Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Odisha State Eyes Top Five Slots for Technology Start-Up Hubs in India

 The state government has decided to formulate a policy in a bid to put Odisha among top three start-up hubs in the country by 2020. The Odisha government recently held a Invest in Odisha in Bengaluru to attract new investments into the state. The team led by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik among other senior ministers were present at the event.

The draft policy, which has been put in the public domain, maintains that the State Government will create enabling environment and supporting eco-system to facilitate at least 1000 start ups during next five years. The policy will be notified after getting approval of the cabinet.

The state government will establish one or more start ups/innovation parks in Odisha as one-stop destination for start-ups, either on its own or in partnership with private sector.
The policy will encourage incubators including sector-specific ones aligning with the state’s strengths and requirements. The government will take steps to provide skill-based training to encourage youths to take up start-ups.
Besides, the policy will encourage all major companies operating out of Odisha to include skill and infrastructure development for start-ups as an integral component of their CSR activities. The CSR funds of state public sector undertakings (PSUs) will be channelised and utilised for development of start-ups/innovation parks in compliance with the Companies Act, 2013. The policy will remain in operation for five years from the date of its notification or until substituted by another policy, whichever is earlier. Official sources maintained that the policy will provide incentives and exemptions above the start-up policy of the Centre and any other existing policy in the state.
Realising the importance of quality infrastructure required for creating successful start-ups, the government will encourage creation of world-class incubators in universities/institutions, research and development and industry.
The government will encourage universities and educational institutions, which are in existence for at least five years and approved by state level implementation committee, to support and mentor innovators. Such approved institutions will be eligible for a one-time grants towards capital items upto `50 lakh to set up incubator facility.
The approved incubators will also be eligible for performance capital grant of `5 lakh for each successful start-up they incubate. Besides, approved industrial houses will be eligible for a performance capital grant of `5 lakh for each successful start-up they create.
The policy will be implemented by a two-tier government structure, a start-up council/State level implementation committee to headed by Chief Secretary and a task force-based review mechanism headed by the Secretary in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Department.

Uma Thana Balasingam Appointed as Vice President of Channels for Asia Pacific Japan

Riverbed Technology, the leader in application performance infrastructure, has appointed Uma Thana Balasingam as Vice President, Channels for Riverbed Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ). Balasingam, who will be based in Riverbed’s APJ headquarters in Singapore, will be responsible for defining the region’s go-to-market strategies including channel, service providers and alliances. As a key member of the leadership team, she will play an active role in shaping the company’s growth strategy in the region.

“Uma is coming onboard at a pivotal time in the growth of Riverbed’s business in APJ. We’ve made a rapid, significant shift to a platform-centric company, and our success in driving our total portfolio to the market relies so much on the channel. Helping our partners understand the benefits of building their own services on Riverbed solutions and ensuring they feel supported by our programs is critical to our business,” said Bjorn Engelhardt, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific and Japan, Riverbed Technology. “Uma’s proven business and channel leadership, together with her deep understanding of the regional dynamics, will be a tremendous asset.”

Balasingam brings to Riverbed 15 years of business and strategic channels development experience in the Asia Pacific and Japan region. She joins Riverbed from EMC, where she served for more than seven years in various senior leadership roles focus on business development and channels development, most recently as Senior Director, Channel Sales Development for Asia Pacific and Japan. Previously Balasingam held roles in management at Brocade and field sales at IBM.

A champion of personal development, Uma is also the founder of Lean In Women in Technology Asia, a nonprofit organization and online community dedicated to helping all women achieve their ambitions.

“It's an exciting time to be joining Riverbed with emerging technologies disrupting the status quo, new ways to engage and connect with customers, and entirely new routes to market changing the business landscape,” said Uma Thana Balasingam, Vice President, Channels, Asia Pacific and Japan at Riverbed. “I’m pleased to have the opportunity to help our partners make this shift through differentiated embedded solutions and services as well as new revenue and services opportunities. Riverbed’s disruptive SD-WAN, visibility and software-defined edge platforms, along with its continued leadership in WAN optimization, make it the ideal go-to-market partner in this dynamic market.”

