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Indian Start-ups Lure Silicon Valley Cash

Tech giants invest in Bollywood, e-government, and more

4 min read

Having discovered India’s inexpensive engineering ­talent years ago, nearly every big tech company has a ­subsidiary there. Now the venture capital (VC) groups of these multi­nationals are discovering India’s independent start-ups. Venture capital investment in India is on the way to a substantial increase this year, with US $341 million committed in the first half of 2007. That ­follows VC’s nearly doubling in 2006 to $508 million spread over 90 deals. Nearly 15 ­percent of the 2006 money came from the venture capital divisions of companies like Cisco Systems, Google, IBM, Intel, and Yahoo, according to Arun Natarajan, CEO of Venture Intelligence, a Chennai-based firm that tracks VC investments. That’s a much higher proportion than in the United States, where in 2006 big companies accounted for less than 8 percent of VC financing.

The amount of VC funds coming into India from big corporations is increasing on top of a general growth in foreign VC investment, he says. The research services company, Evalueserve, in Gurgaon, India, says that 40 VC firms are planning to invest $4.4 billion in India in the next four to five years.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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