TSIC launched a massive program to benefit startups to scale post-COVID-19 pandemic

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  • Rejig-HydStartups is a large-scale mentoring program for startups to rejig strategy to pivot towards customers and increased revenue post-COVID-19.
  • A grand finale demo day, in the end, will facilitate investor connect, debt funding, and corporate market access.
  • Major research incubators and organisations like TiE, T Hub and IKP are part of the collective.
  • During these current times, startups have been struggling due to the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, The Telangana State Innovation Cell (TSIC) along with some of the most prominent incubators and enablers in the city, is bringing in collective support for startups in the State.

This collaborative initiative to support the startup ecosystem, will work with startups from several incubators and outside. A program for strategy rejig followed by pitch preparation for equity funding, debt or corporate market access will be provided. The initiative Re-jig.HydStartups is powered by incubators like T-Hub, CIE-IIITH, IKP, RICH and TiE among others.

Deepanwita Chattopadhyay, Chairman & CEO of IKP said, “This collective initiative will help startups in securing funding to tide over the crunch period”.

Startups from various domains will be enabled through domain-specific mentoring and market access. The sectors targeted are— EdTech, FinTech, FMCG, Manufacturing, Agri/Food tech, Med/Life sciences and Emerging technologies.

All the shortlisted startups will be given 3 weeks of mentoring to review their strategy and re-fine it to address present business climate and constraints, specifically identify promising domains and target companies, and revise the positioning and pitch.

The program will culminate in a massive pitch day event, with over 100 screened startups pitching for equity funding, collateral-free debt funding, or corporate market access. Leading companies in the targeted domains will be invited to review the startups and consider pilots.

Rejig.HydStartups applications are open now and due on July 20th. The program will run for four weeks, concluding with the demo days to investors and corporates in mid-August.

Sri Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary IT&C said, “Very heartening to see the community of research incubators in the city, anchored by the State Innovation Cell, coming together to rally around promising deep IP startups.”

Telangana wins Gold in Emerging Technologies for a Blockchain Project

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Government of Telangana’s vision is to become a leader in Emerging Technologies. To realize this vision, ITE&C Department of Government of Telangana has an Emerging Technologies Wing which enables an ecosystem for emerging technologies, and most importantly, leverages these technologies to develop innovative solutions for government departments.

Under the Blockchain District initiative, Telangana’s Blockchain project for administering Chit Funds in the state, T-Chits, has been awarded Gold in “Excellence in Adopting Emerging Technologies” for the 23rd National Conference on E-Governance 2019-20.

Chit funds are key instruments of financial inclusion in India. While Chit funds help people save money for their future needs, regulatory failures may cause millions of people to lose their life-time savings.

“The Blockchain-based platform will capture transactions, verify the data, enable smart and secure transactions to allow automated and trusted financial transactions between all parties,” said Ms. Rama Devi Lanka, Director Emerging Technologies & OSD, ITE&C Department, Government of Telangana.

T-Chits transformed the cumbersome process of monitoring Chit Fund transactions. The Administration issues with multiple unknown parties (Organizers, Subscribers, Regulators, Banks, Auditors and Third-Party Systems) are solved by bringing in Trust and Transparency through blockchain. The project has a massive impact. INR 18549.12 Cr+ of savings of 10,08,300+ subscribers(mostly from lower-income groups) are rotated per annum in Telangana alone.

“T-Chits is the perfect example of using cutting edge emerging technologies for social good. Kudos to Chitmonks, a Blockchain-startup incubated in T-Hub, for developing a scalable Blockchain solution, tailor-made to solve a major Indian problem,” said Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Principal Secretary, ITE&C Department, Govt of Telangana.

Minister KTR meets global industry leaders at WEF in Davos

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Telangana IT & Industries Minister KT Rama Rao, is leading a delegation from Telangana to World Economic Forum, Davos
Minister KTR spoke in a panel discussion ‘India: The Investment & Innovation Nation’
Minister met head honchos of several global business houses at the Telangana Pavilion, Davos

IT and Industries Minister KTR participated in a panel discussion co-hosted by CNBC TV 18 and CII on the topic ‘India: The Investment & Innovation Nation’ on the sidelines of World Economic Forum in Davos on January 21, 2020.

