Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Over 800 Shortlisted for Nasscom’s 10,000 Startups in India By 2020

The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) has marked the second anniversary of its 10,000 Start-up Program to create 10,000 domain specific start-ups in the country by 2020. As the 10,000 start-up program keeps rolling to its fourth phase of shortlisting, Phase 3 had 500 startup shortlists who went through pitch and mentoring konnect sessions. Applications are currently being processed on FIFO basis till 22nd April for the next session of Startup Konnect which is a mini boot-camp program for shortlisted startups who will be eligible for connect-2-pitch with all ecosystem partners including leading accelerators, angel investor networks and venture capital firms.

“Startups are the lifeblood of our economy,” said Rajat Tandon, Senior Director, NASSCOM 10,000 Startups, “We today have the support of 150 volunteer mentors, industry specialists, angel investors and VCs, as well as a startup alumni network like no other. We can proudly say that through its phases the 10,000 start-ups program has been able to carve out many success stories across domains. Now with the roll out of the fourth phase, we are looking to accelerate more startups who will re-define the technology landscape of the country."

Startups must apply for the program here and provide a detailed overview of their business idea and the market opportunity. Approximately 200 startups will be shortlisted for the 4th Batch, handpicked by the ecosystem partners. Shortlisted startups will participate in the intensive accelerator pitch and mentoring connect sessions starting June 1st week across Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad. They also get a Start-up Kit – a package worth $25,000 of value added services and credits from Google, Microsoft, AWS, Knowlarity, HackerRank, and Kotak.

We are impressed by 10,000 Startups' work to foster a vibrant ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship in India. We are very excited for the fourth phase of 10,000 Startups Program that enables entrepreneurs to connect with investors and mentors to grow and expand.” added,Mary Grove, Director, Google for Entrepreneurs.

“Microsoft Ventures has been working with NASSCOM 10,000 startups to accelerate high potential startups and we are delighted to see the impact of our partnership. Many of the startups we have helped gain traction through our accelerator programs were previously incubated in the 10K Warehouse and the startups have benefitted from both programs immensely. We are positive that this partnership will continue to build a stronger ecosystem for startups in India and provide them promising future.” said, Ravi Narayan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ventures India.

Honeywell’s New Research Lab Build to Defend Cyber Attacks

Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS)  announced the opening of the Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security Lab to advance its development and testing of new technologies and software to defend industrial facilities and operations such as refineries and manufacturing plants from cyber attacks.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT), reported cyber incidents on industrial targets in 2014 continue to increase and are up more than 25 percent since 2011. ICS-CERT’s latest report also said that in 40 percent of incidents that were reported, experts did not know how hackers intruded the system because of a lack of detection and monitoring capabilities. Similar concerns were reflected in a global survey on cyber security conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs in September 2014 on behalf of Honeywell. In that survey, more than 75 percent of respondents from 10 countries said they were fearful that cyber criminals could disrupt major sectors of the economy, and identified the oil and gas, chemicals and power industries as particularly vulnerable.

For more than a decade, Honeywell has developed and provided proprietary cyber protection software and technology for its leading process automation solutions, including Experion process controls, which are used at hundreds of industrial sites such as refineries, chemical plants, gas processing units, power plants, mines and mills around the world. During that time, the Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security group has delivered more than 1,000 industrial cyber security projects globally.

“We have a successful history of providing cyber defense solutions for our industrial customers and this new cyber lab expands our capabilities,” said Jeff Zindel, global business leader for Cyber Security, HPS. “We will be able to validate new solutions faster in a variety of scenarios and increase our customers’ defenses against the growing threat of cyber attacks.”

The new Honeywell Industrial Cyber Security Lab, located in Duluth, Ga., includes a model of a complete process control network that Honeywell cyber security experts will leverage for proprietary research, hands-on training, and to develop, test and certify industrial cyber security solutions. This lab will help accelerate development time of new cyber protection technologies and speed availability to customers.

In addition to its new lab, Honeywell’s Industrial Cyber Security group has also added a number of cyber security experts to increase the bench strength of its development and business teams.

“Many of our customers have come to us looking for cyber security solutions to defend their industrial facilities, operations and people from damage, disruption and misuse,” said Zindel. “They understand the very real threat that is out there, and they want to be more proactive in guarding against it. Honeywell is building on its leading industrial cyber security expertise and experience with this new research and development lab as well as adding highly-regarded cyber security experts around the globe to support our customers’ growing needs.”

YatraGenie & Sundaram to Create Entrepreneurs in India

YatraGenie, one of the leading online bus ticketing and cab booking platform has partnered with Sundaram Finance Ltd to create entrepreneurs in India. This partnership between the two companies will help drivers to turn entrepreneurs and be self sufficient to participate in the new economy. Sundaram finance Ltd will finance cars at a very attractive rate when cars are bought and financed through YatraGenie franchise program. Through this partnership Yatragenie plans to create 50,000 entrepreneurs in 2 years.

