Friday, June 14, 2013

Microsoft BizSpark

I belong to the family that owns a couple of Vegetable Shops in Udupi district. We are one big family and i have about 2 dozen cousins. One fine evening few years back we elder kids sat in garden and spoke about having a Shenoy Mansion (Yeah, totally Hindi Soap types) and expanding/managing the family business. Years passed by and in a few years there will be a dozen engineers in the family. One day in future i would love to be a part of something owned and managed by our family. Having said that let me get back to the topic of the post :)

This post goes as a continuation to the post i wrote earlier (Social Weekend). Microsoft hosted the BizSpark startup challenge across the country over the last couple of weeks. All the winners had to present at the grand finals in Bangalore last week. I was late to the event thanks to the weekday peak traffic and missed out the first couple of presentations. 

Before i go into details of the companies that presented at the event, i would like to point out that all these startups focused on INDIAN markets and not on taking up the outsourced jobs. There i was sitting and listening to presentations, thinking "Oh! This must be what my manager means when he says think out of the box!". All these people have passion for what they do and have struggled really hard to get out of their comfort zone. All these startups leveraged the cloud services in their product. 

This was the company that won the challenge. They provide financial analytic solutions. In simple words they help you to understand your business better. You get to know when did you have more sales, what might have been the reason for it etc. If i had idea about finance or business process then I think i would have understood it better. 

When all the companies were focused on the eCommerce business, this company focused on the very old textile industry. Their process helps reduce wastage of clothes in the textile factory. They come up with the cutting patterns based on the type/size and quantity of shirts/trousers that will be manufactured. This use of technology helps companies make profit without having to reduce their manpower.

Fluid Motion:
They provided a demo of gesture control. It was basically operating your computer with gestures and not actually having to touch your mouse or the touch pad. Their business target are the advertising companies. They give a rich user experience with their products

This company is aimed at preserving some really intimate memories of parenthood. A few people are not comfortable with posting all the baby pics on the public portal. This company provides storage space where you can preserve memories and also the medical data etc online. Parents can also print out photo albums to share it among family members and make a collage for offline storage.

This group of students use real time image processing to do surveillance. Think of it as doing traffic analysis across the city to check where should the flyovers be constructed or what would be ideal location to have a bus station. Manual data collection takes years together but when the reports are handed over, the reality will be far worse then shown in the report. This company aims at reducing the time lag and give precise data. 

When something goes wrong, customer care is the last place we want to contact. We usually google to find solutions. Youtube provides video tutorials but viewing the entire video to find our solution is time consuming. kPoint provides video indexing and recording of webinars that can be used as video tutorials in future.

FixNix and Array Shield:
These were the 2 companies that focused on SaaS - Security As A Service. With every business moving towards the cloud, security plays a very vital role. A small business cannot invest in security solutions from companies like RSA, these companies aim at such business. 

It was a great learning experience for me. There are more of such events happening these days. If you come across any then do make it a point to attend them. There are whole lot of things that you can take back to your workplace and improvise the way you look at or do things.

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