Trends and Technologies: VC Perspective
We focus on themes in Advanced Materials, Cleantech, Biosciences and some niche areas of Mobile Media/ IT. We track trends in these sectors but specially focus on innovations that are enablers. For example in Cleantech, Energy Storage technologies are critical to competitiveness, and volume implementation of alternate energy solutions. There is a long way to go in terms of finding an enabling energy storage solution. Innovations in batteries, capacitors, etc are particularly of interest. We are also looking at some early stage Solar PV technologies. Although, the major trend in solar is of consolidation, funding going to later stage deals etc., there is still room for innovations enabling cost efficient manufacturing, elimination of toxics in thin film PVs, etc. In Biosciences, there are developments in Metabolomics related with Personalized Medicine that we find interesting. We are looking at some innovations in metabolic biomarkers and drug delivery technologies for cancer treatment. In Mobile Media, the trend is clearly towards increasing adoption of tablets and smart phones over PCs. We feel that Haptics is going to be a major area of innovation and thus opportunities in this space.
Opportunities for Innovation: India and U.S.
Opportunities for innovation always exist. My favorite example is electronics industry. Both incremental and disruptive innovations keep happening in that industry have enabled several technologies and products in related sectors. Flexible electronics and displays, haptic technologies mentioned earlier, 3D imaging, and more, are few examples with opportunities. A lot of innovation is happening in India related to IT and Software and I think that is very close to what is happening here. Where as in non-IT sectors, there is a need to more innovation. U.S. has a blend of innovation culture. From universities to government laboratories, technology giants of Silicon Valley or just a garage, innovation happens every where. The same did not happen in India earlier, but these trends are now on rise in India. Indian government is taking steps to prosper entrepreneurship innovation. They are looking to work with National Laboratories and Universities and that is why we see very similar kind of approach and programs that are developing in India, something that happened in U.S. 20-30 years back. The trend is not only limited to setting up venture capital firms but also incubators, accelerators, technology centers are establishing in India which will help especially in the long IT sector.
India Market: Focus as a VC