2 PuneConnect winners (@savetime_in and Instaclique) shortlisted for NASSCOM Emerge50

One of the benefits for a startup being featured at PuneConnect is that throughout the year, we provide them with visibility, publicity, and automatic entries to other high profile startup contests.

As part of this initiative, we forwarded the names of the winners of PuneConnect and the runners-up to NASSCOM, to be included in the 2nd round of NASSCOM’s Emerge50 Awards program, which annually identifies, showcases and supports Top 50 high-potential emerging companies that are redefining the benchmarks of excellence for the IT industry.

Of the 6 startups we forwarded, 3 were selected for the 2nd round – Instaclique, SaveTime, and ANTfarm Robotics. 2 out of these – Instaclique and SaveTime – were shortlisted for the final round.

Here is a description of the 5 selected startups taken from a guest blog post by @mukund‘s at startupcentral:

1. Sujata from Ascent Informatics provides a SaaS service for monitoring industrial devices in real-time. Think of the multiple devices that are used in a manufacturing setup and how one can monitor them to check for pollution, maintenance, performance and energy.
2. kPoint Tech had Sunil tell us about their cloud-based video creation and sharing platform. The example I thought was the most relevant, was many product marketing folks do 1-2 hour webinars. These are “recorded” for future review. The problem is they are long and are not easy to search, splice and view in pieces. They host and manage your videos with their technology.
3. Qualitia has built a Selenium based test automation platform that does not require scripts. If you have ever written test scripts using products such as WinRunner or LoadRunner, you know how much of a pain they are to maintain. Rahul and team have built a product to reduce time and maintenance for testing.
4. SaveTime Technologies helps you find the right doctor quickly. They have a fairly large database of doctors and reviews from patients in Pune. Mitesh and team have built a product that is like ZocDoc and others, but up and running already.
5. ANTfarm robotics was a pretty cool product that helps you control the electrical devices at home using your mobile phone. Subhojit has built a pretty cool product that helps you switch on your microwave, fan, lighting etc. even if you are not at home using your mobile device.

A roundup of news coverage of PuneConnect

PuneConnect 2013 has gotten great coverage in various newspapers. Here are selected ones. (Please click on the picture for a larger size image.)

Sakal Times - November 24, 2013

Sakal Times – November 24, 2013

Sakal - November 24, 2013

Sakal – November 24, 2013

Navabharat (Pune Plus) - November 25, 2013

Navabharat (Pune Plus) – November 25, 2013

Loksatta (Pune Vruttant)  November 26, 2013

Loksatta (Pune Vruttant) November 26, 2013

Lokmat -  November 25, 2013

Lokmat – November 25, 2013

"Ideas for a better life" DNA - Nov 27, 2013.

“Ideas for a better life” DNA – Nov 27, 2013.

“Ideas for a better tomorrow”: SaveTime, ANTFarm covered by DNA

DNA Pune has an article about PuneConnect 2013 that gives good coverage to People’s Choice award winner SaveTime, and finalist DustMotes from ANTFarm.


When Mitesh Bohra returned from the Unites States, the first thing that worried him was the lack of information available for his medical needs. Having undergone major dental surgeries and suffering from a few vitamin deficiencies, Bohra wanted to make sure that he has everything at his fingertip. But unfortunately everything available online was half-baked or incomplete.


“This is when I decided to create a database that not only provides a doctor’s experience and designation but also a detailed description of ailments and specialities to visit,”added Bohra. This gave birth to the idea of Savetime Technologies. It will not only enhance the reach in different cities but has started to profile hospitals and will collate information about pathology labs as well.


Another user friendly application was showcased by Antfarm Robotics. The startup has introduced a home automation system with the combination of software and hardware and named it as Dustmotes. Implementation of Wireless Sensor Networks targeted towards Home and Office Automation Applications. It allows for on and off switching control of all the electronics controlled by switches in the house through any Smartphone, Tablet or through their web page.The device and software that costs up to Rs 1.5 to 1.6 lakh, is considered to be one of the most cost effective home automation system.

Read the full article.

“Back from US, techie comes up with ‘one-stop shop for short-time housing”

As a result of being featured at PuneConnect 2013, RoomLion, one of the companies that was shortlisted for a demo has been covered by The Indian Express.

Some excerpts:

When former Google employee Ashish Agrawal flew down to Pune on a long-term assignment a few years ago, the biggest problem he faced here was finding a suitable accommodation. Not willing to stay in a hotel, Agrawal, who was travelling with his wife, was perplexed by the lack of a reliable source of information about service apartments in the city.


