Erik Azulay, Executive Director, Nexus
Erik Azulay is a technology commercialization expert and serial entrepreneur specializing in small business startups and international market strategies. He has managed commercialization and incubation projects in 12 countries around the world, and launched and sold two logistics companies based in the United States and Russia.
Mr. Azulay's experience includes overseeing the creation and running of the National Technology Commercialization Center in Kazakhstan. Under his leadership the Center incubated Kazakh start-ups to bring their innovations to market and created a multi-million dollar small business commercialization grant program which continues to this day.
As President of the Alliance for Commercialization and Innovation Research, he currently runs the Nexus Innovation Hub and Incubator. The Nexus Incubator is funded by the U.S. State Department and showcases best practices in incubation and entrepreneurship from India and the U.S. In just over two years of operation, Nexus startups have raised over $33 million in outside funding.
Rahul Bagga, Founder & Managing Director, Aumirah
Rahul Bagga is Founder & Managing Director of Aumirah (Aumirah IP and Aumirah Analytics). He has also founded a legal tech company - IP Sarthi Legal Tech Pvt Ltd to develop online tools for managing several aspects of IP.
He is MSc DIC in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London and is a registered Indian Patent Agent with more than 13 years' experience of working in the IP sector in three different countries. At Aumirah, he leads a spirited, high performing and young team of engineers, lawyers and analysts. Through Aumirah, he has served more than 1000+ domestic and foreign clients over the last 3+ years in a range of matters pertaining to intellectual property rights in India and across the world. His specialization is patent law and has over the years gained significant expertise, and with his spirited colleagues at Aumirah, he has advised companies/startups/MSMEs from across multiple industries such as EVs, Energy, AI, Robotics, Biotechnology, Pharma, Drones, Defence, Automotive, General Engineering, Agriculture and nanotechnology. He also serves as mentor to various other Delhi/NCR based incubators such as Nexus & Aspire Labs, and has also been empanelled by i-hub Gujarat.
Further, of late, together with his team, he has been working closely on drawing contracts, agreements, term sheets, and advising startups and MSMEs in transactions and private equity matters.
Girish Shivani, YourNest Venture Capital
Girish is the co-founder of YourNest and has varied experience of over 25 years across domains like IT consulting, Telecom, Media and Financial Services. He specializes in Early Stage Venture Capital investing, Data Warehousing, Business Intelligence and Analytics.
With a strong process centricity and expertise in analytical and decision support systems, Girish is responsible for evolving the investment strategy and recognising emerging trends and venture opportunities at YourNest. Speed and focus is his mantra, for the initial stages of a start-up.
An avid traveler, Girish is tech-savant, and has an in-depth understanding of emerging technologies. Tracking disruptive technologies and able innovators are his passion.
He is an Alumnus of St Stephens College, Delhi and IMT, Ghaziabad.
Santhosh Muzumdar, Director of Government Relations & Sustainability, Johnson Controls
Santhosh Muzumdar leads Government Relations and Sustainability for Johnson Controls (JCI) in India. He is currently leading JCI’s efforts to bring the best of technologies and business models from across the globe while tailoring them to India’s needs.
He has more than 22 years of broad geographical experience across organizational functions and industry verticals. Combining technical and commercial expertise to facilitate business growth. Santhosh has been actively involved with policy formation committees, industry associations and government authorities to bring out effective guidelines in creating energy efficient, safe and secure infrastructure. Most recently, he Led JCI’s efforts to promote the Energy Service Performance Contracting Model with various ministries and eventual inclusion in the finance budget 2022.
He has authored several white papers and articles in leading magazines on topics related to sustainable cities, advanced traffic management systems, fire protection in buildings among others.
Before joining JCI, he worked at Underwriters Laboratories India (UL) in various roles of increasing responsibility. He has collaborated extensively with both private and government sectors in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific
Nidhiya V Raj, Head - Startup & VC Ecosystem, South Asia, NVIDIA
Nidhiya heads Startup & VC Ecosystem for NVIDIA in the South Asia Region where she evangelizes the adoption of AI across various industry segments. She will be soon taking up a global role to enable Enterprise AI Adoption via NVIDIA Launchpad. As a technologist, she handles an interdisciplinary role working very closely with AI & Data Science startups, corporates, government, and academia.
