HYSEA To Host Annual SME Summit, 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen of the IT generation, we have something for you opportunists! HYSEA announced it’s Annual SME Summit, 2016 and they have some interesting things to talk about.

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This Annual Summit will provide a platform for the IT SMEs to explore the plethora of opportunities cutting across industry verticals/geographies and technology adoption by global enterprises and small business. The key focus in the summit would be on the emerging opportunities for IT SMEs in –

  • The Government Sector  – Innovation led and domain niche opportunities for IT SMEs in the government sector and procurement around the defense sectors
  • Life Sciences Vertical – Given the importance of the IT in times like these, the session would tilt towards the opportunity landscape in Life Sciences sector like Pharmaceutical, Biotech, Medical Devices, Drug design and Bioinformatics, to name a few.
  • Data Sciences – What should an IT SME do to build a strong and vibrant practice in Data Sciences? This topic would aim to give insights to IT SMEs on the opportunities in Data Sciences  – whether the opportunities lie in services around building repositories, usage of tools or data enabled decision making by enterprises.
  • Lead Generation Through Digital Marketing – To familiarize IT SMEs with tools for lead generation, direct prospecting and developing using advanced digital marketing tools. Special focus will be on what should be the approach to address opportunities in distant markets using digital marketing as a viable means to pursue such opportunities profitably.

Who can attend?

World leaders, change makers, CEO and Business Development leaders of small or medium enterprises can take part in the SME summit.

When and where?

The HYSEA Annual SME Summit is happening on the 6th of July 2016 at Hotel Avasa.

Click here to register.

 

All You Need To Know About Springboard’s UX Design Workshop

Holler!! We have something exciting coming your way and you don’t wanna miss it. Springboard, an online learning company has launched it’s UX Design Workshop and their enrollment is open for anybody who wants to learn UX or horn their skills.

What am I looking at?

This Indo-US learning company has adapted the concept of learning through engagement with others. Their individual mentors cater to 30 minutes of one-on-one sessions on video-call, giving you a detailed feedback on your week’s assignment. In a greater addition apart from the one-on-one sessions there’s something called “office hours” where you get to meet other fellow students and, have a lifetime access to an exclusive community of members, alums and course learners.

All you need is internet access and you have all the course material from their side. According to Springboard, with the given course material and real-world assignments, your weekly work should take about 7-12 hours to finish and about 80-100 hours to finish the entire course, including your portfolio.

These are just approximate figures but the course is self-paced and with the lifetime access to their curriculum Springboard gives you the flexibility to take your own time and finish up the course, isn’t that amazing?

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Who can enroll?

“Offering content alone is not education, that’s like sending someone to a library and telling them to learn.” – Gautam Tambay, co-founder of Springboard.

If you’re a beginner and love the idea of UX Design or you want to get into UX Design, this is something you shouldn’t miss out on. A step-by-step process where you can launch your first portfolio on the web.

This course suits best to –

  • A web or graphic designer who wants to transition into UX
  • An entrepreneur who understands that your product’s UX can be the difference between getting traction and falling short
  • A developer who knows that learning UX would help you build better products
  • Someone in an unrelated field (like marketing, sales, or operations) who has always dreamed of doing more creative work.

How do I enroll?

Springboard’s enrollment closes on Monday, June 27, 2016 and it is 100% online. So, what are you waiting for, go ahead and register.

Government To Exempt Angel Tax In An Attempt to Promote Startups

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Saturday morning brought in good news for the Startup ecosystem, the government has removed the so-called ‘Angel Tax’ for investors providing funding to startups in order to fuel their ambitious plan to boost entrepreneurship and job creation in the country.
Funding to startups, notified under the government-approved plan stated by PM Narendra Modi, will not face tax even if it exceeds the face value.

What are we looking at?