During the session, Minister KTR said that India has one of the most compelling business stories in the world. He added that India has 40% of the youth who are between the ages of 20 and 40 which is a huge advantage that no other country has at this point.

Elevating a pitch for Telangana state, Minister KTR said that Telangana is consistently ranked top in Ease of Doing Business in the country. He mentioned that the top five valued technology companies in the world have their second-largest base outside their headquarters in Hyderabad that include – Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon.

Minister highlighted that among all the Indian cities, Mercer has rated Hyderabad as the city with the best quality of living for five years in a row. He also mentioned about JLL report and stated that Hyderabad emerged as the world’s most dynamic city among 130 cities globally.

Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Deepak Bagla MD & CEO Invest India, Vikram Kirloskar, President, CII, Tiger Tyagarajan CEO, Genpact were the other panelists who shared their thoughts during the session.

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, Minister KTR held meetings with global industry leaders at Telangana Pavilion in Davos.

Earlier during the day, Roche Chairman Christoph Franz met Minister KTR at Telangana Pavilion. During the meeting, Minister informed Mr. Christoph that Hyderabad is renowned as the Pharma and Life Sciences hub of the country. Minister also mentioned the investment opportunities in Hyderabad Pharma City and Medical Devices Park.

Minister KTR also met Hewlett Packard Enterprise COO Vishal Lall, Apollo Tyres Vice Chairman & MD Neeraj Kanwar, Carlsberg Group and Carlsberg Foundation Chairman, Prof. Flemming Besenbacher, and ProcterGamble CEO & MD, Southeast Asia Magesvaran Suranjan and highlighted the investment opportunities in sectors like food processing, electronics, textile and life sciences in Telangana.

Minister KTR reviewed the progress of T-Fiber project

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Sri KT Rama Rao, Hon’ble Minister IT, Industries & MAUD reviewed the progress of the T-Fiber project.Hon’ble Minister stated that digital infrastructure is proving to be a game-changer in the fight against Covid-19. He said that the importance of a robust digital infrastructure was once again validated in the form of increased demand for online education, online healthcare and e-commerce services during the current pandemic.

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Minister stated that reliable broadband connectivity will facilitate seamless Work-From-Home options for the IT and allied sectors in a post-COVID world.

The T-Fiber network once completed shall help transform the delivery of G2G and G2C services across the state, especially in rural areas by connecting Government institutions, enterprises and households. The network has a lot of potentials to revolutionize delivery of online Education, Tele-health and Agriculture services in the State by enabling high-speed connectivity and digital content reliably and seamlessly.

Hon’ble Minister instructed the T-Fiber team to connect Rythu Vedikas coming up in the state. This enables the vision of the Chief Minister to bring all the farmers in the state to come under one roof to discuss, interact and exchange ideas with Ministers and Government officials thorough video conferencing. Farmers can also benefit as they will have better access to prices and other marketing information at their fingertips.

Hon’ble Minister said that the potential of the T-Fiber network once ready will be enormous in delivering the citizen services across the state.

Minister instructed the officials that all the existing network infrastructure in the state and the state data centre should be brought under T-Fibre

He directed the officials that all Municipal Corporations and Municipalities to be included in the scope of T-Fibre.

He concluded the review by directing the Master System Integrators to speed up the on ground project execution. Minister said that the RoW act would be reviewed to ensure brisk progress of work. He urged the TFiber team to ensure the entire project work is completed within 10 months.

IT Dept Principal Secretary Sri Jayesh Ranjan, T-Fiber MD Sri Sujai Karampuri and other officials participated in the meeting.

