The Indian start-ups are all set to hit a home run after favourable announcement and policy changes being done one after another. First, it was RBI that made living a bit easy for start-ups, now its San Jose technology company Cisco that has announced a new LaunchPad program that will help start-ups and mentor them based on their requirements.
Under this program, the company aims at helping those start-ups that will have an impact on nation’s problem solving capacities. It is an open innovative initiative where teams from Cisco will work with the start-ups and assist them in various areas like matching appealing ideas with business expertise to connecting engineering talent with investors and customers. The selected start-ups will also be provided space at Cisco’s Bangalore campus and will have access to company’s technology apart from financial aid and grants. Although, the program is structured like an incubator, the company has said it will not take any equity from the chosen start-ups for the mentoring that it is providing them.
The application for the 4-month long program is live. The applying start-ups will be evaluated on the basis of multiple factors such as viability of applicants’ business plans, the strength of their core teams and their alignment with Cisco’s digitization vision. The program will focus on growth and innovation in industries such as education, manufacturing, retail and health-care. The winning start-ups will have a worldwide go to market engine to validate and grow their innovative ideas.
Present at the launch event was NASSCOM Vice president KS VIshwanathan who said:
“Innovation and investment are the key drivers of the Indian economy, leading to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. India is a hotbed of entrepreneurial talent and Cisco LaunchPad will be a tremendous accelerator for start-ups to develop digital solutions that reach a global market.”
Also present at the launch was Amit Phandis, President, Engineering and India site leader. He said that
“with the tremendous amount of change that is going on and it will require more than one company to solve the issues of 3 billion people using 50 billion devices. That’s why they have opted for an ecosystem approach where not only will they help the start-up grow and get mentoring from Cisco India and globally, but also co-create solutions that can be applied to the markets. It doesn’t matter if it’s an early stage or late stage start-up, we are looking at interesting and innovative ideas that can be used to solve problems of people, societies and the government. Also, in what way Cisco can complement the purpose with our existing technologies and what our partners can help with. In a nutshell, a start-up with innovative technology and vision to solve a larger problem, along with the willingness to work with a larger ecosystem”
The company also supports start-ups through its venture arm, Cisco Investments and has invested in over 25 Indian start-ups with an investment of $240 million.