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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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CES 2019: The Best Innovations Announced

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CES 2019,CES 2019 Best Innovations Announced,Consumer Electronics Show 2019,Largest Tech Shows CES 2019,CES 2019 Latest News,Best CES 2019 Innovations,CES 2019 Highlights,Consumer Technology,Announcement at CES 2019,Startup Stories,Latest Business News 2019

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES,) one of the largest tech shows held at Las Vegas every January, hosts over 180,000 people with ideas, innovations and new creations fit for a future world! With artificial intelligence (AI) playing the central theme at the show, different startups and tech establishments told us where technology is heading toward in the coming years. From self driving suitcases to flying taxis, here’s taking a look all the inventions which were on display at the CES this year!

1. Ovis Luggage

Developed by a Chinese company called Forward X Robotics, the idea behind Ovis Luggage is to help carry your luggage around without having to put in any physical effort. By using facial recognition and movement tracking algorithms, the bags come fully equipped with cameras which track the surroundings perfectly. To amp up the excitement level, the bags have also been designed to stick to their owners at the speed of 6 miles per hour and through the movement tracking algorithms, they can also avoid colliding into people beyond a certain radius! If by chance the bag does go missing, you can track the suitcase by using the inbuilt GPS system! Priced at $ 799, the bags are expected to go on sale within the next few months.

Picture credits: travelandliesure.com

2. Lenovo Smart Clock

A little over a year after announcing their first invention together, Google and Lenovo came back with another cutting edge invention called the Lenovo Smart Clock. The AI enabled smart clock comes with touch sensors and is designed to map your schedule from sunrise to sunset. Starting half an hour before your alarm is scheduled to ring, the smart clock also functions as a Google smart speaker, which means the clock can send music and podcasts (among other things) to your phone through Chromecast. Priced at $ 80, the smart clock will go on sale this spring!

Picture credits: picture.lint.com

3. Obsbot Tail AI Camera

While the last major innovative improvement (when it came to cameras,) was in the form of the 360 degrees video, the CES summit saw a new breakthrough in this field. China based startup Obsbot built a camera which uses artificial intelligence in the best way possible. Called the Tail, not only can this camera take extremely smooth pictures and videos, it identifies subjects in the shoot and tracks them using AI. With the ability to switch without friction between different models, this camera is perfect for people looking at making videos without the requirement of someone operating the camera manually. Equipped with the ability to shoot up to 4K/60 fps videos and to support HDR 10, the Tail is going to be priced at $ 500 and will be available at Kickstarter.

Picture credits: youtube.com

4. Riding High

At a time when ride sharing cabs like Ola, Uber and Lyft are at the peak of their performance levels, it comes as no surprise, people are looking at creating new ways of sharing rides. A partner of Uber, Bell Helicopters, launched a brand new flying taxi called Nexus Air Taxi. AI empowered, the taxi will seat four passengers and a pilot and will have a range of 150 miles, with the highest speed being 150 mph. Expected to launch next year, the Nexus is looking at being available in major cities by mid 2020.

Picture credits: askcott.com

5. Magic Mirror

Looking at yourself in the mirror and checking yourself out can never be boring! Developed by Electric Mirror Inc., in Everett, Washington, the Savvy Smart Mirror is perhaps the most interesting development in this mix. Designed to resemble a massive touchscreen, the Savvy Smart Mirror is not only a looking glass, but also can be used to show weather reports, play music and connect to your social media accounts as well. Apart from the other features available, the Savvy Smart Mirror also lets you control and adjust the thermostat controls in your room. Initially designed for hotels, the mirror is also going to be designed for homes. Priced at a whopping $ 2,500, the mirror is expected to go on the market soon.

Picture credits: myhome.com

With so many exciting innovations being introduced, the year is definitely dedicated to innovation and creations. What invention are you looking forward to owning the most? Comment and let us know!

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Instagram 2.0? Swipe Feature Tested In Massive Roll Out Error

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Instagram 2.0? Swipe Feature Tested In Massive Roll Out Error

Photo sharing platform Instagram briefly rolled out a massive update to their app changing their entire user interface (UI) by mistake. However, a couple of minutes later, the platform downgraded to the previous version, going back to their typical vertical list of posts. The head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, confirmed the massive rollout was an error by the company.

