Industry body Nasscom on Thursday unveiled Deep Tech Club (DTC) 2.0 – the second edition of its mentoring programme for promoting Indian DeepTech products. DTC finds startups that are enabled by artificial intelligence, machine learning (ML), AR, VR (augmented and virtual reality), IoT (Internet of Things), Robotics, Blockchain, NLP (natural language processing) and similar technologies. The central focus of the programme 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. Nasscom DTC 2.0 is a three-stage programme pioneered towards scaling the impact to over 1,000 Indian DeepTech companies.
In the 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, it has partnered with industry and academia leaders, including Intel, Cisco Launchpad, NetApp, IIT-Kanpur, Sine (IIT-B), T-Hub and Zinnov. The programme aims to drastically increase the number of partnerships in stage 2, accelerating the growth of the Indian DeepTech ecosystem. “With the advent of hyper-digitalisation 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,” Nasscom President Debjani Ghosh said. It is essential for startups to continue to digitalise and integrate deep technologies in order to constantly evolve and be globally competitive, she added. “We hope through this second part of DTC we catalyse 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,” she said.
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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 have increased significantly, resulting in over 14 per cent of the total startup investments in deep-tech ventures in 2020 – 11 per cent higher than in 2019. Up to 87 per cent of these investments were in AI/ML startups in 2020. Over the years, DTC has helped companies raise USD 70 million and has brought the deep-tech startup companies from the lab to market-ready global ground. Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (Meity) Secretary Ajay Prakash Sawhney said Indian startups can play an important role in solving the multitude of problems that society faces. “We have a large number of problems that are yet to be solved. With the combination of existing technologies, new technologies, help and guidance from some of the finest institutions in the country, the energy that startups that young companies bring into any domain, it’s time for us to combine our talent in both software and hardware and create new solutions to the problems that we have been waiting to see solved,” he added.