Gurgaon, November 2017: The start-up ecosystem is well versed with the concept of Demo Day – the culmination of the gruelling accelerator programs, where start-up founders have two minutes to make the pitch of their lives and dazzle the investors. But there’s a new buzzword in the industry, the ‘Angel Day’ – the brainchild of India Accelerator, a Gurgaon-based Accelerator which launched its first batch earlier this month.
A ‘By-Invitation only’ event, which was an exclusive opportunity for a selected group of investors and angels to be part of a private viewing of their most recent curated and selected list of start-ups, before they kick off their journey at the accelerator.
The Accelerator announced their list of final-6 startups that they will be investing in, spread across sectors like FinTech (Kuants), a Ukrainian startup working on AI-backed Sign language-to-speech converter (EValk), Lifestyle products Rental platform (Voko), AI backed gift-recommendation platform (Wish-a-Mitr), Inter-city cab platform (CabBazar) and an e-commerce platform (Square1). India Accelerator will be funding these companies to the tune of around $20-25K each.
The idea was to bring the investors up ahead in the investment cycle of startups, which increases the returns for investors significantly. The shortlisted startups were across the spectrum of sector and at different stages in the value chain, which helped cater to the interest areas of the diverse group of investors.
“While there are many players in the industry who provide funding as the primary offering, we would like to create a more meaningful difference. Post the seed funding, IA would step into handhold these selected startups through the 3-month (+ 9 months), intensive mentorship-driven program, and channelize the seed investment to get the bang for the buck for the investor.” commented Mona Singh, the Chief Acceleration Officer of IA.
Spanning over 2 days, the Angel Day was held at the premises of India Accelerator, providing opportunities for networking and meaningful conversations. Of the 150+ applications received from across the globe, the final 15 shortlisted startups participated in the event to showcase their technology and product. There was a 10-minute slot provided to each startup to make their elevator pitch, post which a series of long, serious meetings with relevant investors were setup, who wanted to dig into the details.
An overview of the startups under the program:
VOKO – Voko is an online rental platform that provides a convenient and affordable way to get lifestyle (consumer) goods on rent. Currently operational in NCR, VOKO works on aggregator based asset-light model, providing Cameras, Adventure gear, Home appliances and furniture. VOKO aims to provide a better alternative i.e. accessibility of lifestyle goods over ownership, to young professionals who keep relocating to new places frequently.
Square 1 – Square 1 is the launchpad for e-commerce projects. It can be looked as ‘Magento on steroids’, a next generation, modern, generic, comprehensive platform built on latest technology stack. The open source framework provides merchants with a flexible shopping cart system, and control over the look, content and functionality of their online store.
Kuants – Kuants, an algorithmic trading platform, is trying to reduce bottlenecks associated with the popularity of algo trading among the masses by making it a more streamlined process.
WAM (Wish-a-Mitra) – Wish-a-Mitra (WAM) is an innovative platform that aims to create a gifting experience that makes sense. Our response-based engine provides tailored recommendations to guests so that they can buy gifts which are more relevant and useful to the hosts.
Evalk ASL – Evalk makes possible for Deaf people to communicate with anyone else by translating (ASL) to speech. Developing a software, which allows Deaf people and any other speaker of sign language (ASL) to be heard, by translating ASL to English. It involves building video recognition technology, based on recurrent convolutional neural networks – for translating video (of ASL speaker) into text. And then the text will be processed by text to speech module into an audio message. The final product will be in form of an app, will use the phone camera.
Cabbazar – A unique Cab Marketplace providing bidding facility to compare & book one-way, round-trip cabs from hundreds of travel agencies providing quotes for the same.
About India Accelerator:
India Accelerator (IA) is the first ‘Indian’ Accelerator program that comes under Global Accelerator Network (GAN), a network of the most respected accelerators around the world.