Monday, July 27, 2015
KOLKATA: The startup buzz is catching up in Kolkata. Taking a cue from their counterparts in Bengaluru and Pune, techies in the city are turning into entrepreneurs and developing apps that will help you in various ways, from monitoring your parents' health on a real-time basis to guiding you to the hottest deal at your unacquainted departmental store as soon as you step inside it.
Software body Nasscom is aiding the process. It has set up a startup warehouse --a co-working space that offers space and other infrastructure to the budding entrepreneurs at a nominal cost--at the Salt Lake area of the city in association with the West Bengal government.
Eight weband mobile-based app developers operate out of this facility . Nasscom is second in the country as part of its 10,000 Startup initiative to scale up the startup ecosystem.
Om Agarwal, a final year BA LLB student at West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, is one of them and his Easy Coach app is going live in 45 days. The platform, which will be available as desktop and mobile apps, will help students seeking admission at leading educational institutions around the world to take personalised guidance from the alumni and current students of the institutes, Agarwal said. Those offering guidance will get a fee, but only after the student seeking advice is fully satisfied with it.
Until then, the money will be kept with Easy Coach. "Access is the most important support we get from Nasscom. If we want to get in touch with any institute in the world, Nasscom helps us connect," Agarwal said.
Supported by Google, Microsoft, Amazon, IBM and Kotak Mahindra Bank, these eight startups have also started acquiring funding from private investors.For instance, Mahesh Bhupati's Changer Mints has raised Rs 1 crore from a Hyderabad-based investor to expand operations.
Another app going live in a month is Sudip Roy's Tickto. It is targeted at enhancing and personalising in-store shopping experience of consumers. The app en ables retailers to place real-time product promotion directly on in-store shoppers' smart phones, on a location aware, context-aware fashion for increasing sales.
Roy expects Kolkata, with its low cost and large talent pool, and now with the Nasscom initiative, to see big success in the startup space. "Attrition in other startup cities like Bangalore and Pune is between 30% and 40%, while in Kolkata it's almost nil," he said.
At the Nasscom warehouse, startups are charged a subsidised rent of Rs 2,500 for each seat, which also comes with a startup kit comprising value-added services and credits worth $25,000 (nearly Rs 16 lakh) from the partners.
Debjit Kar, a 34-year-old with eight years of IT experience, decided to become his own boss with Pixo and jumped to start the brand powered by Nasscom's aid. "I spend only something to the tune of Rs 10,000 for the state-of-the-art facility. If I ran a similar office at a similar location, I would pay 60% of this cost only as Internet charges," said Kar. Pixo is a cloudbased photo and video storage platform that saves photo and videos as well as classifies and identifies them using features like face identification.
Citation from Economictimes : http://goo.gl/jZtW2F
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
As the owner of a new online business, one of your biggest challenges is likely cash flow. Unfortunately, the only solution to this problem (besides a generous influx of investor cash) is to start driving search engine traffic and generating revenue – fast.
And herein lies the classic catch 22: you can’t get your site ranking without hiring a professional SEO, yet you can’t afford to pay an SEO until your site begins ranking and making money.
So, what’s a startup to do?
In this post, I’ll provide you with a framework for doing your own keyword research, just like the pros. I’ll take you step by step through the process of finding relevant keywords and then analyzing the sites that rank highly for these terms. I’ll also show you exactly which tools the pros use, and explain how you can use them to find high value keywords to incorporate into your own site.
But first, let’s take a look at some important principles that will impact how you select the ideal keywords for your site.
The term sometimes brings to mind old-school SEO techniques like keyword stuffing or including hidden text on a page as a way of ranking. But when it comes down to it, keyword research – and the ensuing incorporation of those keywords into a site – is more about understanding and using the language and terminology your target market uses in search.
When you understand what words people are looking for, you can provide content that does a great job of covering these topics and themes.
Another important aspect of keyword research is competitive analysis. Analyzing the top-ranking sites for your keywords allows you to determine which keywords are actually realistic for your business. Without this critical step, you could find yourself wasting time and money targeting keywords that you never had a chance of ranking for.
Citation from Forbes : http://goo.gl/3Tmt8H
A new startup emerged Wednesday with a new mobile operating system to challenge the dominance of Apple's iOS and Google's Android -- and it's backed with a whopping $100 million investment.
Acadine Technologies and plans for the new H5OS operating system were shrouded in secrecy since the Li Gong, the company's founder, chief executive and chairman, left his previous job as president of Firefox browser developer Mozilla at the end of March. Now his Hong Kong startup has revealed its business strategy and its funding is from an ambitious Chinese state-controlled company expanding into technology markets.
Acadine, which CNET previously reported wasinitially known by the placeholder name Gone Fishing, plans to build an operating system for smartphones, tablets, wearable devicess and the Internet of Things.
