Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) has announced the top twelve finalists for the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge 2020. Currently, in its fifth edition, the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge received more than 150 applicants across industries, spurred through its collaboration with AGNIi, the program by Invest India that helps in commercializing Indian technological innovation. The finalists were identified through a virtual, rigorous jury selection process held in June. The jury included senior executives from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Invest India, NASSCOM, and various business units. Each finalist will receive an amount of INR 1.6 lakh along with expert mentorship at Qualcomm Innovation Lab, incentives for patent-filing, and business development opportunities through Qualcomm’s global sales and business teams.
Designed with the objective of empowering the startup ecosystem in India with advanced technologies, the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge is India’s longest-running wireless hardware startup incubation program. Attuned to the digital India mission, the program focuses strongly on the creation of IP by startups. The Qualcomm Design in India Challenge offers the following benefits to its finalists:
- Patent-filing Incentives: Each shortlisted startup will receive a grant of up to INR 3.2 lakh for full utility patent applications. The patent applications should be related to the idea/concept/product submitted as part of the contest and during the incubation phase of the program.
- Access to Accelerator Program Services: Accelerator services will be available to all startups, at no additional cost, through a third-party vendor. These services include diagnostic assessments and workshops on scaling parameters such as operations, customers, competition, products, financials, teams, and investments. Subject matter experts conduct one-on-one mentoring sessions for interested startups on a monthly basis for each scaling parameter.
- Networking Opportunities: Finalists get the opportunity to connect with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), the MeitY Startup Hub, and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), all of which encourage and promote startups.
- Additional Grant (New): After the mid-cycle review in September 2020, the approved startups will get an additional grant of INR 1.6 lakh each.
The program has newly instituted an Innovation Commercialization Fund (ICF) of INR 60 lakhs for the year 2020. The fund is available to all Qualcomm Design in India Challenge alumni startups for claiming reimbursement towards the costs they may have incurred in going commercial with their products – including costs for regulatory certification, industrial design and/or manufacturing towards the fulfilment of customer orders, subject to applicable terms and conditions.
Speaking on the occasion, Sudeepto Roy, Vice President, Engineering, Qualcomm Incorporated, said,
“Innovation lies at the heart of everything we do at Qualcomm. With the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge, we had set out to boost the start-up ecosystem to achieve the reality of a digitally enabled India. Our intent was to encourage start-ups to develop innovative hardware products using Qualcomm’s advanced technologies and we are encouraged and inspired to see the level of innovation that has emerged from India over the last few years, through this program, and continues to be the theme and objective.”
Rajen Vagadia, Vice President, Qualcomm India Private Limited and President, Qualcomm India & SAARC, said,
“It is our fifth year now, of running this program and we are elated to see the overwhelming response it has received year-on-year. We are confident that this initiative will continue to spur research and development of products that are designed in India and targeted at both domestic and global markets in areas of robotics, smart homes, smart cities, 5G and much more”.
Dr. Ajai K. Garg, Director, Startup, Innovation, IPR and International Cooperation, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, who participated as a jury member himself, said,
“The Qualcomm Design in India Challenge (QDIC) is doing a yeoman service to capture the breadth of startup activity in India. As a jury member for the 2020 cohort, it was a great opportunity for me to have a closer look at the works of some of the innovative minds with excellent entrepreneurial skills, working to find solutions in the space of emerging technologies. As the ability to develop technological innovation, which apart from complex and long-term investments, also requires application breakthroughs and smart mentoring, Qualcomm with its established infrastructure and well-connected network of technical expertise has a great role to play in nurturing innovation best practices and connect the missing dots.”
The twelve shortlisted startups of the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge 2020, in the areas of smart robotics and drones, smart infrastructure, agritech, rural IoT, medical technology, 5G & NavIC are:
- Adiuvo Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd. – Multispectral imaging device combined with Machine Learning algorithm to aid in rapid, label-free detection and classification of wound infection-causing bacteria & fungi in under 2 minutes
- Aubotz Labs Pvt. Ltd. – Peppermint: an intelligent telematics assisted floor cleaning and disinfecting robot
- Bagmo Pvt. Ltd. – A Blood bag monitoring Solution which can help the blood storage center to maintain a safe and adequate amount of blood in health facilities in rural India
- Embedsense Solutions Pvt. Ltd. – IOT based Structural Health Monitoring (SHM solution that will transform the way maintenance of transportation infrastructure will be done in India. With IOT SHM, passive structures will be made “smarter” by enabling them with AI and ML thereby reducing maintenance costs and making public infrastructure safer
- Hachidori Robotics Pvt. Ltd. – Obstruction detection and enablement of obstruction avoidance for autonomous mobile robot
- Nemocare Wellness Pvt. Ltd. – IoT gateway/hub that will increase computation power, decrease energy consumption at node level and drastically decrease cost by enabling a many to one node to hub to cloud architecture with a use case in newborn distress management
- Peer Robotics Pvt. Ltd. – Peer Robotics is a collaborative mobile robotics company, bridging the gap between how humans and robots work together
- Planys Technologies Pvt. Ltd. – Internet of Underwater Things (IoUT) Enabling underwater drone Platform
- Prakshep Pvt. Ltd. – An Autonomous guidance cum billing system for the agriculture machinery operators leveraging GIS from NavIC, Sentinel & Landsat at the edge
- Senselink Technology Pvt. Ltd. – Soil intelligence system using a patented NPK sensor and AI agronomist for improve crop yield and fertilizer management
- Vacus Tech Pvt. Ltd. – Accurate indoor positioning and tracking with a resolution of 30cm for People and Asset Accountability
- Wellnesys Technologies Pvt. Ltd. – A Smart Yoga Mat with interactive feedback, real-time posture assessment and an immersive audio-visual experience
These top twelve startups will start incubation at the Qualcomm Innovation Lab from July 2020. At the end of the incubation period, expected in March 2021, the winner and the first and second runners-up will receive award money of INR 65 Lakh (6.5 million), INR 50 lakh (5 million) and INR 35 lakh (3.5 million) respectively. This will serve as initial capital, crucial to their post-incubation commercialization plans.
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