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The promising start-ups

The promising start-ups

Incipient, promising start-ups to keep an eye out for.

Vyome Biosciences' Shiladitya Sengupta Vyome Biosciences' Shiladitya Sengupta
Vyome Biosciences
There has been very little innovation in the skin solutions market," says Dr Shiladitya Sengupta. "Most products like Clearasil for pimples or Head & Shoulders shampoo for dandruff, use formulations invented in the 1930s and 1940s." It is this shortcoming that Dr Sengupta, along with Dr Rajesh Gokhale and Rajeev Mantri, who set up the Delhibased bio-pharmaceuticals firm, Vyome Biosciences in August 2010, hope to overcome. Having secured Rs 4.5-crore funding from venture capital firm Navam Capital, the three are focused on producing new formulations for the treatment of dandruff, acne, diabetic wounds and pigmentation disorders like leukoderma.


Olacabs, started by Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, graduates Bhawish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati in August 2010, is a car rental and cab hire service with a difference. For one, it has no vehicles of its own, but enters into agreements with owners and operators. More importantly, Aggarwal and Bhati are working on software that will track traffic volumes, enabling them to give customers an accurate estimate of commute times in a cab. They are also looking at technology that will make online and phone booking of cabs easier. Indian Angel Network has invested in Olacabs, as has founder Anupam Mittal.

Emotion Squared Technologies
Abid Hussain and Mohammad Azharudin, engineering and business school batchmates, set up Emotion Squared Technologies in February this year to market their invention Emo2. Using a technology called surface computing or touch computing, Emo2 provides a multi-touch, multi-user interface, which was first unveiled at a Confederation of Indian Industry conference in 2010. Invitees to the conference were mailed plastic invitation cards. At the conference, they were required to place the cards on a special table. The cards not only recognised each invitee but also completed their registration formalities. Emo2 has the potential for widespread use and the start-up has won funding from Sameer Guglani, venture capitalist at The Morpheus.

Well before he finished his education, Abhishek Humbad had turned entrepreneur. His start-up NextGen PMS closed revenues of Rs 1.5 crore this March, the same month he graduated from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. NextGen sets up waste management units - the ones in rural areas even draw power from waste, which has been used to run telecom towers successfully. It all began in 2009, when Humbad's research works on waste management, emission management and sustainability, while studying at Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, drew international attention. Following discussions with his professors his entrepreneurial plans took concrete shape. The numerous cash awards he had won gave him enough seed capital to launch NextGen, with some help from the incubation centre at IIM, Bangalore. Humbad is also a consultant on waste and emission management to companies including Intel and Infosys. "I want to make NextGen a Rs 100-crore company in three years," he says. And he is not boasting.

Y2CF Digital Media

SMSs are a better way to advertise than slipping leaflets under doors. Y2CF Digital Media, begun in July 2010, helps small shopkeepers to advertise through a mobile platform, branded MusstBuy, and often discounts on group purchases. Advertisers need pay only if a customer turns up at their stores and customers if they avail the discount.