Riverbed serves more than 27,000 customers globally, including 97% of the Fortune 100 and 98% of the Forbes Global 100. Its footprint in APJ covers the six markets of ASEAN, Australia & New Zealand, Greater China, India, Japan and Korea with a presence in 15 countries and a global network of 3,000 partners including technology partners, resellers, distributors, service providers, and integrators. 

Bala Girisaballa Takes Charge as New CEO-in-Residence, Microsoft Accelerator in India

Microsoft announced that Bala Girisaballa will be leading Microsoft Accelerator in India as CEO-in-Residence. He took charge of the Accelerator’s India operations, with effect from August 1, 2016. Microsoft also announced that Ravi Narayan, Director, will now assume the role of Global Director at Microsoft Accelerator.

Bala will lead the Accelerator’s efforts to help market-ready startups and entrepreneurs to scale up and become successful businesses through the technology enablement, global go-to-market efforts and deep business advisory in the form of Hi-Po and Scale-Up programs. Prior to this, Bala was with Zinnov as Partner and Practice Head helping MNC RnD companies.

Ravi Narayan, in his new role as Global Director, will help Microsoft Accelerator in eight locations around the world to become market-ready, focused and accelerate these startups that have or will raise institutional funding from VCs. He will also focus on scaling the startup acceleration model through global partners.

Early last year, Microsoft Accelerator in India redesigned their programs to cater to market-ready startups. Since then, it has graduated three cohorts which include startups like iBot, CustomerXPs, Altizon, CloudCherry and Reverie Technologies. It has also formed partnerships with Temasek, TCS, Citi, Reliance Industries and other Multinational Corporates under its corporate engagement program #CoInnovate, to help the startups in their go-to-market efforts and global expansion.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

REAP to Accelerate Tech Startup Innovations in Indian Real Estate

Brigade Group, a Bengaluru–based real estate developer, has launched Brigade Real Estate Accelerator Program (REAP).
REAP initiative is first of its kind in the Indian real estate sector and will focus on five technologies namely - Internet of Things; Nano Technology; Cleantech and Renewables; Visual Computing; and Logistics and Supply Chain to begin with in the first year. The new initiative will move to a new premises, located next to District 6, on a 5000 square feet of office space. But it has limited the number of seats to 46 and so it will be a rigorous process for the startups to get selected.
“REAP is being set up with the aim to give real estate innovators and inventors in the country an organised approach to help build sustainable and scaleable businesses,” said Nirupa Shankar, brainchild of this new initiative, and director, Brigade Hospitality services.
The real estate sector is one of the most globally recognised sectors contributing a significant number of jobs and GDP growth. In India, real estate and allied industries are the second largest employers after agriculture and are slated to grow at 30 per cent over the next decade, she adds.
“To keep pace with the ever-changing needs of the business, it is imperative to accelerate the pace of adoption of innovation and disruptive technologies in the industry,” said M R Jaishankar, CMD Brigade Enterprises.
“Brigade REAP has been conceptualised to combine resources within the group, as well as with partners and well-wishers to add value to young companies and help them build innovative and path-breaking companies from India,” he said.
REAP has called for online applications at that opens on August 24, 2016 and closes on September 15, 2016. “All the suitable applications will be screened by a panel of experts and shall go live from October 3,  2016,” adds Jaishankar.

Speaking on the objective of Brigade REAP, John Kuruvilla, Chief Mentor, Brigade REAP said, “At REAP we work on ensuring that innovative ideas are not lost in execution and find the perfect application in the real estate industry”.

