A cool idea to closely monitor cold storage chains and a plan to equip autonomous vehicles and drones with a high-resolution, 4D radar to enable all-weather vision won the day at Cycle I of the Qualcomm Design in India Challenge II (QDIC II) recently.
Amidst thunderous applause, Qualcomm announced the two winners at the recently concluded India Mobile Congress in New Delhi, which was attended by representatives from the government, industry, and the startup community.
The two startups that walked away with the prize money of US$ 75,000 each are Tagbox Solutions Pvt. Limited and Steradian Semiconductors Pvt Limited.
The highly anticipated QDIC II was launched as an expansion of Qualcomm’s design initiatives in India – the Qualcomm Design in India Program. Launched in association with NASSCOM, QDIP encourages Indian product companies working in the areas of Smart Infrastructure, Biometric Devices, Payment Terminals, Agricultural Technology, Medical Technology and Rural IoT to create innovative hardware product designs that incorporate Qualcomm technologies and platforms. Earlier this year, eight participants were shortlisted and awarded initial prize money of US$ 10,000 each, along with support at the Qualcomm India’s Innovation Labs in Bangalore and Hyderabad, where they could transform their ideas into prototypes.
Tagbox was founded by Adarsh Kumar, Saumitra Singh and Sameer Singh in October 2016 from an idea that, appropriately enough, was brewed over a casual pint of chilled beer. Tagbox is a platform that helps its clients create reliable and sustainable cold chains through comprehensive solutions that use IoT (Internet of Things), advanced analytics, as well as automation and control, giving real-time visibility into the entire cold chain (cold storage, cold transit and retail refrigeration). The company is hoping to expand its operations to the Asia-Pacific region over the next six to nine months and further into the US and Europe in the next 12 to 18 months.
Steradian Semiconductors is aiming at building a high-resolution, 4D radar to enable all-weather vision for autonomous vehicles and drones. Founded by Gireesh Rajendran, Ashish Lachhwani and Alok Joshi in July 2016, it is developing a chipset for a high-performance radar system that will operate in millimetre wave frequencies, to deliver the high radar pixels at an affordable price point.
Speaking on the occasion, Alex Rogers, Executive Vice President and President of Qualcomm Technology Licensing, said, “Since the beginning, Qualcomm’s strength has been constant innovation. Qualcomm Design in India Challenge provides a platform for cutting-edge technology entrepreneurs to showcase their talent and creative ideas. Qualcomm takes immense pleasure in announcing the two winners, who have created innovative solutions that address the needs and challenges of today. We look forward to offering our continued support to these winners, and the government’s Design in India objective in helping innovative startups take their ideas from concept to market.”
Qualcomm also announced the six finalists for the Cycle II of QDIC II:
These six finalists, who won US$ 10,000 each, will be incubated at Qualcomm and receive a host of benefits, including access to the Qualcomm Innovation Labs in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, technical mentorship and technology support from Qualcomm, and a chance to win the grand prize of US$ $75,000 at the end of the incubation period in early 2018. With this, Qualcomm will have incubated 24 Indian product companies over two years.