Visakhapatnam's first startup gets going - Deccan Chronicle

Two years ago (or so) we started out on a mission to ensure student safety. We are glad that we have stuck the course so far.
Mentioned in an article in today's Deccan Chronicle!

Visakhapatnam: Living up to its promises, Technology Research and Innovation Park (TRIP) - startup village at Vizag— has successfully incubated its first startup.

‘Unihalt’— the first financially sustainable product mentored by SV— aims to bridge the gap among student, parent and institution and takes care of attendance and security of students.

The product informs parents about in & out timings of the students via mobile app, sms, and also provides other facilities, says SV Chief Operating Officer (COO) Gautham.

The business which hit the ground in 2013, has so far generated revenue of Rs 40 lakh and is also on the verge of grabbing an angel funding of Rs 2 crore, said COO.

Raja Teja Konathala, the CEO and dreamer of the project said “We provide bio-metric devices to institutes free of cost and register every student onto the system. Our service is integrated with SMS and mobile app which any parent, who would like to use our service, can opt for it. Every parent availing the service will receive SMS/ notifications with regards to student in/out time instantly.”

“This device would help the institutes to manage attendance electronically, saving a lot of paper and time, and parents can be at peace knowing the whereabouts of their children. Schools in Vizag can avail this service free of cost for first academic year. Later, we will charge a very nominal fee from parents who are interested to take our service via APPs,” informed the dreamer of the system, adding that his team is also building parent teacher communication/feedback platform. The government has initiated bio-metric process in attendance from schools to offices, so there is a huge scope from installation and maintenance of the bio-metric instruments.  This showed a convincing revenue stream and potential for the product to evolve,” said Gautham.

“We helped Unihalt in developing its revenue model and building technical product like mobile applications. We also helped them by connecting to investors and mentors from India and abroad,” the COO added.

TOP 10 Startups in VIZAG – StartupUnfold

The long haul is over and the youth of Vizag has taken the bold steps to take the future into their own hands and redesign it.

Despite Vizag having all the potential to compete with global players, the wings never took off and now the time has come to change it for better.

The launch of startup accelerator/incubator Startup Village has given enough ray of hope to experiment with the ideas, giving birth to potential billion dollar businesses.

We have compiled a list of Startups based out of Vizag who are going to give a head-on competition for the big guns in the industry.

Watch out for our choice of TOP 10 startups in Vizag!

Latecomers to schools, beware! - The Hindu

Now, not just school teachers, but parents too will be updated about their children’s arrival and departure time in schools.

Latecomers to schools, it’s time to pull up your socks! Now, not just the school teachers, but parents too will be updated about their children’s arrival and departure time in schools. A Vizag-based startup Unihalt has developed a biometrics roll call reporting system for educational institutions to bridge the gap between student-parent-institution interactions. Founded by brothers Ravi Teja Konathala and Ravi Raja Konathala, the firm has already installed the biometric attendance system with eight institutes in and around Vizag and 27 institutes in other parts of AP and Telangana.

The idea to start a biometrics attendance system first struck Ravi Teja when he was pursuing his engineering course in Bapatla Engineering College near Guntur. Interestingly, it was his own experiences that led him to stumble upon this concept. “During my B.Tech days, I used to be often late to college and would end up missing two classes almost every day. Once my father was summoned to the college since I had issues to get promoted to the next semester due to lack of attendance. That’s when he got to know that I am missing the first half of college daily,” recollects Ravi Teja. Annoyed with his habit of getting delayed every day, Ravi Teja’s father asked him to call from a coin box telephone in front of college every morning to know what time he is entering the college. “That experience stayed with me and I decided to work on a concept so that parents can keep track of a child’s attendance and also ensure the child’s safety,” says Ravi Teja.

Unihalt was started in 2012 and later expanded to Vijayawada and Hyderabad. It is currently incubated in the Sunrise Startup Village and is in the final stage of raising investment. Apart from the Konathala brothers, the core team of Unihalt has Ashish Saran who handles the PR and Marketing and Lakshman who is the Operations in-charge.

Before starting the venture, the team did a market study which revealed that 90 per cent of educational institutions follow manual attendance process, which lacks efficiency and accuracy. Also, the study said that three per cent of students arrive late to school every day.

Unihalt provides biometric devices to institutes for free of cost and registers every student onto the system. “Our service is integrated with SMS and mobile app which any parent, who would like to use our service, can opt for. Every parent availing the service will receive an SMS or notification with regard to the student’s ‘in and out’ time from school instantly. This way, the institute will be able to manage attendance electronically and parents can be at peace knowing the whereabouts of their children. Generally in every schools, teachers manually mark daily attendance in registers but they don’t have metrics to track late-coming students. They can’t keep a record of the late comers. We help them with that as well,” says the Unihalt team, who are aiming to increase the student punctuality by 35 per cent through the implementation of the system.

Schools in Vizag can avail this service for free for the first academic year. Later, a nominal fee will be charged from those parents who are interested to take the service via app.

The team is currently creating a parent-teacher communication and feedback platform.