A compilation of important news from the startup world:
Cabinet decision: Intellectual Property Rights policy cleared; sops for R&D, startups
The government has unveiled the national intellectual property rights (IPR) policy to create a larger institutional framework to strengthen the IPR regime, with the slogan “Creative India, Innovative India”. While the policy focuses on issues like expediting approval processes involving patents or trademarks and consolidating institutional mechanisms to create a robust IPR ecosystem, it refrains from suggesting any change to contentious provisions in the Patents Act, 1970, including Section 3(d) and compulsory licensing, despite concerns expressed by the US and pharma companies.
Can Startups Turn The Tide?
With a vast coastline of over 7500 km with 12 Major Ports and 187 Non-Major Ports that carry nearly 95 per cent of India’s trade volume, the maritime sector in India offers a sea of opportunities comprising ports, shipping, shipbuilding, ship repair, ship recycling, Inland Water Transport (IWT), dredging and multi-modal logistics. Will startups clutch the opportunity through sea route? Entrepreneur explores. Taking a cue from his father’s ship repair and marine services business, Capt. Nikunj Parashar came out with the first unmanned marine surface vehicle for the Indian Navy. Launching Sagar Defence Engineering in May 2015, he is striving to meet the never ending needs of technological competency in Maritime sector, as even the smallest problem in water becomes very large and expensive to solve.
Wow Express raises pre-Series A funding
Mumbai-based e-commerce logistics solutions firm Wow Express, which is operated by JMS Logistics and Express Pvt. Ltd, said it has raised Rs 15 crore (around $2.2 million) in pre-Series A funding led by unnamed US-based investors as it tries to scale up operations. Existing investor Tamarind Family Private Trust, the investment trust of the Mansukhani Family which is a co-promoter of consumer electronics maker Onida, also participated in the round. The firm will use the funds for geographical expansion and technology enhancement.
’empoWer’ India’s 1st Accelerator Programme For Women Entrepreneurs
Investors are still wary of funding women-led ventures or questions sustainability of these ventures over the concerns of changing priorities from managing venture to post marriage responsibilities. There isn’t a huge funnel of women entrepreneurs that can be evaluated and funded. Thus, realising that there is a need of having a dedicated accelerator program for women entrepreneurs, Zone startups India, Mumbai-based leading technology startup accelerator has launched a structured programme called ‘empoWer’ which will be complete with mentoring, workshops, case studies of successful women led startups, industry connect, peer network, investor connect and business development opportunities in partnership with Department of Science and Technology, GIZ, Vodafone India, Google, Nishith Desai Associates, She The People TV, and SheEO- a Toronto-based women entrepreneur support organization.
Startup reinvents classifieds, introduces video option
A Gurgaon-based startup has developed an app which could reinvent classifieds in India. Viuby is a video commerce app for buying and selling used, new and curated products by shooting a 30 second video shot from a mobile phone. “VIUBY, ‘View’ ‘Buy’, is a startup that combines advance video, voice, mobile, and artificial intelligence for reinventing classifieds in the country. Video adoption around is growing be it social, communication or commerce; from Facebook, Periscope leading the user generated video content to Snapchat, FaceTime for communication.
RedSeer: a start-up that tells you how other start-ups are doing
What’s the market share of ride-hailing companies in India? Which grocery delivery company has the highest daily orders? And how did these companies arrive at the figures anyway? Precise answers to such questions have remained elusive as real data-based market insights on India’s Internet companies and its investors remain hard to come by. Market research and advisory firm RedSeer Management Consulting Pvt. Ltd is trying to capture this space. It provides timely and original data on India’s consumer Internet market by tracking the performance of Indian unicorns—those valued at $1 billion or more—and other fast-growing start-ups.