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Zone Startups India Selects 15 Startups For EmpoWer Accelerator Program

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Zone Startups India has selected 15 women led startups for the second edition of its EmpoWer Accelerator Program. The current batch of 15 entrepreneurs were selected out of 376 applicants from across India.

EmpoWer is backed by the Department of Science and Technology, Tata Trusts’ Social Alpha, Microsoft, Amazon, ICICI Bank, PayU, CapitalFirst and FlexiLoans. The selected startups represent various technology themes such as Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and deep learning, across industries like healthcare, smart cities and enterprise solutions. A panel comprising of 12 mentors and noted industry experts selected the startups after careful examination.

The startups that have been shortlisted will join the six week community programme. All the entrepreneurs will be provided with industry networking opportunities, valuable mentoring sessions, workshops, case studies, peer to peer interactions, boot camp and investor networking. The winner of this Cohort will also get the opportunity to attend a week long business development and personal mentorship programme in Quebec, Canada.

Launched in 2016, the accelerator programme has been designed to identify the need based gaps witnessed by women entrepreneurs. Through extensive research, Zone Startups is gunning to fill the gaps such as a lack of peer group of like minded women, limited financial independence, a risk averse mindset, lack of training in technology and finance among others. In the first edition, $ 23.6 million was collectively raised in funds by the 15 startups which were selected out of 191 applications.

Speaking about the 2nd Cohort, Director of Zone Startups India, Ajay Ramasubramaniam said, “ We believe we have unearthed some solid winners in the final cohort of 15, who will go on to do wonders for themselves and the ecosystem of women entrepreneurs.” The selected startups will be supported by Zone Startups India for up to a year after the programme.

Here Is the List Of The 15 Selected Startups And Their Founders –

Aardra Kannan Ambili – Riot Solutions Inc.
Founded in 2015, Riot Solutions is an IoT-based startup which develops sleep monitoring solutions for babies to track their wellness.

Meenakshi Vashist – Technology Uncorked
Technology Uncorked, led by Meenakshi Vashist, offers a light IoT framework for devices and appliances for energy efficient, Smart and connected Living Spaces.

Komal Goyali – WOWLET
WOWLET runs a mobile application that offers toilet maintenance and cleaning services for household, office complexes, and restaurants. Founded in 2017, the startup gives the user real time information on the cleanliness of  toilets.

Neha Bagoria – Tapu Sustainable Solutions
Tapu Sustainable Solutions is into sustainable green solutions and provides waterless urinal solutions such as EcoTrapin Xtra and EcoTrapin Plus to help alleviate issues like climate change.

Vishakha Singh- ICONICbot
India’s first multilingual, AI driven chatbot, ICONICbot, helps to connect influencers and their fans on relevant messaging platforms. Available in English and Tamil, the company claims the bot has processed 2.6 million messages.

Shruthi Gilla – Revol Inc.
Revol is a startup engaged in the creation of smart wallets, such as Cashew, equipped with fingerprint authentication and Bluetooth connectivity. The company, registered in Delaware, USA, has a target to sell 10,000 units globally and generate $1,000,000 in revenue.

Niyati Agarwal – Morph.ai
Morph.ai is an enterprise ChatBot suite founded in 2016. The company introduced the concept of ‘chatbot as a landing page’ to boost lead generation for businesses and engage in personalized marketing and sales.

Chandni Rajendran – Tactopus
The Tactopus team, lead by design innovator Chandni Rajendran, is developing an interactive edtech device such as interactive books for blind children. Children with visual disabilities can listen to audio labels and explanations while feeling and reading tactile shapes with their fingers.

Pria Randolph – Bitgram Technologies
Bitgram is a trust based consent oriented software product which uses blockchain and machine learning for instant, real time exchange of verified information.

Veena Moktali – Periwinkle Technologies
Periwinkle Technologies Pvt., Ltd., is a med tech startup that provides various products for healthcare to enable faster and better diagnostics. The company also developed an affordable device in association with Tata Memorial Center for the diagnosis of cervical cancer.

Vidya Vellala – Faasthelp
Faasthelp is a customer support and engagement platform which helps businesses retain customers, convert new ones and enhance customer satisfaction.

Sivareena Sarika – PregBuddy Technologies
Founded in 2016, PregBuddy is a mobile application that is designed as a one stop platform for smart communication between doctors and patients, especially for pregnant women in India.

Mansi Khanna -The Friday Code
The Friday Code builds products which aid the growth of traditional and new age brands, develop platforms and transform organizations. Founded in 2016, this startup helps brands and agencies increase their returns from investments through efficient tracking and optimization of advertisements.  

Geetanjali Agarwal – Bizlem
Bizlem deals in chatbot technologies that tries to solve major business problems using artificial intelligence.

Dr. Tanushree Devi Laishram – CyGen
CyGen is an independent organization which provides unprecedented access to personalized healthcare services. Launched in 2016, this company helps individuals increase their knowledge and understand those opportunities which can minimize healthcare challenges and improve the quality of life.

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Calmosis is revolutionizing healthcare in India with legal cannabis use! 

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An Indian Startup Pioneers the legal use of cannabis in Indian Healthcare

Forget everything you thought you knew about healthcare in India. A groundbreaking startup called Calmosis is making waves in Bengaluru with its unique approach to holistic wellness, led by a dynamic duo: Karan and Praveen.

 

Calmosis product.