WhatsApp Chatbot on COVID-19

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Telangana Government today launched its official WhatsApp Chatbot – TS Gov COVID Info (on +91-9000 658 658) – as part of its efforts to provide authentic information to citizens on the Coronavirus/ COVID-19 pandemic. Launching the Chatbot, Minister for IT, Industries and MAUD Sri KT Rama Rao said, “The Government of Telangana has partnered with WhatsApp to establish a dedicated Coronavirus helpline for citizens to receive accurate information on the pandemic. We are doing everything we can to keep our citizens safe in these challenging times and urge everyone to stay indoors and ensure they rely only on verified channels of information.”

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Telangana ITE&C Dept., and Health Dept. have built the “TS Gov COVID Info” WhatsApp Chatbot collaborating with SB Technologies, a Hyderabad based software solutions provider and MessengerPeople, one of WhatsApp’s official Business Solution Providers.

Principal Secretary, ITE&C Dept. Sri Jayesh Ranjan stated, “Citizens having questions relating to the Covid19 pandemic can now chat with the Government of Telangana on WhatsApp to receive all critical and accurate information on the outbreak. Simply send “Hi” or “Hello” or “COVID” to +91-9000658658 in a WhatsApp message to get started. Or they can simply click the link https://wa.me/919000658658?text=Hi to initiate the conversation. We thank WhatsApp, Facebook and their partners for the support extended to the Government of Telangana.”

For queries and clarifications related to WhatsApp Chatbot, citizens can write to covid19info-itc@telangana.gov.in.

T Works Demonstrates Ventilator

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T-Works, A Government of Telangana initiative, in collaboration with the Hyderabad ecosystem of startups and corporations, has developed a BVM based affordable ventilator for emergency use. This meets the specifications as identified by the various doctors treating the COVID-19 patients and has incorporated the specifications laid out by the University of Florida, NXP and MIT. The ventilator was demonstrated today to Minister for IT, Shri KT Rama Rao. The minister appreciated the effort of the team and congratulated them for building a sophisticated machine in a short timeline. He also stressed on the importance of rapidly going through the required testing and certification processes in order to be ready for manufacturing. He said the state will explore the possibility of procuring the said ventilators as part of the ongoing measures to contain and treat COVID-19.

A team of 20 coming from various engineering domains, including T-Works members, startups, product designers and engineers, Qualcomm and Honeywell members, developed this product in 31 days, working through the lockdown period taking only one Sunday off. The T-Works Phase 0 premises at Begumpet, with 3D printers, laser cutter and other prototyping tools, became a hub of activity where all these engineers collaborated.

The mantra of T-Works is ‘Collaborate. Collaborate. Collaborate’ became the underlying philosophy where companies and startups and engineers worked towards a common interest. Continuous inputs and feedback were taken from senior doctors at NIMS, Apollo Hospital, Sunshine Hospital and Prathima Hospital. IIIT Hyderabad helped with the manufacturing of some parts on their 3D printers. Mouser and GE Healthcare collaborated. Companies of Hyderabad who collaborated include Spectrochem Instruments, Althion, Trishula, Entesla, Conservation, and Signum Techniks. The mission is to develop a medical-grade product that meets the requirements of doctors and hospitals treating COVID-19 patients or any ARDS patients. The product price is well under Rs.1 lakh and can be used in pandemic situations, and also in hospitals in districts and mandals including smaller hospitals in the city.

Design Philosophy
This device shall be used as an emergency use ventilator to fulfill unmet demand during times of crisis.

The device uses most commonly available mechanical and electronic parts, using microcontroller boards, pressure sensors, valves, and easily fabricated mechanical parts and motors. Multiple fabrication options with local manufacturers is possible with shorter lead time in procurement and faster and easier assembly.

The device uses a bag valve mask or BVM, popularly known as an Ambu bag, and tracks vital parameters such as tidal volume, airflow, peak pressure, and oxygen concentration.

An aluminum frame provides strength and protection from rough handling for the various components housed inside. The labeling on the device is bi-lingual to aid health workers who may be unfamiliar with English. While ICUs generally have a high-pressure piped oxygen supply, emergency field hospitals and rural healthcare centres might not be as equipped. Hence, a provision for cylinder-based oxygen supply has been incorporated into the design.

