Today, India’s IoT and smart infra ecosystem is characterised by rapid disruption and continuous evolution. From healthcare to manufacturing to agriculture, home-grown IoT-based solutions are bridging key industry gaps and solving pressing challenges. The innovation and increasing affordability of sensors, on-ground infrastructure development, internet penetration, and readiness for new-age technology adoption have spurred the growth of the domestic IoT and hardware ecosystem. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The collaborative efforts of the government, industry bodies and ecosystem players have been instrumental in driving solution development, deployment and market creation, as well as making the required policy and regulatory changes for IoT and smart infrastructure on ground. The Qualcomm Design in India Challenge (QDIC), Qualcomm’s flagship initiative that discovers and nurtures some of the most innovative product, hardware and IoT startups in the country, has been at the forefront on driving this development. The programme, since its inception six years ago, has continued 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.
Demo day of QDIC 2020 cohort
The virtual DemoDay of the fifth edition of the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge on March 18 will put the spotlight on the work of 12 IoT and smart infra startups that are developing game- changing solutions. In addition to the startup pitches from the 2020 graduating cohort, the startup booths at the event will provide participants the opportunity to know more about the startups’ innovations and the impact they are driving. The demo day will also witness the announcement of QDIC 2020 winner. While the winning team will be awarded a prize money of Rs 65 lakhs, two runner ups will receive Rs 50 lakhs and Rs 35 lakhs, respectively.
Qualcomm leaders Alex Rogers, Executive VP and President, Qualcomm Technology Licensing, and Rajen Vagadia – VP & President, Qualcomm India, will be speaking at the virtual demo day, and sharing their perspectives on the growth and potential of India’s smart infra ecosystem and the road ahead for the startups. A fireside chat between Ankit Mehta, CEO, Ideaforge, and Varsha Tagare, Managing Director, QC Ventures India, will deep dive into what it takes to disrupt a niche sector. Deepa Malik, India’s first female Paralympic medallist, will also speak at the demo day to share a personal account of overcoming life’s toughest battles and lessons she learned from them.
Here’s a quick look at the innovations of the 12 startups which will be showcased at the demo day
Adiuvo Diagnostics’ ‘Illuminate’ is a first-of-its-kind screening device, which helps to non-invasively detect and classify pathogens on wounds along with automated measurements in under two minutes. This enables early disease detection of skin and soft tissue infections.
Aubotz Labs has developed an indigenous commercial floor cleaning robot – Peppermint Pro. With the proprietary autonomous navigation, dynamic triple-action-cleaning, and 8-hour battery life, Peppermint Pro paves the way forward for autonomous industrial floor cleaning as well as for hospitals, airports, and large real estate spaces.
Bagmo is building a blood bank information system – an innovative patent-pending technology for the blood supply chain. The Bagmo blood bag monitoring solution offers simple., quality assurance for blood temperature during storage and transport.
EmbedSense Solutions is developing an IoT-based Structural Health Monitoring solution that will transform the maintenance of transportation infrastructure in India by making passive structures “smarter.”
Hachidori Robotics provides smart, safe and reliable Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) solutions for factories and warehouses backed by their disruptive indoor navigation technology. Hachidori’s AMR do not require expensive infrastructure for deployment and can be deployed in live factories and warehouses without any interruptions to operations.
Peer Robotics’ robots are capable of learning from humans in real-time, providing flexible and adaptable solutions for manufacturing, warehousing, and healthcare sectors. Its collaborative algorithms allow the robots to work along with humans and in a human dense environment without any infrastructure change.
After revolutionising underwater inspections, Planys Technologies is now working towards developing an Internet of Underwater Things (IoUT) enabled platform for underwater drones for the marine industry, with support from Qualcomm. IoUT will create disruptive applications in industries like defence, scientific research, offshore energy, aquaculture, and disaster planning
Prakshep, an agriculture data science company, has developed GAJA – a live autonomous farm surveillance solution that provides real-time hybrid hyperspectral imaging backed by the pool of neural networks. Through GAJA, the startup intends to provide the power of our satellite-ground hybrid neural networks to farmers and field operators on location to monitor farm activities live.
NemoCare Wellness has developed an easy-to-use, wearable device that wraps around the foot of neonates and monitors their six main vital signs, 24×7. With the device, a hospital can quickly convert any of its beds into an ICU bed and enable timely intervention when a distress condition is detected.
Sensegrass is developing a soil intelligence system for fertiliser management and detecting crop diseases to improve soil efficiency and crop yield by leveraging its patented, first-of-its-kind IoT and AI Algorithm for soil precision.
Vacus Tech is a wireless indoor positioning and tracking technology company offering a patented technology for accurate accountability of assets and people. The startup believes that its technology is one of the most advanced, yet simple to use across industry segments including data centers, smart buildings, hospitals, warehouses, manufacturing, logistics facilities, among others.
A fitness tech startup, Wellnesys Technologies’ ‘Yogifi’ is a smart yoga mat combined with a smartphone app coupled with online and offline yoga class experience. Users are offered personalised wellness programmes based on their goals, limitations and past history, and the sessions are curated based on the insightful data and various metrics gathered from the mat.
Register for the Qualcomm DemoDay 2020 here
Towards a digitally-empowered India
For Qualcomm, its journey to support India’s dream of becoming a digitally empowered nation began in 2016 with a humble vision – to encourage design houses, product companies and startups to invent useful and innovative hardware product designs right in India. By providing access to Qualcomm SoC platforms and technologies, technical mentors from Qualcomm, business mentors from ecosystem, cash grants, go-to-market opportunities, patent filing support, and more, the initiative provided holistic support for smart infra startups.
Since then, the programme has expanded its scope of support. For instance, in its fifth edition in 2020, in addition to the IoT and smart infra related use- cases, the challenge was also thrown open to startups addressing 5G use-cases and applications that use NavIC capability on mobile devices. The other key aspect was the launch of the Innovation Commercialization Fund (ICF). With an initial fund size of INR 60 Lakhs for the 2020 programme year, QDIC alumni startups could apply for the fund for reimbursement towards one or more of the expenses incurred towards taking the product commercial. The fund covered certification cost, costs incurred towards industrial design and manufacturing cost towards customer orders. The opportunity to connect with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, has become a key hallmark of the programme. The 65+ startups that have been able to leverage the opportunity say the interaction not only enabled them to showcase their solution and take the first step towards exploring synergies, but also highlight the areas of challenges. In addition, 25 of these startups have participated in industry events either hosted by Qualcomm or those where Qualcomm participates. This includes industry events like Meet Startup Taipei Festival, Qualcomm Innovation Forum, Qbuzz, and TechSparks, among others.
The programme has supported 65 startups so far, and has disbursed cash grants of Rs 12.3 crores, a testimony to its continued success. But, what makes Qualcomm Design in India Challenge a powerful programme is its commitment to support startups and keep pace with its needs, as reflected in the ever expanding scope of the Challenge.