So, resident angel investors, domestic family offices and domestic funds which were not registered as venture capital funds need not worry about the invested amount getting taxed.
Keeping in mind the existing rules, funds raised by an unlisted company through equity issuance are covered under this tax which is in excess of the fair market value.
This extra inflow is taxable as ‘income from other sources’ under section 56(2) of the Income-Tax Act including the corporate tax rates which contributes to over 30% of just taxes. In such cases, startups would lose a good chunk of the inflow to the so-called ‘angel-tax.’

All thanks to the Central Board of Direct Taxes who have issued a notice to this effect, exempting startups raising investments from the spartan of Section 56(2).

“This has been long awaited and is a very welcome step. The abolition of this so-called ‘angel tax’ has been a long-standing demand of the industry,” said Amit Maheshwari, partner, Ashok Maheshwary &Associates LLP. However, earlier investments can still be questioned by tax officers as being overvalued in the light of declining valuations globally and in India, he said.

Now Book Hotels Enytime!

We have all been in situations where we’re travelling for a couple of hours and need a hotel to stay without having to pay for the entire day’s rent. So what do we do? Well, I personally look at relatively cheaper places to stay like Youth Hostels or kill my time at the airport/coffee shops reading a book or playing video games. All this just because I don’t want to shell out on hotels.. I’m sure this happens to all of us.

Now, our prayers have been heard and we finally have a solution for this. That’s right, all applause to ‘enytime,’ a Hyderabad based micro-stay platform which let’s you book hotel rooms, anywhere from a couple of hours to an entire day with a flexible pay-per-use system.

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I’m listening…

With the leading on-demand platforms like cab services, ticket booking & food ordering apps becoming more people friendly and breaking the chain of monopolised prices, Sekhar Sandhu with his friends Vinod and Kishore Balakrishnan decided to tap the underutilized resources in the hospitality industry. The trio having seven years of domain experience in the hospitality sector decided to spent sometime researching on the demand and supply ratio and found out that majority of the travelers spent their time at airports or coffee houses due the lack of a reliable platform to book for a short day.

We are in the disrupt-generation and the urge for constant innovation is changing our lifestyles. One such area was the hotel industry where app based brands like hotelsbyday, DayStay and enytime are offering a seamless service wherein you can book your hotel room for the hours you need. This concept of providing rooms on hourly basis is known as micro-stay. The term ‘micro-stay’ goes way back during the 2008 economic downturn in Europe where it received its due cult and spread across the US and later in the South-East Asia.

Book hotels ‘enytime’

With their real-time mobile app which caters to both, the guest and hotels, you can book rooms in the blocks of 6, 12 & 24 hour period with your desired check-in time. “Looking at this, it’s a win-win situation for both the hotel and the travelers, one might stay for a couple of hours and leave and the hoteliers can rent one room, twice a day,” says Sekhar Sandhu CEO of enytime. But why 6, 12 & 24 hours? It’s simple, during the day between check-ins there’s often a six to twelve hours gap where hotel rooms go unoccupied, this can be monetised through micro-stays and it’s a great boon for transit travelers as they do not have to bear any hassle.

The Founders (from left): Kishore Balakrishna, Sekhar Sandhu & Vinod
The Founders (from left):
Kishore Balakrishna, Sekhar Sandhu & Vinod

The platform avails travelers to choose from a wide range to hotels from 5 star, 4 star and selective 3 star pertaining to their needs. Talking to the team I understood that the Indian hotel sector is growing rapidly and an increasing number of operators are using the concept of micro-stay to meet the needs of modern travelers while maximising occupancy and monetising on vacant rooms. “We are not following the usual model that has been around for a while but we’re exposing the other side of the hotel industry that has remained untapped and we are offering this at the fraction of the usual cost of customer acquisitions,” says Vinod.

The App

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enytime’s app is very user friendly with it’s industrial design that lets you browse for hourly rooms based on the city or the selected location and further filters like amenities, price and availability. The app runs smooth and it also has a feature that lets you enquire in case of nonavailability. All you have to do is click on the “Enquire Now” option and the hoteliers will address your query over the app itself. “We have made the app and now, let the app do the talking. Everything is on the app’s feed and there’s no more room for confusion that we previously faced while booking hotels,” says Kishore Balakrishna CTO of enytime.

