Robotech Private Limited has been selected by Startup Grind, powered by Google for Startups, as one of the top 60 startups inducted into the 2019 Accelerate Program. Additionally, Robotech will be a featured startup for the 2019 Startup Grind Global Conference held February 12th through February 13th in Redwood City, California.

India’s real flag-bearer of 21st-century education, Robotech, recently launched an online peer-to-peer learning platform named My STEM Time, comprising a plethora of STEM-based educational videos.

This ground-breaking program imparts among the learners the most desired skills of the current scenario. These skills revolve around automation systems, AI, IOT, Drones, 3D Printing, Advanced Microcontrollers, Robotics, Programming languages, and other technologies in demand. Through My STEM Time, the users [mentors and students] work in synergy to create an ecosystem where hands-on learning is accessible to everyone.

Expressing enthusiastic views over the selection for Startup Grind’s Accelerate Program, Nishant Jain, MD, Robotech Pvt Ltd said

Robotech’s year of expertise in hands-on educational practices, teacher training programs, and PAN India-spread tinkering labs have empowered it to design this [My STEM Time] portal that caters to the future’s technological needs. We expect the Startup Grind’s Accelerate Program to be instrumental in the evolution of such ed-tech offerings by Robotech.

Apart from this online platform, Robotech has forayed into numerous other programs to prepare the learners for the next industrial revolution. These offerings include tinkering labs, STEM competitions, assessments, STEM educator program, and educational kits.

About Startup Grind

Startup Grind is the largest independent startup community, actively educating, inspiring, and connecting 2,000,000 founders in more than 600 chapters globally. Founded in Silicon Valley, it nurtures startup ecosystems in 130+ countries through events, media, and partnerships with organizations such as Google for Startups. Startup Grind also hosts two flagship conferences annually — the Global Conference and Europe Conference. To date, Startup Grind has helped millions of entrepreneurs find mentorship, connect to partners and hires, pursue funding, and reach new users.

InsurTech startup Kruzr has raised 1.3 Million USD [Rs. 9.5 Cr] for its seed round led by Saama Capital with participation from Better Capital. Kruzr is a preventive motor insurance technology which helps insurance companies personalize policy premiums & improve their risk model by delivering an engaging preventative driving assistant to their customers. Kruzr is founded by Pallav Singh, Ayan, and Jasmeet Singh Sethi.

Kruzr blends the power of voice technology and artificial intelligence in its personal driving assistant that helps drivers minimize mobile distractions, drowsy driving, speeding and external risks like weather and accident-prone zones. In pilots with insurers, Kruzr managed to cut down distracted driving by 80%. Kruzr is working with motor insurance companies in Europe, UK and India to bring its technology to their customers to prevent accidents & improve claims.

Pallav Singh, co-founder and CEO, said

Road accidents cause over 1.3 million deaths globally every year, and motor insurance companies lose billions of dollars due to these. However, more than 75% of accidents are actually preventable with timely driver assistance. We at Kruzr are building technology to minimize these accidents and help make motor insurance truly preventive and customer-centric.

The funds raised will be utilized to grow the technology team, scale the product, and expand the business in Europe and UK.

Pallav, Ayan, Jasmeet of Kruzr

Suresh Shanmugham, Managing Partner, Saama Capital, said

We were very impressed by the founding team’s vision for Kruzr and their significant customer progress in the European automobile insurance market.  We believe Pallav, Ayan and Jasmeet can build a world-class product company out of India serving this sizeable and growing global market.

Vaibhav Domkundwar of Better Capital, said

Kruzr is leveraging the latest advances in mobile, big data, and AI to build a unique preventive driving technology that will save lives and help motor insurance companies design personalized policies. I’ve watched the Kruzr team learn and iterate to build traction with the world top insurers & am excited about the future ahead.

About Kruzr

Kruzr is positioned as the world’s first technology powered smart driving assistant and is designed to automate driver safety. The mobile app automatically detects driving and begins to play the role of your driving assistant. It filters out all important calls and messages, thus reducing distraction while driving, one of the major causes for road traffic incidents across the globe.

