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5 easy ways how your start-up can save money

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By NewGram Staff Writer

To overcome the challenge of high costs and scarcity of funds, many young companies have come up with innovative ways to cut down costs. With strategies ranging from buying used furniture to sharing an office space, a lot of  start-ups have been able to control the outflow of money.

Speaking to some of these innovative start-ups, NewsGram has come with up with a list of best practices that can help you reduce the expenses of your company manifold:

Avoid a posh office locality: A lot of new start-ups these days are coming up in residential areas where the costs are lower as compared to prime office locations.

“Starting-up in a residential area can get you a cheap work place with a serene and calm atmosphere. And if you can manage to find a place with a terrace, it is a great advantage,” says OnlinePrasad founder Goonjan Mall.

Also, sharing office space with another young company is a great way to cut costs.

Hire interns from premier institutes for R&D: Starting-up involves getting many things wrong before getting that one big break. Young companies can save on the research costs by hiring quality interns from institutes like IITs and BITS Pilani like a Mumbai-based retail technology start-up Shopsense does.

Shopsense hires interns to work on the research problems which they want to focus upon. If anything clicks they take it to the full scale level.

“This approach helps save a lot of money on R&D as it saves time of our full time engineers and also gets quality work done at a lesser expense,” says Harsh Shah one of the co-founders of Shopsense.

He also adds, “One more advantage of this program is that it helps us to zero-in on the right talent. If an intern is good, we can hire them once they complete their formal studies.”

Find attractive Cloud platforms:  The Cloud has made life very easy for start-ups. Companies like Amazon, Microsoft, IBM offer storage space for start-ups to host their products.

“One of the most commonly used cloud platform in the start-up fraternity is AWS,” says Harsh, adding that,” It is a very attractive option because it offers free credits, along with technical training programmes.”

Easy marketing:  One of the most efficient ways to reach out to people is via social media.  You can use social media to market your company. It is almost free and in today’s time, highly effective.

“The opportunities that Twitter and Facebook provide are phenomenal. One can also use platforms like Mailchimp if you want your content to outreach the masses”, says Goonjan.

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Start ups not related to IT: Modi

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New Delhi: The Start-Up India program has broken the belief that start-ups are only related to IT, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday.

Delivering his “Mann Ki Baat” radio address, Modi said Information Technology was only a small part of start-ups.

“It is the common thought that start-up means a sophisticated business related to IT. This illusion has been broken after this event on start up,” Modi said, referring to ‘Start-Up India’.

Mentioning some non-IT start-ups, the Prime Minister referred to two IIM graduates in Sikkim who were selling herbal and organic products along with others.

The ‘Start-Up India Action Plan’ was unveiled by Modi at an event on January 16 and provides a three-year tax holiday.

Modi also lauded efforts by citizens across the country to beautify railway stations.

“I am seeing that these days, at several railway stations, local citizens, artists and students are beautifying their railway stations.

“This is neither a railway initiative nor a Narendra Modi initiative… It is an initiative of the citizens,” he said and urged people to send pictures of beautified railway stations.

He also talked about upcoming school board exams and urged students to share their lessons learnt from family, teachers and seniors on dealing with exam related stress.(IANS)

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Start-ups will accelerate Entrepreneurship: Rajeev Chandrasekhar

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New Delhi: India’s recent priority on start-ups will accelerate entrepreneurship to create jobs and help in changing the country’s demographic dividend, which may prove to be a competitive advantage in the global economy, Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar has said.

“This focus on start-ups is important in many different ways – as an alternate to big corporate India’s lack of investments into the economy, as a way of catalysing entrepreneurship to create jobs, and as a way of tapping the demographic dividend of India as a competitive advantage in the global economy,” Chandrasekhar said here on Friday evening at an interactive session on Net neutrality and start-ups.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the ‘Start-up India, Stand-up India’ action plan last week.

Chandrasekhar said start-ups in India have had two traditional significant obstacles. The corruption  and second the destructive power of big corporates in India who through their political power and influence, can stop dead a start-up if it attempts to compete with them.

