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Zone Startups India Selects 15 Startups For EmpoWer Accelerator Program

Ramya GovindRaj

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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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All You Need To Know About Anil Kumble’s AI Enabled Power Bat

Smruthi Kishore

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Anil Kumble’s Spektacom Technologies, in partnership with Microsoft, has just developed a brand new Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled Power Bat. With the ability to collect data required for every shot hit and the details displayed both to the audience and the players, the new bat is aimed at making cricket an increasingly interesting sport! The basic aim of the new Power Bat is to increase engagement between both the audience and the coaches, giving players the chance to improve their game by leaps and bounds!

A unique concept, the Power Bat has a Microsoft Azure Sphere sticker on its shoulder, whereby as soon as the batsman hits the ball, data on a wide range of parameters like speed on impact, twist on impact and quality of the shot are recorded, captured and processed. This processing and capturing is enabled with the help of a new measurement called Power Speks. The date derived from the Power Bat can be recorded during coaching and practice matches, giving the players a chance to improve their performance during the actual game.

“Our vision is to bring sports closer to fans through interesting ways of engagement using real time sports analytics. At the same time, it is important that the technologies used are seamless and do not disrupt the game or obstruct the players,” Anil Kumble said while talking about the new Power Bat. He further added, “With Microsoft, we have been able to create a secure and effective solution, and with Star India, we have a partner that can stimulate and excite fan engagement.”

Anil Kumble and Microsoft came together to redefine the way people played this much loved sport with this game changing bat! The Power Bat was revealed a couple of days ago and it is already touted to be the game changer for cricket as a sport by 2019!

Speaking about the collaboration, Anil Kumble tweeted,

The CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella also replied to Anil Kumble in a tweet

 

 

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Google Shuts Down Google Plus

Smruthi Kishore

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Google Plus, Google’s social networking arm, is going to be shut down moments after the company announced a major data breach happened, wherein the private information of around 500,000 users was made public over a period of three years, ranging approximately from March 2015 to March 2018. What is really surprising about this data reveal is that when the breach happened last spring, Google decided to cover up the issue, rather than address it like the mature company it was expected to be.

The glitch happened when Google allowed close to 500 external apps (438 apps, to be precise,) to obtain users’ full names, email addresses, occupations, relationship statuses, genders and ages, even for accounts which were made private. While these tools require the permission of the users for access, the information is more often than not made publicly available to these apps through third party users. Google said it could not identify the users whose data was leaked and therefore, it did not want to send out a mass memo regarding the issue.

Post the reveal of the data breach, Google said it did release an internal memo about the bug, but did not tell its users because it wanted to avoid dealing with the immediate regulations that would have been certainly imposed. Incidentally, this was when Facebook was in the spotlight for the Cambridge Analytica scam and if Google came under the radar for this, the repercussions would be massive, to say the least.

Repenting its decision to not do anything about the breach earlier, Google has finally decided to do something now. Not only is Google going to shut down Google Plus, its initiative, Project Strobe, is going to conduct a root and branch initiative of the third party developer access to Google accounts and Android data.

After this breach was brought to the public’s notice, Google has now decided to shut down Google Plus for a period of 10 months. However, people will still be able to use this networking platform for enterprise purposes and not for personal purposes. To improve the experience of the users using the G Suite, Google is going to notify customers the moment a data breach happens. Further initiatives on how Google is going to protect users’ data are going to be announced soon.

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Facebook Rolls Out New Safety Measures

Smruthi Kishore

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It goes without saying that when you put your thoughts out into the world, you deserve to feel safe and when this safety is attacked, your mental health may get affected. Facebook, a platform for promoting your thoughts and ideas, has moved from being a purely interactive social media platform to a place where trolls and trollers rule the roost. To protect its more than 2 billion regular user base, Facebook has passed new tools and tweaked its settings to act against the bullies.

Delete, moderate and remove negative comments 

“Do not feed the trolls,” is what people have always said. How often does one listen to the wise sayings of the people with experience? Never, right? If a bear pokes you, you cannot help but poke back and this is how negativism breeds on a constant basis on Facebook. To counter this growing trend of hatred, Facebook is going to give its users more control over the comments.

Now, not only can you hide multiple comments, you can also delete them with the click of a button. The new feature is going to be rolled out on desktops, Android and iOS versions. Furthermore, if you think a family member or friend is being bullied, harassed or abused, you can report the said post on behalf of the friend or family member. Once reported, the Community Operations team will take a look at the post and decide the required action on the basis of Facebook’s rules and regulations.

To simplify matters, if you think the decision taken by the Committee is not what you thought it would be (both for the person who raised the complaint and the person against whom the complaint has been made,) you can make an appeal and the Committee will decide accordingly.

Protection of not just individual users, but celebrities as well

So far, Facebook has allowed people to talk, criticize and discuss about celebrities and the things they have said and done, without any regard to the person’s well being. Now, Facebook is working on protecting these celebrities by making sure no celebrity on the platform is personally and negatively attacked.

Previously, Facebook had introduced a tool that protected celebrities up to a certain age. However, to improve the safety standards, the social media platform is now expanding its policies to protect celebrities without age as a barrier. With Facebook’s new tools, anyone experiencing things they do not want to on Facebook can now report, block the user and ignore the messages without letting the harasser know.

Taking safety one step forward, Facebook is going to start a new partnership with the National Parent Teachers Association in the United States and will organise over 200 community events to address the challenges faced by parents in all the states. Further, Facebook is also going to offer peer to peer anti bullying and safety programs to schools in the United Kingdom. By organising and supporting safety programs in India, Facebook is spreading the message of improving the standards of online safety in all the countries where this social media platform is used on a regular basis.

 

Overall Facebook Rating
  • Security
  • User Experience
  • Mobile Freindly
3.8

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