 

Karan Naidu, a BMSCE graduate who calls Bangalore home, has poured his passion and resources into building Calmosis. By his side is Praveen Singh Rajput, a serial entrepreneur and author who helms the gifting marketplace startup FRINZA. Praveen brings his business acumen honed at Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Bangalore, to the table.

Together, they’ve drawn inspiration from a personal quest – helping Karan’s mother overcome sleep issues. This led to the birth of Calmosis, offering meticulously crafted elixirs that blend the wisdom of Ayurveda with natural cannabis extracts.Vijaya, as cannabis extracts are known in ancient Indian medicine, has been revered for centuries for its medicinal properties. Calmosis harnesses this potential to promote restful sleep, alleviate stress and anxiety, and even ease migraines. 

Unlike traditional medications that often come with unwanted side effects, Calmosis’ Peace Mantra and Sleep Mantra elixirs provide a safe and natural alternative. But Calmosis’ mission extends beyond physical well-being. Their commitment to quality and transparency shines through rigorous product testing and personalized consultations with expert Ayurvedic doctors, ensuring each customer receives the perfect blend for their individual needs.

 

 

The company’s impact goes far beyond personal health. Calmosis champions social responsibility and sustainability by ethically sourcing ingredients and embracing eco-friendly practices, creating a positive ripple effect on local communities and the environment.

Embarking on a journey towards a healthier you with Calmosis is as easy as a few clicks. Visit their website, place an order, and have their transformative products delivered straight to your door. In a world obsessed with constant hustle,Calmosis offers a much-needed oasis of calm. Combining the wisdom of ancient practices with modern innovation,they’re helping individuals rediscover balance and tranquility in today’s fast-paced world. So, ditch the chemical concoctions and embrace the power of nature’s healing touch with Calmosis. They’re rewriting the healthcare narrative in India, and you can be part of the revolution.

 

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Mercedes Hits the Brakes on EVs: Profit Woes Lead to Focus on Gas-Powered Cars

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StartupStories - Mercedes

Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is experiencing a shift in gears, prioritizing gasoline-powered vehicles over its previously ambitious electric vehicle (EV) strategy. This comes after disappointing sales figures and shrinking profit margins for their electric offerings.

The Dream Runs out of Charge:

Mercedes, a leader in the luxury car market, had set a goal to be fully electric by 2030. However, sluggish sales of their electric vehicles, particularly the high-end EQS and EQE sedans, have forced a recalibration of their plans. The company’s profit margin dipped to a concerning 9% in the first quarter of 2024, falling below their long-term target range.

Why the Slow Charge?

Several factors are contributing to the lackluster performance of Mercedes’ EVs:

  •  Price Point Pinch: The high price tag of Mercedes’ electric cars, ranging from $70,000 to $120,000, limits their appeal compared to more affordable electric options. 
  •  Competition Heats Up: Other luxury carmakers like Tesla and BMW are offering strong competition, with some even surpassing Mercedes in EV sales growth. 
  •  Infrastructure Concerns: Gaps in charging infrastructure and anxieties about range remain significant deterrents for potential EV buyers.

Back to the Drawing Board:

In response to these challenges, Mercedes CEO Ola Källenius announced a revised strategy. The company will:

  •  Extend Focus on Combustion Engines:  Production of gasoline-powered and hybrid vehicles will continue well into the 2030s, catering to customer demand.
  •  Rethink EV Strategy: Mercedes will analyze consumer preferences and market trends to refine their electric car offerings. This may involve focusing on more affordable models or improving features to enhance range and charging efficiency.

The Road Ahead

The shift by Mercedes highlights the complexities of the automotive industry’s transition to electric vehicles. It underscores the need for car manufacturers to balance ambitious environmental goals with the realities of consumer behavior and market competition.

Is this a Permanent Pause?

While Mercedes is putting the brakes on its all-electric vision, it doesn’t necessarily signal a complete retreat from EVs. The company may leverage this time to strengthen its electric offerings and ensure they are competitive in the rapidly evolving market. Only time will tell if Mercedes can reclaim its position as a leader in the electric vehicle race.

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Reddit Soars After Strong Earnings and Upbeat Outlook

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Reddit, the social media platform known for its online communities and meme culture, saw its stock price jump significantly after releasing its first earnings report since going public in March. Investors were impressed by the company’s strong financial performance and optimistic forecasts for the future.

The report highlighted a surge in user engagement, with daily active users increasing by 37% to 82.7 million in the first quarter. This growth was accompanied by an 8% rise in average revenue per user, indicating Reddit’s success in monetizing its platform. 

Perhaps the most significant factor driving the stock price increase was Reddit’s forecast for the second quarter. The company projected revenue to fall between $240 million and $255 million, exceeding analyst expectations. Additionally, Reddit anticipates achieving break-even status or even generating a profit, surpassing predictions of a loss.

This positive outlook can be attributed in part to Reddit’s flourishing advertising business. The company is also capitalizing on a new revenue stream: content licensing deals with artificial intelligence (AI) firms. Reddit’s vast collection of user-generated content provides valuable data for training AI models, attracting companies like Google.

Analysts believe Reddit is still in its early stages of monetization and predict continued growth in the coming quarters, fueled by advancements in ad targeting and measurement tools. This optimism is reflected in the stock price surge, which has climbed roughly 70% since Reddit’s IPO.

Overall, Reddit’s first earnings report paints a bright picture for the company’s future. With a thriving user base, increasing revenue opportunities, and a promising outlook, Reddit appears well-positioned for continued success in the ever-evolving social media landscape.

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