NetApp, a global cloud-led, data-centric software company, announced the graduation of its eighth cohort of the flagship startup accelerator program, NetApp Excellerator. The eight business-to-business (B2B) tech startups, which all share a focus on deep tech, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), cloud, and data, graduated via a virtual demo day event yesterday.
The graduating startups, Data Sutram, FireCompass, Metabob, Maxbyte, Nife, Snapblocs, State of Mind, and Tongadive delivered pitches relating technologies such as security, location intelligence, smart manufacturing, and employee experience, to a live digital audience of venture capitalists, investors, and NetApp leaders.
Speaking about the graduation, Ravi Chhabria, managing director, NetApp India said, “Events from 2020 have emphasized the importance of developing equitable, sustainable, and scalable businesses, with a people-centric approach. One of our participating startups, State of Mind, an AI-driven conversational intelligence platform, is working with our HR team to improve employee experience and well-being. This is yet another example of data providing business value, in this case improving employee experience and increasing engagement and retention of talent.”
Paid proofs of concept have been an integral part of the program in fine-tuning the startup offerings and technology. Emphasizing this aspect in delivering customer-centricity, Chhabria further said, “Another topically relevant startup, FireCompass, is working with our Information Security team to test the resilience of their threat-detection tool. Today, digital transformation is driving the future of work, and having worked with 50 startups, we are able to amplify our ability to innovate.”
As proof of the growing global reach of the program, five of the eight startups, Metabob, Snapblocs, Nife, FireCompass, and Tongadive, are spread across three countries—the United States, the United Kingdom, and Singapore. All of these startups are being mentored by tech leaders from NetApp India, further establishing the center as a hotbed of innovation and technology growth for globally relevant solutions.
“Solving real-world challenges with data is built into our DNA. The need for business resilience and digital transformation has brought out the best in this cohort of startups to tackle the most pressing problems. We couldn’t be more proud of the founders, who are unrestrained in their ability to transform and modernize across industries, despite the obvious constraints brought in by the pandemic,” said Madhurima Agarwal, director of engineering programs, and leader of NetApp Excellerator.
Alluding to the broad reach of the accelerator program beyond the participating startups, Agarwal added, “We are associating with prestigious industry bodies to invest in the rapid transformation of the startup ecosystem. As an exciting opportunity to harness our cloud expertise, we have partnered with NASSCOM Deep Tech Club 2.0 to elevate India-based pioneering startups in this space.” Through this association, NetApp will lend its cloud-and data-related technology leadership to the startups that NASSCOM and other industry partners are seeking to mentor.
NetApp ExcellerateHER, a core diversity-driven initiative, engaged the second collective of women-led startups, FireCompass, Tongadive, and Nife. NetApp ExcellerateHER taps the power of the accelerator network to further women entrepreneurs in this digital-first world.
Since its inception in 2017, the award-winning NetApp Excellerator program has received over 1,700 applications. Applications are now open for the ninth cohort, with focus areas including cloud, Internet of Things, big data and analytics, ML, virtualization, data security, data management, and storage.