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Microsoft, TCS to jointly mentor start-ups

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Bengaluru, June 23 : The Technology arms of global software majors Microsoft and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) on Thursday announced a joint initiative to mentor start-ups and engage with them to make innovate solutions for the global market.

“Microsoft Accelerator and TCS co-innovation network will create a platform to spur the Indian start-up system through an open framework,” the IT majors said at ‘Think Next Summer 2016′, a Microsoft Accelerator flagship forum here for thought leaders intended to drive transformation through innovation.

As access to markets and customers remains a challenge for Indian start-ups, the partnership will provide start-ups access to their networks and relationships across customers, investors, academia and industry, creating a value proposition in the enterprise marketplace.

“The progress India has made in IT and entrepreneurship over the years changed the landscape offering new entrepreneurs unmatched opportunities. As one of the contributors to the start-up ecosystem in this country, we felt it was a story worth telling,” said Microsoft Accelerator global director Ravi Narayan, releasing an e-book on the “History of Indian Start-up Ecosystem” on the occasion.

Another e-book – “Timeline of Indian Start-up Ecosystem” – was also released.

The joint initiative will also connect start-ups with corporates, which will get access to innovative solutions for their business needs while providing greater market access to start-ups.

“The partnership highlights our efforts to engage with start-ups and underlines our commitment to provide innovative solutions to our diverse customer base. As we enter a new phase of innovation and computing, companies must co-innovate and create strategic partnerships to solve challenging problems for customers,” said TCS global head for hi-tech industry solutions Nagaraj Ijari at the day-long event.

The joint programme will also offer participating start-ups access to the expertise and client-base of both the software majors and create opportunities to innovate and transform the business landscape.

The 12 graduating startups from the event are Altizon, Tarnea, Aureus Analytics, Baby Chakra, Reverie, Strides, Locus, Admission Table, Distiman, Calm.io, Yellow Messenger and Report Bee.

They made presentations on their ventures to about 550 delegates comprising corporates, investors, thought leaders, and Microsoft management who partnered to push the collaborative innovation.

Altizon announced the launch of iProd, a revolutionary IoT (Internet of Things)-based based product to empower manufacturers to optimize productivity and overall equipment effectiveness along with Distiman, a mobile app that maximises profits for mom and pop retailers through on-demand stocking.

“The interesting thing about India becoming a start-up nation is that this transformation happened not long ago, but around us.. As a citizen of the start-up ecosystem in the country, we decided to take an overview of the developments,” Naraynan added.

Infosys’ co-founder and former Unique Identification Development Authority of India (UIDAI) chairman Nandan Nilekani spoke on ‘An alternate view of the future: India in the age of technological disruption’ and Microsoft India chairman Bhaskar Pramanik on ‘The role of start-ups in India’s digital transformation journey’.

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Microsoft commits $500 mn for new startup initiative

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San Francisco, Feb 15: Microsoft has committed $500 million for a new programme to help nurture start-ups, offering resources such as Azure credits and sales support.

“Microsoft for Startups” will deliver access to technology, go-to-market and community benefits to help startups grow their customer and revenue base.

“We are committing $500 million over the next two years to offer joint sales engagements with startups, along with access to our technology and new community spaces,” Charlotte Yarkoni, Corporate Vice President, Growth and Ecosystems at Microsoft, said in a blog post late on Wednesday.

Microsoft has over 40,000 sales representatives and hundreds of thousands of partners.

The programme provides dedicated resources to prepare startup marketing and sales teams to effectively sell their Cloud solutions to enterprise organisations in partnership with Microsoft’s global sales organisation and partner ecosystem.

The programme provides startups with up to $120,000 in free Azure credits, enterprise grade technical support and development tools – supporting the languages of their choice.

“In addition, qualified startups also get access to productivity and business applications, including Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365,” the post said.

Microsoft “Reactorsa are physical spaces where entrepreneurs, developers, investors and the business community can come together to interact, learn and share.

“Over the next month (March), we will open the doors on new Microsoft Reactor spaces in London, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Shanghai and Beijing,” Yarkoni said.

IANS

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56% smart cities prone to floods: Report

More than 2,200 cities and towns in India are located in districts which have witnessed at least 11 floods in the last 18 years.

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As much as 56 per cent of smart cities are prone to floods which are responsible for 77 per cent of all disasters in India, a report said on Friday.

The report, based on disaster data between 2000 and 2017, observed that India has a mean of 11 flood events per district over the last 18 years.

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Following floods, other disaster share was cyclone (22 per cent), extreme temperature (11 per cent), landslides (seven per cent) and earthquakes (four per cent). Drought, however, was only one per cent of all disasters.

“Ninety-eight per cent of India’s 642 districts have received at least one flood event,” stated the joint report ‘Decoding the Monsoon Floods’ by NGO SEEDS and Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) based in the University of Louvain School of Public Health, Brussels.

It said that floods affect over 15 million people every year. Of 15.6 million people affected by floods in India in 2017, over 316,185 were people with disabilities.

“More than 2,200 cities and towns in India are located in districts which have witnessed at least 11 floods in the last 18 years,” the report said.

Further signifying the scale of infrastructure that needs to be secured against the future risks, the findings said that 56 per cent of India’s planned smart cities fall in districts reporting a high number of flood events.

Since 2000, India has faced 215 flooding events both from floods and cyclones. This accounts for 77 per cent of all disaster events.

“Assam is the most flood-prone state, with areas like Lakhimpur reporting over 30 flood events within this period. Even known drought-prone areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan have witnessed more floods than the country’s average in the last 18 years,” said Anshu Sharma, Co-founder and Mentor, SEEDS.

“Unpredictability, urbanisation and invisibility of flood risk are major concerns that need to be addressed urgently,” Sharma added.

Citing the 2015 Chennai floods in Tamil Nadu, the report pointed out how the natural sinks like wetlands, that act as a sponge against floods, had shrunk due to rapid urbanisation, leading to catastrophic results.

“Estimates put the remaining original wetlands of Chennai at just 10 per cent.”

“Concrete encroachment on Cooum River, Adyar River and Buckingham Canal which serve as the main rainwater drains, poorly designed drainage systems and ageing civil infrastructure added to the problem,” the report said.

Debarati Guha-Sapir, Director, CRED, said: “We are witnessing a disturbing trend of a large number of climate induced disasters… The launch of this regional report is a huge step towards better understanding of local nuances of disaster events.”

Suggesting preparations for the 2018 monsoon and cyclone seasons at policy and community levels, the report said that with a scale this huge, informal nature of the losses and limited resources, coping practices at the community level are very beneficial.

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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

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