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Microsoft Accelerator, Accenture Ventures to empower start-ups in India

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Bengaluru, Jan 12: Microsoft Accelerator and Accenture Ventures on Friday announced a new ecosystem partnership To further strengthen the start-up ecosystem in India.

The two companies will help growth-stage technology B2B start-ups specialising in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), Augmented/Virtual Reality, Blockchain, fintech, Big Data, security and customer experience solutions boost their enterprise readiness and go-to market strategy.

Microsoft Accelerator is a global programme built to empower start-ups while Accenture Ventures partners and invests in growth-stage companies that create innovative enterprise technologies.

“The partnership with Accenture showcases our commitment to connect start-ups with large corporates and help them scale up to become successful businesses,” said Bala Girisaballa, Managing Director, Microsoft Accelerator.

The partnership was announced at Microsoft Accelerator’s “ThinkNext 2018” event here, attended by over 400 business and industry thought leaders, start-ups, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs.

The ecosystem partnership will help start-ups deploy solutions in large India and global client environments and improvise on their business model.

“This ecosystem partnership is an example of how we orchestrate the innovation ecosystem and create opportunities for start-ups to grow and scale-up,” added Avnish Sabharwal, Managing Director, Accenture Ventures, India.

Microsoft Accelerator and Accenture Ventures will also host various start-up events and summits in India.

The event also marked the graduation ceremony of Microsoft Accelerator’s 11th winter cohort.

IANS

Business

Ratan Tata-backed Repos Energy registers 150 startups

Founded in 2017, Repos Energy startup is based out of Pune in Maharashtra and has been funded by Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata. Currently, it operates in over 150 cities of India.

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New Delhi, Sep 6 : Pune-based energy distribution company Repos Energy has registered over 150 fuel startups in less than a month.

These startups would carry on door-to-door delivery of diesel through mobile petrol pumps.

“With the goal to reboot the economy and making India Atmanirbhar, Repos Energy has been working extensively to create a startup ecosystem of its own in the energy sector,” a company statement said.

As per the co-founders Chetan Walunj and Aditi Bhosale Walunj empowering startups through the dynamic model of doorstep diesel delivery through mobile petrol pumps will change the game of fuel distribution in India.

“According to industry experts, this move is expected to garner around Rs 9,000 crore of investment,” the statement said.

Repos Energy will call them ‘fuel startups’, and will provide them with the entire support system. Repos will provide these new startups with end-to-end solutions for buying the mobile petrol pumps along with sharing the know-how.

“These fuel startups will be registered with us and featured on our app. We will also provide them with the necessary infrastructure. This will include a back-end team to build their entire brand identity. We will make sure that they become successful startups,” Chetan Walunj said.

Aditi Bhosale Walunj said: “We have built an entire ecosystem of fuel distribution that consists of IoT and AI-driven Repos Mobile Petrol Pumps (RMPP). These RMPPs are being designed at our IoT facility in Chakan, Pune, and comply with PESO norms.”

Some of the fuel startups which have registered with Repos are, Easy Diesel from Pune, Nuvera Energy from Mumbai, Auro Fuels from Bengaluru, AMA Fuels from Kolkata, Echological Fuels from Guwahati, Future Fuel Services from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh.

Founded in 2017, Repos Energy startup is based out of Pune in Maharashtra and has been funded by Chairman Emeritus of Tata Sons, Ratan Tata. Currently, it operates in over 150 cities of India.

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Health

Over 22,000 ‘Make in India’ ventilators given to states: Centre

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New Delhi, Aug 13 : The Centre on Thursday stated that it has distributed more than 3.04 crore N95 masks and over 1.28 crore PPE kits to states, union territories and Central institutions free of cost in the last five months. Over 22,000 ‘Make in India’ ventilators have also been delivered.

The Centre has been strengthening the health infrastructure to fight the pandemic and effectively manage it. Along with augmenting Covid-19 facilities, the government has been providing medical supplies free of cost to the states and union territories to supplement their efforts.

“Since 11th March 2020, the Union Government has distributed more than 3.04 crore N95 masks and more than 1.28 crore PPE kits to states, UTs, Central Institutions, free of cost. Also, more than 10.83 crore HCQ tablets have been distributed to them,” the government said.

In addition, 22,533 ‘Make in India’ ventilators have been delivered and their “installation and commissioning is also being ensured”.

“Most of the products supplied by the Government of India were not being manufactured in the country in the beginning. The rising global demand due to the pandemic resulted in their scarce availability in the foreign markets,” it added.

As a result, resolve for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ and ‘Make in India’ has been strengthened and most of the supplies made by the Union Government are domestically manufactured.

With the combined efforts of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Pharmaceuticals, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and others, the domestic industry has been encouraged and facilitated to manufacture and supply essential medical equipment like PPEs, N95 masks, ventilators, etc., during this period.

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Business

Airtel buys 10% stake in conversational AI startup Voicezen

Voicezen is the third startup to become a part of the Airtel Startup Accelerator Programme.

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New Delhi, May 21 : Bharti Airtel on Thursday said that it has acquired a 10 per cent stake in Voicezen, an early stage startup focused on conversational AI technologies.

The acquisition has been made by the company under its fast expanding Airtel Startup Accelerator Programme, the company said in regulatory filing.

“Acquisition of the equity shares of investee company is done at mutually agreed pre money enterprise valuation. The said valuation is not disclosed herein due to reasons of confidentiality,” it said.

Gurugram-based Voicezen has been working on developing advanced solutions that leverage machine learning, AI, speech to text and voice technologies to offer real time analytics to help brands serve customers better.

“The investment will give Airtel preferred access to Voicezen’s technologies, which can be deployed across its customer touch points in multiple languages. These intelligent solutions will offer real time analytics and insights to make Airtel’s conversations with its customers more engaging and frictionless and enable faster resolution. It will also allow Airtel to make contextual offers to customers based on real time conversations,” the filing said.

Voicezen is the third startup to become a part of the Airtel Startup Accelerator Programme.

Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer, Bharti Airtel said: “Voicezen has built some promising products that are very relevant for a market like India. As part of its strategy to deliver a highly differentiated service experience to its customers, Bharti Airtel has acquired a strategic stake in Voicezen, an early stage start-up focused on conversational AI technologies.”

Apurba Nath, Founder of Voicezen, said that the startup helps brands deliver a better customer experience in Indian languages using ‘Conversational AI’. “Having worked on AI solutions in the past, Voicezen knew what works well in a lab most often doesn’t work in the real world, because either the training data is not large and relevant or the problem has little business significance,” he added.

“Our partnership with Airtel helps us solve these challenges. With this strategic investment, we will work even more closely with them to continuously improve our AI models and build out an enterprise grade, battle hardened product that will make customer interactions more efficient, especially in this post-Covid world where business operations are facing large disruptions,” he said.

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