Oracle has announced that it will extend its startup accelerator program to seven more cities. It has added Bristol, Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Paris, São Paulo, Singapore and Tel Aviv to the existing centre in Bangalore. The obvious omission from this list is a city in the USA. This is surprising as Oracle has already given its intent to launch the program there as well. Bangalore has been very successful for Oracle. This is likely to have been the reason for adding two additional cities in India.
For Oracle this is not about investing in new startups. It is about creating startups using the Oracle cloud services. When first launched there were hundreds of applicants for the six month accelerator program. Only five were chosen for the first six months. The second program is due to start in January. Of the initial five, four have secured funding, following the end of term presentation the program set up to potential investors and one has gone into mass production. The first five startups were: ExpertRec, Niyo, Ray, Tidy and Vear.
A pilot program including Riot Solutions, a healthcare IoT startup has also proved successful. Aardra Kannan Ambili, co-founder and CTO of Riot Solutions commented: “The Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator has been—without a doubt—the greatest launch pad for us,” said, a participant in the pilot program. “Thanks to Oracle, we are now a fast-growing startup with seed investment.”
Oracle is pleased that the programme is delivering success right away. Thomas Kurian, Oracle’s president of product development said: “After a successful launch in Bangalore, India, we’re committed to building a supportive ecosystem for startups across the globe. Cloud is enabling incredible innovations across every aspect of business and across every industry. We want to support this next technology revolution powered by cloud.”
Europe, Asia and Middle East
The choice of the two European cities is not an obvious one. Berlin and London might have seemed more likely. However Oracle chose these locations because it is already working with startups in Paris, France and Bristol, UK. These are all startup friendly cities. While Bristol may lag behind London, it is still one of the tech centres of the UK.
São Paulo, Singapore and Tel Aviv are more obvious choices. They have international reputations as startup locations. It is also likely that the addition of two more Indian cities is a continuation of Oracle’s support of Digital India. It was the reason for choosing Bangalore following a conversation between Oracle CEO Safra Catz and Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi.
Potential applicants can apply to the new locations later in 2017. The successful applicants will receive support for an initial six months. That support includes free credits on Oracle Cloud, mentoring, access to technology, oracle customer and partners, access to investors and use of state of the art technology. Startups can extend the Oracle cloud credits a further two years on application.
Oracle offer up access to their complete cloud services to startups. This includes the four cloud pillars IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and DaaS. Successful applications will also get access to the 50 integrated cloud services running on these cloud components.
Oracle Senior Vice President of Product Development Reggie Bradford heads the program. He is beng supported by The Oracle Group Vice President of Development Sanket Atal, who launched the pilot program in Bangalore. The program is delivered by members of the Oracle R&D team, who act as mentors during the project on technical aspects. Oracle is also providing other senior leaders who will be involved in the business aspects of the mentoring side.
Bradford is also an entrepreneur, he founded ViTrue, before Oracle acquired it. Bradford commented:“The next five to ten years promise innovations and growth that will drive new business ideas enabled by the cloud. Oracle understands that startups are at the heart of innovation, and through this program we aim to give startups access to extensive resources and support when they need it most.”
Oracle and Ellison has a long history of setting up or assisting startups. From Oracle itself in 1977, through to NetSuite (1998) and Salesforce (1999) to the current companies in Bangalore. While Ellison is no longer on the Salesforce board, Oracle technology still underpins Salesforce. These latest set of startups may not have Oracle investments, but Oracle is investing in its own future. Startups can build up rapidly. Oracle are capable of supporting that growth and will reap the dividends for every startup success they nurture in the future through cloud revenues. It is a smart move and one that others such as IBM and Microsoft already have similar programs for.
This latest expansion sees Oracle better the number of locations that Microsoft has. Only in the US is Oracle lagging behind its rivals, though Oracle already supports startups in the US in other ways.