This personal experience led the techie to start RoomLion.com, a website for short-time housing — a requirement for many professionals.


“Most of our clients are working professionals and a majority of them are foreigners. Other than Pune, we have presence in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi NCR. We are also looking forward to list properties in South East Asian countries and the Middle East,” said Agrawal.

Read the full article.

Photos from PuneConnect 2013

Photos from PuneConnect 2013 have been put up. Please check them out.

Here are a selected few.

The audience for the startup shootout. With over a 1000 registrations, this was one of Pune’s biggest startup/technology events in terms of attendance.

Demo Hall

The demo halls were overflowing. One of the startups commented: “We were not expecting this much crowd. We ran out of business cards.” That’s a good problem to have, right?

Mangesh Kale Keynote Address

Keynote address by Mangesh Kale – where he exhorted the software industry to target Indian manufacturers with solutions that they actually need, and not just cloud and mobile and social media. He believes that we have only captured 5% of the potential market

There are many more interesting photos. Check out the whole album.

“Techie puts country before self, quits US job to improve sanitation”

As a result of being featured in PuneConnect 2013, The Indian Express has written a detailed article on LooRewards from Samagra Waste Management, the winner of the Special Judges Award. In addition, the Pune Mirror also featured them on the front page.

Here are excerpts from those articles:

When software techie Swapnil Chaturvedi decided to chuck his high-paying job in the US in 2011 to to work in the field of toilet and sanitation in India, his friends thought he had literally lost it. But a determined Chaturvedi managed to effect a tangible change in the “mucky world of public toilets”. His work caught the attention of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which decided to support his social enterprise with a grant of Rs 60 lakh. On Saturday, Chaturvedi’s initiative Samagra was honoured with the special mention at a function organised by the Software Exporters’ Association of Pune, PuneConnect in the city.


To increase the use of toilets, small incentives like toilet coupons, are given to the users. “These coupons are for products made by the local self-help groups and allows formation of a ready market for them,” he said. “For the redesigning of a public toilet block only Rs 10,000 is required and it effects a whole gamulet of social changes,” he said.

The first experimental toilet block was set up in the slum near to SNDT in Kothrud. Chaturvedi said a final shape is being given to an agreement that would mean 1,200 additional toilet blocks in more slums. “If things go good, we would be able to finish the work in the next 2-4 years,” he said.

When Chaturvedi decided to leave his job,even his wife had opposed. “She said it was my dream and some how, I had to make it work. But now, looking at the tangible changes, this has produced she got convinced about the idea. Now, she heads our app division,” he said. With Pune being the first corporation where the project is being implemented, enquiries from civic bodies in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan are already coming in.


Sukhdev Thoke, co-ordinator for Samagra’s initiatives in Ramnagar, said, “We have issued 320 monthly passes to families. On one pass, five to six people can use the toilet. The coupons will be given to those who have purchased monthly passes before the tenth of every month.

As of now, 64 families have benefited from coupons.” Pratibha Kamble, 21, and resident of the Ramnagar slum, has availed of this scheme. She said, “It is a really good idea. There are four members in our family. In the last two months, we have paid Rs 50 per month and take rewards on the points.”

Read the full articles here and here.


“Indian IT Startups have a Huge Opportunity to help Manufacturing”

The Economic Times has an article on the keynote address given by Mangesh Kale at PuneConnect 2013.

Here are some excerpts:

IT start-ups have a huge opportunity to help the manufacturing community in India solve problems related to productivity, performance, keeping to schedules etc.

Indian manufacturing will get to the next level in the economy through exports primarily, and for that we have to ensure international compliance, predictable quality and predictable meeting of deliveries etc,” said Mangesh Kale CEO and MD of Precision Automation and Robotics India ltd (PARI).


“IT has not even penetrated more than five percent of the total IT need in India and according to IDC, IT spending for manufacturing can grow at 14.5 per cent, which gives the IT industry, all the reason to focus on the manufacturing segment,” said Kale.

See the full article.

PuneConnect 2013 Winners: Instaclique, LooRewards, SaveTime

27 startups were selected to demo at PuneConnect 2013. 5 of them were selected to pitch their product on stage to a panel of judges. These startups have been declared as the winners:

  • Overall Winner: Instaclique from Nirmantra Technologies: social shopping – get opinions of your friends when you’re shopping in a online or offline. For an innovative product with great market potential, and a very well articulated vision.
  • Special Award from the Judges: LooRewards from Samagra: slum dwellers get discount coupons from local stores for using toilets and other sustainable behavior. For a product that judges would really like to see succeed.
  • Audience Choice Award: SaveTime: find the right doctor for you, based on crowd-sourced recommendations (including those of your friends). For the company that got most votes from the audience.

