma of iSpirit, Manish Chokhani of Enam Holdings, Vishal Gondal of GoQii & Shankar Narayan, a Singapore based serial entrepreneur along with Axis Bank Senior Management that guides the Thought Factory team in its various functions.
Over the past year, Thought Factory has been a major Fin-Tech ecosystem enabler in Bengaluru, hosting multiple events, workshops, international visitors and other corporate clients; thereby enhancing industry-start-up collaboration.
For the first cohort of its Accelerator Program, Axis Bank’s Think Tank, from an application pool of 108, selected six emerging start-ups. Once on-boarded, the start-ups were given a structured mentorship program and access to Axis Bank’s Thought Factory office space. Axis Bank’s aim behind the program was to expedite the overall growth of these emerging start-ups along with exploring novel banking ideas with them. Axis Bank celebrated the Graduation Day of the first cohort start-ups, namely S2Pay, Pally, Perpule, Fin-techLabs, Paymatrix and GIEOM. All these start-ups target different business problems in the areas of Offline mobile payments, Analytics in lending space, Credit in rental space, etc.
Startups pitching their idea to the audience at the Thought Factory
Below are the startups that graduated from the Thought Factory
S2Pay: Enabling Offline mobile Payments [Category – Payments]
S2Pay forms a layer over payments app and enables the end consumer to make secure payments from their mobile app, even when the consumer is offline. The technology is especially useful in remote areas where there is low data connectivity thus making digital payments a reality for everyone. For more information, please visit S2Pay
Pally: AI Stack based Chatbot for Investment Advisory [Category – Investments]
Pally has created a chatbot that on the input of an image of salary slip creates an investment portfolio which maximizes tax saving for the end customer. It uses AI, Machine learning along with other proprietary algorithms to come up with a customized investment plan for each customer. Pally was also selected for the EIR program at KStart. For more information, please visit Pally
Perpule: Self-checkout on mobile app [Category – Payments]
Perpule’s app lets end customers scan the shopped products from their mobile app, and pay from within the app once the list is complete. Perpule integrates with retailer’s campaigns, thus automatically applies discounts/offers on the go. It has partnered with stores like Hypercity, More, Spar etc. For more information, please visit Perpule 1Pay
Fin-techLabs: Analytics in lending [Category – Lending]
Fin-techLabs is a financial technology innovation start-up, with a vision of providing easy access to financing across the world by powering the lending ecosystem with technology. They make the lending process swift and optimized by automating repetitive management tasks like sending emails, managing files, preparing reports, complying with regulations, etc. For more information, please visit Fin-techLabs
Paymatrix: Credit in rental space [Category – Real Estate, Payments, Credit Cards, Liabilities]
Paymatrix is an analytics-driven property rent management platform that is trying to solve the problem of credit involved in Indian rental market via enabling payments to land lords via credit cards. They also help landlords in rent/property management. For more information, please visit Paymatrix
GIEOM: Software solutions on the Cloud [Category – Analytics]
GIEOM is a cloud based software solutions and analytics company. They offer a unique business visualization technology with Intelligent linking that monitors, controls and optimizes Operations while reducing risk and increasing compliance. For more information, please visit GIEOM
The past six months have been very eventful for the start-ups, Perpule won the semifinal round of Next Money Fin-techFinals 2017 and raised a seed funding of USD 650K from Kalaari Capital, S2Pay and GIEOM on-boarded multiple new clients, Fin-techLabs and Paymatrix expanded their services portfolio while Pally evolved in its product idea and expanded its team.
We were invited for the Graduation Day at the Thought Factory, where we pitched some questions to Rajiv Anand, Executive Director of Axis Bank. Below is the brief Q&A round he had with the media/bloggers where he shares his insights about the Thought Factory, impact it has on the fin-tech eco-system, etc.
Axis Bank has always been keen on adoption of technology in its systems and solutions. Besides the Accelerator start-ups, Axis Bank along with the Thought Factory team has been working with other upcoming start-ups too. With Active AI [a Singapore based start-up specializing in AI stack], Bank is building a chatbot that can take banking & customer service to the next level.
Axis Bank’s innovation team is working on recruitment of start-ups for the second cohort of the Accelerator. For a much quicker implementation, Axis Bank is also developing a Development Platform – a sandbox environment of its APIs, which can be used by start-ups.