Samsung’s Z2, the First Tizen Powered 4G Smartphone; Pre-Loaded with Jio Services

Samsung India has launched its first 4G enabled Tizen-powered smartphone, Samsung Z2. Built on the Tizen platform, Samsung Z2 caters to the requirements of new smartphone users transitioning from a feature phone. Driven by the success of Z1 and Z3, and taking forward the smart, fun and simple attributes of Tizen platform, Samsung Z2 has been customised to offer unique value to the Indian consumers. The device comes with powerful specifications, pre-loaded essential apps and Samsung’s popular ‘Make for India’ features such as the Ultra Data Saving mode, S bike mode and the new My Money Transfer, to drive smartphone adoption.

Samsung Z2 comes with a complimentary invitation to the Jio Preview Offer to avail free voice and data services in the trial period. Z2 users will also get complimentary access to premium Jio applications – My Jio, Jio on Demand, Jio Beats – with unlimited options of latest movies, TV shows and songs across multiple languages during the Jio Preview offer.

Manu Sharma, Vice President, Mobile Business, Samsung India Electronics, said “Samsung Z2 makes 4G accessible and relevant to the unique needs of feature phone users and first time smartphone buyers. It brings consumers a fast and affordable mobile internet experience that will democratize 4G usage in the country.”

Fast and Easy to Use
The user interface on Samsung Z2 is simple and easy to use, offering faster and smoother device performance when combined with the Tizen platform. Powered by a 1.5GHz Quad-core processor, 1GB RAM and 8GB internal memory expandable up to 128GB with a microSD card, the device features dual SIM support and delivers a seamless and user-friendly smartphone experience.  The device is fueled by a 1500mAh long-lasting battery, which is further boosted by the unique ‘Ultra Power Saving mode’, which keeps the phone operational, even at minimal battery levels.

FUN Unlimited Entertainment with Jio Apps As part of the partnership with Jio, Samsung sets a new standard in the mobile entertainment space by offering users with a wide range of free entertainment content to cater to the increasing consumer demand for streaming and on-the-go entertainment. For music lovers, Samsung Z2 consumers will have access to Jio Beats, which offers millions of HD songs in over 20 languages. The video streaming app, Jio On Demand, gives access to latest movies, TV shows and other video content across genres and languages.

Better Viewing and Camera Experience Samsung Z2 is equipped with a superior 4” WVGA screen which allows consumers to enjoy games, videos and other multimedia content to the fullest with superior resolution. The smartphone is equipped with a 5 megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a VGA front camera.

SIMPLE Easy UI, Essential Apps and Features Samsung Z2 gives an effortless mobile experience with Tizen OS and clutter free, intuitive interface making it easy to understand and use. It comes preloaded with essential apps for the ease of new smartphone users. It also features the ‘Make for India’ features developed specifically for Indian consumers. The Ultra Data Saving mode saves up to 40% mobile data by blocking unnecessary background applications from data consumption and by data compression technology, hence ensuring the most simple and cost-efficient 4G experience. Samsung Z2 comes with a dedicated S bike mode, which is designed considering the safety concerns of two-wheeler users in India. It lets consumers ride tension free while encouraging responsible riding.

My Money Transfer Samsung Z2 is equipped with a built-in app that enables users to easily manage transactions and generate mini bank statements. A first of its kind initiative, users can enjoy convenient internet free banking by simply using the unique MMID which can be linked to the registered smartphone through M Pin set by the user. Money transfer to/from popular private and public banks is supported using standard IMPS.

Price and Availability
Samsung Z2 has been priced at Rs 4,590 and will be available in India from August 29, 2016, in three attractive colours – Gold, Black and Wine Red – across mobile phone retail stores. For online consumers, the device is also available through our online partner Paytm exclusively.

Amit Bagaria, Vice President, Paytm, said, “We are delighted to roll out Samsung’s much-awaited launch in one of the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market. The new Samsung Z2 will add significant value to the multiple exciting smartphone offerings available to Paytm users. With the reach that the Paytm platform enjoys, with a base of 130 million customers, the partnership allows consumers across the country to effortlessly shop for their favorite Samsung smartphone in a few easy clicks.”

