Cisco held the Cohort 6 startup showcase day today. Ms. Sruthi Kannan, Head, Cisco LaunchPad Startup Accelerator, said that this is the time to pivot. Let us get ready right away. A visionary leader looks at what can be.
Krishna Sundaresan, VP, Engineering Enterprise Networking Business, Cisco, said that the accelerator program was launched in 2016. So far, there have been 47 portfolio startups. He added: “Graduation is just a milestone as we continue in their journey in their lifetime. There have been 2 exits, 31 pilots and joint GTM, etc. The new normal has had mixed effects on the ecosystem. We have annouced the launched of Cisco Kalki. Kalki is the first ever VR Experience Center for Startups.”
Cohort 6 started of with messages from the startups. Sharath Satyanarayanan, co-founder Eder Labs, said that Covid-19 has been quite impactful!. There is the dilemma of safety and security. Eder Labs is trying to ease this situation. It has made the perpetual AI proof-of-concept. AI is traditionally centralized. Fluid is a simple tool for secure AI deployments. Fluid can help you scale, secure, customize and deploy AI solutions.
Eder Labs cares deeply about privacy and due to the current rate of AI adoption across industries, privacy needs more attention than ever. In early 2018, they had experimented with the various distributed architecture and different approaches to perform privacy-preserving machine learning. Their journey includes working on advanced technology like secure multi-party computation, fully homomorphic encryption, federated learning, and trusted hardware-based methods to achieve privacy.
Siddharth Desai, co-founder and CEO, Cleanslate Technologies, noted that they are helping optimize supply chains. There are over 200 workers on foot and on fork lifts. It takes hours to locate one box. The savings of 10 minutes/shift is equal to savings of $0.5 million a year.
Cleanslate helps factories address such challenges. You can track and monitor anything with ‘cm’ level accuracy in 3D. “We have the MHE Fleet telemetry management. It helped Bosch to save 15%. We helped another manufacturer. We used inventory location verification management. We are working with a large e-commerce company for workforce management. Indoor location technology today is a high-priority technology. We have strong, defendable IP with 7x better accuracy.”
Sourabh Gupta, co-founder and CEO, Vernacular.ai, added that they automate voice bots. Contact centers are inefficient. We solve all these problems with VIVA and VASR. VIVA is a next-gen multilingual voice AI platform designed to have natural conversations. VASR is a state-of-the-art STT technology that enables enterprises to convert audio to text by applying powerful neural network models in an easy-to-use API.
You can increase productivity by 20-25%. An example was Barbaque Nation, who automated their contact centers. Another was a large private sector bank. We increased their IVR calls by 25%. With Barbacue Nation, we have deployed seven use cases. You can easily enhance your customer experience with voice AI. We are transforming customer support for enterprises.
Delivering her address, Ms. Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom, said that the entire Indian ecosystem should come together to encourage the growth of the startup ecosystem. “This is the time for invest and develop, and to build talent for the jobs of the future. Innovation has to become the biggest problem-solving initiative. We can start doing that and create a niche for ourselves. We will be able to disrupt.”
Focus on critical solutions
Deepak Bagla, MD and CEO, Invest India, noted that India has been able to identify and bring forward critical solutions. We have a Startup India. The other is the AGNIi or Accelerated Growth of New India Innovation. We would like to invite all to reach out to us.
It is the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India, and act as the first point of reference for investors in India. As the national investment promotion and facilitation agency, Invest India focuses on sector-specific investor targeting and development of new partnerships to enable sustainable investments in India. In addition to a core team that focuses on sustainable investments, Invest India also partners with substantial investment promotion agencies and multilateral organizations. Invest India also actively works with several Indian states to build capacity as well as bring in global best practices in investment targeting, promotion and facilitation areas.
How can we transform tomorrow, together? He said: “We are very young in terms of the startups. We are no. 2 in the world in terms of the number of startups. A huge movement is happening. One is the amazing entrepreneurial feature of India. Two, you are still supplying tablets to people. On July 15, there are 8,000 PPEs and ventilators. This was done by startups, along with the MSMEs. They can pivot fast. They have the best velocity for creating money. We have about 739 districts. We are getting startups from 563 districts. We are getting them from all over. Chattisgarh, Bihar, Mahi in Pondicherry, etc.
“The engine of growth of India has moved beyond the six-seven metros. New India is going to be bottoms up. This is above solving solutions. Startups are giving solutions that are easy to execute for over 7 billion people. We also need to get connected with each other. We are trying to also pick up verticals. There are open platforms where they can work with each other. The moment we get connectivity going, things will change. State governments who are willing to give grant in aid will also benefit. You can get all benefits that are reserved for MSMEs. If we start creating segments, it will be wonderful. There are startups that are getting into smaller towns. A significant percentage of funding can be dedicated to smaller towns and cities.
“We need to start working on getting the verticals connected. We request you to send us 2-minute video with your ideas and solutions. Let us show the world that we are the solution base for the world. The Finance Minister has launched the National Infrastructure Pipeline policy. The data there is immense and huge.”
IoT and finance
Continuing with the cohorts, Rahul Mishra, COO, Probus said that outdated technologies stop the modern management. There is no focus on innovation. Probus IoT-enabled wireless, modular hardware and data analytics platforms are reducing the number of breakdowns, energy losses, etc. They are optimizing the field personnel allocation, enabling electrical utilities to provide reliable, last-mile connectivity and efficient electricity grid management. They plan to strengthen their communication and software technology and expand to different geographies.
He said: “We are automating 300 assets. Benefits realized were 10x. Diigitization and automation are important in today’s times. There is around $40 billion market. We are working with BSES, Adani, etc. We are integrating the Probus Sense transformer monitoring system and enabling a reliable and efficienct energy infrastructure using IoT.”
Presenting his company, Prateep Basu, co-founder and CEO, SatSure said that they are working on providing decision intelligence to the public sector and financial services. This is done using data from space, in conjunction with data from the field. Then it builds AI algorithms to analyze them for making the insights actionable. This is being used by one of the banks.
“We are focusing on decision-making problems of banks. We are focusing on South Asia and Asia Pacific where there are over 10,000 financial institutions. We are looking to raise $2 million in funding.”
Applications are invited to apply for the seventh Cisco Startups program. Pradeep Kathail, chief software architect, Core Software Group and CTO, Connected Car BU at Cisco, said: “The launchpad’s focus has been on B2B technology. Cisco can bring technology and market value to the startups.”