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Google Developers Launchpad Build Selects 11 Women Entrepreneurs

Ramya GovindRaj

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The global search and tech giant Google has selected 11 startups for their Google Developers’ Launchpad Build mentorship program. These women led startups will be trained under their Launchpad Accelerator Program to achieve rapid progress in a short time. The Developers Launchpad Build event was hosted in Bengaluru and explored the challenges of being a startup leader. 

The digital world today is seeing a lot of women stepping out to pursue their dreams and ambitions. This program gives the selected women entrepreneurs a chance to build successful startups through focused, one on one mentorship from Google and other industry experts.

According to the Google Launchpad website, this edition plans to support women entrepreneurs from startups across various stages. Different expert areas including Product Strategy, UX/UI, Marketing with a special focus in Technology covering Android/Firebase, Web and Cloud were taken into consideration for this program.

This program will include leadership workshops driven by Google and was organized in collaboration with Google’s Women Techmakers Initiative and Google’s [email protected].

Here are the 11 entrepreneurs that will receive training from Google and industry experts.

1. Mishipay:
A new retail payments startup founded in 2015, Mishipay uses new technology that eliminates queuing from the point of sale. Their technology allows shoppers to pick up a product they wish to buy, scan the bar code with their phone, pay through their phone and simply walk out. The goal of this startup, cofounded by Mustafa Khanwala and Tanvi Bhardwaj is to reduce queue times and facilitate faster checkouts.

2. Guvi Geek Network:
Guvi Geek Network was initially started as a YouTube Channel with more than 400 technical videos in vernacular languages. It was incorporated as a startup in 2014, as an online tech skill accelerator in vernacular languages. This startup, incubated in Madras, seeks to help users acquire new skills in vernacular languages, sticking to their motto ‘Learn in your native language.’

3. Evibe Technologies
Evibe is an online platform for hassle free party planning service. They offer services ranging from private farm birthdays to themed wedding cakes and even offer drone proposals and chauffeured Audis. This Bengaluru based startup was founded in 2014 by B. Anjaneyulu Reddy and Swathi Bavanaka who aspire to touch millions of lives with their skill and expertise.

4. LetsEndorse
This Bengaluru based startup builds holistic ecosystems and acts as a digital market network dedicated to social development. Cofounded by Monika Shukla and Varun Kashyap, this venture enables intelligent knowledge harnessing of practicable social models and builds collaborations for co-creating and scaling up of solutions. The startup, backed by Social Alpha and incubated as part of NASSCOM 10 k Startups, brings together social change makers and mobilizes funds and resources through a mix of crowd funding.

5. Fundamentor
Fundamentor is a Bengaluru based edutech startup that uses methods which children enjoy to ensure effective cognitive aptitude development. Founded in 2014 by Bhargavi A.R., it is an innovative product that improves logical reasoning, Maths, English and creative thinking aptitude in children aged 8 to 15. The platform helps develop life skills to bridge the gap between academics and professional success. They claim to have more than 5000 subscribers and 16,000 parents and user community.

6. Talking Street
This startup, founded by Maheima Kapur is a ‘local foodie helpline’ which helps travelers and foodies experience and discover the most popular eateries that are frequented by the locals. Their content is created with the help of foodies in the city and so far have a presence in 24 cities.

7. Clinikk Healthcare
Founded by Bahvjot Kaur, Clinikk is a personalized health concierge for blue collar workers and their families. The startup provides a centralized, convenient, trustworthy and top notch quality healthcare experience ensured by an internal medical monitoring platform. This health assistant is the single point of contact for an entire subscribed family for any medical need.

8. CampusTime:
CampusTime helps universities and colleges set up private social networks that enable students to connect with everyone on the campus. This Bengaluru based startup founded by Amrutha Desai, helps students connect and get access to part time jobs and internships.

9. Omnify:
A new age scheduling and ecommerce platform for small businesses, Omnify was founded by Kabandi Saikia and Manik Mehta in 2016. It is a global Saas platform centered around helping businesses manage their schedules, sell omnichannel and improve engagement with their customers.

10. PlexusMD:
Online professional network exclusively for medical professionals and healthcare organizations, PlexusMD was founded by IIM alumni Rohan Desai and Binal Doshi along with Kinnar Shah. The startup helps doctors create their professional identity in the web, stay updated on the latest news and developments in their specialty, find and connect with other medical professionals. They claim to be India’s fastest growing online community of healthcare professionals with 75,000 doctors across 25 states and over 300 hospitals across 120 cities.

11. PregBuddy:
Week by week pregnancy tracker, PregBuddy is a comprehensive health monitoring and concierge platform for women around the world. Founded by Subhadeep Modal and Sivareena Sarika in 2016, it provides personalized care via health experts and doctors during the years of pre-conceiving to early years of motherhood.

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Marissa Mayer Creates Tech Startup Incubator

Smruthi Kishore

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Marissa Mayer, the former chief executive officer (CEO) of Yahoo, is starting a brand new business incubator called Lumi Labs in partnership with long time colleague, Enrique Munoz Torres. According to reports, the new business incubator will aim to focus on consumer media and artificial intelligence.