They also have a very effective support system that takes customer feedback seriously and the team spends an ample amount of time going through and addressing all queries raised by the customers. Isn’t that so good to hear? With proper critical management and quality over quantity being on top of their list enytime also plans on implementing ways to educate more on  micro-stays and how it can be beneficial for both ends.

What do we think?

With familiar names like Lemon Tree, Red Fox & Plaza Premium under them, enytime is acquiring more such operators and setting valuable standards. The app is user friendly, reliable and it is currently available on Google Play. They offer hotels in Hyderabad as of now but the trio have plans on catering to other major cities soon.

The Global Mobile App Summit & Awards 2016 – Let’s Gear Up Hyderabad!

Hey you! Yes, you! If you are a Startup and you’re reading this, this is totally for you and you wouldn’t wanna miss it.

GMASA, 2016.
GMASA, 2016.

What are we talking about?

India’s biggest Mobile App conference, The Global Mobile Apps Summit & Awards 2016 is here. From App developers, marketers, managers along with dynamic executives from some of the most prominent and progressive companies in the world will down under one roof to celebrate this two-day summit.

An exhibition, along with panel discussions and keynote speakers will talk about the future of the industry and how to thrive in an ever-crowded marketplace. The event will culminate with an award ceremony to honor developers and marketers of the best mobile apps of the year.

What should we look out for? 

To be honest, the entire event is power-packed but here are some key features of the event:

  • Interactive Panels and Keynote Addresses:

GMASA has lined up some of the mobile industry’s top and prominent experts as keynote speakers and panelists. A number of industry forerunners and experts are set to take the stage at GMASA to share their experience and insights on a plethora of topics.

  • Networking:

The event is a platform of networking opportunities for developers, marketers and sponsors.

  • Current Strategies:

The panels and keynote addresses will focus on the latest strategies and trends in the mobile industry.

  • Awards:

Check out who bags the night while GMASA honors the deserved in the Best Mobile Apps of the Year.

I’m in. Gimme the details! 

The Global Mobile Apps Summit & Awards, 2016 is happening in Bengaluru.

Venue: Sheraton Grand at Brigade Gateway, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.

Date: Wednesday, July 6, 2016.

Time: 8:45 am onward.

Want to participate at the GMASA, 2016. Register here.

What Should You Look For In An Investor?

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Still looking at the picture? Go ahead and read it already!!

We have read a lot about what should investors look in a startup and micro-blogs with captions like “10 Things To Impress Your Investors” and all that jazz but, at the end of the day it’s not about them, it is about you and your brainchild. When it comes to choosing an investor it’s the most critical decision to make and as an entrepreneur there arises the calamity of doubts, confusion and existentialism. It’s like you’re fresh out of school and there are loads of option on courses and colleges that you just can’t wrap your head around. And oh, did I forget to mention money? See, it’s pretty much back-to-school.

It’s all about the right investment, a balance between money, product and brand which would further help a startup grow. We chalked down couple of points that you could keep in mind when looking out for investors –

Be someone else yourself:

With all the nail-biting tension and the race to impress investors, many of us tend to lose ourselves but let’s just take a moment and chill out, shall we? There is no hard and fast rule that you’ve got to follow the fold. Spend some time with yourself, don’t be rigid – crack a joke or two with the people around, wear something that you’re comfortable in and just speak your mind. Being yourself and honest is an added bonus which can get you places so, put that confidence on when you’re on stage because that zeal is incomplete if you’re not you.

Ideas Over Money:

Trust me when I say this, money is not the be all and end all to anything. Money – is a necessary illusion that one cannot avoid but people aren’t. Confused much? Let me break it down for you. The relationship between an entrepreneur and an investor goes far beyond the “moolah aspect” and, you need to understand that. Spend time with that person, get to know him well, ask yourself if you feel a level of mutual connection and ask him if he’s actually interested in your ideas than expecting a quick success ladder. Remember what “V” said? “Ideas are bulletproof… not money.”

