Cisco Announces LaunchPad, An Innovation Initiative
Cisco has officially announced LaunchPad, an open innovation initiative to accelerate startups and support growth in India’s developer community. Cisco LaunchPad is designed to help startups, its authorized channel partners and developers scale their solutions, address new markets and build digital business. Cisco’s teams will mentor startups and developers on how to help create digital solutions to enable enterprise, customers, service providers, and other enablers in the public and private sphere to connect to the next 3 billion people and 50 devices through digitization, matching appealing idea with business expertise and connecting engineering talent with investors and customers. Cisco will also provide a space at its Bengaluru campus with access to suite of Cisco technologies and free grants to startups chosen to work at its campus.
At the press conference held at the Cisco Campus, Bengaluru today, Amit Phadnis (President, Engineering and India Site Leader) spoke about the vision of contributing to the society by providing digital solutions which would redefine people to people interaction. Amit Phadnis said, “The beauty of this initiative is that it’s a win-win situation for all the stakeholders involved. We have over the past six months worked on use cases to understand and bring different pieces of technology (data analytics, cloud computing etc.) together to deliver a comprehensive digital solution.”
Bengaluru offers a dynamic combination of talent and infrastructure as well as business, academic and research expertise. India is the youngest startup and developer nation in the world with 72 per cent of the startup founders less than 35 years old and the average developer less than 29 years old. India is projected to have the world’s largest number of developers by 2018.
Shekhar Kirani of Accel Partners also stated, “The aim is to create a conducive ecosystem to help startups to scale up to meet global standards. Local entrepreneurs must find solutions to local problems, which in due course would find applications on a global scale.”
Cisco LaunchPad will involve a rigorous selection process based on the viability of the applicant’s business plans, the strength of their teams and their alignment with Cisco’s digitization vision. Through LaunchPad, Startups will get an opportunity to work on solving business relevant problems by catering to uses cases that are identified and validated by Cisco go-to-market teams. Innovation solutions will initially focus on manufacturing, retail, transportation, education and healthcare. The LaunchPad program will help create monetization opportunities in these industries and will help unlock new markets. The successful applicants will have unprecedented access to Cisco, the company’s channel partner ecosystem and select customers, and will offer startups a worldwide go-to-market engine to validate and scale innovative ideas.
Cisco has also announced its collaboration with Tech Mahindra Limited to develop digital solutions for the Indian electric utilities Cisco and Tech Mahindra will work with select startups and developers to accelerate digitization of the power sector and transform the way electricity is delivered to and consumed by people.
L.Ravichandran (President and COO, Tech Mahindra) said, “Digitization is disrupting every industry and that is especially true in the energy sector. We are working closely with Cisco to bring the power of digitization to millions of people. Cisco LaunchPad is an excellent platform for Tech Mahindra to help solve some complex emerging market problems like energy management, healthcare access and intelligent manufacturing. We are also committed to Digital India and Make in India initiatives taken up by the government of India.”
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