Additionally, they also conduct a start-up boot camp, a two-month program for grad start-up ideas under its ‘Future of Jobs’ initiative where five student teams of two members each will receive mentorship to convert their ideas into real businesses.
Target India announced the fifth batch and the largest cohort yet for the Target Accelerator Program. Eight startups were selected to develop innovative technology solutions with the potential to enhance guest experiences at Target and in the wider retail industry. These startups will work in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, analytics and digital experiences.
Rakesh Mishra, Vice President of Marketing for Target and the accelerator program’s executive sponsor said
The Target accelerator’s largest batch yet holds diverse capabilities that can add value to our business and the entire retail sector through cutting-edge technologies such as AI and machine learning. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to tap into the immense innovation potential that exists in India through the Target Accelerator Program.
The startups selected for the accelerator will go through a rigorous four-month program, wherein they will get to refine their technology offerings and pilot solutions at Target stores or headquarter locations. In addition, during their stint with the accelerator, they will have access to Target business leaders as mentors. The startups will also be provided with legal, financial and talent consulting services based on the need of the startup. At the end of the program, startups will have the opportunity to pitch their products and capabilities to investors and others in Bengaluru’s startup ecosystem, and possibly continue their engagement with Target.
The eight selected for the fifth batch of the accelerator program are:
Cogknithas a solution that extracts context from videos and is able to generate a textual play-by-play of the video content.
Hyperworkshas developed software that integrates with hardware to scan fresh produce using a simple camera.
Moonraft is a design consultant with an artificial intelligence-powered shopping assistant in the trial room.
Cognitifaiis able to perform video analytics on video footage (both live and offline).
vPhrasecan generate insights in natural language from structured data.
Streamoidenables personalized product recommendations and natural language search.
Jumper.aienables shopping on social media through hashtags.
Along with external startups, Target also encourages participation from internal teams in the accelerator program. Pal’s Prompt,an affiliate marketing solution for Facebook, was developed by one of our Target India team members and has been selected to be a part of this cohort.
The Target Accelerator Program [TAP] was launched in December 2013. Till date, 22 startups have graduated from the program. The startups work with various internal Target teams including marketing, finance, stores, legal, search engine, merchandising, mobile and digital. For more information about the program, please visit Target Accelerator Program [TAP] page
Google have announced the six Indian startups who have been shortlisted for the fourth class of Google Accelerator Program. These six startups will be joining an inspiring group of startups from all over Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco. With this batch, a total of 26 Indian startups have so far joined the launchpad accelerator program from India.
The fourth class will kick off from 17th July, 2017 and will include two weeks of all-expense-paid mentorship bootcamp. This batch of startups will gain from Google’s new curriculum that will help the startups to dig deeper into machine learning and AI and help them leverage Google’s latest technologies to scale their apps.
These startups were shortlisted from hundreds of startups who applied this year based on their unique value proposition and use of latest technologies like machine learning and AI [Artificial Intelligence] to build high impact solutions that are solving for the Indian context, focusing on new internet users and digital India. We are thrilled to see the quality of startups coming from India and we look forward to working them closely for the next six months.
In the six months program, these startups will undergo intensive mentoring from 20+ teams across Google and mentors from top technology companies and VCs in Silicon Valley. Additionally they will receive equity-free support and credits for Google products. Post their return from San Francisco they will continue to work closely with Google back in India.
The shortlisted startups include companies that cover optimization of financial services ranging from loans, credit cards, upto date information platforms for train journeys, online video platform focussing on content from Indian cinema focusing on South of India to the unique implementation of AI to aid discovery of recipes for cooking. The list also includes B2B companies that use AI or ML for various applications be it image recognition capabilities to aid medical diagnosis by analyzing visual data, providing solutions for talent acquisition and workforce optimization.
Here’s the full list of shortlisted startups from India
DesignGild, a first of its kind design led startup accelerator from the house of MIT Institute of Design, announced the launch of its first batch of the accelerator programme with two startups QtPi from Bengaluru and RxHealth from Pune. The boot camp for these startups commences on 22nd May in Pune. The selected startups are from diverse technology spaces.
