Cloud storage firm NetApp launches its first startup accelerator in India
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US-based data storage and management company NetApp has announced the launch of its first startup accelerator in Bangalore.

The programme, called NetApp Excellerator, is open to startups with solutions in Internet of Things, cloud, Big Data and analytics, machine learning, virtualisation, data security, data management and storage, a company statement said.

Under Excellerator, NetApp will provide an equity-free grant of $15,000 to the selected startups upon completion of the four-month-long programme. The startups will continue to own their intellectual property, and NetApp would not seek a stake in it.

The programme will provide startups with collaboration and productivity tools, a co-working space at the company’s global centre of excellence in Bangalore, and networking opportunities with potential investors, partners, and customers. They will have access to NetApp's platforms and technologies, tools, human resources, marketing, legal and tech support.

“NetApp Excellerator will offer technology and business mentorship to the selected startups as well as access to markets and investors to realise the full potential of their ideas and products in the global marketplace,” the statement added.

NetApp India director Ajeya Motaganahalli will be driving this programme. “Through the NetApp Excellerator programme...we will assist these startups with guidance on building business relevance, exposure to our technology, partners and customers, as well as venture capitalists, and explore opportunities where we can take them to market," Motaganahalli said.

Of late, tech and financial giants like Google, Bosch, Barclays and Axis Bank, among others, have shown their eagerness to both mentor and fund early-stage startups.

This week, 13 startups graduated from the first batch of Bosch India’s accelerator programme Discover, Nurture and Accelerate, or DNA.

Technology startup accelerator Zone Startups India—which is backed by Toronto-based Ryerson Futures, the investment arm of Toronto-based Ryerson University—last year partnered British banking and financial services firm Barclays Plc to launch the latter’s Rise accelerator programme in India. It was also appointed by Axis Bank to manage the lender’s accelerator programme ‘Thought Factory’ in Bangalore. Most recently, in March this year, Zone Startups launched the second cohort of its empoWer programme, which is aimed at women entrepreneurs in technology businesses.

Technology giant Google has shortlisted six Indian startups for the fourth batch of its accelerator programme, which is to be conducted at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco. The startups will receive, among other things, equity-free support and credits for Google products. Another technology major, Oracle, has kicked off the maiden edition of its startup accelerator programme.

According to a recent Nasscom and Zinnov report, India now has the third-highest number of startup incubators and accelerators in the world after China and the US. With 140 incubators and accelerators, India has inched past Israel, whose count stands at 130. However, the gap with the top two is still yawning—China and the US have over 2,400 and 1,500 incubators and accelerators, respectively.

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