NiYO [earlier coverage here], the new-age digital banking solutions provider for salaried employees, has launched NiYO Global Travel Card, which is the first-ever forex card with ‘zero forex mark-up’. Travelers, using this card, will not pay any currency exchange premium and international transaction fees – unlike a regular forex card.

With the NiYO Global Travel Card in her pocket, the overseas traveller will effectively have no need for the usual multi-currency forex cards or travellers’ cheques – all the while making international transactions cost-effective across 150-plus countries and 35 million merchants worldwide.

Besides the cost-effective feature, NiYO Global Card also offers instant digital on-boarding, convenient loading from the user’s bank account via NEFT/IMPS. The card is supported by a cutting-edge mobile app, which gives users the ability to lock and unlock either the full card or a payment channel anytime, anywhere in the world. The app also provides real-time notifications on usage, exchange rates and refunds, while helping users find convenient ATM locations, avail nearby offers – thus making it one of the most modern cards in the world today.

Further, business travellers can submit claims on-the-go by adding bills for each transaction right in the app. These claims can be instantaneously approved by their employer organizations via the NiYO Corporate Portal.

Vinay Bagri, Co-founder & CEO, NiYO said

The forex card market in India is worth $17 billion; around 20 million people are expected to travel abroad this year. By 2020, this number will rise to 50 million. With such a staggering number of Indians travelling abroad, we aim to capture a lion’s share of the market.

Virender Bisht, Co-founder & CTO, NiYO said

Our aim has been to facilitate hassle-free experience among our customer. Forex is one of the key components for travel and remains a concern. International travellers are always burdened with high currency exchange rate charged by banks, which varies between 1~3% of the amount transacted. Banks also charge either a flat fee or a set percentage of the transaction amount in addition to the currency exchange charge.

Moreover, people are also very worried about card security abroad. This card is a one-stop solution for all of these problems. We have invested our best effort and technology in the designing process to provide the safety feature along with other components. The card has already been reviewed and appreciated by many top executives from the India Inc. and today, we are glad to present it to our customers at large.

Founded by Vinay Bagri and Virender Bisht, NiYO works at the intersection of financial services, HR and technology. NiYO was launched in July 2015 and since then has already clocked in more than 3000 corporates and is being used by over 5 Lakh salaried employees in these organizations.

About NiYO

NiYO is a fintech startup conceptualized in 2015 that offers digital banking solutions for salaried employees across various sectors. Currently, with over 5 Lakh customers and relationships with 3000 corporates, NiYO is growing to be a truly trusted digital banking platform across India.

The Grand Finale of Super Starter Inc. – The Healthcare Start-up Challenge was held at Fortis Memorial Research Institute [FMRI], Gurgaon. FMRI is the first healthcare delivery Institution to have pioneered the start-up challenge which will act as a launch pad for new, previously untested and unimplemented healthcare technology/idea.

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Close to 50 entries were received from all over the world. After a detailed scrutiny by an esteemed panel, consisting of Saurabh Srivastava, Padmashree awardee and former chairman-NASSCOM; Dr Ajit Singh, MD-Artiman Ventures; Dr Amit Varma, MD-Quadria Capital; Mr Varun Khanna, Chief Commercial Officer- Fortis Healthcare; Col Harinder Chehal, COO-Fortis NCR and Dr Ritu Garg, Zonal Director, FMRI Gurugram; 10 finalists were selected and the final presentation of ideas was held today at Fortis Memorial Research Institute. The top three teams which made to the finale were Lyfas, Keyer and Team Shubham Mishra.

The thought behind this initiative was to provide a platform to young entrepreneurs where they could have seamless access to clinicians, patients, data, and infrastructure and hospital ecosystem. This would help them build their products keeping in mind the real time outcomes. The winners will be given four months’ time to implement, test, re- design their idea at FMRI. The idea is to gain opportunity to showcase talent, meet and woo capitalists & investors, earn credibility in association with Fortis, instant entry into the mindset of masses and product’s feedback by industry’s thought leaders.

Team Shubham Mishra wins #Super Starters Inc. Challenge pioneered by Fortis Gurugram

The Winning Team Shubham Mishra said

Winning this challenge will give us the much required launchpad. Our work is going to be a game changer, helping us bring about a massive change in the healthcare landscape. We are hoping that through our work we are able to develop a point care diagnosis equipment which can detect different kind of biological analyses within a minute, at an estimated cost of just 20-25 rupees.