“I have experienced both first hands, and so, can testify to the power of both to disrupt the best start-ups. It is this that makes most start-ups focus on the tech sector because of the minimal influence of government and corporate into that space,” Chandrasekhar said.

“But it’s necessary for our policy makers to address these issues with deeper structural reforms that broadens the start-up India appeal to non-tech sectors,” he added.

He said the open nature of the Internet has spurred innovation and enabled startups to flourish. “The success of Google, Facebook or of several Indian startups, including those founded by the below signatories to this letter, is a result of the open nature of the Internet that permitted innovation without any entry barriers.”

But he slammed the Telco’s, saying telecom firms that control access to the Internet will try and creep and acquire control on parts of the Internet to gain part of that value.

“But in contrast, a start-up needs unfettered access to the Internet, without Telco’s controlling and gatekeeping access to parts of the Internet in an anti-competitive manner.”

“If government policy permitted this, it would in a sense negate all the pluses accruing from the start-up India action plan announced by the government, as start-ups would have to pay the Telco’s an ‘access fee’ or get into some commercial arrangement whereby they pay the Telco to get ‘preferential access’ to their web content over others,” he added.(IANS)

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Chennai startup comes out with power-saver device for solar units

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New Delhi: In a significant development that could give a big boost to the adoption of solar energy in power-starved countries like India, a Chennai-based startup has come out with a unique device – a dual mode micro-inverter.

Kripya Technologies, a Chennai-based company established by Dr V G Veeraraghavan in 2010, inspired by the 11th president of India late Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, has come out with the cost-saving inverter that functions in on-grid as well as off-grid modes.

“A significant fall in the cost of photovoltaic solar panels has made solar energy a very competitive and viable alternative to fossil fuel-based generators. Despite this, solar energy adoption in developing countries like India has remained puzzlingly low,” said Veeraraghavan, a US-based industry veteran with over 40 years of technology management expertise.

“At Kripya, therefore, we examined the factors that will help increase adoption of solar energy by everyone irrespective of their geographic location and economic status and designed the dual mode micro inverter,” he said.

Typically, an inverter is used to convert the DC power generated by the solar panel into readily usable AC power. The inverters currently available in the market are all designed to function solely, either using power supplied by the grid or expensive battery in off-grid mode, requiring two different sets of devices.

Focusing on solar power units such as rooftop installations, the Kripya team realised that the grid-connected inverters have to depend on the vagaries of power supply as a necessary input for the conversion of DC to AC, while the off-grid inverters rely on very expensive battery storage for storing the electricity prior to conversion to AC.

These are serious limitations for the adoption of solar energy in developing countries like India where the grid power is not always available — and even when it is available, the reliability of grid power is low, Veeraraghavan said.

In addition, the team also recognised that conventional string inverters — connected to a group of solar panels — are not optimal for capacities less than 10 KVA for homes and small offices, due to lower efficiency and perennial load shedding that plagues many cities and towns.

The Kripya team thus conceived and developed the Dual Mode Micro-inverter to resolve these issues and facilitate easy adoption of distributed solar energy generation in developing countries.

Micro-inverters offer the added advantages of modularity, scalability, maximum power efficiency, real time optimisation and superior means for monitoring and control of the overall system.

Kripya has already filed for patent for the dual mode inverter which is easy to install and use in a plug-and-play mode with minimal or no wiring required.

The inverter can dynamically detect and switch modes based on the availability of grid power.

As the available solar radiation and associated photovoltaic energy can change even during the day, Kripya has also developed a micro-processor- based load manager which works in conjunction with the Dual Mode Micro-inverter. The load manager has a feature to segment the loads and assign a different priority to the different load circuits of the solar energy system

During operation, the load manager will automatically manage the segmented load circuits connected to the solar energy system and turn off the non-critical circuits while maintaining the critical circuits on when the available harvested solar energy is less than what is needed for supporting all the circuits.

“Kripya is very proud to have developed the products that offer cost effective means for adoption of solar energy by combining innovation, social and environmental consciousness,” Veeraraghavan said.

(IANS)