Redgate looks for new ventures in India
Added: (Mon Feb 16 2015)
Pressbox (Press Release) -
Redgate, the Cambridge-based software company that leads the world in database development software, has announced the winners of an initiative to encourage technological innovation in India. 30 young companies entered the Startup Entrepreneur Competition organized by the UK India Business Council. The winners are now spending six weeks being mentored at the UK offices of Redgate, with the potential of Redgate making a long term investment.
Established by the UK India Business Council in partnership with Redgate, British Airways, The Indus Entrepreneurs, and TechHub, the Startup Entrepreneur Competition was first announced when the Deputy PM, Nick Clegg, visited Bangalore in late 2014.
Accompanying the Deputy PM on his official visit was a delegation of business leaders from the UK that included Nick Wood, Head of Operations at Redgate. “We were looking for technology startups in India that were thinking differently, exploring new areas, and coming up with innovative ideas,” Nick Wood says. “The competition was the perfect opportunity to do that and Bangalore, which is India’s Silicon Valley, was the perfect place.”
30 young companies subsequently entered the competition with a two-minute video explaining their ideas, their business models, and their ambitions. A shortlist of eight were then interviewed over Skype to look at their proposals in more detail, before four finalists were chosen in December 2014.
The finalists included a drag and drop programmable electronics board from GraspIO, an app for doctors to share case studies called DailyRounds, a parenting education app from Babyberry, and a crowd-sourced software testing service from 99tests.
GraspIO and 99tests emerged as the overall winners after a Dragon’s Den style interview at the new TechHub facility in Bangalore in early December. Alongside Nick Wood from Redgate, the panel of judges included Christopher Fordyce from British Airways, Rajesh Rai from the India Innovation Fund, Ashok Pamidi from Nasscom, and Richard Heald, the CEO of the UK India Business Council.
“It was a tough event,” Nick Wood adds. “Our offer of a six-week expenses-paid trip to our Cambridge office to be mentored, helped, and advised, was a big deal for these guys. It’s a bit like winning the lottery in business terms.”
The two founders of GraspIO have now joined Redgate at its UK headquarters in Cambridge, where they are developing their drag and drop programming environment further – and receiving invaluable advice.
“Our intention is to act as a business incubator and give them as much help as they need,” Nick Wood says. “That could be in developing their technologies, introducing them to potential partners in the UK, or exploring new markets.”
There may also be money on the table. Redgate has a history of investing in early stage companies in the technology arena, originally with an initiative called Springboard, now through a more formal investment arm, Redgate Ventures.
Redgate Ventures aims to build and grow sustainable software businesses by offering seed investments to software startups and providing unique access to Redgate’s domain experts and resources.
“What we’re trying to do is use our own experience in growing a very successful software business to help others who are in the same position as we were 15 years ago,” Nick Wood says. “We don’t just invest money – we invest time, energy, and knowledge as well. We’re giving something back to the technology community that we’ve thrived in. We’ve had to learn the hard way by making mistakes on our journey and now we can help younger companies avoid them.”
This is the second time Redgate has explored new ventures in the region. In 2013, it worked with Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority on a competition to find innovative technology startups in Singapore. Two companies, Sent.ly and Novatap were subsequently mentored in the UK.
The time spent at Redgate by GraspIO will give both companies time to see if they are a good match for a longer term relationship. And next year, Redgate may well be back in India to repeat the competition.
Redgate makes ingeniously simple software used by 650,000 IT professionals who work with SQL Server, Azure, .NET, and Oracle. More than 100,000 companies use Redgate products, including 91% of the Fortune 100. Redgate’s philosophy is to design highly usable, reliable tools which elegantly solve the problems that developers and database administrators face every day. Its investment arm, Redgate Ventures, builds and grows sustainable software businesses by offering access to expertise in marketing, sales, and UX as well as funding.
Invented in Bangalore, India, GraspIO is an electronics board that can be programmed with a mobile phone or tablet using an intuitive drag and drop app. Users can wirelessly connect to the board and, literally, be programming in minutes. With add-ons for the Raspberry Pi and Arduino, GraspIO brings the power of programming to everyone’s fingertips.