Familiarity:

An investor might take you from A to B but an investor with familiarity will take you to the 11th mile. Look for an investor who has the know-how in an area that is directly relevant to your business model and the industry you’re in. It is exciting when you’re offered a great deal, but it’s also important to look at the other side of the grass. Do not chose an investor just because he can invest in your business, choose the one who shares the same frequency and identifies the uniqueness in your ideas because, what good is it if you have all the money and no satisfaction.

A Support System:

Bringing an investor on board is very effective for any early stage startup, the kind of relevant experience they bring on the table helps in building an efficient marketplace. Not just that, but an investor is like a parent, a support system who would give you his/her expertise and identify patterns to help you avoid missteps in your endeavours. But keep in mind, not all people are the same so, you might want to keep the mouldy ones aside.

Understanding Risk:

T.S. Eliot once said, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
Entrepreneurs are known risk takers but why should an investor take in the dive? It is of foremost importance for the investor to understand that he is sailing the same boat as you are and your future decisions for your company might or might not fire up, the expertise and support of the investor will prove to be handy in such sticky situations.

At the end of the day, investors are needed to help you grow better in the marketplace and it is also important that you go in with a clear mind as to what you need from them. They not only provide the kind of money you need but also their network and expertise from their experience. Make it clear that their involvement, advice and suggestions would always be hugely welcome. They could help either formally by taking a position on the board or informally as an advisor.
All I have to say is, choose your investor wisely. Cheers!

Digital Media & Entertainment Company SillyMonks Raises Rs 3cr Funding

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Silly Monks

Silly Monks, a Hyderabad-based digital and entertainment startup has raised Rs 3 crore from investor Sreenivasa Reddy Musani, CMD Ekta Group. With the inundation of funds, this new media ecosystem is ready to introduce six new digital media properties.

“SillyMonks has shown tremendous potential in its growth and is well-placed to be part of new digital revolution in India in the coming years. We are excited to be part of SillyMonks and the fast-growing digital transformation space in India,” said Sreenivasa Reddy.

Founded  in the September of 2013 by media & entertainment specialist Sanjay Reddy and Anil Pallala, SillyMonks has approximately 100 million views a month and hosts a social audience of 16+ million followers across various social media platforms. Drawing upon years of experience in the fields of technology, media, and content creation, The Muddapappu Avakai series produced by SillyMonks Network and Pink Elephant Pictures launched actor Chiranjeevi’s niece Niharika into acting career which attracted huge attention from regional viewers.

Sanjay Reddy, Founder and Managing Director of SillyMonks addressed, “The funds raised will further secure and maximise ROI for our clients, by delivering new digitally-immersive online experiences to a highly connected customer base and help create innovative original content,”

Besides being Google and Yahoo partners in India, the startup has also co-produced the Telugu movies OohaluGusagusalade, DikkuluChoodakuRamayya, Tungabhadra & Raja CheyyiVesthe along with their angel investor.

“We have over 650 YouTube Channels with original content. We are looking at adding more content and options to brands and agencies eager to connect with the critical and growing digital demographics in the online and television market space,” he said.

Augmented Reality – Innovation Brewing In The City

At some point or the other, we all wished to possess J.A.R.V.I.S, an augmented reality device we had first come across in Marvel Comics and that dream as a child seems to come true where sci-fi comic scripts are coming to life, where technology is redefining terms like photo-realism and innovation. Talking about comic book characters, those 3D images that pops out of their screen and their rad-shenanigans is better defined as Augmented Reality. Rings a bell? Well yes, it is here, for real.

Read on…

We have come a long way since computer graphics was introduced, I remember playing Dave which had pretty amazing graphics until I got my hands on Call of Duty in my teens and now my friends boast about these Virtual/Augmented Reality games that I haven’t seen before, was I living under a rock? I guess? But let’s cut to the chase, we have advanced so much in terms of technology where we are pulling graphics out of gadget screens and we’re blending them in real-time environment. This doesn’t fail to amaze me!