That'll be a tough challenge. But Gong believes Acadine's generous funding, fast development and international reach will mean consumers finally will see the alternative to Apple and Google that so many other companies have failed to build.
And of course that means his startup and its investors will reap the rewards. "Owning an OS is extremely important if you can do it," Gong said. "It's very profitable if you can do it."
A big challenge
Potential sources of money, Gong said, include being paid to promote services like search, storage, music streaming and e-commerce; revenue sharing from those services when customers pay to use them; and fees generated by advertising and game sales. All of those, though, depend on Acadine succeeding in finding and exploiting gaps where existing OSes are weak then expanding from there to a large user base.
The list of mobile operating systems that have struggled to compete against Android and iOS and gain that large population of users is long: Microsoft's Windows Phone, Samsung's Tizen, Jolla's Sailfish OS, Canonical's Ubuntu, Hewlett-Packard's WebOS, BlackBerry's BlackBerry OS and Mozilla's Firefox OS. This last project is the one Gong led at Mozilla until he left in April, and it's the starting point for H5OS.
Even having Firefox OS as a starting point won't make things easy. For the 334.4 million smartphones that shipped worldwide in the first quarter of 2015, 78 percent of them ran Android and 18.3 percent iOS, leaving all other OSes to scrap for the remaining 3.7 percent, according to analysis firm International Data Corp.
A $100 million vote of confidence
Acadine raised the funding from Hong Kong-based Tsinghua Unigroup International, a subsidiary of the Chinese company Tsinghua Unigroup that in turn is controlled by Tsinghua Holdings. This latter organization is run by the Chinese government and funded by the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing.
"I am very excited to support Dr. Gong and the team he has assembled to establish a truly open mobile operating system," Tsinghua Unigroup Chairman Zhao Weiguo said in a statement. Zhao has led Tsinghua Unigroup's recent high-tech expansion -- its $1.8 billion acquisition of smartphone chipmaker Spreadtrum in 2013, $907 million acquisition of phone radio chipmaker RDA Microelectronics, and $2.3 billion takeover of Hewlett-Packard's enterprise computing technology business in China. On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported Tsinghua Unigroup also is making a bid for US memory chipmaker Micron.
Acadine will be independent, though, Gong said, noting that he is both chairman and CEO. "We are not a China company, we are not a US company, we are an international company," Gong said.
Along with its Hong Kong headquarters, it's opened other offices in Beijing and in Taiwan's capital, Taipei, and has labs in London and Palo Alto, California.
Firefox OS ties
Firefox OS is open-source software, meaning that Acadine and anyone else is allowed to copy its underlying source code, modify it and ship it as a different product. And Acadine has more than just the code: of the company's more than 70 employees hired since its founding in March, about 40 are from Mozilla, Gong said.
At the same time, Mozilla is retooling its Firefox OS effort. CEO Chris Beard concluded Gong's strategy of aiming for very low-cost smartphones flopped and now is focusing on a product that enthusiasts can install on their unlocked Android phones.
Beard said in June that Mozilla decided it needed to change Firefox OS management. Gong said the decision to depart was mutually agreed upon.
Mozilla also has lost its chief technology officer, Andreas Gal, to a separate startup. Sources said in June that Gal had been considering working with Acadine and taking an investment from it, but Gal said he's looking investors closer to his Santa Clara, California, headquarters. "We are in the process of raising venture funding in Silicon Valley," he said.
Building on the Web
Acadine's operating system, like Mozilla's Firefox OS and Google's Chrome OS, runs Web apps -- software written with the same technologies used to build Web pages. For operating systems trying to challenge incumbents like Windows, iOS and Android, Web apps have two big advantages.
Firefox OS is aimed today chiefly at smartphones, though electronics manufacturer Foxconn has used it on tablets and Panasonic offers it on a 4K TV. Acadine also expects to offer its operating system on wearable devices -- smartwatches are the best example today -- and on "Internet of Things" devices -- products that are that of spreading network connectivity beyond today's computing devices.
Acadine expects to diverge from Mozilla's open-source Firefox OS project where it makes sense. Eventually, Acadine could end up with something completely different, Gong said.
"Firefox OS, for which project I was the owner and primary driver in my last job, has definitely broken fresh ground in mobile operating systems and has demonstrated the viability of a new Web-centric approach in a field dominated by Android and iOS devices," Gong said. "Nevertheless, to achieve market success we have to go much further than that. We must move and scale up at the supersonic speed of the mobile industry, be pragmatic and flexible, and look beyond Silicon Valley for inspiration."
Citation from CNET : http://goo.gl/2NZxWZ
Monday, July 13, 2015
The government is extending its underwrite of the Crown-funded start-up investor, New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, through to 2022 and allowing $12 million to be transferred to the investor's cash-constrained seed fund, but the level of support will drop from 2018.