While the incubator in itself is extremely intriguing, what makes the idea all the more exciting is the fact that Mayers is going back to the roots of her work. It is a homecoming of sorts for her as Mayer has rented out Google’s original office in Palo Alto, California, where she had started her career as a 24 year old Stanford University graduate.

This particular Google office has a lot of special things attached to its name. The office was home to online payments company, PayPal, which was started by a host of co founders including Tesla founder, Elon Musk. Marrisa was selected as the 20th employee of Google in the year 1999 and was in fact, the first female engineer to get a job at the largest search engine!

Mayer left the Google office after 13 long years and joined Yahoo in the year 2012 for five long years! Despite being regarded as the Geek Goddess at Google, she failed to revive Yahoo’s stalled business even after trying her best. While not a lot has been revealed about the new business incubator Mayer’s and Torres are working on, the premise in itself looks extremely exciting. With more and more people venturing into the field of artificial intelligence, the fact that Mayer’s business will be combined with consumer media is what will eventually make all the difference!

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Facebook Embroiled In Yet Another Controversy

Smruthi Kishore

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Just days after Mark Zuckerberg appeared in front of the Senate, our favourite CEO seems to have gotten himself involved in yet another controversy. The two days of hearing confirmed that Zuckerberg would make sure the Cambridge Analytica data leaks issue would be resolved as soon as possible. While this may have temporarily satiated the growing unrest faced by Facebook, a seemingly off handed made by Zuckerberg sparked off yet another serious issue.

Zuckerberg while responding to U.S. Representative Ben Luján sparked another controversy, as he revealed, “For security reasons, Facebook also collects data of people who have not signed up for Facebook.” While the concerns over the security of WhatsApp’s payment based data appear to be settling down, Facebook’s scenario is different. The matter seems too deep to settle down.

Clarifying the issue, Zuckerberg made a statement saying, “When you make a payment, WhatsApp creates the necessary connection between the sender and recipient of the payment, using Facebook infrastructure. We pass the transaction information to the bank partner, which is called a PSP (payment service provider) and to the NPCI (National Payment Corporation of India,) so they can facilitate the movement of funds between the sender’s and receiver’s bank accounts.”

Furthermore, WhatsApp said it does not divulge all the data revealed by the users and said in a statement, “In some cases, we may share limited data to help provide customer support to you or keep payments safe and secure.” While this may seem like a tender coating on a serious issue, the controversies just seem to keep increasing for Zuckerberg. During the two days Congressional grilling session, it became very apparent that Facebook is primarily owned by the founder.

Thanks to the firm’s stock structure, its public investors, even those with $1 billion (£ 70 million) holdings, do not have much say on the company’s future. So far, the investors haven’t raised their voice over the structuring of the shares. However, with the Cambridge Analytica issue blowing up in his face like it has, the time is now ripe to on the tyranny that has become Zuckerberg. By the looks of things, however, it seems the eccentric founder isn’t ready to give up control just yet. Now, only time will tell about the online social media’s platforms future.

 

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Ola Launching 100,000 Electric Vehicles In The Next 12 Months

Smruthi Kishore

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The SoftBank backed cab aggregator, Ola, announced its plan of adding 100,000 electric cars to its existing fleet. With a majority of these e vehicles being electric rickshaws, the cab aggregator wants to get this process sorted within the next 12 months as a part of the Mission Electric program.

The Bengaluru based company is aiming to get one million electric vehicles on its platform by 2021, to boost the electric vehicle ecosystem in the Country. “Three wheelers are a vital means of transportation and a source of livelihood for millions of people every day. It also represents an immediate opportunity to improve outcomes for all stakeholders while reducing pollution across towns and cities,” Bhavish Aggarwal, Ola co founder and CEO said in a statement.

Ola launched its first pilot electric vehicle program on 26 May, 2017. These pilot vehicles included electric cabs, electric auto rickshaws, electric buses, rooftop solar installations, charging stations, and battery swapping experiments. However, the pilot vehicles failed to take off when they were launched. According to several reports, Ola cab drivers did not like the long waiting time and said the charging centres were not sufficient.

Furthermore, the report also said the drivers wanted to go back to the electric vehicles. More than a dozen electric car drivers of the 20 drivers interviewed in Nagpur, have either returned their electric taxis and switched to diesel, or are planning to do so. Ola also faced several other hurdles with electric vehicles and was even forced to close one following protests from residents angered by traffic jams caused by the taxi drivers.

“The EV program in Nagpur has provided Ola with significant insights into effectively managing vehicles, batteries, and operations. The company plans to continue its experimentation with ways to optimize batteries and charging, to develop a strong business model for EV deployment in the country” the company said in a statement.

The Bengaluru based cab aggregator has also said it is in talks with several state governments to make sure the electric vehicles are deployed properly. The policies used are going to make sure the electric three wheelers are going to be as per the environmental regulations.

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