Pitches, insights, and awards: Catch the key highlights from the Demo Day of Cohort 9 of NetApp Excellerator

Applications are open for Cohort 10 of the NetApp Excellerator programme.
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Early on during the Demo Day of NetApp Excellerator Cohort 9, Octavian Tanase, SVP, Engineering, NetApp set the tone of the evening, stating entrepreneurs need to be solution-oriented. “It is important to be in it, to win it. That leads to more opportunities,” he said.

As the event progressed, we saw some of the smartest innovations in the space of data, hybrid cloud, and AI. The graduating startups from Cohort 9 were Fabrik, NeuroPixel.AI, Datamotive, NetObjex, Spectrum Analytics, FireVisor, eCommerceInsights.ai, and Continual Engine. These startups were chosen to be a part of NetApp’s flagship startup accelerator programme from Canada, Botswana, India, Singapore, and the US. The event ended with an awards ceremony where three of the graduating startups won an award each for Best Growth Strategy, Most Innovative Product, and Investor’s Choice. Datamotive went on to win the award for Best Growth Strategy, NetObjex won for Most Innovative Product, and Investor’s Choice award went to FireVisor.

Leaders and mentors at NetApp talked about the impact of NetApp Excellerator on not just the startups, but also the ecosystem as a whole.

What drives innovation?

Octavian Tanase pointed out that there are four ingredients that fuel real outcomes in innovation. These are:

  1. Teamwork - Success in the tech field requires individuals with different skill sets coming together to build a new product to satisfy customer needs.
  2. Learning - It never stops. As technologists who are responsible for renewing and developing our skills with tools and agile processes, learning is essential to stay relevant and competitive.
  3. Craftsmanship - Innovators must do work that stands the test of time. Alongside this, it is equally important to think of simplicity.
  4. Solutions-oriented mindset - A mindset such as this is contagious, it builds positive morale. It enables us to see challenges and opportunities to innovate and win.

Data is going to grow more

Ravi Chhabria, MD, NetApp India pointed out that data is set to grow more in three years than it has in the past 30. He pointed out that NetApp has proven that no matter where your data lives, NetApp brings it together through data fabric. “Our solutions work for our customers regardless of where the data lives,” he said.

Launch of Spot by NetApp

Madhurima Agarwal, Director, Engineering Programs and Leader – NetApp Excellerator, NetApp India announced the launch of Spot by NetApp, a unique cloud cost optimisation and automation solution, tailored specifically for startups. It is now offered to their NetApp Excellerator participants as a special benefit before being available for others.

“NetApp Excellerator has evolved over the years and today as we celebrate the completion of Cohort 9, I’m thrilled to share that we have had multiple success stories. Of the 58 startups that have graduated so far, six have had successful exits. At NetApp Excellerator, we continue to offer startups the opportunity to do POCs (proof-of-concept) in diverse areas such as Cloud Disaster Recovery and Ransomware Recovery, NFTs, building for the Metaverse and solving for real world challenges in the deep-tech arena,” said Madhurima. She also added how NetApp has successfully executed three cohorts of NetApp ExcellerateHER with the aim to support women entrepreneurs in the deep-tech space and accelerate their journey.

Watch the Demo Day of Cohort 8:

Pitches that stunned

The action-packed day finally saw the startup pitches by Datamotive, Fabrik, NetObjex, Spectrum Analytics, FireVisor, eCommerceInsights.ai, Continual Engine and NeuroPixel.AI. Each of the pitches were preceded by inspiring words by their mentors.

Here’s a quick look at the startups which participated in the demo day:

Fabrik, Puneet Badrinath

There is a huge knowledge gap between assembly line technicians and supervisors due to the unavailability of a system that detects faults intuitively. This calls for a solution that can detect the faults and enable seamless collaboration. Fabrik digitises the work processes and provides right information to the assembly line technicians in the form of digital work instructions and digital twins of the high-value assets.

NeuroPixel.AI, Arvind Nair and Amritendu Mukherjee

One of the most repetitive and operationally intensive processes that every fashion e-commerce player undertakes daily is the process of cataloging their apparel. NeuroPixel.AI is building a deep neural net framework that understands how apparel gets deformed when worn by models of different sizes in different poses. With this, the team will enable their clients to shoot any apparel on just a mannequin and generate high resolution catalog images on the fly with models wearing those clothes in a variety of poses.

Datamotive, Yogesh Anyapanawar

Today, three out of five CIOs have a hybrid, multi-cloud strategy as part of their transformation roadmap. The dependency on these private or public platforms leads to the long-time ask from the CIOs for a true workload mobility solution that eliminates technology lock-ins. Datamotive solves this critical problem for CIOs by providing freedom from platform lock-ins.

NetObjex, Raghu Bala

Businesses have various types of assets that need to be tracked, traced, monitored, and monetised in the new digital economy. NetObjex's Matrix Digital Asset as-a Service (DAaaS) platform enables enterprises to harness the power of IoT, AI, and blockchain technologies for managing digital assets across various industry verticals including smart cities, supply chain, and media.

Spectrum Analytics, Tebogo Mogaleemang

Spectrum Analytics is a data innovation startup under Botswana Innovation Hub’s FSVC programme. The startup helps organisations use data to drive operational improvements and make evidence-based decisions. They enable organisations to thrive in the digital economy by leveraging data and emerging technologies to start, accelerate, and sustain their digital transformation.

FireVisor Systems, Surbhi Krishna Singh and Long Hoang

Manufacturing companies lose 15-30 percent of sales revenue due to cost of poor quality (COPQ). In fact, solar manufacturing loses 10B USD every year, and semiconductor loses 55B USD every year because of COPQ. Saving this cost could transform marginally successful companies into highly profitable ones. But, understanding the root cause of every defect takes engineering data analysis which can get challenging with immense amounts of data being generated from different manufacturing systems. FireVisor provides AI-powered defect detection and analytics platforms that understand manufacturers’ data to reduce product failure and improve productivity.

eCommerceInsights.ai, Ruby Singh and Sanjay Arora

Ratings and reviews directly correlate to revenues online. But, the sheer volume of unstructured e-commerce reviews makes it virtually impossible for brands to unlock and synthesise actionable insights across marketplaces without advanced AI. eCommerceInsights.ai’s deep learning NLP platform monitors the voice of customers via unstructured product reviews and transforms them into actionable insights for brands and about their products, customers, and competitive landscape.

Continual Engine, Mousumi Kapoor

Industry data suggests that nearly 217 million people in the world have moderate to severe vision impairment and 826 million live with near-vision impairment. As a result, they are often compelled to drop out of traditional learning curricula. Continual Engine is trying to solve this problem, by automating the process of making content accessible using AI. By using techniques like deep-tech, computer vision, and neural nets, Continual Engine is able to perform the same task in less time, thereby enabling publishers and universities to make more content accessible for the differently-abled.

Applications are open for Cohort 10 of the NetApp Excellerator programme

NetApp is gearing up to come back with Cohort 10 of the programme, which will be focused in the areas of deep-tech. By providing them access to NetApp’s customers, mentorship and more, NetApp Excellerator aims to support various startups leveraging new-age technologies. Cohort 10 is going to launch in March 2022.

Register now: NetApp Excellerator Program: Innovative Startup Solutions Mentorship


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