NetApp® (NASDAQ: NTAP), a global cloud-led, data-centric software company, recently launched cohort 9 of NetApp Excellerator, their flagship startup accelerator program. Validating the success of the program, NetApp shared data about the success of its previous cohorts. Since its inception in 2017, 70% of the graduated startups from the previous eight cohorts have secured additional funding after the successful completion of the program. After successful exits of 50 startups in the last eight cohorts, cohort 9 on boarded eight new startups across high-growth sectors such as retail, e-commerce, edtech, and manufacturing.
Cohort 9 of the NetApp Excellerator program includes Continual Engine, Datamotive, eCommerceInsights, FabrikSpace, FireVisor, Netobjex, Neuropixel, and Spectrum Analysis. Proof of the success of the NetApp Excellerator program is shown by the fact that six NetApp Excellerator alumni—Enclouden, Adya, ArchSaber, AiKaan, Lightwing, and VitaCloud—were acquired by large enterprises like Quantum, Qualys, Sumo Logic Inc, Ether Energy, Harness, and Apollo Telehealth respectively.
Commenting on the launch of the latest cohort, Ravi Chhabria, Managing Director, NetApp India, said, “India’s entrepreneurship sees no limit, and we are increasingly seeing B2B tech startups garnering the attention of global investors. NetApp is glad to have mentored our startup alumni to achieve the business goals they sought initially. Today, with the experience and expertise that NetApp has in deploying best-in-class technology solutions, we are in a unique position to share our insights and market access with these startups. The NetApp Excellerator program helps startups to apply growth-hacking techniques to engage with prospective customers and expand their business.”
With the nature of the NetApp Excellerator program becoming truly global, the startups have access to resources, mentors, and industry experts across geographies. The accelerator program had 11 global startups that were a part of the last eight cohorts. 50% of the startups in the ninth cohort are based in Singapore, the United States, and Canada.
Reiterating its commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs, NetApp ExcellerateHER, a dedicated initiative to promote women founders, has seen a high number of global startups participate in the program. Since its launch last year, NetApp ExcellerateHER has seen five startups with a global footprint—Nife, Tongadive, FireVisor, FireCompass, and eCommerceInsights. Nife and FireVisor are based in Singapore, Tongadive in the UK, FireCompass in the US, and eCommerceInsights in Canada.
Introducing the startups, Madhurima Agarwal, Director of Engineering Programs and Leader of NetApp Excellerator, said, “We are seeing more and more startups that are not only utilizing cutting-edge tech but are meaningfully helping industries adapt and move forward in their digital transformation journey. With the launch of cohort 9, we will continue to enable deep tech startups through our focused and tailored mentorship program. And with NetApp ExcellerateHER, we aim to impact more women entrepreneurs in the deep tech domain.”
“As of today, we have awarded 13 PoCs and we take pride in seeing our alumni’s success. Their enthusiasm and passion inspire us and reaffirm our commitment to providing them mentorship during critical stages of their journeys”, Madhurima concluded.
Since its inception in 2017, the award-winning NetApp Excellerator Program has mentored 58 startups. Over the years, it has evolved to provide a PoC model that gives startups a platform to demonstrate the efficacy of their solutions in the real-world. The startups work side by side with NetApp to refine their minimum viable products (MVPs), identify additional use cases and possibilities, and determine their go-to-market strategies.
NetApp Excellerator Program selects startups that operate in the B2B deep tech domain. Startups can approach the program through an application process, or they can be recommended by alumni networks, partners, and investors. The finalists are chosen by a jury through a rigorous selection process based on the technology at play, the quality of their solutions, and the difference their products can make. Like cohorts 7 and 8, cohort 9 will be run virtually to ensure the health and safety of the participants.
The startups that are invited to join the 4-month program will be given technology tools, mentorship, networking, and funding opportunities to speed up their development process to maturity. NetApp sponsors the expenses incurred during the PoC process. The program also offers an equity-free grant of US$15,000 to the graduating startups at the end of the program.