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Date: September 23, 2013 Category:
Plus Karma is a cloud based service that acts as a bridge between nobel corporations and researchers that lack resources to cure deadly diseases.
Plus Karma helps organizations of all sizes to accumulate “Good Karma” by donating “Karmaveers” (compute power) to help researchers cure Cancer. Every donating organization gets a “Karma Ganak” (Sanskrit for Karma badge) that can be put on their website to display their current “Karma Ank” (Karma score) in real time.

Why do we need it?

Corporations have a social responsibility to give back to the society. There are almost no good ways to do so in a verifiable manner. Donating to NGOs require due diligence to make sure the money was channeled as promised from top to bottom. Planting trees to reduce carbon footprints ends up releasing more carbon in the environment thanks to global warming. Plus Karma is a hassle free transparent way to give back to the society. It is simple to keep track of the individual as well as cumulative donations in real time.
Plus Karma uses the donated compute power to run software that helps find a cure such as Folding@Home project (http://folding.stanford.edu/). While such projects allow organizations to use their own computer systems, there is a security concern running a third party software on computers containing sensitive data.

What is the business model?

Plus Karma rents computing resources from cloud providers and loads them with its own software and services. We only pay the cloud hosting providers for the time we keep the machine running. If there is no activity, the machine is turned off and it does not incur any cost.
For Windows Azure cloud platform, that we are planning to stat with, it costs us about $75 a month to run 1 computing node for a month. With our services we have priced it at $0.99 cent an hour, which evaluates to about $713 per month per computing node. This gives us a gross profit margin of about 850% ($638 per month) on every node.
We allow customers to have a monthly subscription, where they can subscribe for one of the following monthly subscription plans:
“Ati Sukshma” (Sanskrit for Micro) –  10 Karma points
“Sukshma” (Sanskrit for Mini) – 20 Karma points
“Madhyama” (Sanskrit for Medium sized) – 50 Karma points
“Vrihatama” (sanskrit for big) – 100 Karma points
“Mahattam” (sanskrit for biggest) – 500 Karma points
There will also be a plan tailored to the needs of a corporate called “Anukulum”.
Note: Each Karma point denotes compute hours per week. There are plan add ons where the customers can increase the power of the “Karmaveers” to have them run more computations per hour – for instance allocating a eight-core processor with more memory.

Dinesh Agarwal is an academician turned entrepreneur. He got his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Georgia State University where he also started his first venture Bookup to help students save money on college textbooks. He is also the founder of Pro Start Me, a service for entrepreneurs to realize their tech based ideas into products. Got a great idea? Let us talk