From the startup world – June 12


A compilation of important news from the startup world: 

Patent office issues guidelines for startups
Indian Patent Office has issued guidelines for facilitators and startups with respect to filling and processing of applications for patent, designs and trade marks aiming to encourage budding entrepreneurs and boost innovation. As per the guidelines, a startup willing to file a patent application for an invention will have to select a facilitator who would help in preparing the request and also assess the patentability of the invention as per acts and rules, the Controller General Patents, Designs and Trade Marks said in a public notice.  The facilitator shall also have to monitor and perform further steps of proceedings of startups patent application, prepare the reply to any query from patent office.

Financing the startup sector needs a rethink, how about a collateral free debt?
There are more than 26,000 startups in India at present, and the number is swelling with each passing day. Unfortunately, the funding pipe is going to dry up since there is clear evidence of venture capital funds backing out. Central Bank should allow banks to take risks or exposures on ideas with a promise. The bankers can participate by possessing fully convertible debentures of these startups and also provide access to working capital. There is a RBI provision that based on a good financial track record – of the small enterprise   banks can lend Rs 10 lakh as collateral free loans for a micro-enterprise. But this was not meant for the technology sector. The collateral free financing process   for the tech world   is purely based on gut feeling and it depends on one reading the abilities of the entrepreneur, the market, and the technology being used by customers.

Flipkart rejigs tech leadership team
Flipkart has revamped its technology leadership team, the second such restructuring this year in the tech vertical at India’s largest e-commerce company by market share. The latest reshuffle comes in the backdrop of earlier reports which suggest that Flipkart is looking for synergy among its growing technology functions. It also assumes significance in light of the recent top-level personnel exodus. Earlier this year, top Flipkart executives including chief products officer Punit Soni, chief business officer Ankit Nagori and head of its commerce platform and  Myntra founder Mukesh Bansal quit in quick succession barely months after the company underwent an organisational restructure when Binny Bansal took over as the CEO.  With growing pressure to focus on profitability and cut costs, the move could also be seen as an effort to bring in a nimble organisational setup

How FinTech is disrupting the financial services ecosystem in India
The key for FinTech companies across the board is to capture numbers and serve them without adding any extra cost. There are two major challenges, which companies, from financing to insurance, are facing today. Online insurance marketplaces are going to be a catalyst in this change by providing a seamless insurance buying experience. More choices, niche products, rising consumer awareness regarding protection and savings solutions, backed by good technology that enhances customer experience, among other factors, all point to digital players leading the insurance industry into a new era. The next set of cutting edge technology that can disrupt financial technology space will be Artificial Intelligence based bots which can identify trends and classify customer profiles all on their own.

After Flipkart’s deferred placements, Quality Council of India offers jobs to IIT-IIM graduates
After having their placements deferred by six months, the graduates of  IIM Ahmedabad (IIM-A) and IIT have been offered  jobs by the Quality Council of India (QCI) for an interim period. QCI is an autonomous body under the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and hires young graduates every year as interns for analytics, research and fieldwork. In course of its work, it has reviewed sanitation and hygiene conditions in 73 major cities of India, which comprises of 40 percent of India’s total urban population. Earlier this month, the All IITs Placement Committee after a meeting, barred six startups from campus recruitments in the institutes for 2016-17 for withdrawing their offers.  Although the names weren’t disclosed, but news stated that Runnr (RoadRunnr) and Click Labs had also deferred their placement offers.

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