Accelerate your AI Startup Business with Telangana’s Revv Up Accelerator Program powered by NASSCOM

Growth-stage AI startups can now apply for the second cohort of the Revv Up Accelerator Program, and create real, deep-rooted change through their AI solutions and services.

Accelerate your AI Startup Business with Telangana’s Revv Up Accelerator Program powered by NASSCOM

Thursday January 20, 2022,

7 min Read

Artificial Intelligence – the science and engineering of making intelligent machines – is one of the most powerful and potent technologies today. As Bill Gates stated, "Artificial Intelligence is so incredible, it will change society in some very deep ways”. And it is this kind of change that Revv Up Accelerator Plan, instituted by the Telangana AI Mission (T-AIM), hopes to nurture, foster, and grow.

T-AIM is an initiative sponsored by the Government of Telangana and is powered by NASSCOM. Both T-AIM and the Revv Up Accelerator Program are part of the overarching initiative ‘2020 Year of AI’. NASSCOM is the premier trade body and chamber of commerce for the Indian tech industry. Hyderabad is recognised as a leading Information Technology hub globally, housing over 1,200 IT companies (both small and big). Home to a cluster of high-quality research institutes, deeptech industry leaders, a culture of startups, and proactive government investment in innovation, the city is the perfect setting for T-AIM’s vision of nurturing a global hub for Artificial Intelligence. Both the government and T-AIM believe that this is the right time to capitalise on the spirit of innovation, making the state the birthplace of great AI and other tech innovations, that can be leveraged for societal good, as well as for-profit ventures.

Part of this vision took form in the Revv Up Accelerator Program, which on-boarded its first cohort in July 2021, and is now receiving applications for its second cohort.

The initiative is designed exclusively for growth-stage AI startups. It is a 12-month program, free of equity and cost. The Revv Up Accelerator is sector-agnostic and provides opportunities to startups to solve challenging business problems in collaboration with the government and industry. Given below is the eligibility criteria for startups who want to apply:

1. Growth-stage startups, that are either based in Hyderabad or are intending to set up their facility in the city

2. The majority of the product / solution should use AI, ML, NLP, and Computer Vision technologies

3. The startup’s product / solution should have the potential to scale

4. It should have a Minimum Viable Product

5. The program will give preference to startups with upto 30 employees (inclusive of the founding team)

6. Ideally the startup should be bootstrapped or seed-funded

These startups should have a strong AI-use case to apply - which will boost the startup ecosystem in the city, and contribute towards the overall growth of industry.

“The Revv Up accelerator is now synonymous with innovative and impactful solutions to solve real-world problems. Through T-AIM, the Govt. of Telangana is committed to providing a conducive ecosystem for AI startups. The state welcomes startups from across the country to apply to this program.”, said Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary (Industries and IT), Govt of Telangana.


Shri. Jayesh Ranjan seen engaging in an Ask Me Anything session with Revv Up Cohort 1 startups (ca. Sep 2021)

The second cohort is just around the corner

The second cohort of the Revv Up Accelerator Program is scheduled to commence on February 16, 2022. Growth-stage startups can start sending in applications until February 8, 2022 - these applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. This program seeks to enable and empower the next crop of founders and their growth-stage AI startups through a structured series of interventions. The program is also supported through integral partnerships with Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC), AWS, GINSEP, MathWorks, E2E Networks, BananaIP, and more.

Apart from these partnerships, key stakeholders, industry leaders, investors, and the wider ecosystem will also be engaging with the cohort. If your startup is selected, you will receive scale-up mentorships from industry experts, leadership lessons, investor roundtables as well as technology and IT support in order to support building a scalable business around your startup’s AI solution, product or service.

The program gives your startup the opportunity to foray into international markets like North America and Europe. Startups can also avail of seat-sharing partnerships if they are looking for a physical space to set up business, explore use case opportunities with the Government of Telangana and industry partners, participate in global innovation challenges, and collaborate with global partners. Selected startups can also benefit from key technology resources and other support mechanisms. Furthermore, your startup will receive access to open innovation opportunities, opportunities to pitch to investors and guidance in IP harvesting. Finally, you can participate and learn from Masterclasses, highly experienced mentors and find many opportunities to build your brand.

Milestones of the first Revv Up Accelerator cohort

The first cohort, launched in July 2021, selected 42 startups - half from Telangana and other half who are considering setting up offices in the state. Among these, more than 20 of them have begun to explore the North American market through TBDC. Six startups are exploring the Central European market through digital delegations and virtual booths enabled by the program. More than 14 startups from the first cohort have interacted with Government of Telangana officials to explore PoC (Proof of Concept) opportunities. Some of them are in advanced discussions for pilot deployments. 25+ startups have availed of various grant opportunities and other support mechanisms made available (semi-exclusively) by the program for the cohort.

Here are three startups who have taken valuable steps through the Revv Up Accelerator Program, be it through collaborations, potential funding or supportive mentorship:

Docturnal: Docturnal is a point of care screening and diagnostics provider of proactive, non-invasive detection of diseases. Its flagship product is TimBre – a solution for TB screening and detection. Docturnal’s product portfolio also includes solutions for CoPD and asthma, along with a pipeline of lung-based ailments that can be identified by an aural component.

“The Revv Up program came in at an apt time when we were reeling under the Omicron, Delta and Delta+ variants that were obscuring many startups from scaling-up. Mentoring sessions by industry veterans gave us perspective and a moment to reflect.

Connections with the decision makers in the public health arena were key, paving the way to Letters of Intent, which is currently a work in progress. Reduction of MATLAB licensing costs and facilitating access to Canadian stakeholders, as a part of entry into North American markets, also came in at an opportune moment. The Revv Up Accelerator program also provided Docturnal with the promising opportunity to present to the Government of Telangana”, said Docturnal’s founder Rahul Pathri.

Flip Health: Flip Health is an AI-powered healthcare solution that helps people with efficient & safe diagnoses and provides reliable care.

“T-AIM has been an integral part of our company's growth. The Management worked with us to figure out where they could best contribute, giving us access to the best mentors, as well as funding opportunities. It is the right platform to scale and grow your startup,” said Vishnu Gangasani, Founder of Flip Health.

mistEO: mistEO works in climate risk transfer, helping companies limit their financial exposure to extreme weather events.

“Our participation in the Revv Up program has helped us in gaining a foothold in the technology landscape as well as drive our key business initiatives in the State of Telangana. Revv Up has enabled our technical teams to understand the limits in climate applications when it comes to AI and the policy landscape that drives its uptake” said Chacko Jacob, Co Founder, mistEO.

So, if you have a strong and innovative AI solution, service or product, it’s time to scale up with the Revv Up Accelerator Program. You can fill out the application form here