This new version of Instagram replaced the scroll feature from the app and introduced a new feature wherein users could either tap or swipe to go to the next post on their feed. In order to explain the way the new app works to existing users, the app also displayed a messaged which read, “Introducing a new way to move through posts. Tap through posts, just like you tap through stories.” It then instructs the users to “tap [the screen] to see the next post.”

The new feature was not meant for a wide scale rollout, however, the update was an attempt improve the experience of the existing users and to transform the way Instagram looks and feels by mimicking the Stories feature.

While the Stories feature was initially started by Snapchat, Instagram took the feature to an all new level, integrating the popularity of the feature onto its app and centering its USP around this subject entirely! Although a news daily reported the update was initially rolled out for people only living in the United Kingdom during the day, the new feature was visible to people all over the world during different parts of Thursday. The new update also started trending on Twitter with the hashtag #NewInstagram.

Over the last few months, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have been trying to up their game in terms of user interface, readability and ease of access. While Facebook has been constantly working on its branding, Instagram hasn’t done much to change its appearance. Whether the platform will officially roll out the new update is yet to be seen.

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Startups Which Achieved The Unicorn Status In 2018

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The word unicorn started trending in the beginning of 2018 and to define the term simply, it refers to startups which have a valuation of more than $ 1 billion. As this year comes to a close, here’s taking a look at all the different startups which entered the billion dollar club and earned themselves the unicorn status.

1. Zomato 

Zomato, a food delivery and restaurant discovery startup based out of Gurugram, raised over $ 200 million in a funding round held in February 2018 and since then, there is no stopping the growth of this particular startup. With multiple rounds of investment from various areas, the valuation of Zomato increased by leaps and bounds and right now, toward the close of 2018, this particular food tech startup has an estimated valuation of $ 1.1 billion!

Picture credits: zomato.com

2. Oyo 

Founded in the year 2013, service apartment provider Oyo entered the Unicorn Club in September by raising $ 1 billion from existing investor, SoftBank. Founded by Ritesh Agarwal, Oyo has grown so much over the years in the last five years that it is now extremely popular in places like India, China, west Asia, the UK and the UAE.

Picture credits: oyorooms.com

3. Byju’s 

When Byju’s was initially founded, the startup barely had a major presence in India. However, through the years, Byju’s grew to become the next Indian startup to enter the Unicorn Club! Standing at a valuation of approximately $ 2 billion, Byju’s became the first startup in the edutech field in India to be valued at more than a billion dollars!

Picture credits: byjus.com

4. Paytm Mall

A subset of Paytm, Paytm Mall came to be in 2016 and with an investment of $ 450 million from existing investors, Paytm Mall is now valued at more than one billion dollars! Using the investments to improve their existing features and to better the customer experience, Paytm Mall will likely achieve $ 10 billion in merchandise volume. Furthermore, with the investment Paytm received, the app is looking at allowing customers to walk into offline stores, scan products through QR codes, go through information about the products and finally, purchase the product through the app.

Picture credits: hindustantimes.com

5. Swiggy 

Food delivery startup Swiggy raised $ 1 billion from Naspers and post that, the startup has grown to stand at a valuation of over 3.3 billion dollars! Not only is Swiggy the second food tech startup to enter the billion dollar club, it is also the fastest startup in India which grew to reach that place. The startup entered the Unicorn Club in just under four years, a feat which is truly commendable.

Picture credits: Swiggy.com

6. Freshworks 

Based out of Chennai, Freshworks is a software as a service (SaaS) provider, which entered the billion dollar club in August this year. Freshworks entered the Unicorn Club post securing a $ 100 million investment from Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and CapitalG!

Picture credits: gb.advisors.com

With so many startups achieving the unicorn status through sheer hard work and dedication to innovation, the unicorn status is truly a coveted symbol to achieve. If you think we missed out on other startups in this field, comment and let us know!

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