NetApp Excellerator: Women leaders on cloud nine due to tech initiative

The programme has sped up the journey of over 60 startups in the deep tech space, of which several are led by women

Ravi Chhabria, managing director, NetApp India
Ravi Chhabria, managing director, NetApp India

Technology, like all businesses, benefits from diversity. Thanks to the NetApp Excellerator, a fairly successful startup accelerator programme of NetApp, the California-based company, women entrepreneurs are on cloud nine these days. In just five years since its inception, the programme has accelerated the journey of over 60 startups operating in the deep tech space, of which several are led by women. “In a 5-year journey, six of 58 alumni startups have been acquired and 13 have raised additional funds,” says Ravi Chhabria, managing director, NetApp India.

With Cohort 10, NetApp has onboarded eight new startups that are leveraging technology to solve real-world problems. EduFuse, Streamingo Solutions, LivNSense, AccuKnox, NeuroSAPIR, ShardSecure, Kubermatic, and Subcom form this elite cohort, representing diverse sectors like green-tech, kubernetes, computer vision, health-tech, and cloud security.

Through NetApp ExcellerateHER, an initiative launched in 2020 that promotes women founders, NetApp has mentored eight women-led deep-tech startups so far. The current cohort of ExcellerateHER will also see participation from 3 tech startups – LivNSense, EduFuse, and Streamingo – taking the tally to 11.

“The NetApp ExcellerateHER Program is an excellent initiative,” said Vidhya Vinay, co-founder of Streamingo Solutions (Cohort 10). “At Streamingo Solutions, we offer digital automation solutions to perform human activity analysis in videos through our AI-powered video insights platform, FizzStream. The global exposure one can get along with access to great minds and knowledge through NetApp, is very special. At the same time, it is comforting to meet and interact with other successful women entrepreneurs and role models,” she added.

Vidhya Vinay, co-founder of Streamingo Solutions (Cohort 10)

As a SaaS platform, FireCompass (Cohort 9) operates in the space of Continuous Automated Red Teaming (CART) and Attack Surface Management (ASM). The platform continuously indexes and monitors deep, dark and surface webs using nation-state grade reconnaissance techniques. Says Priyanka Aash, its co-founder, “being a part of the NetApp ExcellerateHER program has been a great experience. What was personally exciting was the joint go-to-market (GTM) opportunity we were offered. Through this, we were introduced to NetApp’s team of global experts. Additionally, the paid proof of concept which was an integral part of the programme helped fine-tune our offerings,” she revealed.

Priyanka Aash, co-founder, FireCompass (Cohort 9)

BrainSight.AI (Cohort 9) is a niche SaaS tool that helps predict the course of illness in brain disorders. “Being a woman entrepreneur running a deep tech startup, it was difficult to access role models in the same space. With the NetApp ExcellerateHER program, I was able to learn from peers who have followed a similar path,” says Laina Emmanuel, co-founder and CEO of BrainSight.AI. “NetApp was able to provide us with access to their cutting-edge resources as well as NetApp-enabled AWS experts that helped us build the technical architecture for our platform through a cloud-based solution,” she added.

Laina Emmanuel, co-founder and CEO of BrainSight.AI (Cohort 9)

Says Chhabria , “the fifth anniversary of the NetApp Excellerator program sees us guiding a new generation of startups that are all hybrid multi-cloud enabled and built on data at scale across the world’s most prevalent cloud services”. Over the years, the programme has evolved to become truly global in nature. As a result, the startups have access to resources, mentors, and industry experts from across geographies. In the last five years, NetApp has mentored 20 global startups, with the current cohort including five global startups from Germany, the United States, and Israel.

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