Runners Up:
- CopyNotify! from CygNET Solutions. Data theft protection for SMEs.
- CacheAdvance from Cachebox. SSD based caching for your storage to improve response times.
- DustMotes from ANTFarm Robotics. Home automation using hardware sensors and mobile phones/tablets.

Companies Selected for Startup Shootout

As part of PuneConnect, we have a “Startup Shootout” event where 5 companies are chosen by the panel of judges (out of the 25 companies selected for the demo hall (out of the 100+ submissions received)) go on stage to pitch their startup to a panel consisting of one senior VC, one senior entrepreneur, and one senior exec from an established software company. The panel of judges then declares one of these startups as the “Winner” of PuneConnect 2013. The list of 5 companies chosen to participate in the Startup Shootout is given below. In addition, all the 25 companies chosen for the Demo Hall will be in running for the “Audience Choice” award, which will be determined by public voting by all the people attending PuneConnect. So having a good demo running from 10am to 12:30pm is important.

Companies selected for Startup Shootout


  • Product: CacheAdvance
  • Primary Focus Domain: Enterprise Applications, Database, Web servers, File servers, e.g., MySQL, Drupal. Cassandra and HBase modules in the works.
  • Company Formed: 2012
  • Product Launch: July 2013
  • Website: http://cachebox.com/
  • Company Video:

Business users demand peak performance from their applications but the reality is that the storage solutions that serve applications data have not kept pace with processing capabilities or user expectations. This is the problem that CacheBox solves. Overview of product – core idea and value proposition: TURBOCHARGE YOUR APPLICATIONS WITH SSD CACHING Business-critical enterprise applications residing on traditional hard disk based enterprise servers are often plagued by I/O performance limitations inherent with rotating magnetic media. Instead of a disruptive and expensive rip-and-replace approach that replaces all hard disks with faster SSDs; server-side SSD caching offers a cost-effective way to accelerate application I/O perfor- mance with no changes to your applications or underlying storage architecture. CacheAdvance is a software-only, SSD ven- dor-neutral server-side caching solution that intelligently caches data required by the appli- cation on SSD drives. It works by intercepting application I/O requests intended for relatively slower hard disk devices in server and reroutes them to faster SSDs that have a cached copy of data required by the applica- tion. BENEFITS •Deploy the power of flash / SSD drives in the enterprise by transparently caching hot data off existing DAS and SAN hard disks and logical volumes. •Get blazing I/O speed without worrying about SSD write related wear and tear. CacheAd- vance’s intelligent flash-write algorithms reduce the need of SSD write and boost longevity. •Leverage your existing investment in hard disks by complementing it with SSD caching to solve I/O performance issues cost effectively. Differentiators / Unique Features: Flashsoft from SanDisk, Velobit (now acquired by Western Digital) and All-SSD storage arrays are our key competitors. Cachebox’s differentiation lies in: * Application Specific Performance I/O acceleration as opposed to generic block level I/O speed up by competitors. Our caching algorithms are intelligent and are optimized by add-on application specific modules. No one else in the market provides those today. * Extremely low system overheads (CPU and RAM) as compared to competition. * Pure software solution, SSD vendor neutral unlike our competitors who have a HW+SW solution and work only with their branded SSDs. Management Team Background: Management Bio available at http://cachebox.com/leadership/

CygNET Systems Pvt. Ltd.

  • Product: CopyNotify!
  • Primary Focus Domain: B2B
  • Company Formed: 1999
  • Product Launch: 2007-2008
  • Website: http://www.copynotify.com
  • Company Video:

