India third in number of start-ups in the world: Microsoft VP

Hyderabad, Jan 13: Talking about technology is usually such a tough proposition, considering the technical jargon involved and innovations emerging every other day, that one almost always ends up not understanding anything at all.

But for Gayle Sheppard, Corporate Vice-President of Azure Data, Microsoft, it is important to make your start-up story accessible to the most ordinary person in the world.

“Simplify your story so that your mother and even your grandmother will understand it. Your startup is all about your ability to convince the layman about your idea, with as much simplicity as possible.”

She was speaking at an event organised jointly by Microsoft for start-ups in collaboration with the State Government. Hyderabad is the fifth city in the circuit of Microsoft, as they scout for start-up talent, both Tier 2 and Tier 1, as part of their nationwide “Highway to a 100 unicorns” program. The IT leader identifies top ten start-ups from Telangana

Those selected across parameters like performance merit, potential and revenue-generating capacity include Eyedentify Systems, WeSecure App, EasyCommute, SignalX, NaPanta, EHNOTE, Onward Assist, Yoryo Technologies, Enmovil Solutions and NanoHealth.

The top three ‘Emerge-X’ winners from each of the five states-Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Kerala and Telangana- will receive access to year-long mentorship program and a two-day founder boot camp.

‘Never enjoyed raising money for my start-up’

Addressing the million-dollar question on ‘how to manage with scant financial resources, while having ambitious start-up ideas’, the hugely respected software official said, “I would advice that you never leave your job. You may have a great idea, but it is important to raise your financial resources before you take your big step. I never enjoyed raising resources for my start-up, which was about AI that nobody had any inkling about, despite its essentiality.”

‘India third in number of start-ups in the world’

Speaking at the event, Rajiv Kumar, Corporate Vice-President of Microsoft India, pointed out that India ranks third in the world for the most number of start-ups. “India has given birth to 30,000 start-ups in the last ten years. It’s almost like 10 start-ups are born every day in the country. While China leads the list and it closely followed by the United States, India has tremendous potential that needs to be tapped and fine-tuned.”

“TS Govt will be your first customer”

Highlighting the importance of scouting for start-ups from rural areas, which do not have the tech exposure that Hyderabad might have, Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, IT and Communications, Telangana, said, “As a State Government that encourages the start-up ecosystem, we are trying to smoothen their journey. In fact, if you have a tech solution that is relevant to us, this government will be your first customer.”

He further added that the State of Telangana has completely done away with the bidding process, in order to ease the launch of potential start-ups. Collaborating with educational institutions like IIIT- H, ISB and NALSAR, with these start-ups, will also help entrepreneurs to utilise the laboratory potential with minimal resources.

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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