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Ravi Gururaj to quit Citrix to start incubator for Startups

BANGALORE: Technology executive Ravi Gururaj is leaving software maker CitrixSystems to launch an incubation centre forcloud computing ventures.

Frictionless Ventures, which will get seed funding from Gururaj, is designed as an experimental laboratory for technology product ideas.

"It will serve as a launch platform from which I can freely innovate, ideate, incubate, and invest in disruptive new technology ideas," said Gururaj, formerly a vice-president for cloud platforms at Citrix. His startup venture, VMLogix, was acquired by Citrix in 2010.

At the new venture he aims to come up with ideas, invest seed money and nurture a team of entrepreneurs who can turn the idea into a viable business.

"It is a 'for-profit' commercial venture to which we expect to attract product development experts and ecosystem stakeholders," said Gururaj, who has also been elected as the chairman of IT industry body Nasscom's product council.

Frictionless Ventures will invest between $50,000-$250,000 (Rs 27 lakh-Rs 1.3 crore) in ideas focused on sectors like cloud computing, mobility and big data.

The first idea incubated at Frictionless Ventures is a mobile contacts management app SyncUsUp which was recently selected as a finalist at the Harvard Business School - New Venture Contest- held last month in Boston.

In the last two years at least 35-40 private accelerators and incubators have been set up across the country.

"This is similar to the boom in software services industry in the nineties," said Krishna Tanuku, executive director, Wadhwani Centre for Entrepreneurship Development at Indian School of Business who is of the opinion that fresh entrants will realise that incubating entrepreneurs is a complex task.

"Adopting babies and helping them grow into matured adults takes a long time," he said.