India’s vibrant startup ecosystem is brimming with innovation – there’s a surge of enterprises that are a cut above the rest, particularly in their utilization of new-age technology. It is this very churn that Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) wanted to leverage with the third edition of the HPE Digital Catalyst Program. The aim of the program has been to identify, co-innovate, and go to market with the next generation of digital disruptors.
In the previous two editions, HPE has worked with 14 startups. For Cohort 3, they selected six startups from the 150 applications they received. These startups got access to HPE’s business and technology mentors, investor networks, and closely worked with the team for go-to-market strategies and rapid prototyping.
A virtual Showcase Day was held on November 8, 2022, where the six startups from Cohort 3 got a chance to showcase their innovative joint solutions to eminent industry leaders, investors, ecosystem enablers, and innovators.
HPE Digital Catalyst Program paving the way for a dynamic ecosystem
Kickstarting the Showcase Event, Cynthia S Srinivas, VP – Software Engineering, Compute Business Group; India site R&D leader at Hewlett Packard Enterprise said, “HPE has initiated this program to engage with the dynamic enterprise ecosystem. We have been strong advocates of open innovation at HPE to solve customer challenges.”
She added that, “4 out of the 6 startups that are part of the third cohort are US domiciles, with their development teams based out of India. The Indo-US Innovation Corridor has helped us connect the entrepreneurial ecosystem in India with the markets in the US for enterprise tech innovation. We believe that HPE can be a very strong partner to these startups in their journey, as they decide to scale. 2023 will be our year of focus to accelerate the momentum with the joint solutions developed with the start-ups.”
Strategies for enterprises to go global
The Showcase Event progressed with an address by Vara Kumar Namburu, Co-founder and CTO, Whatfix. Recalling his initial journey in 2015, he shared that they were already determined to build for global markets.
“70 percent of our revenue comes from North America, another 20-25 percent from EMEA and some from APAC. You can get the initial few customers by selling your product remotely, depending on your product category. During your initial journey, don’t try to cast your net too wide. Instead, pick a segment that you are confident of and then expand into other segments over time,“ he added.
He concluded by highlighting, how startups can take the help of a range of marketing channels to gain visibility for their brand. But what’s important is to zero in on a channel that one is confident about, instead of experimenting with all at the same time.
Panel : Indian start-ups leveraging a borderless world
India and the US have a history of collaborating across fields, particularly technology. This has helped create a borderless world, which further motivates startup founders to build global products.
Suryaprakash Konanuru, CTO, Ideaspring Capital believes that the world has become well-connected over time. In fact, the challenges faced by startups are similar everywhere. “India has always been known for its tech talent and ability to build tech products. We are going to play a significant role in technology and manufacturing – we are going to become the product nation,“ he added.
On the other hand, Madan Padaki, President, TiE Bangalore, highlighted how the world is borderless by citing the example of his startup – 1Bridge – that has been founded with the vision to give access, choice, and convenience to the rural-urban consumers.
“Last month, in a tiny village called Mandya in Karnataka, we launched a Metaverse for rural communities. We put an EV showroom inside the Metaverse, which was viewed by farmers, students, housewives, etc through an oculus. You can have tech resources from all over the world today. When we say cross border, what does the border mean anyway?“ he questioned.
Adding to the conversation, Sachin Dev Duggal, Founder and CEO, builder.ai highlighted that the big shift lies in how engineering is present all over today, unlike earlier. There’s a worldwide shortage of developers today – while there’s a demand for 450 million developers, there’s a supply of only 50 million.
“You need a product engineering team that is global in mindset. I think the cross border potential is massive,“ he added.
Here’s a look at the third cohort
With the goal to provide innovative, high-value digital technology solutions for operations excellence, Syook has been offering a no-code IoT platform Syook InSite. InSite is an RTLS (Real Time Location System) platform that is hardware and cloud-agnostic, modular, and completely configurable (no code).
SandLogic is a full-stack enterprise AI company that enables low-code, no-code (LCNC) platforms to enable Deep Learning applications to run on Edge devices. EdgeMatrix is powered by their proprietary porting and optimisation engine CORE and Deep Learning accelerator (DLA).
InfinStor is the AI Engine for unstructured data, letting users manage unstructured data and parallelise the compute of unstructured data. The software supports the full life-cycle of AI projects, from experiment tracking, model management, data management to compute management. It enables AI workloads to be distributed across cloud resources and on premise Kubernetes such as HPE Greenlake.
A powerful self-service Data Science and Advanced Analytics Studio, Sparkflows seamlessly connects data from a wide variety of data stores, cleaning, enriching and preparing it. It builds best-in-class machine learning models using the machine learning library of your choice.
N5 Technologies makes it extremely easy to develop and run fintech and financial trading applications on bare metal and cloud. N5 Rumi™ platform provides a complete and robust high-performance, nanosecond latency and completely fault-tolerant infrastructural substrate for these applications, and N5 RumiCloud™ provides a fine-tuned bare metal and exchange co-located edge-cloud platform to run these financial applications in the cloud.
RocketML is a Scientific Machine Learning platform to speed up ‘time to solution‘ across many scientific applications with the use of AI methods. It offers enterprises all the necessary functionality to solve their engineering problems with machine learning.
Summarizing the virtual event, Michael Woodacre, HPE Fellow and CTO, HPC/AI, expressed pride in the Digital Catalyst Program in connecting the vibrancy of the startup ecosystem with the global market. Since HPE is a large global company, he believes there’s great opportunity in establishing synergies.
“We have a deep innovation culture within the company that can be traced back to several decades. Our operations in India are our largest globally. We are big on partnerships and leveraging the open source ecosystem. The idea is how to solve customer problems faster,“ he concluded.