Apart from her corporate role, she serves as a board member at non-profit initiatives like TinkerHub & Random Hacks of Kindness to strategize ‘tech-for-good’ activities. She dedicates her weekend for advising a few startups, venture capital firms on product, growth and fundraising strategies as well. She started off her professional career with NASSCOM and prior to that, she ran her startup for about three years while she was pursuing Engineering & Young India Fellowship. Her wearable Innovation– Nirbhaya 2.0 has got recognized by the US Consulate, TCS, Makerfaire, Maker Fest, Coca-Cola etc.
Sivakumar Selva Ganapathy, Vice President, OpenBlue India Software Engineering and APAC Solutions, Johnson Controls
Sivakumar Selva Ganapathy is the Vice President, OpenBlue India Software Engineering and APAC Solutions. In this role, Siva is responsible for growing the engineering and innovation centers across five campuses in India that drive profitable growth through leadership and vision in understanding customer needs, technological advances, collaboration with our global business leaders and flawless execution. Additionally, he serves as the leader for the software engineering teams across India.
Prior to joining Johnson Controls, Siva held various progressive leadership roles at Honeywell spanning IT, Software Engineering and Connected Technologies.
Siva received a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electronics and Instrumentation from Annamalai University, India. He also received certifications in General Management Program from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore, CIO Leadership Program from Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, and completed the Honeywell Leadership Development Program (LDP) at Larry Bossidy Training Center, NJ. He is a Green Belt, PMP, PMI-ACP Certified Professional. He is also a Certified Corporate Director (Independent Director and Board) from Institute of Directors
R Vijayalayan, Senior Manager , Application Engineering,
R Vijayalayan currently heads the Automotive Industry and Location Field Application Engineering in MathWorks India Private Limited. He specializes in the field of Electrification, Virtual Vehicle and Model-Based Design. He and his team members closely work with Automotive OEMs & Tier I Suppliers in adopting Model-Based Design for system simulation, virtual calibration, embedded code generation & verification and real-time testing. Currently, he and his team members are supporting customers in adopting Model-Based Design for the Electrification and Software-defined vehicle projects. Vijayalayan is part of the Management Committee of the SAE India Bangalore section and has 22 years of industry experience.
Prior to joining MathWorks, Vijayalayan was a Team Lead in the Embedded Systems Group of Cranes Software International Limited and worked as a Scientist B in the Gas Turbine Research Establishment. Vijayalayan holds a bachelor’s degree from Manonmaniam Sundaranar University and a Master’s Degree in Control and Instrumentation from IIT Madras.
Dhruv Gupta, Chief Operating Officer - iTIC Incubator at IITH
Dhruv Gupta is a researcher turned entrepreneur and now an Innovation Management Consultant. He is a computer scientist by certificate, mathematician by hobby, a design thinker by training and a strong believer of empathy driven approach.
Dhruv did his first startup at age of 18 and had built 3 (three) tech startups by now, with successes and failures. He has a strong hold in the technology domain of Machine Intelligence and is well versed in designing user experience, business models and revenue models. He had been part of the journey for many startups as consultant, mentor and investor.
Dhruv had been bestowed with the Gandhian Young Technology Innovator Award 2016 by Dr R. A. Mashelkar at Rashtrapati Bhavan, and was hosted for evening tea and dinner by Hon’ble President of India Shri Pranab Mukharjee. His interpersonal skills had made him gain a huge network of people and organizations whom he always tries to help in any way possible with his belief in the concept of CoRise. With all the learnings and experiences he had gained with his successes and failures, Dhruv is designing next generation products and helping companies to grow to the next level.
Amit Chatterjee, Strategic Initiatives, Intel
Amit Chatterjee leads Strategic Initiatives at Intel, with special focus on scaling Industry 4.0 Initiatives for Asia Pacific. As part of this role, his focus is in driving product scaling, lifecycle management and go to market of Industrial IOT solutions like supply chain, manufacturing, energy & utilities. Amit is associated with Intel for 10+ years & is part of the embedded industry for more than 22 years, with experience in product marketing, business development, design and development of embedded systems and IoT products.
He has extensively worked in various IOT Systems and supported IOT deployments while being part of multiple product teams. Prior to joining Intel, he worked as a Technical Leader at Texas Instruments where he managed a team working on Industrial products. Amit completed his masters in Automation & Computer Vision from IIT Kharagpur in Jan 2000.
