INNOVATION

Startups showcase technical prowess at ThinkNext2018

microsoft-reuters [File] Representative image | REUTERS

MintM, a Bengaluru based robotic platform startup wants to do things differently. It wants to solve problems for a normal customer who visits a retail outlet or a retail store. It has happened at times that a customer goes to a huge retail outlet or a supermarket and ends up wasting time looking for the exact price of an item. At times the customer does not know as to what will be the final offer price for the item after he takes into account the final discount of it. Even the store people who are near a particular section at the store won't be knowing and they will have to enquire the final billing desk. This company has designed a robotic platform creating a frictionless customer experience by empowering ordinary devices like signage, kiosks and cameras, that will help customers.

“It is driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and our BOTs can recognise customers and objects to make things frictionless such as visitor management, customer loyalty, product discovery and personalized promotions. For instance, if a customer has a query about the availability of a shoe size he just has to flash the shoe of any other size of the similar brand in front of kiosk screen to know the results. Our solution is already been used by Titan across some of its retail stores in Bengaluru,” explained Ashutosh Chouksey, co-founder and executive vice president of MintM. Interestingly, this startup has been accelerated by Microsoft and is using Microsoft's platform to run its solution.

Similarly, another Bengaluru based startup, Clonet Solutions Limited, is into compliance management and has been started by a bunch of experienced finance specialists. Their solution helps organizations deal with compliance related issues as it aims at helping organisations into adhering all compliances be it GST or other government legislations and regulations. “We have a digital library of thousands of legislations from across states in India and it helps our customers adhere to complainces. We have many legal, financial and technical experts working with us who help us in designing our solutions and also implementing them. We have local partners globally and customers in countries such as Saudi Arabia are using our compliance solutions,” Shailesh Agrawal, co-founder Clonect Solutions Limited told THE WEEK. Agrawal is also a senior Chartered Accountant.

There is also this Bengaluru based startup, Liv.ai, which is a deep learning and artificial intelligence based speech recognition and natural language tool for Indian languages. The company aims at enabling billions of Indians to communicate with their devices, businesses and governments in their own language. The company has used speech recognition technology in nine Indian languages besides English.

All these startups besides others were showcasing their technical prowess at ThinkNext2018, an event organised by Microsoft Accelerator, a global programme built to empower startups, and Accenture Ventures, which partners with and invests in growth-stage companies that create innovative enterprise technologies. The event was attended by business and industry thought leaders, startups, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs and also marked the graduation of Microsoft Accelerator’s 11th winter cohort.

“Ever since the programme started around 130 startups in India have graduated from it and this year around 30 startups graduated. We offer a technology mentorship for different stat ups and help them go to the market. We choose later stage startups for this programme which are already present in the market and have had their rounds of funding and are already in the market. The need is to create a collaborative environment and bring startups and corporates together to co-create and co-innovate,” said Bala Girisaballa, Managing Director, Microsoft Accelerator.

Interestingly, Microsoft Accelerator is a global programme built to empower startups around the globe. Through the programme Microsoft works with market-ready startups and provides them tools, resources, connections, knowledge and expertise they need to become successful companies. The aim is to help startups mature into enterprise-ready companies by scaling every aspect of their business.

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Topics : #Startup | #Microsoft

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