Isn’t AR & VR the same?

Not really, many of us tend to mix up Augmented Reality with Virtual Reality, they draw a thin line but at the same time they complement each other. Augmented Reality is nothing but the blending of virtual reality and real life, where the developers could create images within applications that blend in with the real world and this allows the users to interact with virtual contents in the real world. This enables to distinguish between the two. Whereas, Virtual Reality isolates the user from the real world making the user engage in a world that is completely fabricated. Virtual Reality is achieved by wearing a dedicated VR Helmet or goggles similar to that of the Oculus Rift that we saw in the early 2015.

We have all known, seen or heard about the Oculus Rift & Google Cardboard but did you know we have our very own indigenous AR & VR technology brewing in the city and it is just so fascinating to see them pioneer this technology. We’re looking at Merxius, a startup in the Augmented & Virtual reality space:

Merxius
Merxius

It was your good ol’ engineering days for the founders, Vaishali and Hasan who decided to work on a Facebook app for the FIFA World Cup, which worked in their favour and instantly there was no looking back after that. With innovation and creation as their way forward, the initial days of Merxius was spent creating apps for other enterprises from the backroom of a friend’s house. Not too far from here, their drive for breaking monotony and disruptive ideas led them in the space of Augmented and Virtual Reality and, the rest speaks for itself. From working closely with the Indian Armed Forces on Augmented Reality Space to winning numerous awards in the innovation spectrum this B2B startup from Hyderabad is creating a buzz around the ecosystem.

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RealSim – A Next-Gen Sales Tool For Real Estate

Come 2014, Merxius got in the space of Virtual Reality with the indigenous RealSim, a real-time industry grade simulator for Real Estate. This next-gen sales tool for real estate focuses on the human element making it more personal giving you room to customize according to your needs. Click here to experience RealSim. “We are a B2B enterprise at present, we are pitching forward the technology in this sector which is making things much easier and convenient in terms of work. As of now, our agenda is to work closely around B2B but we wish to venture in the B2C market soon enough,” says Vaishali, CEO of Merxius. She recollects the time when she visited The Golkonda Fort, a sweet memory which would change Merxius from then on, “We were just staring at those huge ancient-tinted walls and it then stuck me, why don’t we create a technology which would tell us everything about the wall, like the material used, the year it was built in, the kind of rocks used… while we just standstill appreciating?” From engineering students to entrepreneurs, to winning the Aegis Graham Bell award for Innovation in Augmented Reality and Winner at the Startup Leadership Program Achievers Award, Vaishali and Hasan seem to excel further in the innovation in technology with no further two ways about it.

(From left) Merxius Founders  - Hasan Ali Khan & Vaishali Neotia
(From left) Merxius Founders – Hasan Ali Khan & Vaishali Neotia

The Scope:

Talking about Augmented & Virtual reality from a consumerist point of view and common discussions with couple of people, we can only understand that the AR/VR technology isn’t a pervasive concept yet. We’ve moved a long way from mobile phones to smartphones and this talks a lot about a different lifestyle that we adapted altogether but little did we know that our smartphones can act as an Augmented Reality device as well. With home-bound startups like Merxius, Augmented and Virtual Reality will take it’s space real soon making it pervasive just like our beloved smartphones.

Your Perfect ‘Klinic’ For Clothes!

Clothes! Something that we all wear to cover ourselves as a form of expression, a fashion statement & confidence, which comes from wearing what you love, from tip to toe. From your favourite superhero t-shirt expressing your love for pop-culture, to those rugged jeans flaunting their way into compliments and stares. But it all comes down when it’s time for washing them up, right? As much as we love our clothes, we need to maintain their best at the same time and this usually becomes a hassle if you run with a busy schedule in hand or if you’re really good at being lazy.

Don’t we all like it when somebody takes the responsibility of our chores? For instance, we do not need to go to the restaurant anymore, we have an app that will get our food home likewise, we don’t need to spend time burning under the sun searching for houses for rent or sale, you app will do it for you.

