In January 2005 the state of California announced the location 367, Addison Avenue in the Palo Alto area as ‘Birthplace of silicon valley’. Please don’t jump into a conclusion this must be a hi-fi museum or a huge building. It is a small garage (See the photo) where two youngsters Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard from Stanford University started their company Hewlett Packard (HP) in the year 1938. Today HP is an 80 billion USD company and everybody knows the contributions HP has made to the technology world. After almost 60 years later another two youngsters from the same Stanford University (Lary Page and Sergey Brin) founded another company called ‘Google’ and I don’t need to tell anything more about that Google. The commonality between HP and Google is the ‘Stanford University’ which played a very significant role in nurturing these great people. After some time I was reading an essay by Paul Graham in which he clearly mentioned the importance of Stanford University and University of California (UCB), which played a very significant role in Silicon Valley’s success.
If Stanford and UCB are the best universities in the US, I can very well say IIT and IISc are equally best in India. Then the next question came to my mind was ‘Are we doing something similar to US universities? Can we create a Silicon Valley in India?’ and started doing some reading in these areas. I learned that there is nothing concrete has happened from these Indian universities as of today but there is a huge amount of momentum building up for incubating startups. I could easily see half a dozen companies are currently in the incubation phase:
1. SINE (http://www.sineiitb.org/): SINE is hosted by Indian Institute of Technology Bombay under the IIT-B umbrella for promotion of entrepreneurship at IIT Bombay. SINE administers a business incubator which provides support for technology based entrepreneurship.
2. Eisodus Networks (http://www.eisodus.com/): This is a company incubated from IIT-B and they are into Broadband access networking. The company has developed an innovative Architecture called EisoAccess by leveraging the potential of Ethernet to enable triple play. This organization is nurtured by Prof Abhay Karandikar from EE department in IIT-B.
3. Vegayan Systems (http://www.vegayan.com/): This is also incubated from IIT-B and Vegayan is into developing MPLS traffic engineering and network planning tool for service provider and enterprise network customers. Vegayan technology is based on innovative VS routing scheme with international IP protection (patents pending) and this is run by Professor Girish Saraph from IIT-B.
4. Webaroo (http://www.webaroo.com/): This is also run from IIT-B and they are making search engines and multimedia games.
5. Esqube Communications (http://www.esqube.com/): This is a startup company run by professors from IISc. They are into Voice over IP (VoIP) and Wireless domain. Apart from this Tejas Networks and Strand Genomics are the other two companies started by IISc Profs which have had pretty good success in the past.
6. Backend Bangalore (http://www.backend.co.in/): This Company was incubated from IIIT-Bangalore and they are into multiple areas like product development, consulting and services.
The above mentioned startups are in the early stage and they need to go a long way before achieving ‘Commercial Success’. After Indian independence Nehru called dams and steel mills as ‘Temples of modern India’. I feel calling these startup incubations as ‘Temples of future India’ as they are going to play a very vital role in future India.