Samsung also sponsored ‘Tizen App Challenge’, a Tizen application contest for Unity developers, which runs from August 18 to November 21, 2016. Any developer providing a Unity-based game application service can enter the contest at

Mindtree Celebrates its 17th Anniversary with Care 2 Share Initiative

Mindtree is organizing a month-long voluntary initiative “Care 2 Share” as part of its anniversary celebrations to foster social responsibility and incorporate the spirit of community service among its employees. In consonance with its commitment to support and nurture communities, this initiative, spearheaded by the Mindtree Foundation, is aimed at giving back to the community in impactful ways and inspiring philanthropy at an individual level. Instituted since inception, this initiative is an annual affair and this year “Care 2 Share” includes Joy of Giving, Blood Donation, Stem Cell Registry and Old Clothes Drive.

In 2015, over 4000 Mindtree Minds participated and close to 8000 children benefited from this initiative. As a part of Joy of Giving, sports and educational items are bought for children studying in rural government schools that the Foundation is associated with.

Mindtree is one of the largest blood donors among IT companies in the city, with steadily increasing contribution every year. August being Dengue-prevalent season, the donated blood is primarily used to help Dengue patients in rural areas. Last year, 1804 units were collected, with each unit capable of saving 3 lives.

Initially started to help an employee’s son suffering with Leukemia, Stem Cell Registry has since become a regular part of this extensive event. It is seeing increased number of participants every year through rising awareness and internal communication campaigns. Mindtree’s efforts have yielded two successful matches and so far, close to 1400 people have enrolled into the registry.

Mindtree Minds are encouraged to donate toys, books, stationery and old clothes towards the Old Clothes Drive. While toys and books are shared with children, Mindtree Foundation works with Goonj, an NGO that empowers poor communities through clothing, to use old clothes towards making sanitary napkins for rural women which is distributed free of cost.

“Care 2 Share” ends on the 31st of August and is conducted across all office locations in India. Family and friends of Mindtree Minds are also welcome to be a part of this initiative. Founded in 1999, Mindtree celebrated its 17th anniversary on the 18th of August.

Accenture’s Australian Security Company Redcore Will Expand Security’s Offerings

Accenture has entered into an agreement to acquire Redcore, a privately held Australia-based consulting company that specializes in providing identity and access management services (IAM), as well as security services for Cloud, network management, public key infrastructure, cyber defense, applications and the internet of things. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms are not being disclosed.
As part of its offerings, Redcore develops holistic authentication, authorization and administration services across a range of cloud, web, mobile and adaptive access-management technologies. Redcore has deployed multiple large-scale cybersecurity solutions, including multi-factor authentication and secure application gateways that are used by some of the major Australian banks and government agencies.
“The acquisition of Redcore will allow us to expand our existing IAM services and security-as-a-Service capabilities – along with other critical cyber defense services – while also immediately extending our leadership position in the Asia-Pacific region,” said Kelly Bissell, managing director, Accenture Security. “Redcore has a team of seasoned security leaders who have exceptional security skills and industry knowledge. Together, we will be better positioned to tailor intelligent security services to organizations’ unique businesses and industries and deliver innovative solutions that help build business resilience from the inside out.”

Redcore, with its headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, provides security services and IT service management for a wide range of clients, including government agencies and companies across the finance, health, retail and telecommunications industries. Founded in 2010, Redcore has multiple offices in Australia, India, New Zealand, the Philippines and Singapore and has approximately 130 security professionals.

Joseph Failla, co-founder, Redcore, said, “We are excited to become part of Accenture Security and to bring our proven deep, highly-specialized skills and services to strengthen Accenture’s IAM and other cybersecurity offerings. We are very proud of Redcore’s wonderful team and our achievements, and we now look forward to creating an unrivalled combined cybersecurity team and launching capabilities that will change the market. With Accenture’s extensive global security resources, its methodologies and its interdisciplinary security ecosystem of innovators from across the world, we will be able to rapidly advance Redcore’s capabilities and innovate leading-edge solutions for clients, as well as provide excellent opportunities and career paths for our employees.”