India: The burgeoning startup scene of India has received another leg-up from one of the most well-known names in the data storage space – NetApp.
In a startup accelerator program launched today – named ‘Escape Velocity’ – NetApp plans to nurture and support early-stage technology startups in data storage, the cloud, big data, and Internet of Things.
The company did not share the corpus of funds set aside for the startup program, but sources said it could be in the range of US$100-150 million. The first batch of Escape Velocity will begin by June this year and will incubate about six startups.
“The idea is to look at startups with unique innovations in the data storage space. We may integrate some with NetApp, but we primarily want to build an ecosystem of new ideas,” NetApp CEO George Kurian said. NetApp also wants to explore startups in areas that it has not addressed as yet. “We want to complete the whole stack of data storage,” George added.
The accelerator program will be run from NetApp’s newly launched 15-acre research and development center in Bangalore, which will cater to NetApp’s global customers. The startups of the accelerator program will be able to address a global market working out of the facility, the company said.
The company has spent close to US$150 million to set up the Bangalore center, which is NetApp’s largest worldwide.
The startups will get access to a 12,000-square-foot data center, research and development facility, as well as NetApp’s go-to market team, which will help these startups place their products correctly in the market.
Other technology corporates such as Microsoft, Cisco, and SAP labs have set up startup incubators in India. Cisco’s first batch under its Launchpad accelerator graduated 8 new startups last month.
Bengaluru is host to the largest share of technology driven startups, followed by the Delhi-NCR and Mumbai, according to a study conducted by industry body Assocham.
Globally, India has moved up to third position with over 4,000 tech startups. The US remains the leading market for startups with over 47,000 such entities, the study states.
Bangalore hosts close to 26 percent of the 4,000 odd startups in India. That is followed by the New Delhi region, which hosts 23 percent, and Mumbai, which houses 17 percent of startups.