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Hyderabad-based startup engine T-Hub, in collaboration with American tech conglomerate United Technologies Corporation (UTC), has selected five video analytics startups for the first cohort of its Smart City/Smart Building NanoAccelerator programme. The finalists of the accelerator programme include IntelliVision, Duranc Inc, Emza Visual Sense, Uncanny Vision Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and Cognitifai.

Of the five shortlisted startups, two are from India, one is from Israel and the remaining two are from the US. According to the official statement, the combined revenue of the five companies currently stands at $4 Mn. Total funding raised by them ranges between $7 Mn and $8 Mn.

Together, teams of these five startups hold more than 20 granted and pending patents for advanced technologies in video analytics.

Commenting on the development, Jay Krishnan, CEO of T-Hub said, “T-Hub fosters fresh thinking and opens minds to new possibilities by encouraging the ecosystem to collaborate, propelling India and the world into the future. Furthering our partnership with United Technologies, we are announcing our first cohort of start-ups working in the video analytics solution domain. These truly global startups were researched, analysed and scouted for the Smart City/Smart Building NanoAccelerator programme. The solutions they offer are niche, and will play a key cog in the near future as the smart buildings and cities not only become reality but a scalable necessity.”

Headquartered in Farmington, Connecticut, United Technologies Corporation (UTC) is a multinational conglomerate providing high-technology systems and services to players in the aerospace and construction sectors. Through the Smart City/Smart Building NanoAccelerator programme, the company is looking to assist startups in creating smart, sustainable solutions for future cities.

Led by Gregory J. Hayes, United Technologies currently manufactures products in diverse verticals including aircraft engines, aerospace systems, HVAC, elevators and escalators, fire and security, building systems, among others. It has a workforce of more than 201K people.

Speaking at the launch of the accelerator programme, Ali Saidi, VP of UTC Systems and Controls Engineering, stated, “United Technologies is not just committed to Innovation, we were founded on innovation. Growing urbanisation and smart cities demand intelligent and integrated building solutions. We are focused on innovation to deliver added value to the customers through smart and integrated solutions. The UTC Hyderabad Research & Design Center (HRDC) is the largest engineering centre for UTC Climate, Controls & Security and Otis and is also focused on intelligent building technology solution development. The business relationship between HRDC and T-Hub will help to accelerate our innovation journey and enable us to rapidly launch innovative solutions for the benefit of our customers.”

A Rundown Of The Five Shortlisted Startups

As stated by Prakash Bodla, Executive Director and Center Head of UTC Hyderabad Research & Design Center (HRDC), the accelerator programme was born out of an event conducted jointly with T-Hub in September. Through the “Video Analytics Challenge”, the organisation was able to identify promising startups in the space of video analytics and security.

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Let’s take a look at the five finalists of the Smart City/Smart Building NanoAccelerator programme selected by T-Hub and United Technologies:

IntelliVision: Headquartered in California, this startup specialises in artificial intelligence and deep learning-based video analytics. Additionally, it develops video cloud software. IntelliVision’s solutions provide actionable insights for security and monitoring in smart home, smart enterprise and smart city applications. Furthermore, the company offers business intelligence for smart enterprise and smart retail as well as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) for car/road safety in automobiles.

Duranc Inc: This startup provides small-medium businesses and organisations with a secure, reliable and cost effective cloud-based video surveillance platform that offers deep intelligent analytics and insights.

Emza Visual Sense: Based in Israel, Emza Visual Sense builds smart, trainable IoT visual sensors that can detect human presence, count people and even analyse their activity for security, safety and energy savings purposes. Consuming less than 1 mW of power, these sensors can operate for years on a small battery. The Yoram Zylberberg-led company provides solutions for smart buildings, residential security and consumer appliances, among others.

Cognitifai: This is one of the two Indian startups that got selected for the first cohort of T-Hub and United Technologies’ accelerator programme. Cognitifai is a video intelligence platform that uses surveillance feeds for hyperlocal intelligence discovery and autonomous urban monitoring. Solutions developed by this company have potential applications in smart cities, surveillance, business intelligence and healthcare.

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Uncanny Vision: Founded by Ranjith Parakkal and Navanee Sundaramoorthy, Bengaluru-based Uncanny Vision delivers AI-based surveillance solutions. Using deep Learning-enabled vision algorithms that have been optimised to run on Edge servers, the company provides cost-effective and scalable security for next generation safe cities and smart industries.

Now, A Little About T-Hub

Located in Hyderabad, T-Hub is a unique public/private partnership between the government of Telangana, three of India’s premier academic institutes, IIIT-H, ISB and NALSAR, and key private sector leaders. It is situated in a single, six-storeyed building spread across 70,000 square feet.

The facility aims to offer seed funding, office space, mentorship and opportunities to network and scale up all under one roof. T-Hub offers assistance to startups across various stages of growth in the following seven sectors: fintech, healthtech, agritech, smart city, transportation and logistics, sustainability and social technology leveraging the power of Big Data, IoT, analytics, sensors, cloud and mobility.

T-Hub is nurturing the state’s emerging startup ecosystem via targeted programmes and partnerships with corporates, investors, mentors and academia in Telangana. Ultimately, the startup engine is working towards developing Hyderabad as one of the top startup ecosystems in the world by 2020.

Here are some of the initiatives taken by T-Hub to bolster Telangana’s startup ecosystem in recent years:

  • In November last year, T-Hub and Hyderabad-based VC firm Anthill Ventures hosted the semi-final of the Global Mobile Challenge 2016 competition in Hyderabad, as part of which selected startups were offered the chance to receive training, education, and access to an international network of mentors, angel investors, venture capitalists, and industry leaders.
  • On the eve of its first anniversary last year, the team at T-Hub successfully developed the world’s fourth fastest supercomputer. At the time, the government-backed startup engine stated that the supercomputer would be available to startups at its incubator, Catalyst.
  • Around the same time, it announced the launch of its three-month-long ‘AgriTech Accelerator Program’ in partnership with ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics).
  • A month before that, Uber joined hands with T-Hub and TiE Silicon Valley to launch T-Bridge, a programme that is aimed at connecting Indian startups with global market opportunities
  • Earlier in April 2016, YES Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with T-Hub to set up a centre of excellence for startups in fintech space.
  • In February of the same year, T-Hub started its first healthtech accelerator programme in partnership with pharmaceutical company Merck and Microsoft Ventures.
  • In January, NASSCOM 10,000 Startup Programme in partnership with the Government of Telangana inaugurated the T-Hub NASSCOM Startup Warehouse.

In the past few years, Telangana has emerged as a hub for startups operating in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, deep learning and Big Data. The newly-launcehd accelerator programme by T-Hub and United Technologies is aimed at bolstering the state’s startup ecosystem by providing support to up-and-coming companies in video analytics and sustainability.

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