NetApp held its sixth demo day for the NetApp Excellerator, the company’s flagship startup accelerator program. Embracing a new virtual world, the demo day was held via video with the six participating startups and guests from across the globe. With the sixth cohort graduating, 35 startups are now part of this unique startup accelerator program that is focused on cloud and data related technologies.
NetApp responded to the COVID lockdown with a quick transition to an online curriculum and selected six deep tech startups, Aikaan Labs, Cyborgintell, IQLECT, Koinearth, Kubesafe, and Myelin Foundry, for the sixth cohort, virtually. The startups showcased business-critical solutions using Artificial Intelligence, Kubernetes, machine learning, IoT and blockchain.
Through a four-month remote networking and mentoring period, the startups strengthened their business during a global crisis situation. Inspired by this opportunity, they even contributed to finding solutions in navigating this tough time. For instance, Myelin Foundry, a deep tech AI start-up that develops AI algorithms on video, voice, and sensor data for edge devices, is revolutionizing the video streaming space, which is seeing a huge uptake during the pandemic. Similarly, AiKaan Labs, a startup that provides a deep view into edge computing and IoT devices, is helping accelerate digital adoption.
During the demo day attended by investors and the tech industry, the six startups displayed diverse AI, ML and Blockchain based innovative solutions ranging from predictive analytics, edge computing, and integrated supply chain management, to cloud-native application protection using Kubernetes. A cohort five startup, Curl Analytics, also released a white paper with NetApp. The whitepaper focuses on an integrated solution to improve the efficiency of AI processes, resulting in efficiencies and cost savings. This whitepaper is a result of the sponsored Proof-of-Concept (POC) that NetApp offered Curl Analytics as part of the program.
Attesting to the value that the NetApp Excellerator brings to the startups, says Praphul Chandra, Founder, Koinearth, “On the tech side, we are strengthening our SaaS offering further, thanks to the cloud security expertise that NetApp shared with us. The interactions with business leaders have also helped sharpen our offering and positioning in the supply chain space.”
“This is a unique experience for all of us. The sixth cohort startups have gained real-world crisis-leadership experience”, said Madhurima Agarwal, leader, NetApp Excellerator. “We’ve enjoyed tremendous success with all our cohorts so far including this one. After graduating, over 70% of the startups have secured follow-on funding and three alumni have had successful exits. Another important aspect is that we enable startups to anticipate customer needs and validate value propositions through paid Proof-of-Concepts.”
Ravi Chhabria, Managing Director, NetApp India, added, “Our legacy and expertise in cloud and data management present an opportunity to drive impact in the startup community. Innovation is key to creating newer, more relevant solutions and sustain business operations that can stand up to a crisis. Accelerating these B2B tech startups, the new faces of rapid digital transformation, is vital in creating a strong business ecosystem. Mentoring them and collaborating with them is a step towards leveraging our combined technology muscle in solving novel customer challenges in this new normal.”
Registrations for the seventh cohort are now open for an intense 4-month program that offers a fully paid PoC, or an equity-free grant of $15,000. B2B tech startups with products in the areas of hybrid cloud, AI, IOT, DevOps, Kubernetes and data management are invited to apply.
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Vishal Chawla is a senior tech journalist at Analytics India Magazine and writes about AI, data analytics, cybersecurity, cloud computing, and blockchain. Vishal also hosts AIM's video podcast called Simulated Reality- featuring tech leaders, AI experts, and innovative startups of India.