GSF, a startup accelerator-cum-early-stage fund run by former Reliance Entertainment president Rajesh Sawhney, has partnered Cisco Investments to launch an accelerator program which aims to incubate and fund 5 Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud startups in 2015.
The accelerator, which will be based in Bangalore, will shortlist the startups for a 16 week program, and will also provide each of them with $45,000 in funding. GSF will also hold demo days for the startups in Bangalore, Singapore and San Francisco (US).
"India is home to the world's third largest ecosystem of startups. Cisco's collaboration with GSF will help catalyse and accelerate the potential for innovation that startups in India offer with a focus on the IoT and cloud," said Amit Phadnis, president, engineering, and Cisco India site leader.
According to GSF, the world is expected to see 50 billion new interconnected devices by 2020 and these will power solutions from smart homes and smart cities to initiatives like digital India as well as its host of services. The collaboration will help accelerate an ecosystem of applications, analytics and vertical solutions providers as well as device providers that can utilise Cisco's infrastructure to develop real-life IoT use cases.
GSF Accelerator has funded 35 startups since its inception in 2012. It has a network of close to 40-plus Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and 300 mentors across the world. Last year, it also inducted redBus.in co-founder Phanindra Sama and Mumbai Angels' member Manish Dalal as venture partners and strategic advisors.
GSF also runs an early-stage fund called GSF SuperAngels which is backed by 20 digital founders and early-stage investors in India. In Dec last year, GSF launched a digital media labs accelerator to incubate and fund 10 digital media and ad tech startups in 2015.