Unlocking growth opportunities through Open Innovation
“In the future there will be only two entities – the disruptor and disrupted.” This was Avnish Sabharwal, MD, Accenture Ventures & Open Innovation in India and the Middle-East, setting the tone for the Grand Finale of the second edition of the Accenture Applied Intelligence Challenge. The Accenture Leader outlined Accenture’s blueprint on open innovation and also the significance of Applied Intelligence in furthering innovation and disruption. He shared, "Data, automation, analytics and AI together with human creativity that transform businesses responsibly and at scale is what Applied Intelligence signifies." Sharing the specifics of the Accenture Ventures Applied Intelligence Challenge, he said, “The challenge helps us recognise the most disruptive technology startups in India and provides them with access to our Global 2000 clients, This year’s competition scaled new heights with record participation from mature startups focused on Applied Intelligence. We’re excited about the possibilities that this creates for the winners and for our clients globally.”
Avnish made a strong case for Accenture Innovation Architecture, Accenture Ventures and how the two have taken shape in the form of Accenture Ventures Applied Intelligence challenge to help Indian B2B tech startups scale up as well disrupt the market.
Learnings from India’s successful startups
Sujeet Kumar, Co-founder Udaan, was greeted with thunderous applause as he came on stage to share his learnings from building India’s fastest B2B unicorn.
In his talk, he highlighted how they realised the market gap, the learnings w.r.t the difference in the consumption and manufacturing footprint and how today they have been able to scale up by providing a clear value proposition. “Today, among the many ways we have impacted the small and medium businesses across India, we have minimised unnecessary travel, helped them buy small ticket sizes and also helped them manage their working capital better.”
Daniel David Raj, Co-founder Detect Technologies, one of winning startups of the first edition of the Challenge, shared his journey of building one of the most successful startups in a niche sector and the possibilities that the partnership with Accenture opened up for them. “As a startup you need the right business networks and right business intelligence regarding the market. That’s actually what Accenture brought for us. Today, we are working with Accenture in Malaysia, Singapore and Middle East and also exploring prospects of working in other geographies as well.”
Immersive panel discussions and pitches
The engaging talks were followed by an equally engaging panel discussion on ‘State of AI in India: What is the ecosystem doing.” Moderated by Sanjay Dawar, MD - Accenture Capability Network India Lead & Products Global CN Lead, the discussion saw Santanu Bhattarcharya, Chief Data Scientist, Airtel X Labs, Bala Girisaballa, President, Tech Starts, Poyni Bhatt, CEO, Society for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, IIT B, Sanjay Podder, MD & Lead for Accenture Labs in Asia Pacific and Daniel sharing their views, perspectives and experience on the topic.
This was followed by immersive pitches made by the 15 finalists before a stellar jury comprising Accenture executives, industry leaders and the venture capitalists. The key criteria for scoring the winners was innovative edge, business value and scalability.
The winning startups of Accenture Ventures Applied Intelligence Challenge 2019
The winner for the Analytics category, LocoBuzz is an integrated customer experience & analytics driven marketing SaaS platform offering social listening, AI, Command Centres, and CRM that address core challenges pertaining to customer experience management in the digital world. Be it leveraging smartbots to build a stronger reputation or precision marketing or in-depth vernacular coverage with sentiment analysis, the Mumbai-based startup enables businesses to smartly manage their digital marketing needs from a single platform.
The winner for the Automation category, fintech startup numberz’s AI-driven solution gives businesses water-tight control over their Accounts Receivables (AR), primarily invoice, cash flow and expense management. It integrates seamlessly with a business’ existing ERP, helps to streamline the collections efforts, brings down your market outstanding figures, equips businesses with sharp insights to make sound financial decisions. With a presence in the US and India, it is fast becoming a one-stop-shop for businesses to automate, analyse and accelerate all things AR.
The winner for the Data category, MMS.IND works in the intersection of consumer big data and market analytics. Its GeoMarketeer platform delivers geo-location-based intelligence using micro-market-focused data and analytics functionalities, delivered as a service. The platform empowers businesses to zoom in on micro-markets and individual customers, knowing their potential on an unprecedented level of precision.
The winner for the Industrial AI category, Strayos is a 3D visual intelligence platform using AI and drones to reduce cost and improve efficiency in jobsites. Strayos’s software helps mining and quarry blasting operators to reduce cost, improve productivity and safety by providing highly accurate survey data analytics. Its proprietary platform increases mining company ROIs, by automating tasks, directly reducing overheads and enabling enterprises to make actionable decisions from drone data.
The winner for the Artificial Intelligence category, Niramai is developing a novel software to detect breast cancer at a much earlier stage than traditional methods or self-examination. The healthtech startup’s solution is a low cost, accurate, automated, portable cancer screening tool. Unlike mammography, the imaging method is radiation free, non-touch, not painful and works for women of all ages. The core technology of the solution is an artificial intelligence-led diagnostic platform that uses patented thermal image processing and machine learning algorithms for reliable and accurate breast cancer screening.
Additionally, a sixth winner was chosen by the audience at the grand finale. CropIn Technology took home the 'Popular Choice' award. CropIn is a leading full-stack agritech startup that provides SaaS solutions to agribusinesses globally. CropIn utilises cutting-edge technologies like big data analytics, AI, Machine Learning and remote sensing to enable its clients to analyse and interpret data and derive real-time actionable insights on standing crops. CropIn's SaaS solutions are crop and location agnostic. The startup’s footprint spans across 30 countries with a track record of carrying out the fastest and most successful technology implementations in the agritech space on a global scale.
The nine other startups who made it to the Grand Finale included Aureus Analytics, iFuture Robotics, ACTIVE.Ai, byte prophecy, Automation Edge, Flutura, Zapr, dDriven and neewee.
The six winners will get the opportunity to join Accenture Ventures’ Open Innovation partner programme, collaborate with Accenture and co-create solutions for enterprises across the globe. They will also be mentored by Accenture leaders, introduced to top industry forums, and have access to the Accenture Innovation Hub in Bengaluru where they can further scale their solutions.