QtPi and RxHealth will be part of a robust six month immersive accelerator program that leverages the rich design thinking and design doing experience of MIT ID. The program will give startups an exposure to latest design methods, co-working space, access to prototyping facilities, IPR consulting and facilitation, business development support, public relations and processes that will enable them to unlock business opportunities.
A set of experienced design mentors and a dedicated design team will work together with the startups on various stages from design strategy to operations. To name a few, DesignGild’s mentors include Mr. Atindrya Bose – Ex Country Head- Sony [Playstation business], Snehal Vasani – Managing Director, Kitchen Grace [Part of Asian Paints], Sachin Tagra – Associate VP – Brand Capital, Ashish Despande – Co Founder, Elephant Design; Vice President, Association of Designers of India and Apurva Chamaria – VP & Head – Corporate Marketing, HCL Tech, Abhimanyu Kulkarni, Design Head – Philips, Nachiket Thakur – Director – Innovation & Entrepreneurship – Science & Tech Park, Shekhar Badve – Director LokusDesign, Jay Dutta – Design Partner at Saif Partners.
Speaking on the launch of DesignGild’s first batch, Harshit Desai, COO, DesignGild said
We are extremely delighted to onboard the two startups. DesignGild aims to empower these startups and help them build their product with innovation. The focus of the accelerator is towards strategic design consulting, business model innovation, and hands-on design services to enable seamless integration of design in business. We would be happy to mentor the two selected startups, RxHealth and QtPi who are unique in their own fields.
DesignGild has been set up by the MIT Institute of Design, as one of the country’s first design-focused accelerators. The aim of the accelerator is to provide high-quality design mentorship and resources to passionate individuals and teams to create design-led businesses. With this MIT ID will add a new offering to its student by creating the much needed ecosystem under one roof.
Here are the profiles of the startups selected for the accelerator programme
QtPi [Robotics for everyone]
QtPi founder Jaison Leon is an industry veteran from MS, Yahoo, Oracle and Tech Mahindra with software and mechatronics background. QtPi has done years of research to eliminate fatigue caused by theoretical learning and mix with exciting practical.
The company has built ‘plug and play robotic kit’, consisting of Arduino based main board, sensors, actuators, building blocks and mobile app. The kit can be used by 7+ year old kids to build infinite types of robots. QtPi has list of projects & tutorials to assist early adapters. It also works with college students to develop innovative projects using QtPi kit or to design their own product.
RxHealth [Bringing DRS in Healthcare]
Founded by Rohan Prakash, RxHealth is the world’s first Health Informatics Company based in Pune that is catering expert system software in the field of computer-aided prognosis. It uses the avant-garde artificial intelligence solutions that recognize accurate and honest medical diagnosis support.
The principle objective is to provide the best healthcare services to every patient everywhere. It’s non-intrusive, seamless technology converts good doctors into excellent doctors by continuously upgrading their knowledge base and reference network. It helps doctors in better diagnosis and prescribing the most effective treatment to patients thus bringing down the time and cost of recovery.
On the patient side, its technology creates more aware and informed patients by providing them personalized information regarding preventions, doctors, consultations, treatment options, cost, time, precautions etc. The long-term objective is to create an effective, efficient and seamlessly integrated technology lead medical services ecosystem for better healthcare delivery.
DesignGild is a startup eco-system that provides high-quality design mentorship and business development support to create Design-led businesses, based in Pune. It is leveraging the power of Design to create business value. It provides the right platform to incubate & accelerate innovative business ideas through a design focused road map. It achieves this by leveraging its vast network of experienced design professionals, consultants, academicians, researchers and students. DesignGild believes that they can take a start-up from one plane to a completely new and better one by playing on their strength : Design Thinking. DesignGild will support the selected start-ups to convert innovative ideas into valuable business propositions. DesignGild is an MIT ID initiative. For more informaion, please visit DesignGild
Shell is calling all energy start-ups to enter a national competition that will help develop their bright energy business ideas. The Shell #makethefuture Accelerator India 2017, launched in India for the first time, aims to encourage and accelerate the development of ideas that can help provide more and cleaner energy solutions.