Shubham Sandeep, Managing Director, pi Ventures
Shubham is a Managing Director at pi Ventures, an early stage DeepTech fund. He has invested in multiple ventures across areas such as crypto infrastructure, disruptive AI, alternative proteins and currently sits on the boards of 5 portfolio companies. He is a serial entrepreneur and previously co-founded Aeon Solaris, a rooftop solar startup which he exited to Amplus Solar, part of the Petronas group now.
In his last role, he was the CCO of Skytree, a CO2 extraction spin-out from ESA and helped commercialize the technology in the mobility sector. He was part of the Forbes 30 under 30 Europe 2019 list and is an alumnus of IIT Delhi.
Mohan Jindal, Founder & CEO, Chipspirit
Mohan Jindal has 22 years of experience in VLSI developments, and he has contributed to nearly 30 silicon-chip tapeouts. Mohan started Chipspirit after leaving Intel where he has worked for nearly 10 years. During his career he has worked with Broadcom, Microchip, and NxP on chip developments for security, servers, white goods, and IOT applications.
Mohan completed M.Tech. from IIT Kharagpur in Microelectronics and VLSI Design and B.Tech. from CRSCE, Murthal. The startup, Chipspirit is a Raksha Anveshan Ratna Company after it received this award from the Ministry of Defence, India in Oct '22. Chipspirit is supported by Intel, Nexus Startup Hub, MEITY, iDEX, DCIS and NASSCOMM.
Dr Lakshmi Santhanam, COO & Co-Founder, Renkube
Dr Lakshmi Santhanam is one of the founding members at her solar startup - Renkube. After spending a decade on new business initiatives in corporations like Cisco, Intel , she decided to take her entrepreneur plunge at Renkube. She has a PhD from University of Cincinnati, OH, USA and has several publications to her credit.
At Renkube she takes care of Operations, Legal and Finances at Renkube. She has been the recipient of numerous government grants like BIRAC, Nidhi Prayas, USISTEF, etc towards the development of MVP at Renkube. She has successfully showcased Renkube's work at the premier NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) Industrial Growth Forum 2021 event at Denver (USA). Renkube is also supported by Texas (US based) Halliburton Lab's for their product development as an investment partner.
She has given talks in TedEx and top solar conferences as a solar evangelist. She is a mentor for the Women Entrepreneur program organized by Climate KIC, MERI Incubator for entrepreneurship and is also an active member of a pan India sustainability group.
Anirudh Sharma, Co-founder and CEO, Digantara
Anirudh Sharma is the founder and CEO at Digantara. He co-founded the company in 2018 with the goal of creating a sustainable space environment using patented technology he developed during his university days. Prior to launching Digantara, Anirudh co-founded and led his university student satellite team, where he developed satellite ground stations and gained hands-on experience designing space systems. He has significant leadership experience overseeing space initiatives. He holds a Bachelor Degree in Computer Science.
Digantara has recently launched its second satellite, Pushan-Alpha, on board a SpaceX rocket. The satellite will be used to test space weather in a sun-synchronous orbit and improve space situational awareness applications. They have also been covered by Vice, an American-Canadian digital media and broadcasting company.
Sushil Kumar, Global Head and Vice President, Tata Technologies
Sushil Kumar, Global Head and Vice President, Tata Technologies Ltd, is a mechanical engineering graduate who has worked for Tata for over a decade. He is the face of the ITI upgrade that a Tata-led consortium is undertaking in India in collaboration with various state governments with strong belief that India is in the midst of technological innovations that are propelling the future of manufacturing and Industry 4.0, and that we need more and more entrepreneurs.
Ankit Harjai, General Manager – Corporate Strategy and Business, Cummins India
Ankit Harjai is General Manager – Corporate Strategy and Business development at Cummins India Limited. He leads the Venture investments and inorganic growth for Cummins in India. Ankit has 12 years of experience in Venture Investments, Mergers and Acquisitions, Business Incubation and Product launches from TechMahindra (its ventures arm), REA Group India (Housing) and Kalaari Capital Advisors.
He has completed his MBA from IIM Lucknow and B.E. (Hons) in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from BITS Pilani. He additionally holds certificates in Capital and Financial markets from IIFT Delhi, Impact Investing from Thunderbird school of management Phoenix.