The Mascot!
The Mascot!

 

But how about clothes?

We have a solution for that as well, represent PKC Laundries who are also known as Perfect Klinic for Clothes, the first aggregation of laundry services in Hyderabad. That’s right, PKC is a technology driven laundry service which provides a seamless platform between the customers and the vendors. With iOS and Android compatibility apps, PKC uses dynamic allocation for orders where in, they generate PIN codes and send them to the delivery boys which helps in the optimal utilisation of resources making it neat and a hassle free model.

“We run with the three utmost necessity which is, Roti (Bread), Kapda (Clothes) and Makaan (House) and we have services  that cater to food and housing but the “kapda” sector is a highly untapped sector. We want to change the outlook on the laundry industry and at PKC, we’re endeavouring the same,” says, Premanth Kundurthi, the founder of PKC Laundries.

Often during laundry services the quality is compromised in some or the other form. Therein lies the USP of the company who vouch for quality being their top most priority. So, no more missing clothes and colourbleed, your attire is ready to wear.Talking further with Premanth Kundurthi, he says, “We have 21.9% of the population living under BPL (Below Poverty Line) and the average income of a person is Rs. 33 a day and we want to make it Rs. 333 a day by providing employment to these people through PKC Laundries.”

The Founders (from left): Premanth Kundurthi & Chaithanya
The Founders (from left): Premanth Kundurthi & Chaithanya

How do they work?

At present, PKC has a number of trusted vendors under their umbrella who cater to the orders and they have a very flexible system wherein the customers can place their laundry orders either from their website, the PKC Laundries app or by just calling them up! All you need to do is have your clothes in place while the delivery boy picks it up.  Isn’t that just easy?

The company has plans on expanding to other cities and they soon wish to acquire their own plant which will make operations much easy in their favour.

Services They Provide:

PKC Laundries have customized tariff packages that would go with your needs with quality assured for sure. The services they provide are:

  • Wash and Iron
  • Wash and Fold
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Darning
  • Dyeing   

So, let your woes down and carry that woo around with that favourite suit of yours!

Curtain Riser: Workshop on Developing Apps on iOS

Pair Up | Developing Apps on iOS, A Premier.
Pair Up | Developing Apps on iOS, A Premier.

The mobile app industry is at it’s peak right now and in the coming times it is just going to get better and better. Not just innovation, the app industry has managed to engage app developers, enthusiasts and the product managers to contribute in the app-ecosystem. All thanks to the changing spectrum, we have a myriad of apps on platforms like Android, iOS and Windows but what better if we took one specific platform and talk about the know-how of app making and developing for that specific engine?

Okay! Enough talking, let’s dive-in:

If you’ve just stepped in the iOS platform, this workshop on Developing Apps on Apple iOS by Pair Up is the place to be. This workshop will focus on everything that goes down in making an app for iDevices. This 3-hour session is designed as an overview for CTO’s, Product Managers and aspiring entrepreneurs/app developers to get a complete overview of what it means to build an app for the Apple iDevices. As a pilot session this is planned to be a information packed session, rather than a hands on workshop.Here, participants will be paired randomly with other fellow participants to do a couple of brainstorming exercises before plunging into the actual process.

Key takeaways:

  • Planning for an iOS App
  • Key components of iOS development
  • Best Practices – What should you do
  • Anti-Patterns – What not to do
  • Limitations of the platform through a case study
  • Common tools used by the community
  • Checklist of things to do

Who can attend?

The workshop calls for all those CXOs, Product Managers, Entrepreneurs, App Developers and App enthusiasts with a zeal for products and understanding product development, this workshop is tailor-made for you.

When and where?

Pair Up’s Developing Apps on Apple iOS, A premier, is all set for it’s curtain riser on the 14th of May, 2016 from 10am to 1pm at The Egghead Creative, Kavuri Hills, Madhapur, Hyderabad.

For registration and more info click here.