Nasscom ‘Accelerate 10X’ initiative to nurture 100 AI start-ups each year

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New Delhi, Sep 18 : To empower desi tech start-ups working in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies, IT industry’s apex body Nasscom on Tuesday announced to double up on its efforts and mentor 100 such mature-stage start-ups every year.

Building on the success of its “10,000 Start-ups” initiative, Nasscom unveiled its second phase called “Accelerate 10X” here that aims to catapult the nation’s deep tech start-up ecosystem onto the next level.

The immersive six-month programme, divided in phases of 45 days each, will focus on three key aspects — Product (global acceleration and mentoring), Technology (engineering and deep tech lab) and access to Patient (long-term) capital.

“When we started ‘10,000 Start-ups’ five years back, our vision was clear that in 10 years, India will have an ecosystem consisting 10,000 start-ups. We started the initiative with 100 start-ups. In 2013, there were 100 funding deals and today, there are roughly around 700,” Debjani Ghosh, President, Nasscom, told reporters here.

In the last five years, “10,000 Start-ups” has spread its wings to nurture early-stage start-ups by incubating them in start-up warehouses in 10 cities.

Nearly 200 AI start-ups in India are today innovating and creating AI-based solutions for various industries. According to an Accenture analysis, AI has the potential to add $957 billion to India’s economy in 2035.

“Over the years while India has emerged as the third largest start-up ecosystem, our readiness to ride the next wave of deep tech and AI revolution will determine whether India will be able to unlock the trillion-dollar opportunity,” noted Rishad Premji, Chairman, Nasscom.

“A collaborative and coherent effort is pertinent to galvanise India’s capabilities in emerging technologies and equip our demographic prowess to power industry 4.0,” Premji added.

The AI start-up sector has seen an increase in funding of over 70 per cent in 2017 with Natural Language Processing (NLP) being one of the major focus areas for investors.

According to Ghosh, the Internet of Things (IoT) industry that is growing very fast will have the highest impact on the job creation scenario in the country.

“Prowess in deep tech and AI will be one of the main drivers of economic competitiveness in the near future and deep tech start-ups will drive innovation and spearhead the broad structural transformation of the economy,” said Ghosh.

“The ‘Accelerate 10X’ programme further reaffirms ‘10,000 Start-ups’ efforts in evangelising and mentoring India’s latent, untapped talent in emerging technologies,” she added.

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