NetApp, a leader in cloud data services, today 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-19 lockdown with a quick transition to an online curriculum. It selected six deep tech startups, Aikaan Labs, Cyborgintell, IQLECT, Koinearth, Kubesafe, and Myelin Foundry, for the sixth cohort, virtually.
Through a four-month remote networking and mentoring period, these 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.
Welcoming the guests, Ms. Aanandita Bhatnagar, Director Corporate Communications at NetApp, said a pandemic should not stall innovation. They should accelerate it, as every crisis brings us an opportunity.
Data is changing world
Ravi Chhabria, VP and MD, NetApp India elaborated that data is changing the world. We are one of the many players. The arc from customer to customer is a very wide. There is also a very vast ecosystem. Today, data is applied in many innovative ways. We are hearing about data that is creating new insights for customers. We are talking about connected devices and IoT. We are also talking about agility. That agility and speed is the new way of doing business.
Some of the customers are sitting on very modern IT infrastructure. As we look at all the innovation, it spans across the entire infrastructure. What’s the best way forward? The answer is: all of the above.
NetApp is a global company, with lots of leaders. We are providing mentorship to the startups. We are providing them with PoCs. It is all about helping the startups to operate a global business. Engagement is also very important. This is our sixth cohort. There are new ways for approaching the ecosystem. We are helping the customers change the world. Partners are seeing opportunities in this ecosystem.
Better, Faster, Stronger
Ms. Madhurima Agarwal, Director for Engineering Program, NetApp, said the theme selected for this year’s cohort was Better, Faster, Stronger. The cohort journey started from March 2020. We have worked with the startups.
AiKaan is a device management and application orchestration system for IoT Edge. It’s a software solution to monitor, securely access, and upgrade IoT Edge devices. It was established in 2018. Cyborgintell is an enterprise AI company for organizations to rapidly develop, deploy and operationalize AI applications at scale. It was established in 2019.
Kubesafe provides business continuity for cloud-native applications. It was also established in 2019. Iqlect is a converged NoSql data platform for predictive and real-time analytics for operational intelligence. It was established in 2015.
Koinearth’s markets is a blockchain and AI-based, ERP-compatible solution for organizations to integrate their supply chains. It was established in 2019. Myelin Foundry is a deep tech AI start-up working on video, voice, and sensor data on consumer edge devices. It was established in 2019.
There are several startups that have adapted in the Covid-19 era. These include CardioTrack, Senseforth.ai, Myelin Foundry, Curl Analytics, etc. All the startups are adapting well.
NetApp has had 1,600 startups so far, who had applied. Now, 35 startups have since graduated, and there have been nine successful PoCs. Three have had successful exits. About 70% of the startups have raised funding. There are participants across the globe, from India, Singapore, UK, Israel, and USA.
There is a white paper on AI efficiency solution co-authored by NetApp and Curl Analytics, a cohort five startup. She announced that NetApp also has the NetApp ExcellerateHER program that is focused on women entrepreneurs. There is not enough funding happening for them. We want to fill that gap and provide extra support.
We have had increased focus on AI. Roughly half of them are in ML. Curl Analytics and Cyborgintell have been successful. In healthcare, we have seen lot of need for ML coming in.