CygNET Systems Pvt. Ltd was founded in 1995 with a focus of offering hi-tech outsourced programming services for companies based all over the world. The company maintained this hi-tech niche by ensuring that most of its projects involved network programming, communication protocols and device driver development for various operating systems. Based on inherent in house expertise and experience of over 100,000 programming hours in the field of application development, networking, security and communications, a strategic decision was made by CygNET Systems Pvt. Ltd. in 2007 to move up the ‘value’ ecosystem and develop a network security software product which catered to the needs of the small business user which was at that point a perceived need of the hour. Overview of product – core idea and value proposition: CopyNotify! (Data Protection that went GREEN) CopyNotify! is an entry level data protection software designed specially for the small business / SOHO networks. The software deploys anti data theft measures for computers on the office network by disabling the copying of data to external USB drives and Smart Phones, blocking internet connectivity via portable modems / data cards as well as restricting browser based uploads of data. The software monitors user logon activities such as privilege levels, remote logons and invalid logons. Software installs and un-installs on the network are logged as well as rogue devices attempting to access network resources can also be detected. CopyNotify! goes GREEN in data protection by also offering electricity saving features such as switching off IDLE machines and the auto shutdown of computers after office hours. Differentiators / Unique Features: In today’s digital world, protection from data theft is crucial and soon will become a ‘must’. However for small business users, the prohibitive acquisition costs of sophisticated Data Loss Prevention software and the level of IT expertise required at times results in data security being ignored all together. Also more often than not, the DLP software is an overkill in terms of ‘cost versus capability’ for small organizations due to non suitability of all available software features. With CopyNotify! and its affiliated products, data protection software is made as easily available and affordable as a ‘wada pav’. A ‘wada pav’ is a popular spicy fast food native to Maharashtra. It is filling, inexpensive and caters to the masses. Keeping the analogy of the ‘wada pav’ in mind, CopyNotify! offers data security solutions that brings enterprise level data protection to the average computer user. The software does basic data protection, inexpensive in acquisition, feasible in implementation and simple enough to accepted by the average business user. CygNET Systems firmly believes that in India unless the use of data security software percolates down to the average user, an acceptable deterrence against data breaches will never be achieved whatever the size of any organization. Management Team Background: Mr. Zarir M. Karbhari Mr. Z. M. Karbhari is the Founder and Managing Director of CygNET Systems Pvt. Ltd. He also is the Chief Architect of CopyNotify! (formely USB CopyNotify!). He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering with a specialization elective in Computer Aided Design and also a Diploma in Computer Aided Engineering & Finite Elemental Analysis. ‘Data Protection Solutions should cater to the customer’s requirement and not the programmers requirement’ has always been the underlying principal in his decision making process right from inception of CygNET Systems Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Karbhari ensures he is directly involved in customer support, programme management as well all delivery / deployment implementations.

ANTfarm Robotics Pvt. Ltd.

ANTfarm is a a consumer robotics company focused on bringing robotics to the masses. A core R&D company, ANTfarm has developed own Wireless Sensor Network technology and producing products in Home/Office Automation and Toy Robotics Domain. ANTfarm’s patent Pending Technology challenges the cost structure of commercial Wireless Sensor Networks and hopes to bring them down to 10% of current costs. ANTfarm is a associate incubatee of Venture Center, NCL Innovation Park. Overview of product – core idea and value proposition: DustMotes is an implementation of Wireless Sensor Networks targeted towards Home/Office Automation Applications. It allows for On/Off switching control of your Fans , lights, AC’s through any Smartphone/Tablet. You can be in control of your home indoors or even outdoors , anywhere in the world. DustMotes is 5 times more cost competitive from the nearest competitor. Differentiators / Unique Features: Competitors: > Philips > Samsung > HoneyWell > Tyco among others USP: > Control from any SmartPhone/Tablet > No re-wiring needed > Wireless Solution > No recurring costs > 5x Cost competetive Management Team Background: Subhojit Basu, Founder Subhojit is responsible for driving ANTFARM, a consumer robotics company, trying to bring robotics to the masses. The primary target of ANTFARM is making Smart Toys using swarm robotics concepts. He worked in diverse technical roles on an array of technologies relating to VLSI Design , EDA and Multicore Processor Design and Computing at INTEL, India , Mentor Graphics , India and DocomoLabs USA. Subhojit is an expert electronics designer ( System Level & Component level ) in both Analog and Digital Domains and Embedded. He was the recipient of INMO ‘98 [ Indian National Mathematical Olympiad] for his outstanding ability in mathematics by Govt. Of India. Subhojit Holds a degree in Electrical Engg. [ B.Tech ‘03] and Instrumentation [ M.Tech ‘04] from IIT, Kharagpur.

Nirmantra Technologies Pvt. Ltd.

