Samsung Electronics’ experts mentor 20 Indian startups

Bangalore: Samsung Electronics has organized the Global Startup Acceleration Program (GSAP) in Bangalore in partnership with the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIIT-B) to mentor startups in varied fields in order to support the sustainable growth of local entrepreneurs in the country.

31 employees from Samsung’s global headquarters in Korea and five university students from Korea have been mentoring 20 shortlisted startups remotely for the last two months as part of the Samsung Employee Volunteer Program. These volunteers are using their own vacation time for this program.

From August 6, the startups and their assigned mentors came together for a five-day bootcamp at IIIT-B to better understand the hurdles faced by the startups in developing their products and services.

The startups and their mentors showcased their business models to several Venture Capital firms that were present at IIIT-B on August 9. On August 10, the startups gave individual pitch presentations to a panel comprising Dr. Aloknath De, CTO Samsung R&D Institute, Bangalore, D V Jagadish, CEO – Outreach at IIIT-B and representatives of two venture funds.

Hexpressions, which offers affordable, ready to assemble homes made out of Composite Paper Honeycomb panels, was the winner of the Global Startup Acceleration Program award and was given a prize of Rs 200,000. The first runners up Ziroh Labs that works in the area of privacy engineering and runtime encryption of data was given a prize of Rs150,000 while the second runners up Olly Credit, with a business model around mobile micro credit cards for millennials was given a prize of Rs 100,000.

Social enterprise Geriatric Care Network, which provides preventive and wellness focused healthcare solutions for the elderly, and BrownPacket, a mobile app for hyperlocal medicines and wellness products delivery, won the Best Improvement Award for showing the most improvement through the two month mentoring process.

Geriatric Care Network also won the Best Potential Award, which was also given to Susurla VS Suresh of Startoon Labs, which offers a solution that assists physiotherapists to accurately measure recovery of mobility and muscle strength of patients undergoing physiotherapy.

The Best Social Impact Award was given to Avidia Labs that offers immersive learning experiences for schools using augmented reality and virtual reality.

“At Samsung we strive to encourage young minds and nurture the spirit of innovation. With the Global Startup Acceleration Program, our experts and engineers from different domains are volunteering to support the sustainable growth of local entrepreneurs in the early stage,” said Dr. Aloknath De, CTO – Samsung R&D Institute, Bangalore.

Since 2010, about 1,500 employees have joined this program in 43 countries. This year, Samsung is focused on supporting local entrepreneurs and helping them build their businesses for a sustainable impact on society.

This program is being held globally in Indonesia, Malaysia, India, South Africa between July and September with 80 selected startups. Among winners in four countries, five startup will be invited to Samsung headquarters in Korea.

The 20 selected startups in India work in a wide array of areas such as security for cloud data, AI powered solutions for educators and students, information management systems for schools, AR, VR, healthcare solutions for the elderly, use of IoT for healthcare, energy efficient IoT devices and ready to assemble homes, among others.

Samsung employees who are mentoring the startups as part of the Samsung Employee Volunteer Program bring their global business experience and expertise in domains such as B2B market research, pricing strategies, strategic planning in the area of IoT, AI, cloud, data, strategic investments and planning, databases, machine leaning algorithms, Android programming, healthcare business, computer vision technology, biomedical engineering, among many others.

In India, IIIT- B invited applications from startups for the Global Startup Acceleration Program starting May. Of the applications that were received, Samsung Electronics and IIIT-B shortlisted 20 startups based on the problems that they were trying to solve, their business model, motivation levels of participants and their passion towards their venture, amongst other factors. Based on the domain of the startups, mentoring teams were allocated to address their business problems.

As part of its corporate social responsibility, Samsung R&D Institute, Bangalore (SRI-B) signed a MoU with IIIT-B under which three startups will get extended support from the local incubation center at IIIT-B for the next 24 months.

“The kind of support a startup receives in its initial phase can define its success. As a company that strongly believes in co-prosperity as one of our core values, we are proud to partner with a prestigious institution such as IIIT-B to provide best infrastructure and mentorship to early-stage startups, helping grow the local startup ecosystem,” said Dipesh Shah, MD – Samsung R&D Institute, Bangalore.

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