Globally, we are using more energy than ever before. At the same time, the significance of climate change means the world must reduce CO2 emissions. We need innovative thinking to make today’s energy go further and to find cleaner energy to take us towards a lower carbon world. Great ideas come from conversation, collaboration, partnerships; great minds coming together. The aim of the Shell #makethefuture Accelerator India programme is to seek out and support solutions for our energy future.
Commenting on the launch of the programme, Nitin Prasad, Chairman, Shell Companies in India said
At Shell, we believe that collaboration is vital to our purpose of ‘powering progress together for more and cleaner energy’ & to solve the complex global energy challenges. The #makethefuture Accelerator programme provides a platform for innovation, collaboration and conversation around the energy transitions and global energy future while offering a chance for energy start-ups with bright ideas to demonstrate their ability in bringing those ideas to life.
Shell #makethefuture currently supports seven bright energy ideas globally including GravityLight, a UK start-up that, with Shell’s support, recently launched their clean energy solution to communities in Kenya.
Who can apply
The competition is open to startups with products, technologies, services or initiatives that fulfill one or more of the following criteria:
improves energy efficiency
reduces energy waste;
reduces CO2 emissions;
generates energy from a new source
broadens access to energy.
Operate in an Indian city
Have an India registered entity
Be in post-pilot or prototype stage
Now, Shell is bringing the #makethefuture Accelerator programme to India to give start-ups across the country the opportunity to collaborate showcasing and developing their bright energy ideas.
Be a part of Make the Future Singapore festival and win ? 10 lakh
Interested energy start-ups will need to apply through an application form available on Shell’s India website. Registration opens on 16th January and will close by midnight 3rdFebruary.
The top 3 finalists will get the opportunity to participate in an Accelerator Event, gather useful insights for their final pitch presentation and connect with like-minded energy start-ups from across the world at Make the Future Singapore, a festival of ideas and innovation for Asia being held in March 2017. During the Accelerator event, the finalists will receive coaching from experts, network and exchange tips with other Asian start-ups on how to grow their ideas into a reality.
These top 3 finalists will then pitch their ideas to an esteemed jury including senior leaders from Shell and Nitin Prasad, Chairman of Shell India at the launch of the Shell Technology Centre Bangalore by March end 2017. Seven semi-finalists will be invited to also showcase their ideas to leaders from business, government and media at the launch event.
The winning start-up will be awarded prize money of ? 10 lakh along with mentorship by senior Shell and industry leaders that will help build a strong value proposition and enable them to access funding to scale.
Google announced the seven promising startups from India, that will join the third class of Launchpad Accelerator along with startups from Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico Argentina, Colombia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. These startups will join the six month long intensive mentoring program from Google for mid to late stage startups including a two-week all-expenses paid boot-camp that kicks off early next year [January 30, 2017] at Launchpad Space in San Francisco. Additionally, each startup will get USD 50,000 in equity-free funding.
Shortlisted startups from India include an on-demand wardrobe rentals service, furniture and appliances rental service, top tutor help service, a platform for doctors to discuss medical cases with peers from across the country, an Indian word games for adults and kids, a service that allows you to earn money for playing games and a CRM app that helps businesses to do better lead management.
The program begins with determining each startup’s critical challenges, in order to deploy precise mentorship, actionable solutions, and Google resources to enable their product/service app to scale. The seven start-ups will then get tailored expert guidance from Google engineers, product managers and other mentors from top technology companies and VC’s in Silicon Valley. Additionally, they will receive equity-free support credits for Google products and work closely with Google for six months in their home countries.
We are delighted to help Indian startups in their journey and help them to scale and find success in their endeavors. Access to good mentoring and advice at early to mid -stage can make a meaningful difference. Over the last one year, thirteen Indian startups have participated in the program and many have already gained from the program and have successfully raised funding. Nestaway who was part of our first batch from India closed a $30M series C investment. MagicPin that offers deals and discounts for Restaurants, Spas, Salons implemented a progressive web app that has helped them to drive over 10% of their total daily transactions. We hope the next batch will continue to find value in the program and help them to succeed.
Launchpad accelerator program made us believe that even we could build a world class product and the mentors helped us to understand what was needed to get there. We have recently asked for follow-on engagement with mentors. If you are a startup who believes in changing the world through tech product, then this is the program for you.