When someone is deciding on a high value purchase, they almost always consult with friends and family before making the choice. In fact they often plan and travel together to the offline store or even chat on the phone for advice. Instaclique brings this experience to online stores, providing instore access to a relevant social context with the ability engage in real time for trusted word of mouth recommendations. Instaclique is also used for personalized promotions, pricing and targeted marketing. Overview of product – core idea and value proposition: Instaclique results in significantly higher conversions for online stores by giving online consumers the social validation they seek, right where they need it, in the store. Differentiators / Unique Features: Competition is from silicon valley companies social annex, 8th bridge, gigya, etc. Instaclique, is different because we are instore enabling customers to “socialize where they shop” influencing them when they are “considering” a purchase and focusing on conversions. Other social media marketing products, are about leveraging social media for spreading brand awareness through social networks in an effort to acquire more customers. Management Team Background: Avinash Shenoi Avinash has a Bachelors degree in Computer Engineering from Pune University and Masters in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, USA. He has experience and expertise in successfully running several startup companies across two continents.He has built and led teams to design and build enterprise products for Information Security, compliance and custom software development.He has managed both clients and outsourced teams to successfully develop and sell products in Information Technology. Amol Potnis Amol has a Bachelors degree in Computer Engineering from Pune University.He has experience and expertise in successfully building products from scratch. He has designed and built enterprise grade products in the space of Identity Management and web-based collaboration/e-learning. He has also acted as a glue amongst sales/support/development teams and actual customers/prospects in the capacity of a Product Manager.

Samagra Waste Management

  • Product: LooRewards
  • Primary Focus Domain: Waste Management & Sanitation
  • Company Formed: May 2012
  • Product Launch: March 2013
  • Website: facebook.com/LooRewards
  • Company Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpm534Aitl4

Samagra is social enterprise supported by the Gates Foundation that rewards people for adopting sustainable behavior with discounts and deals from local and national businesses. Samagra initial focus has been on solving the issues related to sanitation in urban slums. Samagra has developed a User Engagement and Behavior change platform called “LooRewards” that uses ICT Technologies, Data Analytics, Behavioral Sciences and Human Centered Design to make sanitation accessible, affordable and aspirational for the urban poor. With the success of its engagement platform with the Urban Poor, Samagra is now launching its rewards platform for Corporate Clients to: – Enable them to engage their employees in sustainable behaviors – Recycling, Waste Segregation, Energy Conservation etc – Enable them to increase efficacy and improve impact of their CSR programs by deeply engaging their end beneficiaries Overview of product – core idea and value proposition: LooRewards platform rewards people for adopting sustainable behavior with discounts and deals from local and national businesses. Samagra has been implementing its LooRewards platform to – Promote hygienic behavior by rewarding the urban poor in 3 slums of Pune for using toilets and managing their waste – Create funds to build/maintain community Toilets in slums   Differentiators / Unique Features: Right from the beginning we have used Human Centered Design and Data-Driven Analytics to guide our approach. Seeking to deeply understand “the wants and the needs” of our target customers, we have performed deep ethnographic research in slums across various Indian cities. We recorded observations and conducted interviews with slum dwellers, municipality officials, local NGOs and different actors in the sanitation value chain. We have found that in order for us to create sustainable impact w.r.t sanitation issues, we will have to do 3 things: 1. Change the Environment -> Provide Toilets 2. Change the Behavior -> Engage Users 3. Build a sustainable Business Model Most sanitation programs fail or have limited success because they fail to realize that solving the sanitation issue is not just about “technology” i.e. Providing toilets, it is also about engagement and behavior change. Samagra has incorporated the “change” framework into its DNA. Find More Info here: http://urbanpoverty.intellecap.com/?p=1107 http://business.outlookindia.com/article_v3.aspx?artid=287415 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbyR46qaI-I Management Team Background: – Swapnil Chaturvedi: (Director – Strategy and Partnerships) Swapnil a.k.a “Poop Guy” is a StartingBloc Fellow and a divergent thinker with extensive experience in Engineering, Design and Innovation. Currently, Swapnil is CTC (Chief Toilet Cleaner) at Samagra which uses ICT, Behavioral Sciences, Analytics and Design to provide awesome toilet experiences to the Urban Poor. Prior to Samagra, Swapnil was designing advanced Telematics & Navigation Systems for next generation vehicles at Continental. In 2011 Swapnil dropped out of Management & Design program at Northwestern University, gave up his US Residency and moved back to India to start Samagra’s operations. In order to gain first-hand experience, Swapnil has lived in slums of various cities in India. Swapnil believes that answer to wicked problems lies in innovative use of Psychology, Technology and Design. – Tania Ganguly (Director – Design and Marketing): Tania (BE, MSEE) has background in Arts, Product Design and Engineering. She brings a unique “whole brain” perspective to the Samagra team. Before starting Samagra she was a Product Engineer at Motorola Mobile Devices (USA) where she worked on cutting-edge mobile technology for over 6 years. Tania has been instrumental in designing Samagra’s mobile phone based data collection and analytics platform.