NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), a global cloud-led, data-centric software company today launched Cohort 12 of its flagship start-up accelerator program - NetApp Excellerator. Five businesses working on cutting-edge solutions for data management and artificial intelligence will participate in Cohort 12, capitalising on the importance of data as a key driver of corporate growth.
Five deep tech firms will be produced by the cohort: NEMA AI, Zeron, Chaos Genius, Kensu, and Blockfenders. They were chosen due to their affinity for data, particularly high potential areas like cybersecurity, cloud cost optimisation, and data interchange. Three of these enterprises have a presence in the US market in addition to having operations in India, underscoring the truly global nature of the NetApp Excellerator program.
NEMA AI is a neuroscience and AI-based consumer insights platform that uses brain scan technology. The start-up leverages this to personalise and optimise learning, branding, and marketing strategies with a focus on making learning better for children. Kensu is a no-code AI data observability platform that helps businesses detect, diagnose, and remediate data quality issues, and is currently exploring a Proof of Concept (PoC) around its business model.
NetApp Excellerator’s Cohort 12 has emerged as a strong launchpad for women entrepreneurship with NEMA AI, Chaos Genius, Zeron, and Kensu being led by women. Over the course of the cohort, they will be mentored under NetApp ExcellerateHER - a dedicated initiative that supports women-led start-ups operating in the deep tech space. Since the launch of the initiative in 2020, NetApp has seen a steady rise in women-led start-ups, which now make up 38 per cent of all participating start-ups.
Speaking on the launch of NetApp Excellerator Cohort 12, Ravi Chhabria, managing director, NetApp India, said, " This cohort marks an exceptional change in tide with four out of the five businesses being led by women. We also have many focusing on data-driven solution offerings. We take pride in seeing the NetApp Excellerator program grow and look forward to catalysing growth and help participants thrive in the deep-tech ecosystem.”
Adapting to the ever-evolving dynamics of the technology sector, the NetApp Excellerator program has continuously advanced. United by a common vision, the collaboration between NetApp's mentors, leaders, and start-ups have catalysed substantial advancements within the realm of deep tech. Their success can be seen through alumni who have gone on to raise over $350 Mn collectively, including five startups who raised over $160 Mn last year alone.
Launched in 2017, the programme has been recognised as one of the top five accelerator programs in the country for corporate innovation by the NexTT Awards. It includes a PoC model that allows entrepreneurs to demonstrate the effectiveness of their solutions in the real world. In collaboration with NetApp, the start-ups refine their minimum viable products (MVPs) and identify new use cases. This information is then used to develop their go-to-market strategies.