The #StartupInc Challenge platform gave us an opportunity to learn, interact with caregivers-patients, and get unsurpassed exposure and valuable feedback. It was an extremely good networking opportunity and most importantly it gave us the chance to refine and launch our product. We will forever be grateful to Fortis Healthcare for this fantastic opportunity that has spearheaded our work in the right direction, motivating and enabling us to continue innovating, developing and creating technologies that will help change the face of medicine in India.

The 2nd runner up, Lyfas, had innovated a non – invasive mobile diabetic screening device which would help  address the challenges of diabetic screening, monitoring and real – time streaming of results. The 1st runner up, Keyer, had created a device which enabled contraction monitoring during the intrapartum period which will be instrumental  in saving of lives at birth [for both the mother and the baby].

Dr. Ritu Garg, Zonal Director, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, said

I would like to congratulate Team Shubham Mishra for winning the 1st ever ‘Super Starter Inc. – The Healthcare Start-up Challenge’. Ten ideas were presented that were unique and exemplary in their own way. We selected Team Shubham Mishra as the winner as their idea had the most potential for value based real time outcomes. I would also like to thank everyone who enthusiastically participated in the event and made it a huge success. We will surely be gearing up for a second edition soon.

Col. H S Chehal, Chief Operating Office of Delhi/NCR Region said

I would like to congratulate Fortis Memorial Research Institute for creating the first ever ‘Super Starter Inc.- The Healthcare Start-up Challenge’. In today’s scenario establishing a healthcare leader requires us to go hand in hand with start-ups, making healthcare affordable and accessible to all. Through this initiative, Fortis is establishing itself as a thought leader in the healthcare field, facilitating the growth and expansion of healthcare technology. Fortis will become a ‘real life experimental lab’ for these budding young enthusiastic entrepreneurs.

A healthy startup eco-system is the need of need of the hour. Start-ups continue to remain the center of innovation with the potential to enhance employment generation and bring about the much needed change to boost up the customer satisfaction.

M12, Microsoft’s corporate venture fund, would extend its investing coverage to India to help entrepreneurs innovate and grow with Microsoft’s reach, expertise, and technologies. Rashmi Gopinath, partner at M12, will be leading M12’s investments in India.  Microsoft continues its portfolio of investment in the Indian startup ecosystem with M12 announcing its first India investment, Innovaccer, a startup working to solve data interoperability challenges in healthcare and helping health systems enhance their clinical and financial outcomes with a data-first approach.

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Venture capital investments in Indian tech Business-To-Business [B2B] start-ups have been trending upwards with over US$3.09B raised in equity funding across 415 deals in 2018, 28 percent more than $2.41B invested in 2017 [Source: Tracxn 2018]. Moreover, an increasing number of enterprise B2B startups are being founded in India that cater to a global customer base, most notably in artificial intelligence and machine learning, robotics, software as a service [SaaS], data analytics and Internet of Things [IoT]. These sectors continue to be top strategic priority focus areas for Microsoft and M12 as well. In addition, India offers unique competitive advantages by being home to top technical talent in the world including deep tech areas such as computer vision, robotics, blockchain and autonomous driving. These factors position India favorably to support highly innovative startups that can effectively compete on a global scale.

Nagraj Kashyap, Global head of M12 and Corporate Vice President, Microsoft, said

We are thrilled to broaden M12’s reach to include India. India is a market rich with entrepreneurs creating world-class startups that are poised for success on a global scale. In working with these innovative startups, we believe together we will help disrupt enterprises and industries ripe for digital transformation.

Innovaccer is a shining example of the startup opportunity in India. The healthcare SaaS startup has offices in both India and the United States, offering a comprehensive Healthcare Data Platform and intelligent care application modules for over 10,000 healthcare providers across 500 practice locations. Leveraging machine learning and healthcare-related contextual expertise, Innovaccer enables its users to consolidate financial, claims, patient, and operational data together to provide a comprehensive patient 360-view for better decision-making, care coordination, and reporting.

