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Watch: Accenture Ventures’ Avnish Sabharwal on partnering with deep-tech startups

Accenture Ventures is the venture capital arm of the global IT giant. It partners with growth-stage startups in the enterprise, digital and deep-tech domains and invests in some of them as well. 

In an interaction with TechCircle on the sidelines of NASSCOM Product Conclave in Bengaluru, Accenture Ventures’ India managing director Avnish Sabharwal spoke about how the unit engages with local startups. 

Edited excerpts:

How does Accenture Ventures work with startups?

We do a couple of things. First, we have an Open Innovation programme where we partner with business-to-business (B2B) deep-technology growth-stage startups and take them to our clients to solve a business problem for them. The startup brings the IP and Accenture brings domain expertise and consulting skills to the table. We have 100 such engagements running across the world. Second, we make strategic investments in startups.

How many such investments have you made?

We had made about 25 investments, generally at the Series B and C stages. The most recent one is in 1QBit (Vancouver=based IQB Information Technologies) which is a quantum computing startup. We come in as a minority investor with a VC leading the round.

How have you been engaging with startups in India?

In India, we have spent the last four years on building our ecosystem partnerships, both with startups and with accelerators and incubators, investors, academia and government. This becomes our sourcing channel. If they fit the criteria — we have about 40-odd criteria through which a startup needs to go which is a combination of technology and business criteria — we look at partnerships.

What do your clients look for through these partnerships?

The partnerships are about discovery. We help our clients understand where the next disruption is going to happen and we bring the most disruptive startups to them.

Watch the video for the full interview.

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