NetApp recently hosted ‘Upsurge’, its accelerator program’s Demo Day for Cohort 10. The event saw eight startups pitch their innovative solutions and offerings, bringing the total number of startups incubated by the program to 66 since its inception in June 2017.
NetApp has held internal and external collaboration as central to its culture, with the four-month program being one of its critical external collaboration platforms. The flagship startup program NetApp Excellerator is razor-focused on fuelling innovation by partnering with and supporting deep tech B2B startups globally that want to explore NetApp’s hybrid cloud, storage, and data management solutions.
The startups graduating from the 10th cohort included data protection company ShardSecure, multi-cloud Kubernetes management platform Kubermatic, deep learning technology company Streamingo, specialised healthcare platform RXoom, edtech startup EduFuse; deep tech cybersecurity startup SubCom, green industrial-AI platform LivNSense; and zero-trust Kubernetes security solutions company AccuKnox.
These startups were mentored by NetApp’s senior tech leaders, each of whom guided them throughout the course of the program.
Three startups won awards on Demo Day:
- LivNSense won the Best Growth Strategy Award,
- Subcom won the Investors Choice Award, and
- ShardSecure won the award for the Most Innovative Product.
Innovation for real-world solutions
Setting the tone of the evening, Octavian Tanase, Senior Vice President, Engineering, NetApp, highlighted how the accelerator program matters to India, given how the Indian startup ecosystem has been steadily thriving. He heralded the success of their alumni startups, which have collectively raised over USD 300 million, and six of them have had successful exits. He said he values the partnerships with the participating startups and hopes they continue using cutting-edge technology to develop real-world solutions.
Ravi Chhabria, MD, NetApp India, focused on the success of the Excellerator and ExcellerateHER programs as award-winning accelerators elevating innovation. “It is equally clear now that for any business that is going to be built on data at scale, the NetApp Excellerator is an outstanding [global] incubation forum,” he said.
Watch the Demo Day of Cohort 10:
Here’s a look at the pitches that were presented on Demo Day:
Recognising that cloud adoption is not a luxury but a mandate for organisations to remain agile and identifying means to ensure data security and sovereignty is the basis of 2022 Global Infosec Award Winner ShardSecure’s unique product. ShardSecure aims to become the premier cloud platform that provides customers security, privacy, and compliance.
Co-founder and CEO Bob Lam spoke about how the software is helping enterprise customers desensitise data in hybrid, private, and multi-cloud environments while reducing management complexities and improving business continuity. “We have a very quick payback time with low overhead. Typically, you can deploy our software within a couple of hours in any major cloud provider,” he said.
Sebastian Scheele, Co-founder and CEO of Kubermatic, agreed that the way forward is becoming cloud-native. Sebastian believes that to scale up, we need to move to machine-driven and autonomous systems, rather than human-driven or workflow-driven systems, so that systems can automatically optimise themselves.
Kubermatic Kubernetes Platform is a unified cloud-native operational platform that provides an innovative method for organisations globally to fully automate their Kubernetes and cloud-native operations across multi-cloud, edge, and on-prem. It serves developer teams to build modern applications in a cloud-native way and helps the operational team to operate new software with enterprise-grade security and governance.
Employing AI-based video inferencing to evaluate products and understand how customers interact with said products is transforming industries. Vidhya Vinay, Co-founder, MD, and Head of Engineering, Streamingo, spoke about how the startup is capitalising on this to enable the Video Big Data ecosystem.
Their core offering is an AI SaaS platform Deeplabel.app, a web platform built for scale to convert video data into a structured format to use as a data source for business analysis. The software uses an automated workflow and currently processes 7,000 hours of video every month.
Aligning with the Make In India project, RXoom has developed their unique surgical navigation system NeuroSAPIR NNS using AI and data analysis. Co-founder Dr Nilesh S Kurwale spoke about their data-analysis-driven new-age neuro-navigation system that will help surgeons improve accuracy and precision.
Due to regulatory issues, adoption of older technology, prohibitive costs, and delayed service and repairs, neuro-navigation systems have not been adopted as much in India. RXoom aims to tackle this issue by positioning its surgical navigation system to make neurosurgery affordable, high-quality, and successful.
An IIT-Patna startup, Edufuse is working towards transforming higher education institutions through digitisation and process reengineering. Kumari Ritika Pandey, Director of Business Acquisition, Edufuse, spoke about how they tackle problems such as massive manual effort, high manpower costs, siloed departments, and lack of accurate information in higher education institutions (HEIs) using technology.
They have conceptualised four verticals to address the problems: digitisation and migration, process reengineering, highly customisable automation solutions, and independent data analytics. Their plug-and-play modules make edtech digital infrastructure frictionless to enable a faster and smoother flow of accurate information in line with the guidelines of the National Education Policy 2020.
Deep tech cybersecurity startup SubCom is on a mission to build the world’s most performant security automation for distributed data and devices. Speaking about cybersecurity, Co-founder and CEO Anter Virk highlighted how lack of defence automation and over-reliance on good judgement is leading to a rise in cybercrimes today.
The team at SubCom works to completely automate the security pipeline on devices. Their proprietary ultra compact agents observe and assess endpoints in real time and publish a comprehensive security status as a Trust Score aided by Tiny ML. This real-time processing of massive data is powered by their bio intelligence-inspired habituation neural fabric.
LivNSense is a green industrial-AI SaaS-based platform harnessing the power of AI and digital twins technology to impact decarbonisation across the process value chain with 100+ patented IPs in Process AI.
Priyanka Kumar, Co-founder and Director, focused on the problem of carbon emissions and increasing carbon footprints, and detailed the startup’s holistic approach to address the carbon lock-in problem to become more environmentally responsible. It is a four-step process: collecting data and analysing it in real-time, applying AI models, and creating a digital twin, hence delivering a carbon offset.
AccuKnox was co-created in partnership with the Stanford Research Institute’s CyberSecurity Computer Science Labs. AccuKnox works on public and private clouds as one of the most comprehensive Zero Trust platforms in the world with an open source strategy.
Nat Natraj, Co-founder and CEO of AccuKnox, highlighted how the software provides a single pane of glass for organisations to observe every asset and event, gives deep observability and comprehensive reporting, recommends and allows organisations to apply a set of auto-generated policies, and provides an unsupervised learning-based anomaly detection mechanism to do continuous compliance.