Abhinav Shashank, CEO Innovaccer, said

Our unique value proposition is a holistic healthcare data platform that offers data aggregation and key analytics to help healthcare systems and insurance providers to align with value-based care models and realize significant cost savings and operational efficiency. We are excited to work with M12 and Microsoft in order to leverage their best-in-class technical, industry, and go-to-market expertise to help address needs for healthcare organizations across the world.

M12 is comprised of experienced VCs and Microsoft veterans – with team members on the ground in North America, Europe and Israel. Globally, M12 has invested in over 70 startups in areas ranging from cybersecurity and artificial intelligence to business SaaS and industrial drones. While the investment team functions like a traditional VC firm, the portfolio development and venture engagement groups strengthen the lines of communication between Microsoft and many of the innovation communities around the world. It has access to, and knowledge of, Microsoft’s strategic assets, enabling it to value add in excess of the contributed capital.

About M12

As the corporate venture arm for Microsoft, M12 [formerly Microsoft Ventures] invests in enterprise software companies in the Series A through C funding stage with a focus on big data & analytics, business SaaS, cloud infrastructure, machine learning & artificial intelligence, productivity and security. As part of its value-add to portfolio companies, M12 offers unique access to strategic go-to-market resources and relationships globally. The Company has offices in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, London and Tel Aviv. Please visit M12 VC for more information.

It is estimated that by 2025, there will be 1 Lakh active startups in India employing about 32 Lakh people. India has observed a substantial growth in the startup industry. As per a statement issued by the ex-Union Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu, India has shown a promising startup growth of 36% in 2017. This trend is set to grow exponentially in the future.

Image Source – Inc42

However, with this rise in the number of startups, there has also been a hike in the ‘dead pool’ of startups. While the socio-economic system plays a vital role in ticking this number, lack of proper guidance to the startups still remains the prime cause for a lot of them to never see the light of day. While there are multiple startup accelerators now that are in place to help the startups, most of them focus either on sector-specific startups or startups that are ready to be funded. This leaves startups that are on the ideation stage and those in the unconventional sectors particularly vulnerable.

In order to address these issues, Espark-Viridian is back with the fifth edition of #AccessXcceleration, inviting early-stage startups across all sectors to participate. Interested candidates can apply between January 14, 2019~February 18, 2019. And over the period of the next four months, the acceleration program will roll out two modules providing participating startups with a dedicated mentor who would provide them with business insights, problem-solving strategies, individual mentoring sessions, besides guiding each business idea based on their specific needs.

Module 1 – It has been designed to focus on ideation for the startups. Through a validation process, startups get a platform here to discuss their startup idea in great depth, test their prototype, and guide them to reach the MVP stage. Based on requirements, the module also helps the entrepreneurs to come up with an effective pivot strategy.

Module 2 – It focuses on providing a platform to the entrepreneurs to design their startups in a lean operating framework. Following that, they design the process flow to make it reach a stage where the idea is suitable to be pitched to investors. The acceleration program also provides emerging entrepreneurs a platform to network, interact, exchange ideas, and learn from each other.

The program also includes sessions and workshops across both modules to provide knowledge-based business solutions to the young entrepreneurs. They are led by expert mentors from fields such as marketing, business development, operations, and legal, to cover every functional aspect of a startup.

The centres of Espark-Viridian are strategically located all over the country to cover regions that have seen the highest growth of startups in the past few years. Espark-Viridian is currently present in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Greater Noida, Ahmedabad, and Chandigarh. Espark invites you to kickstart your startup voyage with #AccessXcceleration by applying at https://goo.gl/fFyaH8

Kerala Startup Mission, the nodal agency of Govt. of Kerala for technical entrepreneurship in the State has partnered with Unity Technologies to launch a Centre of Excellence for AR/VR and gaming. Through this Centre of Excellence, Unity will extend support to startups developing products, services, and games on platforms including mobile, PC, and various AR/VR hardware. This Centre of Excellence will also have a special focus on providing different levels of training on AR/VR developer tools to students and professionals in the State. The partnership is a significant step forward for developing an AR/VR ecosystem in Kerala.