Speaking about the partnership, Renil Komitla, CEO of said “We believe that this partnership will help us encourage more and more youngsters to become entrepreneurs. This program will provide easy access to capital for drivers who want to own a car. The Indian cab segment has immense potential and the demand for cab services is only going to increase in the months to come. Through this tie up with Sundaram Finance Ltd we want to empower drivers to become entrepreneurs”

On the occasion, Badrinarayanan K, DGM, Sundaram Finance said “We are very excited about this partnership with YatraGenie. Sundaram Finance Ltd has been in the vehicle lending business for many years now and we greatly believe in providing the best of the services to our customers. We are keen on providing the required support from our side to create a new wave of entrepreneurs to empower India’s new economy”

YatraGenie cabs are currently present in Bangalore, Nellore, Tirupathi, Gudur, Kavali and Vijaywada. Bookings can be done via the online portal and also through android based mobile devices using the YatraGenie app.  Apart from web and app bookings, customers can reach out to the call centre by dialling 080 20 20 20 20. By the end of 2015, YatraGenie will set up operations in 65 cities and towns with an inventory of 25,000 cabs.

Scania's Manufacturing Facility Rolls Out Buses Better Suited for Indian Roads

With an additional Investment of Rs 300 crore in its manufacturing facilities in India, the Swedish automobile company - Scania CV - has rolled out new range of buses designed especially for the Indian roads. The bus manufacturing facility in Narasapura near Bangalore after many years of research & development on Indian roads, claims to have overcome many of the safety related challenges faced by the other players in the market. 

One of the safety aspects was to over come the faulty design and by redesigning buses to have multiple emergency exits and also diesel gas fuel tank in the middle unlike its competitors. The other highlights are if any part of the bus experiences over heating then the alerts are triggered off to the bus driver.

The bus manufacturing plant’s current capacity is about 1,000 units per year and will employ 300 people in its first year. The company has also invested significant amount in Information Technology (IT) through its Indian partners Larson &Turbo Infotech.

Martin Lundstedt, President and CEO, Scania CV said: “Scania’s bus manufacturing facility in Naraspura, which we inaugurate today, is yet another milestone in our strategic plans for India. The vision for Narasupura is clear – it is a world class facility serving both the Indian market and becoming a hub for exports to other markets in Asia. Scania has and remains committed to bringing global technology and manufacturing practices to the countries in which it operates. Here in India, we will always strive to create a win - win situation for our partners. The goal is to draw on local talent and competence and combine it with global experience - making all our facilities part of our global network and in turn creating tremendous value across our global value chain. We see Naraspura as an important addition to our global operations and are committed to making it a success.” Lundstedt added “We also know that Naraspura’s success so far and in the future will be enabled by joint efforts of all stakeholders - local suppliers, workforce, state and local governments and we value this partnership “

In October 2013, Scania inaugurated its truck manufacturing facility in Narasapura. Scania has collectively invested around Rs. 300 crore in their truck and bus manufacturing facility. The current yearly capacity of the manufacturing plant is 2,500 trucks and 1,000 buses. The bus plant will also serve as an export hub for regions such as Asia, Middle East and Africa Over the next five years, Scania aims to double its production capacity by 2,500 units of buses and 5000 units of trucks and recruit about 800 employees by the end of 2017.

Anders Grundströmer, Managing Director, Scania India and Senior Vice President, Scania Group said: “Scania has been the frontrunner in promoting sustainable transport solutions globally. We entered India with a vision to provide sustainable transport solutions to the country and formulated various channels for promoting it. The establishment of our bus manufacturing facility plays a major role in realizing this vision for India. The facility will accommodate a state-of-the-art bio-gas unit, which will help in producing alternative fuels locally. With this bus plant we are looking at locally assembling buses and coaches in India, and stay true to the vision of Make in India.”

The manufacturing facility in India is Scania’s ambitious venture and a strategic move to drive their global vision to new heights. Scania’s commitment of setting up a large manufacturing establishment is in sync with India’s dynamic vision of making the country a new destination for manufacturing. “The Make in India campaign will facilitate the manufacturing sectors to grow rapidly and Scania will be a true ambassador of this campaign as we will enable large-scale manufacturing activities in India and strengthen employment” Mr. Grundströmer said.    

Klas Dahlberg, Senior Vice President Buses & Coaches, Scania Group, said: “The all new bus manufacturing facility in India is a great leap towards realizing Scania’s global vision. This facility will be used to its full capacity and we are looking at exporting the buses and coaches to the neighboring countries of India. The geographical position of India will act in advantage to Scania in connecting with Far East Asian countries, Africa and Middle Eastern countries. India’s new vision favours international players to set up manufacturing facilities here and we will accomplish our vision in India as well as globally.”

Scania’s promise of delivering sustainable transport solutions in India takes a major step forward with the bus manufacturing plant. The plant will house a bio-gas production unit and will locally assemble ethanol buses. The company will also broaden the scope for manufacturing more products powered by alternative fuels, which will catalyse sustainable development in India to a whole new level.

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