Applied Ventures, LLC, the venture capital arm of Applied Materials, Inc., is giving a boost to promising technology start-ups in India through mentorship and collaboration as a part of the ASTRA (Applied Start-up Technology and Research Accelerator) 2020 program. At a recent virtual event hosted by Applied Materials India Private Limited, eight start-ups in the areas of Industry 4.0, chip design, life sciences, advanced analytics, sensors, robotics and AR/VR pitched their product offerings and business plans, and will be further considered for potential collaboration with Applied Materials and investment opportunities with Applied Ventures.
The start-ups that presented at the ASTRA 2020 event are: AiNDRA, AjnaLens, AlphaICs, Ecolibrium, Lightspeed AI, Multinanosense, NiMo Planet and SwitchOn. If selected, the start-ups will receive mentorship and consultation from Applied Materials India on design, technology and go-to-market strategy, as well as gain access to Applied’s infrastructure and explore collaboration and joint development opportunities. Applied Materials India has existing engagements with eminent organizations like C-CAMP, BIRAC, Zinnov, Bharat Innovation Fund and Pi Ventures, and these relationships will further help support and mentor the start-ups.
Sharing his thoughts on the success of the ASTRA program and the start-up ecosystem in India, Om Nalamasu, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Applied Materials, Inc. and President, Applied Ventures, LLC, said, “There has been tremendous progress in the last few years in the Indian start-up ecosystem and all eight companies that participated at our ASTRA 2020 event are working on unique solutions. We are impressed with their knowledge, commitment, passion and focus on creating exciting innovations. I look forward to the next steps of our collaboration.”
Anand Kamannavar, Global Head, Applied Ventures, LLC, and sponsor of ASTRA, added, “This year, we had companies across the Materials to Systems™ stack, who have reinforced our belief in the great potential of the Indian start-up ecosystem. I look forward to seeing these partnerships translate into meaningful opportunities over the course of the coming year.”
Further, Srinivas Satya, Country President and Managing Director, Applied Materials India Private Limited, said “I believe there has never been a better time for us to engage with the highly dynamic and vibrant start-up community in India. Building on the successful launch of our ASTRA program in 2019, we have broadened our areas of interest to cover additional transformational technologies. More than 100 start-ups applied for this year’s ASTRA program, out of which we selected eight applicants for further potential collaboration with Applied Materials India and Applied Ventures.”
Key strategic and collaborative initiatives like ASTRA are becoming an important source of industry support and capital for start-ups that are looking to build a globally sustainable business. Through ASTRA, Applied Materials India is strengthening the local start-up ecosystem and helping further develop the country’s abundant technical and industry expertise. Over the last two years, the company has connected with 14 start-ups working on developing differentiated solutions in semiconductors, displays and adjacent markets, including life sciences.