Viacom18 completes first class of its start-up engagement programme VStEP

VStEP was launched by Viacom18 in October 2017 to engage with startups for incubation and mentoring

Viacom18 conferred graduation certificates to five start-ups who were a part of the VStEP programme. True to its brand promise of ‘Open New Worlds’, Viacom18 has been engaging with start-ups to build a culture of inclusive innovation.

VStEP is a startup engagement programme that creates an opportunity for start-ups to pilot technology-based solutions to business problems. The five start-ups that were a part of the first class of VStEP are: TESSACT, Karza Technologies, Entropik Technologies, Firmway and vPhrase.

Working in close collaboration with business units across the Viacom18 network, the VStEP startups have developed solutions that are relevant to both media and non-media companies. The first class of VStEP has been onboarded in partnership with Zone Startups India, a global brand of technology accelerators and early stage venture funds, operated by Toronto-based Ryerson Futures Inc.

Speaking about the VStEP initiative, Achint Setia, Senior Vice President- Viacom18 Digital Ventures and Head- VStEP, said, “At Viacom18, we propel ourselves on the back of innovation concurrent to our brand promise of Open New Worlds. Engaging with startups through VStEP has been an enriching experience as the initiative has brought solutions that add business value while at the same time drives a culture of innovation internally as well. Over the last 6 months, our teams have worked closely with the startups on the POCs, perfecting them into solutions that are adoption ready.”

Furthering Viacom18’s commitment in fostering a culture of innovation and engaging with startups, the company recently entered a strategic partnership with Anthill Ventures for an accelerator programme called Anthill Studio that will scout for startups building products for Media & Entertainment industry using technologies such as AI/ML, AR/VR, IoT, Big Data, Blockchain and others. The areas of focus include filmed entertainment, TV, gaming and digital media industries.

A brief on the five startups of the VStEP first class and their POCs are:

• Tessact- Enabling Indian M&E players auto index their content library and enabled for contextual search on a single cognitive platform built. The platform comes with applications for contextual search, S&P compliance review, Social feed moderation, Subtitle QC/Edit, Ad detection in live stream and other useful scenarios built specifically for Indian M&E Industry using customized deep learning models.

• Karza Technologies- The platform assists corporates to onboard vendors/ partners by automatically fetching company details, registration details (GST, PAN, etc), e-court searches, defaulter searches, etc along with a due-diligence report (Karza Scan), providing insights about existing consumers for a group. The Karza platform enables holistic view of a network and the negativity around it using public data sources.

• Entropik Technologies- An Emotion Intelligence platform for Media/ Brands that tracks users’ emotions as they experience any media/content on a sec by sec basis. The platform uses Brainwave Mapping & Facial Gesture Recognition to track data points like (Attention, Appreciation, Mental Effort, Activation Level, Emotion Spectrum). This can be useful in video/ audio optimization, post production editing and brand placement within the content.

• Firmway- Firmway digitizes the entire confirmation process through a web based interface by sending confirmations on the click of a button, including automated follow ups on SMS and emails, online reconciliation platform, direct access of confirmation to auditors and real-time dashboard for all the responses. 

• vPhrase- vPhrase helps companies make their reports easy to understand by explaining the insights in words, using AI. The company's platform, Phrazor, analyses data, derives insights and then communicates those insights, in words, in multiple languages. It automates the work of analysis and communication while also having the capability to personalise narratives for each employee highlighting all important points that need attention.
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