Hyderabad: NetApp, a data management and hybrid cloud services provider, completed the graduation of NetApp Excellerator’s fourth cohort. Through NetApp Excellerator, the company’s flagship startup accelerator programme, the company aims to enable B2B ecosystem for startups.
As part of the demo day, six technology startups – QuNu Labs, SecurelyShare, Zappy.AI, Ecolibrium Energy, Eder AI and UniQreate, showcased their business models, market opportunity and projections to a panel comprising of venture capitalists, industry leaders and NetApp top executives.
Innovations ranging from quantum-resistant cryptographic systems, artificial intelligence (AI)-based data extraction solutions, to smart predictive maintenance systems, data security, industrial internet of things (IoT), and RPA (Robotic Process Automation) were presented by these entrepreneurs. This batch comprised early stage as well as mature startups, including an international startup, Zappy.AI, headquartered in the UK.
Deepak Visweswaraiah, MD, NetApp India, Telangana Today, “Over the years, there was progress in the B2C segment, but as business dynamics are changing, we are now focused on enabling innovation for startups in the B2B space. Each cohort, we had been roughly picking up about six promising startups shortlisted after a rigorous process screening 350-400 startup applications. Each cohort takes about 4-6 months and two cohorts are held each year.”
He further added, “Our prime focus is on picking up startups where NetApp can add value, primarily in and around data space. We also see mentorship suitability to each of the startups in terms of their capabilities. We also look at if we can help them scale up their business. We want these startups explore global markets be it in IoT or healthcare or any other sector.”
So far NetApp Excellerator has mentored 24 such startups through four cohorts. The NetApp team, as well as external mentors, coach these startups on data-driven technologies, platforms, tools, business acumen, and offers access to customer and investor connects. NetApp also provided an equity-free grant of $15,000 to each of the participating startups.
The NetApp Excellerator Programme alumni continue to have access to mentorship and go-to-market opportunities with NetApp. As a success story from the previous cohorts, Adya (an alumnus from the first cohort), recently got acquired by Qualys, a leading provider of cloud-based security and compliance solutions. Additionally, LightMetrics, provider of advanced video telematics (also an alumnus from the first cohort) secured a new series of funding.
Visweswaraiah added, “The biggest value the startups had been getting through our cohorts had been in the form of technical and business mentorship. NetApp has abundant technical and engineering capability and startups gain by this. We had been also focusing on providing them the market access. We have also extended legal support, people management, communications training. We also provide infrastructure and grants. Startups also gain from the peer-learning.”
“ArchSaber, a graduate from the second cohort is being acquired and this is the second company from our alumni to be acquired. The success of the NetApp Excellerator programme lies in our ability towards establishing the business and technology viability of the startups within a strong B2B ecosystem,” he informed.
NetApp Excellerator has now opened registrations for its fifth cohort. Startups with interests in the areas of hybrid cloud, AI, IOT, data management, data analytics, machine and deep learning, and adjacent technology domains are invited to apply.
NetApp Excellerator Cohort 4 startups
QuNu Labs: Helps CXOs who need to protect their critical data assets in transit to accelerate their transition to Quantum safe data security solutions by building hardware products that deliver data security
SecurelyShare: Helps wealth managers/bankers improve customer experience with a mobile app that empowers their customers to receive, organise and share personal information with convenience, security and privacy controls
Zappy.ai: A desktop application that helps operations, accounting and back office employees doing manual business processes automate these processes within a minute without any technical knowledge
Ecolibrium Energy: An industrial internet of things (IoT) company, which empowers enterprises to improve asset efficiency using predictive analytics
Eder AI: Helps enterprise tech leaders to collaborate with third party solution providers in leveraging AI on sensitive data, thereby making privacy, AI and policy work together
UniQreate: Helps business users of data provider organisations automate high diversity data extraction with intelligent workflow and adaptive learning system