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Business Economy

NASSCOM launches Deep Tech Club 2.0

Kolkata, Mar 4 (UNI) In an effort to boost India’s tech start-up ecosystem, the National Association
of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), on Thursday announced Deep Tech Club (DTC) 2.0; the second edition for its DeepTech Mentoring program, an initiative to nurture and promote
Indian DeepTech products solving global problems.
DTC finds world-changing start-ups that are enabled by AI, ML, AR, VR, IoT, Robotics,
Blockchain, NLP, and similar technologies. The central focus of the DTC program is to act as a
catalyst in empowering pioneers in India-based deep technology startups and connect them with industry leaders, investors, academia, researchers, and government regulators to establish a
global deep tech ecosystem impacting physical and digital transformation.
With the vision of enabling India’s digital & social transformation and empowerment through innovation in deeptech and making India a World Leader in Deep Tech products, NASSCOM
DTC 2.0 is a 3-stage program pioneered towards scaling the impact to over 1000 Indian
DeepTech Companies.
To achieve this, in its first stage NASSCOM DTC has formed exclusive partnerships on the
global front with Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute (ATR), Japan and Dallas
VC, USA. On the domestic front, NASSCOM has partnered with industry and academia leaders including Intel, Cisco Launchpad, NetApp, IIT-Kanpur, Sine (IIT-B), T-Hub and ZINNOV. The
program aims to drastically increase the number of partnerships in stage 2 accelerating the
growth of the Indian DeepTech ecosystem.
Talking about the launch of DTC 2.0, Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM, said, “With the
advent of hyper-digitalization in the next normal, we expect a higher integration of AI, ML, AR,
VR, IoT, Robotics, Blockchain, NLP and similar technologies. The start-up ecosystem of our
country is strong and robust and is already ahead in solving many global challenges. In this era
of digital, it is essential for these start-ups to continue to digitalize and integrate deep
technologies in order to constantly evolve and be globally competitive. We hope through this
second part of DTC we catalyze empowering pioneers in India and connect them with industry
leaders, investors, academia, researchers, and government regulators to establish a global
deep tech ecosystem that brings a physical and digital transformation.”
As of 2020, more than 2,100 Indian startups have adopted deep technologies, up from
1,600 in 2019. There has been a spurt in deep tech startups funding, as investor interest in
niche products and platforms has increased significantly, resulting in over 14% of the total
Startup investments in deep-tech ventures in 2020 which is 11% higher than in 2019. Up to
87% of these investments were in AI/ML startups in 2020. The NASSCOM and ZINNOV
study highlights that deeptech will continue to grow at a CAGR of 40-45% in 2021.
Driving an impact-driven agenda in its first edition of four cohorts of 78 companies with a
7% acceptance ratio, and through 1150+ Hrs personalized mentoring, 2000+ industry
connects via 6 DeepTech Confluences, DTC inspired corporate and Investor led accelerators
to focus on deep tech; building first of its kind support mechanism for deep tech companies
(Mentoring coupled with Enterprise and Investor connect). Over the years DTC has helped
companies raise $70 million and has brought the deep tech Startup companies from the lab
to market-ready global ground.
NASSCOM has always focused on cutting-edge technological advances with DeepTech Club focusing on and involving Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), AR/VR, Robotics, Blockchain, NLP, and similar technologies. DTC offers mentoring, nurturing, and thriving
opportunities to its member companies and trains them to be more innovative, robust, and
agile. The Startup companies at DTC have experienced strategic transformation through
industry-led confluences, conferences, and networking events with the presence of global
partners and leaders.
Speaking on the launch, Anupam Saronwala, lead- DeepTech Club, Ex Director at IBM
Research said, Deeptech ecosystem will play a critical role in marching towards trillion dollar
digital economy. Having a strong and robust ecosystem comprising of academia, incubators/accelerators and enterprises will be absolutely critical. NASSCOM Deeptech
Club 2.0 aims to achieve and am very happy to be part of the club and for 2.0 launch with
our key partners!
NASSCOM DeepTech Club started when no program or efforts was being made in India
to create, support, and sustain the development of DeepTech Ecosystem and it will continue
to support emerging technology start-ups and provide a platform to promising deep-tech
startups to explore, innovate, scale and solve for challenges of the future.
Krishna Sundaresan, Vice President, Engineering, Cisco India & SAARC, said, “At Cisco,
we believe technology is a force multiplier in the hands of global problem solvers – like the
start-ups of NASSCOM’s DeepTech mentoring program. The start-up ecosystem in India is
our biggest strength, serving as a catalyst for change and solving some of the most daunting
challenges we face as a nation. Through this partnership with NASSCOM DTC 2.0, we are
proud to empower deep-tech start-ups to scale disruptive innovations and turn
transformational ideas into a reality.”
Ravi Chhabria, VP Hybrid Cloud Engineering & Managing Director NetApp India, said,
“Data sits at the core of how entire industries & economies are transforming. Every sector
is unlocking customer value with data that resides in on-premises datacenters or across
multiple public clouds. This wave of data-driven transformation is powered by NetApp’s
proven ONTAP® Data Management. Our partnership with NASSCOM will help us jointly
realize the vision of India’s digital & social transformation.”
Poyni Bhatt, Chief Executive Officer, SINE, IIT Bombay said, "NASSCOM's deeptech
initiative to bring various stakeholders together will accelerate the pace of realization of
the huge potential of India's tech ecosystem to build deeptech companies. Society for
innovation and entrepreneurship-SINE having committed India to technology self-reliance
will continue to partner in the development & growth of deep tech innovations & startups
having significant strategic, economic & social impact. The synergies emanating from the
partners shall offer a platform to deeptech innovators and entrepreneurs to scale up fast
in a short time."
Ravi Narayan, CEO of T-Hub said, "T-Hub and NASSCOM have built a robust ecosystem
for startups, corporates, and venture capitalists in the technology community. DTC 2.0
partnership will bring all our strengths and experiences in deepening technology capabilities
to the selected startups, enabling them to tackle larger problems from India for the global
Dayakar Puskoor, Founder and Managing Partner, Dallas Venture Capital, said, “As a US
and India focused VC, Dallas Venture Capital is excited to partner with Nasscom in
mentoring Deeptech startups from India and support their foray into the US market”.
Dr. Hiroyuki Suzuki, Executive Vice President, Advanced Telecommunications Research
(ATR) Institute International, JAPAN, said, "We have two platforms for connecting global
deeptech startups with the Japanese market. The collaboration with NASSCOM DTC has
a vital impact on our activities for innovation."
Dr. Nikhil Agarwal, CEO, FIRST IIT Kanpur, said, “The adoption of disruptive technology
along with digital transformation has paved the way for tremendous innovation in India. IIT
Kanpur is excited to begin this journey as a partner of NASSCOM's Deep Tech Club
envisioning the tech-led ecosystem. This partnership will promote the widespread
acceleration of the Deep Tech Startups to help them leverage technology, data analytics,
and increase accessibility.”
Jitendra Chaddah, Country Manager, Global Supply Chain, Intel India said,“India is a
growing hub of innovative deep tech startups with tremendous opportunities to develop
products and solutions, not just for India, but for the world. Intel India has helped enable
over 80 deep tech startups to date through the Intel Startup Program and we remain
committed to accelerating their journey from development to putting products in the
market. We are proud to collaborate with NASSCOM, other industry and academia
partners on Deep Tech Club 2.0 to scale India’s deep tech startups and maximize
their potential for business and social impact.”
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