Blockchain Startup Program: Škoda India Tech Mahindra and Tezos Launch Microsoft India Backed Century Program
Lumos Labs, an innovation management company, in collaboration with Microsoft India, announced the launch of the Century Program, an enterprise Blockchain Startup Program to evangelize, curate and unearth 100 best enterprise-ready blockchain solutions for industry-specific use cases.
ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab India and Tech Mahindra have partnered as the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and System Integrator (SI) respectively for the Discrete Manufacturing track of the Century Program. ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab India, a division of ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Pvt Ltd aims to use its development expertise and knowledge in digitization to identify the problem statements for the startups to work on innovative blockchain based solutions.
Platform partner Tezos India will guide and advise participants to the developer tooling to build their decentralized applications on Tezos, a secure, open source, and self-amending blockchain protocol.
“As the Automotive Industry continues to evolve, the onset of Blockchain technology will be a defining transformation in the development and manufacturing of the next-generation of cars. Through the Century Program, ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab India will foster this ecosystem of innovation among startups and identify implementable solutions in the space of digital tools and mobility platforms,” Pranav Kulkarni, CIO, ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India, said in a statement.
Rajesh Dhuddu, Blockchain and Cybersecurity Practice Leader, Tech Mahindra, said that as a part of their TechMNxT charter, they are constantly looking to expand their partner ecosystem by connecting with industry-leading companies.
“Being one of the founding members of the Century Program, we are committed to the success of this program and look forward to collaborating with Microsoft and Lumos Labs to pave the roadmap for ‘next-gen’ blockchain solutions that will solve complex business problems in the real world. Our deep domain and technical expertise combined with extensive industry networks will help innovators become enterprise ready and scale their operations globally,” he said.
To Accelerate Startup Journeys
The Century Program spans over 18 months and will provide the selected startups with opportunities to regularly engage with industry experts and leverage the partner networks of Microsoft, Tech Mahindra, and ŠKODA AUTO Digilab India for business growth. Microsoft will help accelerate their startup journeys through mentorship, streamlined go-to-market (GTM) activities and access to world-class technology resources.
The program intends to identify and solve real time business challenges and blockchain use cases faced across seven industry verticals including media and entertainment, oil and natural gas, trade finance, healthcare, public sector, discrete manufacturing, and telecom, using blockchain technologies.
“The Century Program will accelerate possibilities to create great enterprise solutions for blockchain in India by scaling existing competencies, surmounting awareness bias, and making blockchain more mainstream across various sectors. Partners like Tech Mahindra, ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab India and Tezos India will further help strengthen the blockchain adoption immensely by highlighting the secured, interoperable, and scalable environment that this technology provides. Microsoft is delighted to be able to provide the right platform to make this happen,” Sanjay Anand, General Manager, Azure Commercial Industry, Microsoft said.
According to the Nasscom Avasant India Blockchain Report 2019, the emergence of Blockchain 3.0 with its increased security, interoperability and scalability is set to accelerate enterprise adoption. However, there is a need for Indian service providers to expand their capabilities by implementing a diverse set of blockchain use cases across all major sectors. Century Program aims to address this need by defining the problem statements in each sector, identifying enterprises exploring solutions for these problem statements and connecting them to relevant start-ups with an enterprise ready use case solution.
Startups that wish to know more and apply for the Century Program, can head over to the event registration website.
ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited
Headquartered in Pune, ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited (SAVWIPL) is the new company that represents the passenger vehicle brands of Volkswagen Group in India. SAVWIPL formed from the merger of Volkswagen India Private Limited (VWIPL), ŠKODA AUTO India Private Limited (SAIPL), and Volkswagen Group Sales India Private Limited (NSC).
The combined entity oversees the Indian operations of five brands – ŠKODA AUTO, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Lamborghini. SAVWIPL operates two manufacturing facilities – at Chakan, Pune and Shendra, Aurangabad.
SAVWIPL’s division, ŠKODA AUTO DigiLab India is one of the 4 agile business innovation hubs for ŠKODA AUTO globally joining those based in Prague, Tel Aviv and Beijing. The division functions as a startup collaborator in the IT industry, allowing ŠAVWIPL to sustainably strengthen its expertise in both innovation and digital development.
Tezos India assists individuals and entities to use the Tezos blockchain. It aims to grow the community and advance the ecosystem in India through education, community engagement, training and partnerships.
Lumos Labs is a Singapore based innovation management firm that specializes in running technology open innovation programs. Founded in 2018, the company has run several accelerators and open innovation programs for international firms.