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Shri. M Sivasankar IAS, Secretary Department of IT & Electronics, Govt. of Kerala, said

The AR/VR market is expected to witness huge growth globally in the next 5-6 years. This growth in demand for AR/VR content and solutions will be accompanied by the sprouting up of a new set of businesses. This Centre of Excellence for AR/VR Developer tools with Unity Technologies is a step taken by the Govt of Kerala towards creating an ecosystem for new businesses to grow and cater to the global demand.

Hubert Larenaudie, Vice President of Asia Pacific at Unity Technologies, said

Unity is at the center of the AR/VR ecosystem, powering 60%+ of all content and we see this industry growing significantly over the next few years. This Centre of Excellence for AR/VR developer tools is a step taken by the government of Kerala to create an ecosystem for these new businesses to grow and thrive.

Saji Gopinath, CEO, Kerala Startup Mission, said

Kerala Startup Mission is committed towards creating an enabling ecosystem for young ventures working on various emerging technologies. With its rich pool of creative talent, Kerala has the opportunity to become a hub for this extended reality disruption, which is a combination of content and solutions powered by hardware and distribution platforms. This emerging industry will, in turn, create new jobs that require new sets of skills. We will be working with ICT Academy of Kerala for skilling interested students and professionals on these design and development tools.

In line with the Knowledge City initiative of Government of Kerala, KSUM has a special emphasis in promoting startups working in various emerging technologies like AI, Cyber Security, AR/VR etc. Over the past one year, KSUM has touched bases with more than one hundred [to be precise] startups in these emerging technologies and has provided these startups with various support mechanisms including technology access through Future Technologies Lab, Innovation Grants, seed loans, exposure programs, and market connects. Future Technologies Lab also runs evangelization drives across the State to attract more professionals and students to take up research, learning and development programs in these newer technologies.

Santhosh Kurup, CEO, ICT Academy of Kerala, said

In the Industry 4.0 world, AR/VR is a vital technology that has applications in multiple domains, hence youth with skills and competencies in AR/VR will have a unique advantage in the future jobs market. ICTAK is delighted to be skilling interested students and professionals on these design and development tools.

About Kerala Startup Mission

Kerala Startup Mission is the nodal agency of Government of Kerala for promoting technology entrepreneurship in the state and is the implementing body for the Kerala Technology Startup Policy that supports the startup ecosystem by means of different components such as infrastructure, incubators and accelerators, human capital development, funding, and exposure programs. For more information, please visit Kerala Startup Mission.

Early stage startup accelerator Espark-Viridian launched Case In Point 2018-19 to ignite the spark of entrepreneurship throughout the country. Case In Point 2018-19 is in the second year of the flagship case study solving competition organised by Espark-Viridian. Case In Point helps budding entrepreneurs to understand the problems that a real startup faces. This provides them with an opportunity to assess their entrepreneurial and problem-solving abilities. You can find more details about Case In Point 2018-19 in our coverage here.

After an overwhelming response, the last date for attempting the online quiz has now been extended to 8th January 2019. You can attempt the case studies at http://www.espark-viridian.org/caseinpoint/ 

Finales will be conducted across 3 cities – Delhi on 19th January, Bengaluru on 22nd January and Mumbai on 24th of January. The winners will be awarded prizes from a gratification pool of ?2 Lac. They would also be awarded 6 months of free Cloud Telephony Solutions [Super Receptionist Basic Plan] by their Tech Partner, Knowlarity.

Participants selected from the first round would be divided into teams in the finales. They would be expected to come up with a feasible solution based on the detailed case study provided during the round. The presentation to the judges will be part of the decision-making process to select the winner.

Their endeavour to grow the Indian ecosystem is being supported by Faculty of Management Studies [Ecosystem partner], Innov8 [Ecosystem partner], What after College [Ecosystem partner], Startups India [Ecosystem partner], Young Engine [Ecosystem partner], Bizztor India [Digital partner], Inc42 [Digital partner] and Knowlarity [Tech partner].

About Espark-Viridian

Espark-Viridian is a startup accelerator for early and growth seeking startups. They offer a 4 month multi-centre, multi-sector accelerator programme across 5 centres in Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Gandhinagar, Mumbai and Delhi-NCR. To know more visit Espark-Viridian