T-Chits wins Gold in e-Governance

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T-Chits, Telangana’s blockchain project for administering chit funds in the States, has received the gold award in ‘Excellence in Adopting Emerging Technologies’ during the 23rd national conference on e-Governance 2019-20 held at Mumbai on Saturday. Union Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh presented the award to Rama Devi Lanka, director of Emerging Technologies and officer on special duty for the ITE&C department.

Telangana has been focusing on developing a vibrant ecosystem for key emerging technologies. We have leveraged these technologies to improve citizen service delivery and to solve pain points within government departments. T-Chits is one such achievement of the state, wherein a blockchain-based platform will capture transactions, verify the data, enable smart and secure transactions to allow automated and trusted financial transactions between all parties involved in Chit Fund businesses across Telangana, said Ms. Rama Devi Lanka, Director Emerging Technologies & OSD, ITE&C Department, Government of Telangana.

A project of the Blockchain District state initiative, T-Chits has transformed the cumbersome process of monitoring Chit Fund transactions by bringing in Trust and Transparency through Blockchain. The project has a massive impact. INR 18549.12 Cr+ of savings of 10,08,300+ subscribers (mostly from lower-income groups) are rotated per annum in Telangana alone.

“T-Chits is the perfect example of using cutting edge emerging technologies for social good. Kudos to Chitmonks, a Blockchain-startup incubated in T-Hub, for developing a scalable Blockchain solution, tailor-made to solve a major Indian problem,” said Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Principal Secretary, ITE&C Department, Govt. of Telangana.

2020 is Telangana’s Year of AI

With the advent of the new decade, the Government of Telangana officially declared 2020 as the year of AI (Artificial Intelligence). Telangana aims to accelerate the development of the Artificial Intelligence ecosystem in the state and targets to bring Hyderabad amongst the top 25 AI innovation hubs in the world in the next decade. Towards these goals, Shri. KT Rama Rao, Hon’ble Minister of ITE&C, I&C and MA&UD brought together several industry leaders developing AI based solutions and leading academic institutions doing cutting edge research in AI to Hyderabad.

8 MoUs to promote AI research and its adoption were inked at the occasion wherein Telangana State joined hands with 10 new partners.

In association with Intel, IIIT Hyderabad, and PHFI, Telangana will set up a Centre for Research in Applied AI (CRiAA) which will focus on healthcare and smart mobility. The State also signed an MoU with IIT Kharagpur to launch an R&D Park and an AI-CoE, with applications in Advanced Manufacturing, Life-Sciences and Defence & Aerospace. Under another MoU, NVIDIA will setup a High-performance AI computing centre in Telangana.

Other MoUs were signed with IIT Hyderabad, Applied Cluster of AI in Norway, Adobe, and Wadhwani centre for AI.

Unveiling a logo and a website for the initiative, Minister KT Rama Rao said, “While 2020 is going to be the Year of AI, Telangana is now ready to capture the global AI opportunity. We are in fact setting in motion a series of initiatives, which will potentially make the next decade as Telangana’s decade of AI.”

Minister KT Rama Rao also announced a number of AI based projects including an AI pilot with NITI Aayog as well as an AI based traffic management system with MeitY, AI projects in Healthcare and Agriculture with Wadhwani AI, AI for textiles, and Pensioners Life Certificate through Selfies.

“Telangana Government has adopted a unique collaborative approach involving industry and academia to really accelerate the adoption of AI. The State is in fact leading by example by focussing on AI in Government initiatives which will set a benchmark for rest of the world to emulate”, emphasized Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary, ITE&C Department.

The Minister launched 2 marquee AI pilots – one being Crowd Estimation app which is a video intelligence solution critical for tech-enabled urban law enforcement. Another pilot being Medha Chatbot, is an AI-enabled responsive chatbot.

The event also saw the launch of a calendar which rounds up all the AI related events planned in 2020 in the State. This was prepared in collaboration with several stakeholders of the AI ecosystem.